by Ray Kuhn
The dust has settled from the MLB Trade Deadline and we have had some minor league promotions, so now it’s time to settle in for the rest of the fantasy season. For those looking to gain some ground in the pitching categories, let’s take a look at those pitchers taking the mound twice this week:
- Jacob deGrom – New York Mets – at New York Yankees; vs. Miami
- Zack Greinke – Arizona Diamondbacks – vs. Houston; at Minnesota
- Gio Gonzalez – Washington Nationals – vs. LA Angels; at San Diego
- Danny Salazar – Cleveland Indians – at Minnesota; at Kansas City
- Kyle Hendricks – Chicago Cubs – vs. Cincinnati; vs. Toronto
- Jose Quintana – Chicago Cubs – vs. Cincinnati; vs. Toronto
- Sonny Gray – New York Yankees – vs. New York Mets; at Boston
- Kevin Gausman – Baltimore Orioles – at Seattle; vs. LA Angels
- Trevor Bauer – Cleveland Indians – at Boston; at Kansas City
- Michael Fulmer – Detroit Tigers – at Texas; vs. LA Dodgers
- Brad Peacock – Houston Astros – at Arizona; vs. Oakland
- Julio Teheran – Atlanta Braves – at Colorado; vs. Cincinnati
- Collin McHugh – Houston Astros – at Arizona; vs. Oakland
- Luis Castillo – Cincinnati Reds – at Chicago Cubs; at Atlanta
- Marco Estrada – Toronto Blue Jays – vs. Tampa Bay; at Chicago Cubs
- Dinelson Lamet – San Diego Padres – vs. Philadelphia; vs. Washington
- Jerad Eickhoff – Philadelphia Phillies – at San Diego; at San Francisco
- Ivan Nova – Pittsburgh Pirates – at Milwaukee; vs. St. Louis
- Mike Leake – St. Louis Cardinals – at Boston; at Pittsburgh
- Ty Blach – San Francisco Giants – at Miami; vs. Philadelphia
- Doug Fister – Boston Red Sox – vs. Cleveland; vs. New York Yankees
- Sean Newcomb – Atlanta Braves – at Colorado; vs. Cincinnati
- Bartolo Colon – Minnesota Twins – vs. Cleveland; vs. Arizona
- Adam Conley – Miami Marlins – vs. San Francisco; at New York Mets
- Anthony Banda – Arizona Diamondbacks – vs. Houston; at Minnesota
- Yovani Gallardo – Seattle Mariners – vs. Baltimore; at Tampa Bay
- Antonio Senzatela – Colorado Rockies – vs. Atlanta; vs. Milwaukee
- A.J. Griffin – Texas Rangers – vs. Detroit; vs. Chicago White Sox
- Jharel Cotton – Oakland A’s – vs. Kansas City; at Houston
- Miguel Gonzalez – Chicago White Sox – at LA Dodgers; at Texas
- Martin Perez – Texas Rangers – vs. Detroit; vs. Chicago White Sox
- Travis Wood – San Diego Padres – vs. Philadelphia; vs. Washington
- Rafael Montero – New York Mets – at New York Yankees; vs. Miami
- Asher Wojciechowski – Cincinnati Reds – at Chicago Cubs; at Atlanta
- Nick Tepesch – Toronto Blue Jays – vs. Tampa Bay; at Chicago Cubs
- At least one Mets’ pitcher has stayed healthy this season, but there was a scare for Jacob deGrom in his last start (he had to exit in Philadelphia when he got hit by a line drive in the triceps, but not before he threw 6.2 scoreless innings). Luckily for fantasy owners x-rays were negative and deGrom is slated to take the mound twice this week. Overall he has a 3.21 ERA in 23 starts, but if you remove a two start stretch in which he allowed 15 runs in eight innings at the end of May, his numbers would look a lot better. With a 13-5 record and 179 strikeouts in 151.1 innings, he is an elite option.
- The start to Sonny Gray’s career with the New York Yankees hasn’t exactly gone according to plan, but not all of it has been his fault. He has had some control issues, but the defense behind him has also let him down. Despite losing each of his last three starts, Gray’s ERA is just 2.00 with 21 strikeouts in 18 innings. The one problem is that he has nine walks, but overall he has 3.06 walks per nine innings along with a respectable 1.18 WHIP so I wouldn’t be too concerned. After having some inconsistency in his initial return from injury, Gray’s ERA for the season is 3.38 with a 3.19 FIP and he is a strong option moving forward.
- Have we reached the end of Brad Peacock’s value? Initially he was on the bubble to even make the Astros’ roster, but thanks to injuries he has ended up in the rotation. Peacock has appeared in 26 games this season, 13 starts, and has a 3.07 ERA. Two starts ago he allowed seven runs to Toronto, but he bounced back to limit the White Sox to just one run over 6.1 innings. Walks have been an issue, 4.5 per nine innings, but he has also struck out 112 batters in 88 innings. With a 2.90 FIP, we can feel comfortable with what we have seen so far this season, but his xFIP of 3.90 does give a little cause for concern. Overall though Peacock really has had just the one bad start, and with two starts this week he could be a valuable commodity.
- It has been an up and down season for Dinelson Lamet, but after seeing his ERA peak at 8.50 after his June 11th start against the Royals things have been looking good for the rookie. Since then he has allowed 21 runs in 50.1 innings (with 10 of those runs coming in two starts), and he has seen his ERA drop to 5.00. In 68.1 innings overall Lamet has 88 strikeouts, and both of his starts this week are coming at home. He has benefited from pitching in San Diego where his ERA is 4.03, compared to 5.72 ERA on the road. With a 4.19 FIP we can expect to see him continue to improve.
- If you are streaming starting pitchers at this point in the season it is likely you are searching for wins. Doug Fister is by no means a starting pitcher who should generate much fantasy excitement (he is owned in just 15% of CBS leagues), but the Red Sox have been on a roll of late and he has also found success in his last two starts. The right-hander picked up his first two victories of the season, while allowing five runs in 14 innings of work. I would avoid looking at Fister’s overall numbers, 5.03 ERA and 1.55 WHIP in 39.2 innings, but he does have a track record of being a solid starter. He has 7.55 strikeouts per nine innings, and while there is some risk involved there comes a point in the season where you do need to chase wins.
- Michael Fulmer returns from his quick stint on the DL this week, so fantasy owners should be thankful. I wouldn’t be concerned by his recent struggles, 0-3 and a 7.56 ERA in his last three starts, and instead focus on the true body of work from the right-hander. Fulmer is never going to be an elite strikeout option, 100 in 140.1 innings, but it’s hard to argue with his 3.59 ERA and 1.13 WHIP.