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There is a decent chance that the MLB Trade Deadline throws some wrenches into our list this week. Yu Darvish is currently on the list and could very well get traded. He got absolutely rocked his last time out, though, so some owners might be a little shy about throwing him out there for two starts this week. Depending on your team and league format, though, the chances are you should probably send Darvish out there for his two turns this week. He is going to start at least once even if he gets traded, and August is not the time to start second-guessing your squad.

Our focus for this week is Charlie Morton. He is only owned in 49% of RCLs, and Streamonator likes him for a $13.60 value that is partly due to favorable matchups against the Rays and Blue Jays, both of whom are in the bottom eight in team wOBA over the last couple weeks. In his last start out against the Phillies (who are surprisingly in the top eight for team wOBA over the last two weeks), he tossed seven shutout innings with nine strikeouts on just three hits and a walk.

The main difference in Morton this year that has increased his fantasy value is he is striking out batters at a much higher rate than he ever has in his career. His career K/9 is 6.66, but his K/9 in 2017 is up over 10/9:

His 2016 K/9 was 9.87, but that was over just four starts. As is expected when you see a spike in strikeout numbers, Morton’s swinging strike numbers are up, too. While he posted a career swinging strike percentage of below 8.0% coming into the season, he is at 10.4% in 2017.

His Hard% and HR/FB% are both up, too, so it is not all roses for Morton this season, but the good has definitely outweighed the bad in 2017, and that should continue to be the case with two good matchups this week. The Astros are going to be without Carlos Correa and George Springer, which is not ideal for his run support, but even without those two they still have one of the better offenses in the league. Not many teams have a Derek Fisher or a Marwin Gonzalez to plug in when injuries strike, so they should be OK.

  • Jameson Taillon – He is owned in 99% of RCLs, but I thought it worth nothing that Streamonator loves Taillon this week against the Reds and the Padres. The Padres are actually in the top 8 for team wOBA for the last 14 days, but I think I’m just going to ignore that. They’re the Padres. I have him as the third best option this week after Sale and Bumgarner, and Streamonator likes him for a $39.70 value.
  • Mike Fiers – If things stand the way they are now, Fiers gets the same favorable matchups that Morton does. There was some worry that he might get bumped from the rotation due to the return of Dallas Keuchel, but Brad Peacock got the demotion instead. While he has seemingly been on the verge of losing his spot in the rotation for pretty much the entire season, he has pitched well enough to hold on all year while injuries have forced the Astros to dig deeper into their starting pitching depth than they would probably prefer. Like Morton, his strikeout numbers are also up, though his FIP is more than a run higher than his ERA. But that is a problem for another week. For this week, enjoy the matchups.

Now, for the full list.

Pitchers are listed in order by rank. Colors represent 8 toughest or 8 easiest opponents according to team wOBA for last 14 days.

THE BEST

Player Opponents ERA/FIP K9/BB9
Chris Sale BOS CLE, CHW 2.37/1.92 12.80/1.64
Madison Bumgarner SF @OAK, ARI 3.38/3.61 8.34/1.59
Jameson Taillon PIT CIN, SD 4.03/3.23 8.64/2.96
Carlos Carrasco CLE @BOS, NYY 3.58/3.60 9.85/2.26
Carlos Martinez STL @MIL, @CIN 3.52/3.83 9.58/3.26

THE REPLICAS

Player Opponents ERA/FIP K9/BB9
Jimmy Nelson MIL STL, @TB 3.38/3.20 10.01/2.19
Jose Berrios MIN @SD, TEX 3.76/3.90 8.39/2.69
Charlie Morton HOU TB, TOR 3.83/3.95 10.06/3.39
Luis Severino NYY DET, @CLE 3.03/2.95 10.22/2.26
Patrick Corbin ARI @CHC, @SF 4.36/4.19 8.42/2.71
Chris Archer TB @HOU, MIL 3.80/3.09 11.22/2.92
Kenta Maeda LAD @ATL, @NYM 4.09/3.97 8.59/2.45
Felix Hernandez SEA @TEX, @KC 4.08/4.91 8.43/2.37
Cole Hamels TEX SEA, @MIN 3.97/4.88 5.25/2.82
Jake Arrieta CHC ARI, WAS 4.03/4.23 8.65/2.98
Yu Darvish TEX SEA, @MIN 4.01/3.98 9.72/2.96

THE STANDARDS

Player Opponents ERA/FIP K9/BB9
Jeff Samardzija SF @OAK, ARI 4.85/3.50 9.71/1.13
Masahiro Tanaka NYY DET, @CLE 5.09/4.68 9.61/1.96
Sean Manaea OAK SF, @LAA 3.82/3.64 8.76/3.03
Aaron Nola PHI @LAA, @COL 3.17/3.24 9.69/2.72
Mike Fiers HOU TB, TOR 3.71/4.99 9.19/3.30
CC Sabathia NYY DET, @CLE 3.66/4.24 7.14/3.47
Alex Cobb TB @HOU, MIL 3.46/4.22 5.87/2.22
Mike Foltynewicz ATL @PHI, MIA 3.82/4.54 8.21/3.17
Michael Fulmer DET @NYY, @BAL 3.35/3.34 6.36/1.88
Trevor Bauer CLE @BOS, NYY 5.25/3.90 9.90/3.55
Ian Kennedy KC @BAL, SEA 4.43/5.04 7.81/3.56

THE KNOCKOFFS

Player Opponents ERA/FIP K9/BB9
Paul Blackburn OAK SF, @LAA 2.25/4.65 3.38/2.81
Danny Duffy KC @BAL, SEA 3.56/3.44 7.04/2.50
Dylan Bundy BAL KC, DET 4.53/5.03 6.94/2.94
Marco Estrada TOR @CHW, @HOU 5.43/4.51 9.60/3.94
Jose Urena MIA WAS, @ATL 4.04/5.19 6.28/3.50
Antonio Senzatela COL NYM, PHI 4.84/4.99 6.60/3.08

THE 

Player Opponents ERA/FIP K9/BB9
Anibal Sanchez DET @NYY, @BAL 6.18/5.16 8.45/2.72
James Shields CHW TOR, @BOS 5.86/6.56 6.75/4.97
Ricky Nolasco LAA PHI, OAK 5.07/5.39 7.26/2.50
Erasmo Ramirez SEA @TEX, @KC 4.80/4.17 7.14/2.08
Homer Bailey CIN @PIT, STL 8.37/5.82 5.40/3.78
Nick Pivetta PHI ATL, @COL 5.73/5.23 9.32/3.94
Steven Matz NYM @COL, LAD 5.51/4.95 6.46/2.09
Aaron Blair ATL* LAD, MIA 4.86/4.74 7.03/4.14
Mike Pelfrey CHW TOR, @BOS 4.73/5.50 5.92/4.41
Ubaldo Jimenez BAL KC, DET 6.93/5.86 8.03/4.20

* 2017 AAA Numbers

All pitchers are projected for two starts as of Friday night. 

If you would prefer to see the above tables as a color-coded graphic, we’ve got that too!

(Click to enlarge.)

As always, disagree with anything here? Have any questions or comments? Want to tell Mike how great he is or how much you agree with him? Want relationship or investment advice?

DROP THOSE COMMENTS!

 

If you want to talk fantasy baseball or football or have players you want Mike to feature, hit him up on Twitter at @mikeMaher or post a comment below!

 

   
  1. Chucky says:
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    Nola has pitched considerably better at home than on the road as evidenced by his ERA and Batting Average against. With two road matchups, including the dreaded trip to a Coors, might this be a good week to give Nola an oil change? Castillo v StL, Wacha and Weaver @ Milwaukee and the resurgent Vargas @ Baltimore are single start options to replace Nola.

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
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      @Chucky:

      Not a bad idea. That road start at Coors is one of the main reasons I dropped Nola to where he is.

  2. Last Man Standing says:
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    1. Are you buying Gausman’s resurgence? Seems he did the same thing last year at this time.

    2. Wacha or Nova ROS? Nova’s inability to avoid contact showing up now?

    3. Of course there is no 3.

    • MARK P says:
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      @Last Man Standing: Gausman’s XFip has been one of the best for July not to mention 4 wins in 6 starts.

      Pirates SUCK, I say this from the ‘burbs of Pgh. Wacha all the way.

      • Questions I Know The Answers To But Have Issues says:
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        @MARK P:

        Ha! That pitching to contact stuff not working for him now. Thanks

        • mikeMaher

          mikeMaher says:
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          @Questions I Know The Answers To But Have Issues:

          Agree with Mark. I picked up Wacha like over a month ago and have been riding the wave so far.

          Gausman has looked much better, but hard to trust anyone or anything about the Orioles right now.

  3. malamoney says:
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    I think Bumgarner was moved up to Sunday. Good stuff as usual though.

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
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      @malamoney:

      Thanks. Yeah, I saw that this morning. One day I’ll get 100% accuracy on this list. One day…

  4. Domer says:
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    Appears that Lester and Arrieta will switch places and Lester will have two starts this week.

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
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      @Domer:

      Thanks for nothing, Joe Maddon. I would give Lester a slight bump in place of Arrieta.

  5. Robert says:
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    10 team h2h redraft league with 50 moves limit(not my idea). I have 8 moves left for the season. With that in mind: would you drop Happ, Straily or Clevinger for any of these: Morton, Wacha, Corbin, Davies,Lynn? I know some these guys could be affected by the trade deadline.

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
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      @Robert:

      Probably not, but I might take a look at Lynn or Wacha if there start to be whispers of an innings limit for Clevinger.

      Ralph’s Top 1oo Starters for ROS comes out tomorrow, so I would check his list, too. But I think you’re good for now.

      • Robert says:
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        @mikeMaher: thanks,appreciate the feedback.

        • mikeMaher

          mikeMaher says:
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          @Robert:

          No problem

  6. Yankee My Wanky! says:
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    Mike,
    You had Clevinger included as a 2 Start last week, but it looks like he will be in Boston tomorrow and home against NY later in the week. I am planning on sitting him against those 2 teams, especially after his last groin kicker after getting staked to a 7-0 lead, but I wanted to get your thoughts. I am not a huge fan.

    Thanks much Mike.

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
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      @Yankee My Wanky!:

      Yeah, a few things got moved around. Seems to happen to a few pitchers just about every week.

      I like Clevinger. He walks too many guys and his FIP suggests some possible regression could be coming, but there is a lot to like, especially since he has solid strikeout stuff. He had 4 straight quality starts before his last dud, and I also wouldn’t be that afraid of the Red Sox right now. They have the worst wOBA in baseball over the last two weeks.

      • Yankee My Wanky! says:
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        @mikeMaher: Yeah, all excellent points Mike. I guess I’m still a little pissed off because he kinda screwed me this week when he should have cruised to an easy win. I think I will start him and hope for the best. The Red Sox are kinda weak, which is great because of who I root for.

        Thanks again Mike.

  7. Michael DePinto says:
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    I love the Taillon match ups as well but he has been dreadful the past month.

    Are you as concerned as I am?

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
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      @Michael DePinto:

      It was really only the one start where he was awful. Other than that, he has been fine. I think he’ll be all right going forward.

  8. Benintendo64 says:
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    Was offered Nelson, Lester and Chris Taylor for Mookie. Thoughts?

    • Chucky says:
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      Mookie is MIA since the ASB. Misses Popi more than anyone cares to admit. You make that deal.

      • mikeMaher

        mikeMaher says:
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        @Chucky:

        I hate to give up Mookie but that seems like an OK return if you really need the pitching. He hit .236 with 4 home runs in July, but I think he has a better August/September. Depends on your league and team needs.

  9. Christian herman says:
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    Between McCullers Faria & Manea, if you had to start 2 in a quality start & wins league, who do you choose?

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
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      @Christian herman:

      Faria and Manaea. McCullers hasn’t gone more than 5 innings in two months and had an ERA over 9 in July.

  10. Andrew Edenbaum says:
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    Carrasco at Sale and home v. Severino v. deGrom home v. Hill ? I know Boston misses Ortiz, but still at Fenway and Sale to boot.

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
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      @Andrew Edenbaum:

      I try not to focus too much on the opposing pitcher. Too many variables and also those starts get changed around pretty often. That said, Sale is one of maybe 3-4 pitchers to really worry about. For me, I still take the two Carrasco starts.

  11. SDub88 says:
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    How do you rank Duffy, Clevinger, and Peacock ROS?

    I know Peacock may have lost his rotation spot which is unfortunate with how good he has been. Clevinger has been nice. Duffy has been bleh but I don’t know if I can justify dropping him.

    I have one streamer spot I was thinking of using on Corbin. But Gausman is also on waivers and would like to add him ROS…who would you dump? Is Neris another drop candidate considering I have Chapman, Norris, and Hand?

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