I’d like to start things off this week by giving a shout out to J-FOH for covering the trash/treasure post this week while I was busy fighting traffic and stuffing my face in the Philly area during the holiday weekend. Great job, buddy. And by the way, the food pics will keep coming as long as you swear by those “Philly cheesesteaks” by that sandwich chain out on the west coast. I can’t even… Let’s move on, shall we?

Last week, we looked at a few hitters who might be able to help your fantasy teams as well as highlighting a couple of players who could be cut loose at this point in the season. Now it’s time to look at a few pitchers who could potentially be difference-makers (for better or worse) over the next few weeks (with ESPN ownership %):

James Shields (96.9%): Big game James’ first season in San Diego has been a bit of a mixed bag. On one hand, his 3.90 ERA and 1.34 WHIP have actually caused more harm than good to the owners who drafted him as a #2 SP back in March. On the other hand, his 194 strikeouts are the 9th most in MLB this season, with an elite 9.58 K/9 (10th among SPs) to match. On a third hand that looks like a spork, Shields has channeled his inner Kazuhisa Ishii over the last month, leading all MLB pitchers with 21 walks allowed and ranking 2nd to only Hector Santiago with a 5.25 BB/9 over that span. His next two scheduled starts are at Chase Field in Arizona and at Coors Field in Colorado, where he’s allowed 12 earned runs in 18 innings, including 10 walks and 5 HR allowed across 3 starts this season. It might be wise to keep big-ratio James out of your lineup for that stretch. BEAR.

Derek Holland (64.9%): Holland is one of those players who always seems to get overlooked by the fantasy crowd. Maybe it’s because he pitches in Texas, or perhaps it’s the fact that he’s only made 10 big league starts over the last two seasons. Hmmm… that could be it. While his durability is an ongoing issue, Holland appears to finally be healthy and he is certainly dealing at the moment. In four starts since coming off of the DL on August 19th, he’s produced a 2.15 ERA and a 0.82 WHIP with 25 strikeouts and just 3 walks in 29 1/3 IP. One of his three quality starts over that span was against the Seattle Mariners, who he’s scheduled to face in two out of his next four starts. The other team that he’s scheduled to face twice over his next four starts, the Houston Astros, has something in common with the Mariners – they struggle against pitchers who feature above-average sliders. It just so happens that Holland’s slider is not only his out pitch, but also one of the better pitches in the league when he’s healthy and throwing well. Bring on the Ks. BULL.

Lance Lynn (90.4%): The St. Louis Cardinals are arguably the best team in baseball, and Lynn has had yet another fine season as one of their most reliable workhorses as the postseason draws near. Over the past month, however, the numbers suggest that the Cardinals have been thriving in spite of Lynn rather than because of him. In his  last five starts, he’s produced a 5.16 ERA and a 1.90 WHIP with 14 strikeouts and 11 walks in 22 2/3 IP. There doesn’t appear to be any relief on the horizon either. Three out of his next four starts (@Cin, @CHC, vs Cin, @Pit) are on the road, where he’s been much less effective throughout his career (3.95 road ERA; 2.86 home ERA). In his last starts against the Cubs and Pirates respectively, Lynn allowed 13 runs (9 earned) and 15 baserunners in 3 total innings of work. In shallow redraft formats, he can be safely dropped. BEAR.

 

 

 
  1. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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    Great feature, happily grabbed Holland a few days ago for today.

    What are your thoughts on Marco Estrada? His FIP sucks, but he’s been dealing in terms of ERA/WHIP and Ws. I finally bit the bullet a few weeks ago with him and haven’t looked back, despite my agita.

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Duda Want to Build a Snowman?: Nice grab on Holland! I think he’ll do well over his next few starts.

      I’m not a huge Estrada fan. It’s usually wise to avoid soft-throwing fly ball pitchers in Toronto. Depends on your situation though. If you need wins and have some flexibility in terms of ratios, he’s a decent option. I expect to see some crooked numbers on the scoreboard over his next few starts, but he should continue to get solid run support.

  2. Nitro says:
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    Any of these guys worth grabbing for playoffs?

    Nola
    Miley
    Hendricks
    Ubaldo
    Santana
    Shoemaker
    Harden

    Thanks!

    • Nitro says:
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      @Nitro: of course I mean Haren, not rich harden!!!

      • Big Magoo

        Big Magoo says:
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        @Nitro: Stay away from Harden!

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Nitro: Nola looks like the pitcher with the best combo of health/skills/schedule moving forward. He appears to be in line for a two-start week next week too (vs Wsh, @ Atl).

      Miley has pitched well lately but has a tough upcoming schedule (@ TB, @ Tor).

      Shoemaker would’ve been featured in this post had he not gotten scratched from his last start. When healthy, he’s a solid option too, especially at home.

  3. MisterMister says:
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    Jinx on Holland! Oof.

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @MisterMister: He was solid through six before they got to him in the 7th. Likely still building up stamina after such a long layoff.

  4. LadyScorpio says:
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    Well Magoo… I would’ve been in sync with you on this if Holland hadn’t we the bed tonight vs Seattle!!! Thus, ruining my 1st place standing in my league!! UGH!!!

    I happen to have Shields and Lynn too, so no argument there. Although Shields’ outing last night was ugly, at least it was a win!! Holland would wait until I add him to have an off night, right? Just dropped Holland for Corbin. Dropped Lynn for McCullers.

    Always enjoy your articles, by the way. Though this is the 1st time I’ve commented on one. Thanks for the good work that you do!

    Sincerely,
    LadyScorpio
    (1 of 5 female Razzball readers and proud of it!!!!

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @LadyScorpio: Sorry about Holland. I had him going in a couple of leagues too. The two righties got to him today (Cruz and Trumbo went 4 for 8 combined with a homer and 4 rbis). Just a poor 7th inning that ruined his stat line.

      Thanks for the kind words! I appreciate the support. Come on back and comment anytime. Hopefully we can get the female readership into double digits by next season, but you’ll always be known as one of the first!

  5. Which SP betweem now & Oct 5; Severino NYY, Michael Pineda NYY, Derek Holland Tex, Steven Matz NYM, J.A. Happ Pit, Carlos Rodon CWS or Patrick Corbin Ari . Please pick top one or two in ur mind Big Magoo. Thanks!

    • @madden_curser: I should add Jaime Garcia, StL, but he’s looking like toast tonite & so he would be my short straw for one of the previous SP’s…

      • Big Magoo

        Big Magoo says:
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        @madden_curser: As long as the blister is a non-issue, I like Matz the most out of that group. He’s looked terrific this year, and his DL stint effectively kept his innings in check for the stretch run. I don’t think that he’ll be limited in that way, especially with Harvey and Syndergaard nearing their limits.

        Severino is likely to be skipped once or twice in the near future due to IP concerns, so I’d pass on him in a redraft.

        Rodon might be in danger of being shut down early too since the White Sox have nothing to play for.

        Happ has been awesome recently, but his upcoming schedule is tough (vs CHC, @ Col, @ CHC).

        Pineda has been inconsistent since coming off of the DL, and Corbin plays in a tough home park (though his last three starts have been solid).

        Garcia has a great-looking schedule, particularly for win potential (@ Mil, vs Cin, vs Mil, @ Atl), and he’s been terrific outside of today’s start.

        I’d go with Matz and Garcia ROS, with Holland a close 3rd.

  6. Alex says:
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    How are we feeling about Carrasco on Sunday? Sitting him? Starting him?

    Also, what about Stroman @ NYY on Saturday?

    Man, the playoffs are nerve wracking!

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Alex: If I have Carrasco (and I do in a few leagues), I’m starting him unless I have a strong replacement option. I think his poor recent start was due to rust more than anything.

      I’d keep Stroman on the bench for Saturday’s start. It’s a tough matchup, and he’s missed a lot of time and is likely to be on a pitch count for his first start or two back.

      Good luck!

  7. Pennypacker says:
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    Kershaw
    Strasburg
    Salazar
    Colon
    Burnett
    Stroman
    Gallardo
    Hendricks

    • Pennypacker says:
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      Kershaw
      Strasburg
      Salazar
      Colon
      Burnett
      Stroman
      Gallardo
      Hendricks
      H2H (5 SP)
      Sorry bout that… Anyway I think Im okay with my SP its a matter their matchups and also bigtime if Burnett and Stroman can play at their full potential. I picked them both up on the waiver wire over a month ago in hopes they’d be available for the playoffs.

      • Big Magoo

        Big Magoo says:
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        @Pennypacker: That’s a strong pitching staff. The Gallardo, Hendricks, and Colon spots can be used to stream as needed too (assuming it’s not a limited transaction league). Players like Holland, Happ, Morton, Leake, and Shoemaker can be picked up and used when the matchups are favorable.

        • Pennypacker says:
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          @Big Magoo:

          14 team H2H with no limit on transactions…
          Got a buy for first round Semi-finals next week!

          Grandal
          Encarnacion
          Wong
          Bogaerts/Lindor
          Arenado
          Trout/Harper/Pollock/Yelich

          Rosenthal/Bettances/C.Smith

          • Big Magoo

            Big Magoo says:
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            @Pennypacker: Your CIs and OF are incredibly strong. Might want to keep an eye out for potential catcher and second base replacements though. Grandal appears to be playing hurt, and Wong’s calf injury might require a DL stint.

            Good luck!

  8. LadyScorpio says:
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    Hello again! Just checked my team’s stats and I’m blessedly STILL in 1st place!!! Thought for sure that Holland had crushed that. Not to mention 50% of my offense plays for Toronto whose game got postponed, but fortunately, Yahoo didn’t count that. The few batters that did start did well and 1 of my RPS got a Hold with good stats! All is well and I’m content. Just thought I’d share. I will comment more often! Expect to hear more from me! Have a great day!

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @LadyScorpio: Awesome! We’re almost at the finish line, so hang in there. Have a great weekend!

  9. LadyScorpio says:
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    Ooh Magoo!

    I didn’t start Shields last night vs ARZ in either league….BIG mistake!! Naturally, he pitched well to spite me!! Owning that guy this year has been SO FRUSTRATING!!! UGH!! Oh well, that’s fantasy for ya!

    LadyScorpio
    (1 of 5 female Razzball readers and proud of it!!!)

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @LadyScorpio: Ugh, sorry about that. He has been somewhat unpredictable this season. I just didn’t like him for that start or his next one (still don’t) at Coors Field over the weekend, especially with his tendency to give up the long ball (29 HR allowed – t-3rd most in MLB).

Comments are closed.