If you’re into two-start streaming, then you’re likely not into six-man rotations. They suck. They push back useful, healthy starters. They dilute the two-start pool. They’re maddening for H2H purposes. And six-man rotations are especially awful when quality teams turn to them. Enter the St. Louis Cardinals. Word from St. Louis is that Michael Wacha will be called-up on Saturday, and that he’ll remain in the rotation throughout the stretch run. Now, I’ll admit I’m conflicted on this one — as a prospect enthusiast, it’s awesome to see guys like Wacha and Carlos Martinez starting big league ballgames, but as a weekly league fantasy player, I loathe the six-man rotation. It’s a selfish hatred, as I realize it’s important for a contending team to pace out young arms like Shelby Miller and Lance Lynn, but still… what about my H2H team, John Mozeliak? The upcoming week for the Cardinals lays out the cruddy nature of SMRs pretty clearly: Adam Wainwright is scheduled to start Tuesday, which is game one of a six-game week. A typical five-man corps would have him pitching again over the weekend, but that doesn’t appear to be the case in St. Louis any longer. Perhaps Wainwright will get a special exemption and always make his starts on four days rest, but that seems unlikely. Oh well. It appears I’ll have to make do with just one Waino start in this HUGELY IMPORTANT WEEK. [weeps softly at desk]
As always, probable pitchers are subject to change. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.
Max Scherzer (@CHW, KC); Mat Latos (@CHC, @MIL); Chris Sale (DET, @MIN); Hiroki Kuroda (LAA, @BOS); Gio Gonzalez (SF, @ATL); Yu Darvish (@HOU, SEA); Bartolo Colon (HOU, CLE); Doug Fister (@CHW, KC); Cole Hamels (@ATL, LAD); Madison Bumgarner (@WAS, @MIA); Julio Teheran (PHI, WAS); Homer Bailey (@CHC, @MIL)
- Please welcome Julio Teheran and Homer Bailey to the must start party — juicy match-ups sealed the deal for both.
- It’s another thin week for the first tier, but we’re flush with talent in the must start tier, so I won’t complain. Danny Salazar (23% owned in Y! leagues) is bringing elite velocity into the 7th and 8th innings, and his whiff potential is way too good to ignore at this point. He brings huge upside in week 20, and I’m using him wherever I can get my greedy little hands on him. Jenrry Mejia (8%) has been quietly dominant in his three starts, posting an 18/3 K/BB along the way. It wasn’t long ago that Mejia was a very highly-touted prospect, and it seems he might be achieving some post-hype validation down the stretch this season. Ricky Nolasco (39%) is grossly under-owned considering his steady production — I’m certainly starting him against two cupcakes in the week ahead. Finally, Chris Archer carries some risk coming off the forearm injury, but all reports positive, and he appears ready to go. If the Rays are putting him out there, so am I.
- Brett Oberholtzer (2%) was listed in last week’s two-start post, before the Houston officially went to a six-man rotation. He was in the “don’t start” tier last last Saturday, as I wasn’t ready to buy into the lefty after just one quality outing. But then he went and blanked the Red Sox for seven frames on Monday. Oberholtzer draws a tough slate in week 20, but I’m comfortable riding this hot streak while it lasts. August is usually about the time of year when Bruce Chen (15%) starts doing things that Bruce Chen shouldn’t be doing. He’s posted a 10/1 K/BB across his last two starts, allowing only one run during that stretch. If it weren’t for the start versus Detroit, Chen might be a first tier dude this week. Garrett Richards (3%) draws a couple nice opponents in week 20 — don’t let the Yankees fool ya; they’re the second worst team in baseball in the OPS department. The remaining streamable two-start options are as follows: Sam Deduno (7%), Wade Miley (55%), and Travis Wood (68%).
Andrew Albers (CLE, CHW); Miguel Gonzalez (@ARI, COL); Josh Johnson (OAK, @TB); Eric Stults (@COL, NYM); Tom Koehler (@KC, SF); Charlie Morton (@STL, ARI); Ryan Dempster (@TOR, NYY); CC Sabathia (LAA, @BOS); Hector Santiago (DET, @MIN); Marco Estrada (@TEX, CIN)
- There’s usually some sort of desperate argument to be made for the guys here in tier three, but c’mon. Outside of AL/NL-only, why would you go here? Sure, Andrew Albers dominated the Royals in his only career start, but that’s one damn start, and I’m sure as hell not trusting him yet. Should he toss a couple more gems, I’ll cut him some slack, a la Oberholtzer. For now, I’ll steer clear. I suppose, too, Tom Koehler has some upside. The match-ups are good, and he’s been reasonably steady for the past month, but I really can’t endorse using him. Same goes for the others here. Dipping into tier three is never a good idea.
- What’re you, crazy?