Not so much of a bounty (outside of Kershaw) in the top tier of plug and forget starting pitchers in Week 11, with just eight other SPs that can be recommended for both their starts. On the other hand, there is a wealth of middle tier options, although as usual, some are better options than others. And once again, plenty of bottom tier starters to avoid this scoring period.
Please realize that these articles feature most recent rotation information available when the article is written, but that circumstances do change due to weather conditions, injuries and general craziness with managers. If a pitcher listed here as having two starts ends up with one (or perhaps none) in the upcoming week, apologies but this article is meant to provide analysis, it is up to the manager to set the lineups or rotations.
Without further ado, here are this week’s two start pitchers:
These are the best two start options for the coming week. You may want to temper your expectations for Darvish and Price as they both have to face the exceptional Astros in one of their scheduled trips to the mound in Week 11, and Lynn does not have an easy task, taking on Milwaukee and then heading off to Baltimore. All in all, though, these are the pitchers you want to trust the most over the coming week of fantasy action.
Mike Foltynewicz only has one home start this coming week, but that is against the Nationals, not a perfect matchup. At least the home start is against the Marlins, but his ERA is a full run higher at home this season (4.03 vs 3.03 on the road). Still, hard to argue against a 3.48 ERA and 1.28 WHIP with 55 Ks over 64.2 innings.
Kyle Freeland has tallied seven wins so far this season, and has been effective at home and on the road. He has a favorable matchup in Pittsburgh to open Week 11, then gets the Giants at home. He is generating a ton of grounders (2.82 GB/FB ratio over 70.0 innings and 12 starts) and although he has been victimized by the long ball of late, with six of the seven homers he has given up coming over his last five starts, he has also limited the damage by yielding mostly solo shots.
Christian Bergman has been effective over his last three trips to the hill, lowering his ERA from 6.30 following a blowout loss to the Nationals to a now palatable 4.03 after holding the Twins to one earned run (two runs total) on four hits over five innings, where he also racked up six Ks. He gets to try to baffle Minnesota again in his first start of the coming week, but then heads to Texas and a face off against their ace, Yu Darvish. Certainly good for one start, but you may want to exercise caution with his second appearance.
Alex Meyer is scheduled for a pair of home starts in Week 11, where he has been effective with a 2.23 ERA and 1.13 WHIP over 16.0 innings. He provides excellent strikeout potential with a 10.44 K/9 over his 35.1 innings pitched, although his control needs work, as he is saddled with a 6.11 BB/9 through his seven starts in 2017.
Jake Odorizzi bounced back from a pair of sub-par outings, holding the White Sox to three earned runs over 6.2 innings in his most recent start, where he also rang up eight Ks. He is on the road for both his Week 11 starts, and has not been as sharp away from Tropicana Field this season, and has to head to Toronto and then face the up-and-down Tiger offense in his second start. Although a decent option this scoring period, it would not be rash to sit him this week, either.
Tyler Chatwood has a couple of favorable matchups, heading off to Pittsburgh to open the week, then facing the Giants at home. The wise owner of Chatwood will sit him in his second start, as he has not been effective at Coors Field this season, posting a 7.03 ERA and 1.75 over his 32 innings pitched at home this season.
Alec Asher struggled in his most recent start, and may not be long for the Oriole rotation if those problems continue, but he is scheduled to take on the White Sox on the road and then heads home to face off against the Cardinals. Neither is a bad matchup, especially given his dominance at Camden Yards this season (1.62 ERA and 0.84WHIP through 16.2 innings) but make certain he is scheduled to start for both games.
Ben Lively has only two starts with the Phillies this season, but has tossed two QS, lasting 7.0 innings in both appearances. He is likely to stick in the rotation going forward, although some rookie regression is due to hit him at some point. He does have a pair of tougher matchups this coming scoring period, with Boston and Arizona on the horizon, so if you worry about the rookie stumbling, it may be wise to avoid using him for either start.
J.C. Ramirez is coming off a couple of uninspiring starts, although the last outing against the Tigers was an improvement over the drubbing he suffered at the hands of the Twins. Prior to that, he had been a useful streaming option, and he does possess a mid-90s fastball and has demonstrated good control (1.91 BB/9 over 70.2 innings in 2017). He has two home starts, but the first against the Yankees is not a favorable matchup. He would be better used against the visiting Royals in his second trip to toe the rubber.
Mike Leake has been having his troubles over the past three starts, and now has to face the Brewers at home, then heads to Baltimore for his second start of Week 11. He did pitch effectively prior to his recent struggles, posting a 1.91 ERA and 0.99 WHIP in his first nine starts, so there is hope that he can resume his earlier success, but with a pair of tougher opponents in Week 11, he is not a sure thing by any means.
When Mike Pelfrey was released by the Tigers, it was not out of the question to consider him worthless for fantasy purposes. He has, however, turned things around, allowing just four earned runs over his last four starts. In only one of those trips to the mound has he lasted long enough to earn a QS, though. On a positive note, his strikeout pace has increased during the past four outings, as he has collected 19 over his last 21.1 innings pitched, a marked improvement over his results to open the season.
Ty Blach has been successful in generating grounders and has demonstrated excellent control, but he is an awful strikeout pitcher, with a horrific 3.64 K/9 on the season. If he does not miss bats, he gets hurt, and therefore using him on the road at Coors in his second start of Week 11 is not a good idea. His first start at home against the visitors from KC is where you want to employ his talents this scoring period.
Some have expressed concern that the 38-year old John Lackey is running out of gas, but he is striking out batters at an even better rate than his career best in 2016, posting a 9.21 K/9 over his 70.1 innings in 2017. He is also yielding homers at an astounding awful rate of 2.05 HR/9, which is a major reason why he is struggling to repeat his excellent 2016 performance. He is on the road for both his Week 11 starts, but his home/road splits are nearly identical this season, so that is not a major cause not to use him against the Mets and Pirates. His 5.12 ERA and 1.36 WHIP are why you may want to stash him on the bench this coming week.
Jharel Cotton heads to Miami for his first start, which is a decent matchup given the Marlins' struggles this season. He gets to face off against the Yankees at home, but has been having his troubles at home this season with a 7.76 ERA and 1.65 WHIP over his 26.2 innings this season. His control has been a weakness (4.39 BB/9) but the 7.81 K/9 rate is useful, especially against the free-swinging Yankees. Still, discretion would suggest avoiding his second scheduled trip to the hill in Week 11.
Joe Ross offers good strikeout numbers with 41 whiffs to his credit over his 38 innings pitched this season, and has also shown excellent control, allowing just seven free passes in his seven starts. Alas, not all is rosy, as he also sports an ugly 6.16 ERA and 1.45 WHIP. He gets the Braves at home, then heads off to New York to square off against the Mets, and while neither matchup screams "Start me", he has fared much better at home than on the road this season.
Kyle Gibson gets a pair of home starts, but has pitched better away from Target Field in 2017 by a good measure. He is coming off a QS against the Mariners, who he faces in his first Week 11 appearance, having held them to just one earned run over six innings, while striking out four. The Twins have been having a miraculous season, and that has made him slightly desirable as a starter, but his terrible control limits his value (4.84 BB/9). A second start against the visiting Cleveland squad in Week 11 is not a desirable matchup, so he becomes essentially a one-start option in the coming scoring period.
Joe Musgrove winds up the middle tier, and as a starter for the best team in baseball, he has to earn a look-see in Week 11. Facing both the Rangers and Red Sox at home is not necessarily a positive, as he has been hit hard at home, sporting a 5.20 ERA and 1.46 WHIP over 36.1 innings with 8 dingers allowed to visitors to Houston. He is more of a matchup starter, and Week 11 is not the week to experiment with him.
Among the 11 pitchers in the bottom tier, there are some names you may be tempted to plug in just based on reputation, such as Rick Porcello, Masahiro Tanaka, Trevor Bauer, and Wade Miley, but caution should be employed in starting any of these bottom tier pitchers. Some regression was expected of Porcello, particularly, but his effectiveness in inducing ground balls has been replaced by more line drives off opposing hitters' bats in 2017, making him a middle of the rotation option at best. Tanaka has been a disappointment, especially given the resurgence of the Yankees this season, but his inconsistency and terrible home run tendency this season (2.3 HR/9) make him too risky to trust at this point in the season. Just ignore these guys in the bottom tier this week and do not fret is one or more tosses a gem, as that is just an aberration of their standard form.
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