Zach’s Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 9/12
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Overall, the potential waiver wire two-start pitcher choices for next week are not particularly appealing. But there are still a few candidates who could prove to be difference makers for your squads as we head towards the finish line. Let’s get started.
Standard mixed leagues
Jeremy Hellickson (vs. PIT, vs. MIA)
Although Hellickson was not at his best on Wednesday, allowing nine hits over six innings, he still managed to register a quality start versus a Marlins squad that he will face again next week. In fact, Hellickson has handled the Marlins rather well this season, pitching to a 2.59 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP across five starts. As for the Pirates, Pittsburgh ranks among the bottom seven teams in the Majors in both runs scored and OPS since the All-Star break. The Phillies righty makes for a fine two-start option in all formats.
Ervin Santana (@DET, @NYM)
Having allowed three earned runs or fewer in 13 of his last 14 outings, Santana has been one of the more reliable starting pitchers in the game for quite some time now. In addition to his 2.89 ERA in ten starts since the All-Star break, the Twins righty has managed to raise his strikeout rate from 6.6 K/9 in the first half to 7.9 K/9 in the second half. The Tigers and Mets both rank in the bottom third of the Majors in runs scored since the All-Star break, and in his one previous start against Detroit this season, Santana limited the Tigers to just one run over seven innings.
Dan Straily (vs. MIL, vs. PIT)
Straily was far from dominant in Thursday’s start versus the Pirates, but he still holds a stellar 3.13 ERA and 1.18 WHIP in 11 starts since the All-Star break. Even more noteworthy for fantasy purposes, the Reds righty has increased his strikeout rate from 7.1 K/9 in the first half to 8.1 K/9 in the second half. In seven combined appearances (six starts) versus the Brewers and Pirates this season, Straily has registered a 2.58 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP. The 27-year-old is a viable starting option in the majority of mixed leagues.
Deeper mixed leagues
Matt Boyd (vs. MIN, @CLE)
Following a shaky outing at home versus the White Sox on August 29th, Boyd bounced back nicely on Tuesday in his rematch against the Pale Hose, tossing seven innings of two-run ball. In ten appearances (nine starts) since the All-Star break, the Tigers southpaw is 5-1 with a 2.63 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 8.1 K/9 rate. His matchups next week are not particularly favorable, as the Twins and Indians rank among the top three teams in the AL in both runs scored and OPS in the second half. But Boyd sports a combined 1.62 ERA versus Minnesota and Cleveland this season. He’s worth the risk in all deep mixed leagues and even some standard formats.
Robbie Ray (vs. COL, vs. LAD)
By now, fantasy owners know what they’re getting with Ray. The Diamondbacks lefty offers an elite-level strikeout rate (11.3 K/9 this season) at the expense of ERA and WHIP. But Ray has allowed three earned runs or fewer in five of his last six starts, so perhaps he is finally developing into a consistent all-around pitcher. That said, he’s more of a deep-league option for next week, as the Rockies and Dodgers rank 1st and 2nd, respectively, in the NL in both runs scored and OPS since the All-Star break. Plus, both of Ray’s starts will come at home, where he holds a 5.02 ERA this year compared to a 3.98 ERA away from Chase Field. Standard mixed league owners should consider him only if they are chasing strikeouts.