Two-Start Pitchers, Prime Streamers and Waiver Wire Tips
Fantasy Baseball life is good if you’re an owner of Rhys Hoskins, Yoenis Cespedes or Elvis Andrus, each of whom will be returning from the ranks of the injured within the next 10-14 days. The same can’t be said for Shohei Ohtani or Jeurys Familia owners, whose weekends got off to a well below average start when learning that each will be placed on the DL.
However, I come with good tidings for those in need of prayer from the Waiver Wire Cathedral while also passing out blessings among ye that seek help for two-start hurlers and streaming sluggers. Let your heart be of good cheer and let out a loud “AMEN!!”
Pitching For Two, Please (Recommended Two-Start Pitchers)
Jon Gray, Rockies (at Phillies, Tuesday; at Rangers, Sunday): These days, you just cover your eyes and hope Good Jon Gray shows up. He’s been missing for more than a month as his ERA has gone from 4.24 to 5.66 while also losing nearly an MPH off his heater. Gray’s pitching in a pair of hitter’s parks, but both Philadelphia and Texas are in the bottom five in team batting average.
C.C. Sabathia, Yankees (vs. Nationals, Tuesday; vs. Rays, Sunday): He’s averaging 85.6 pitches per game and Sabathia isn’t going to whiff batters at a high rate (6.87 K/9), his 6.1 BB/9 rate is his lowest since 2014. Honestly, I like him better against Washington and its below-average production than I do against a surprisingly effective Tampa Bay lineup.
CC Sabathia previous four starts combined: 20 runs allowed.
Tonight through five innings: no runs allowed #Yankees
— Mike Mazzeo (@MazzNYDN) June 6, 2018
Jordan Lyles, Padres (at Cardinals, Monday; at Braves, Saturday): Lyles’ trends are heading south of late, especially after being bludgeoned for 11 hits and eight runs against the Braves on Tuesday. That start came after he threw a season-high 106 pitches in his previous outing. I’m liking him because I feel the Padres will come to their senses and keep him in the 85-95 pitch range, where Lyles has been more effective.
Trevor Williams, Pirates (at Diamondbacks, Monday; vs. Reds, Saturday): Like Lyles, T-Dub’s become a hitter’s best friend of late, allowing at least four runs in five of his last six starts. I didn’t buy into his strong start, yet feel Williams is a much better pitcher than he’s shown the last 2-3 weeks. Arizona is batting .218 (entering the weekend) while Cincy’s .386 slugging percentage translates into a pair of rebound starts.
Chase Anderson, Brewers (vs. Cubs, Monday; vs. Phillies, Sunday): Yeah, most guys will struggle if their K/9 rate swan dived from 8.47 to 5.95. The Father’s Day start offers hope considering that Philly’s offense has whiffed the third-most times in league. There’s salvation in his arm and it wouldn’t hurt if the Brewers scored some runs for him.
Chris Stratton, Giants (at Marlins, Tuesday; at Dodgers, Sunday): Slightly better on the road (3.86 ERA away from the City By The Bay; 5.45 ERA in said city), Stratton’s showing signs of recovery after a 6.31 ERA in May. Two starts at pitcher-friendly confines should continue his effective June.
Jake Odorizzi, Twins (at Tigers, Tuesday; at Indians, Sunday): It’s breaking news if Odorizzi gets his heater about 91 MPH, but he’s hitting his best K/9 rate in five years due in part to using his slider and curve more effectively. He’s allowed three runs or fewer in seven of his last eight starts and I love him in Cleveland on Sunday; Odorizzi has a 1.19 ERA and .177 Batting Average Against in four daytime starts.
Mike Leake, Mariners (vs. Angels, Tuesday; vs. Red Sox, Sunday): Since the White Sox tagged him for 12 hits and eight runs over 3.1 frames on April 23, Leake has been a good source of solid, yet uninspiring work. Leake hasn’t lost a start since May 4 and has pitched at least seven innings in his last three starts. It’s not pretty but it gets the job done.
Wade LeBlanc, Mariners (vs. Angels, Monday; vs. Red Sox, Saturday): The next contestant on “Bland Mariners Pitching,” LeBlanc has just one start of more than five Ks yet the Astros are the only team to touch him for more than two earned runs in his last 10 starts. Still, Mike…we gotta get you beyond 1-0 on the season….
Robert Gsellman, P, Mets: An inside source in the NYC told me that Gsellman will have every opportunity to seize the closer’s role from the DL-bound Familia. Stats wise, forget all you may have known about Gsellman, who is owned in 20 percent of CBSSports.com leagues. His stuff is filthy and is a much better fit for closing than it was as a starter. I’d pick up Gsellman now before he becomes the cool kid in the closer class.
Steven Wright, P, Red Sox: Seven innings of shutout ball is a hell of a first impression with Wright, who went from 2 to 22 percent ownership in CBSSports.com leagues after he blanked the Tigers on Tuesday. Wright won’t lack for offensive support, making him even more tempting for owners in need of wins.
Derek Dietrich, OF, Marlins: A good option in deeper leagues, Dietrich has come alive due in part to improved plate discipline while becoming a poor man’s Mitch Moreland. He’s owned in 24 percent of CBSSports.com leagues and is shaping up to become a consistent .280-17-70 type of hitter.
Jake Bauers, 1B, Rays: Ranked 27th in home runs, Tampa Bay pulled the trigger and called up Bauers, who has the jump-the-fence power the lineup sorely needs. He’s already at 17 percent in CBSSports.com leagues and is a low-risk play for deeper league owners in need of help at the corner positions.
Joc Pederson, OF, Dodgers: Bah Gwad, he’s healed!!! Praise plate discipline, which has made Pederson a born-again Fantasy option. He’s also pared that once brutal strikeout percentage to a manageable 14.4 percent, traits that have resulted in him batting leadoff of late. The power is still there for Pederson, who is now owned in 28 percent of CBSSports.com leagues while mashing righties to the tune of a .925 OPS.
Brian Anderson, 3B, Marlins: Lack of power (three homers in his first 234 ABs) is a turnoff to some, yet Anderson still has a solid .805 OPS that is built upon an OBP approaching .380. He’s owned in 37 percent of CBSSports.com leagues with the promise of improved pop that will come along as the season continues.
Jon Jay, OF, Diamondbacks: Injuries battered Arizona’s outfield depth to the point where they considered calling David Dellucci out of retirement (kidding!!). Enter Jay, who was acquired from Kansas City on Wednesday and will be a short-term option in deeper leagues and NL-only formats. He’s owned in 19 percent of CBSSports.com leagues and will give a Fantasy team a jolt in batting average but Jay offers little else.
A Streaming We Will Go (Pitchers Edition)
Jhoulys Chacin, Brewers (vs. Cubs, Wednesday): Two runs or fewer allowed in eight of his last 10 starts. Milwaukee happens to be 8-2 in that span.
Garrett Richards, Angels (at Mariners, Wednesday): Still busting the gun at 96 MPH, Richards is averaging 10.18 K/9. He deserves much better than a 4-4 record; Los Angeles has lost his last four starts despite the fact Richards has allowed four earned runs in that stretch. Three of those came in one game.
Dylan Covey, White Sox (vs. Indians, Wednesday): Poor defense hurt Covey when he faced Cleveland on May 28 as only two of his five runs allowed were earned. I’d take a chance here, especially after watching him outduel Chris Sale on Friday.
Tyler Mahle, Reds (at Royals, Wednesday): Has allowed two earned runs in his last two starts but, damn, son. Do you really need 102 pitches to get through the fifth inning? HR-prone hurler gets light-hitting KC squad in their home park.
German Marquez, Rockies (at Phillies, Thursday): Out of Coors Field, where Marquez has a 2.06 ERA and .202 batting average against. Something tells me he’s going to make a lot of Phillies whiff here.
Tyson Ross, Padres (at Braves, Thursday): Ross has quietly become San Diego’s ace, having allowed three or fewer runs in nine of his last 10 starts. The arsenal is crisp and is the reason why he’s gone from 6.61 K/9 last season with the Rangers to his current 9.04 K/9 with the Pads.
Matt Koch, Diamondbacks (vs. Mets, Thursday): More than half of the 24 earned runs he’s allowed came in two starts. Koch has done a good job in replacing Taijuan Walker in the rotation and should have a good look at solid numbers against the Amazins’.
Kevin Gausman, Orioles (vs. Marlins, Thursday): Based on not having to face an AL East lineup alone, Gausman makes this list. Everyone needs a break, right?
Blaine Hardy, Tigers (at White Sox, Thursday): Far from being a strikeout artist, Hardy’s pinpoint control and ability to keep his infielders busy has helped him find a spot in Detroit. He embodies the Playing Over Their Heads style the Tigers have been featuring thus far.
Tyler Skaggs, Angels (at Athletics, Thursday): At least five strikeouts in his last seven starts.
A Streaming We Will Go (Hitters Edition)
Marwin Gonzalez, UT, Astros (at Royals, Friday-Sunday): Six of first nine ABs in June were hits. He’s due for a Marwin-like run.
Michael A. Taylor, OF, Nationals (at Yankees, Tuesday-Wednesday): He’s 16 for 17 in steals. Taylor won’t be intimidated by Gary Sanchez’s arm.
Max Muncy, 1B/OF, Dodgers (vs. Giants, Friday-Sunday): Only has seven ABs against San Fran but has three hits. That will change.
Jake Lamb, 3B, Diamondbacks (vs. Pirates, Monday-Wednesday): Finally healthy, Lamb opened June with five hits in 14 ABs. It’s almost time to consider him a must-start.
Mitch Moreland, 1B, Red Sox (at Orioles, Monday-Wednesday): Moreland has a 1.082 OPS against B-More pitching this season. Enough said.
Jurickson Profar, SS/OF, Rangers (vs. Rockies, Friday-Sunday): Still reason to believe in Profar, who has an .879 OPS at home. And it’s Rockies pitching….
Scott Schebler, OF, Reds (at Pirates, Friday-Sunday): Schebeler, a lefty hitter, has a .930 OPS against southpaws. Go figure.
Matt Adams, 1B, Nationals (at Blue Jays, Friday-Sunday): The mauler of right-handed hurlers gets a weekend in Rogers Centre? Sign me up.
Robert Gsellman Featured Image: (AP Photo/John Bazemore)