Zach’s Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 8/22
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Only six full weeks to go, and falling short of a league title by a few strikeouts or a win surely isn’t fun. That’s why paying attention to two-start pitcher options throughout the season is a must for those of you in weekly lineup leagues. And that’s why I devote an entire blog post to two-start pitchers each and every week. Let’s get started.
Standard mixed leagues
Jaime Garcia (vs. NYM, vs. OAK)
Although Garcia is coming off a shaky outing against the Astros on Tuesday (5 IP, 7 H, 5 ER), the veteran southpaw still sports a solid 3.00 ERA and 1.00 WHIP so far in August. Look for the 30-year-old to get back on track next week, as the Mets and A’s both rank among the bottom six teams in the Majors in runs scored since the All-Star break. Also note that both of his starts will come at home, where Garcia has registered a 3.18 ERA this season as opposed to a 5.37 ERA on the road.
Dylan Bundy (vs. WAS, @NYY)
After allowing three runs or fewer in five straight starts, Bundy struggled on Wednesday against the Red Sox. But Boston leads the Majors in both runs scored and OPS, so fantasy owners should not give up on the young righty. Bundy is far from a must-start for next week, as the Nationals rank among the top nine teams in the Majors in runs scored, homers and OPS. But the Yankees rank in the bottom third of the Majors in all three of those categories, and Bundy’s strong overall performance this season, especially his 8.4 K/9 rate, makes him worthy of starting consideration in any two-start week.
Doug Fister (@PIT, vs. TB)
Since the beginning of July, Fister has seen his ERA rise from 3.36 to 3.76. But even during this span, the Astros righty has mixed in several strong outings, so he remains a viable mixed league option. His matchups next week are promising, as the Rays rank in the bottom third of the Majors in runs scored while the Pirates lineup has gone cold since the All-Star break, ranking 28th in runs and 27th in OPS.
Deeper mixed leagues
Blake Snell (vs. BOS, @HOU)
While there is certainly risk attached to pitching Snell next week, particularly for his start against the Red Sox, there is reward potential for owners in deeper formats. Despite his 5.1 BB/9 rate, the 23-year-old lefty has managed to record a 3.06 ERA through his first 12 big league starts, thanks in large part to his ability to rack up whiffs (9.6 K/9). And it just so happens that the Astros offense leads the AL in strikeouts.
Yordano Ventura (@MIA, @BOS)
Throughout much of the first half, Ventura’s 2016 season was looking like a lost season. Over his last eight starts, however, the Royals righty has pitched to a stellar 3.12 ERA and 1.13 WHIP. Facing the high-powered Red Sox lineup at Fenway Park can be a challenge for any pitcher, let alone a pitcher who has been as inconsistent as Ventura. But the Marlins rank only 21st in the Majors in runs scored and will now be without Giancarlo Stanton for the remainder of the season. For owners in deeper leagues, Ventura’s recent resurgence should be enough of a reason to consider starting him next week.
Anibal Sanchez (@MIN, vs. LAA)
Sanchez used to be one of the more reliable starting pitchers in the game. Not anymore. The veteran righty has yet to demonstrate any sort of consistency this season aside from his strikeout totals. But he is coming off his finest outing of the year in which he limited the Royals to one hit across seven innings. Plus, in six starts since the All-Star break, he’s registered a 4.14 ERA and 1.22 WHIP, this compared to a 6.75 ERA and 1.65 WHIP in the first half. The Angels rank 11th in the AL in OPS while the Twins place 9th in the Junior Circuit in OPS at home. Sanchez still has work to do in order to reestablish himself as a standard mixed league option. But as a deep-league two-start hurler, he could be worth the investment.