The 2019 trade deadline has now passed, and we know where the starting pitchers that moved within their leagues, or from league to league, have settled. This week provides a nice selection of middle-tier options to consider as the fantasy season heads into the final months of action. There is also a mostly solid set of 10 SPs in the upper group to plug into your rotations without trepidation about results, although the unexpected does occasionally occur, as any fantasy owner with some time in this pastime understands.
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:
Aside from Morton, the last entry in this grouping, all these pitchers are of the wind them up and let them go variety. Morton has had his ups and downs this season, to be certain, but is still worthy of inserting into your rotations for both the upcoming trips to the mound.
Pineda over his last 15 appearances has not been fantastic but has nevertheless pushed his ERA from over 6 down to a much more attractive 4.15 following his seven-hit, one earned run no-decision in Miami. He has two home games in Week Twenty, not that there is a huge road/home split in his production. He provides good strikeout potential (8.3 K/9 over his last 88.0 innings) and demonstrates good control as well (1.8 BB/9 through his 21 starts in 2019).
Sanchez, on the other hand, struggles to get his pitches over the dish, posting a 3.4 BB/9 rate over his 106.2 innings pitched (IP) this season. He has two away games this week, but as with Pineda, his home/road splits are fairly consistent in 2019, so that is not necessarily a concern. He is just an average K producer (7.8 K/9), and neither matchup promises to change that part of his game. He is just an average to slightly above average option this coming week.
Yamamoto had been pitching well, prior to his last three outings, that is. His best opportunity this week comes in his first outing when he heads to New York to take on the Mets, based on his performance this season to date. He strikes out better than a batter per inning (9.2 K/9 through his nine starts) but struggles with the free passes (4.1 BB/9), although that has not inflated his WHIP due to his ability to limit the safeties to opposing hitters, having given up just 28 hits over his 48.0 IP as a Marlin.
Lamet’s matchups play out well in Week Twenty, facing the Mariners on the road, not a daunting task, and then getting the Rockies away from Coors, almost always a positive. His limited MLB action makes projections dicey, and while an 11.7 K/9 rate in the big leagues would generally be subject to a negative correction, he has shown consistent ability to miss bats throughout his career. Both this week’s opponents are at the top of the strikeout producers in all of MLB, so expect to collect some decent Ks from the 27-year-old righthander.
Bassitt is away from Oakland for both his appearances in this week’s games, which is not necessarily good news for the A’s righty. He hangs out on the hill in both the Windy City parks this scoring period, although the second start on the south side of Chi-town looks to be the better choice if you do not want to trust him for both his starts.
Velasquez does not pitch deep into games, having failed to pitch six full innings at any time since the middle of April. He is an excellent source of Ks, nonetheless, with a superb 10.7 K/9 amassed during his 71.2 IP this season. He has to ply his trade away from home this week for both his scheduled starts, which dampens his appeal somewhat, unless you need the Ks.
Marquez had to depart from his last start with cramps, so keep an eye on his status for Week Twenty. If he is able to pitch, though, realize that he is not pitching at Coors Field in either of his scheduled dates to toe the rubber, and in his case, that is a promising situation. He has demonstrated good strikeout potential and superb control this season (9.0 K/9, 1.8 BB/9 through his 24 starts through July), so despite toiling for a last-place squad, he is worth a look-see with a dual-start week potentially in his future.
Samardzija has compiled five quality starts (QS) in hurling his last six starts, and that four-run effort against the Mets was his only loss against four victorious efforts during that stretch. He does have two home games on the calendar for this first full week of August, although his home/road splits are fairly even up on the season.
Plesac now has a 3.41 ERA on the season, with a useful 1.15 WHIP as well. He also has six wins so far this year, and is pitching for a surging Indians team. His Week Twenty matchups are not ideal, facing the surprising Texas Rangers in his first trip to the hill at home, then flying off to Minnesota to take on the division-leading Twins. He is a sub-par source of strikeouts (6.4 K/9 in 12 appearances, all starts) and his peripherals hint at a coming regression (5.22 FIP, unsustainable .221 BABIP), else he would rank higher in this tier.
Lester opened up the month of August in less than superior fashion, allowing the host Cardinals to cross the plate five times on nine hits (but no walks) in taking his seventh loss of the season. Prior to that, he was pitching inconsistently, following up a superb effort with a so-so outing or two. His ERA is still south of 4.00 (3.86 to be precise) and he continues to post an inflated WHIP, as has been his trend the past couple of seasons (1.34 through 119.0 IP). He gets to face the A’s at home, where he has been more dominant this season, and then takes on the Reds at Great American Ballpark, so his first trip to the mound is the best option to plan on positive pitching results this coming week.
Musgrove continues to rely on his control and average K ability to confuse opposing hitters (2.2 BB/9, 7.7 K/9 over 121.1 IP), and even with a last-place team backing him, he is a .500 SP (umm, 8-9 to be accurate). He faces two division foes this coming week, with the Brewers visiting PNC Park to start the scoring period, and then a trip to St. Louis to wind up the week.
Arrieta came out of his most recent start after just four innings, as he continues to deal with a bone spur in his pitching elbow. He should not be expected to pitch deep into the games he starts, which limits his utility as a fantasy SP. His owners can anticipate him to grit his teeth and pitch through his elbow issue, but expectations should be tempered for the balance of the season.
Canning continues to frustrate fantasy owners, twirling an excellent game and then pitching terribly mediocre for the next start or two. His ERA sits at an unhealthy 4.76, which limits his fantasy value, despite a useful 1.20 WHIP and being effective at missing bats with a 9.8 K/9 through his 79.1 IP. He is on the road for both the starts he is scheduled to make in Week Twenty, a factor that reduces his value despite the K potential.
Clarke possesses a two-game winning streak, allowing just two earned runs over those 11.1 IP, where he also racked up a nice 13:2 K/BB ratio. He faces the Phillies at home in his first Week Twenty appearance, a team that struggles on the road, but then has to matchup against the Dodgers on the road. Thus, he is essentially a one-start trustworthy arm this coming week.
Paxton managed to pick up his sixth win of the 2019 campaign in his last start, but had yielded 11 earned runs (14 total runs) in his previous two games. Both of his upcoming appearances are on the road, albeit both are good matchups (Baltimore and Toronto). He has not been effective away from Yankee Stadium, it must also be conceded, with an ugly 5.83 ERA and 1.68 WHIP over those 41.2 IP. He does rack up the Ks, though, as witnessed by an 11.6 K/9 ratio this season over 95.2 IP, and both the Orioles and Blue Jays have proven to be free swingers in 2019.
The bulk of these pitchers are those you want to avoid, despite their two-start status in the coming week. Tanaka has a pair of decent matchups, but both are on the road and he has struggled away from Yankee Stadium, for the most part, this season. Wacha is worth a look for his home start against the Pirates at the end of the scoring period, perhaps, but he is too inconsistent to truly have faith in. Do your self a service and avoid the bottom tier to preserve your pitching stats as August begins in earnest.
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