Two Start Pitchers to Avoid

Michael Pineda delivers a pitch in the first inning.
By Arturo Pardavila III on Flickr [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Rather than try and predict which potential two-start pitchers you should try and use this week we thought we would simply tell you some of the fringe pitchers to avoid.

Robert Gsellman, SP Mets

Many will look at the match-ups Robert Gsellman has this week, Atlanta and Philadelphia, and think they should add him. That is a trap. Thought Gsellman does look like he has easy match-ups he has struggled against both those teams already this season. In his previous starts again the Braves and Phillies he went 11.0 innings and gave up 8 earned runs. Do not fall for the match-ups, avoid him this week.

Matt Boyd, SP Tigers

Matt Boyd was supposed to be a two-start pitcher last week and that didn’t happen, not a surprise for this time of year. Now Boyd is scheduled for two starts this week, facing the Twins and Royals. Because I am doubtful that he will actually make two starts I would advise you stay away. A one start Matt Boyd is not worth it if you have a better option available. Especially since Boyd faced Minnesota his last time out and lasted 3.7 innings and gave up 7 earned runs. Even if he had two starts this week he is likely in for rough outings as he hasn’t fared well against Kansas City either this season.

Other two-start pitchers you should avoid; Kevin Gausman, Michael Pineda, Joe Musgrove, Edison Volquez and Matt Garza.

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Power Hitting Second Basemen

It has been well documented throughout 2016 by fantasy baseball analysts that MLB has become a homer happy league. Players left and right appear to be selling out for the long ball. That trend has taken one of the shallowest positions in baseball, second base, and made it a prime power spot. In 2015 there were three second base eligible fantasy players that finished with more than 20 home runs (Matt Carpenter, Brian Dozier and Robinson Cano) and none with more than 28. Already in 2016 we have 12 players at that position with at least 21 home runs and another six with more than 15 giving them a shot to break the 20 home run barrier. On top of that three of the 12 have 30 or more. Without a doubt the fantasy baseball landscape has changed and that change has been to draft second basemen as power hitters rather than speedsters.

brian_dozier_on_june_242c_2015
By Ryan Claussen on Flickr (Original version) UCinternational (Crop) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Leading the way in power for second basemen is Brian Dozier of the Minnesota Twins. He has the second most home runs in all of baseball at 38. Yes, I typed that correctly the second most in all of baseball behind Mark Trumbo. Dozier took his career high 28 home runs he had last season and blew it out of the water, but that’s not the only change he has made. As of right now he has a batting average 32 points higher than his career average. He has a career high slugging of .579 and on-base percentage of .350. With his three home run performance yesterday he has hit six home runs in four games. If this is who Dozier is as a player moving forward we won’t be looking at him as just a top second baseman, he may be one of the top 10 players in all of fantasy.

Another middle infielder that is on a major hot streak is second baseman Rougned Odor. Odor is only 22 years old, but is displaying power numbers of a much more mature hitter. Over his last seven games he has six home runs and has a slugging percentage of 1.129. On the season he has 30 home runs and 29 doubles to go with his 12 stolen bases and career high .283 batting average. He ranks third among second baseman in home runs and is tied for 17th overall. If Odor’s 2016 numbers are a vision of what is to come for him, we may be looking at him as a future hall of famer. Only thing that Odor doesn’t seem to be doing right is controlling his temper and taking a walk.

We have highlighted two great power hitting second baseman, but the list of hard hitting studs is long. It includes names like Robinson Cano, Brad Miller, Jedd Gyorko, Daniel Murphy and Ian Kinsler. Not to mention the best all-around second baseman, and possible AL MVP, Jose Altuve who has 22 bombs and 27 stolen bases. The list is way too long to talk about all of these guys in depth.

What if anything is actionable for this season? Probably nothing unless you’re in a keeper league where you can still trade. For 2017 however all of this should be kept in mind when planning out your draft day strategy.

2 Start Pitchers for Week 23

This week we focused in on three, two start pitchers, that could help you in week 23. Two of the three are widely available and one of those pitchers could be the best two start pitcher of all those available.

Ubaldo Jimenez, Orioles 12% Owned

If the site of Ubaldo Jimenez’s name makes you cringe then you probably have had him on your fantasy team one of the past two seasons and we feel your pain. However, in a two start week where he will be at Tampa Bay and at Detroit you may want to roll the dice. Tampa Bay has a team batting average of .243 against righties and an OBP of .307. Yes, Detroit is a tough match up for any pitcher, but the Rays may give you enough upside to offset the Tigers game. Not to mention over his last seven appearances Jimenez has been much better with a 3.51 ERA and a .223 batting average against.

brandon_finnegan_on_may_252c_2015
By Arturo Pardavila III on Flickr (Original version) UCinternational (Crop) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Brandon Finnegan, Reds 66% Owned

Finnegan is leaning more and more in to the category of must start in a two start week. He had been red hot in his last three outings, including a 12 strikeout game against Arizona. In his last seven starts he as a 2.28 ERA, .187 batting average against and 46 Ks in 43.3 innings. He will be facing a Mets team that has been offense deficient and a Pirates club that has been up and down this season.

Chad Kuhl, Pirates 33% Owned

Most fantasy baseball fans focused on the Pirates two young pitching prospects Tyler Glasnow and Jameson Taillon and I can’t blame you, but Chad Kuhl is a guy that may have slipped under the radar. Kuhl is only 23 years old and made his MLB debut earlier this season. He will face the Cardinals and Reds this week, both starts on the road where Kuhl has a 2.76 ERA in 29.3 innings. In his last outing at the Cubs he held that powerful offense to only 3 earned runs in 5 innings. He has a good overall WHIP at 1.17 and walk rate at 2.40 BB/9 and is a very sneaky pick to have a big week.