Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Fantasy Football Today Blog
Gameday Inactives
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Scores
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
Fantasy Baseball Today Blog
2015 Draft Prep Guide
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

Week 9 Pitching Forecaster

  •  

In Fantasy Week 9 (May 27-June 2), every team in the majors plays seven games. That jammed-packed schedule creates a bonanza of two-start options for Fantasy owners. That means your league's waiver wire is probably ripe with two-start pitchers ready for the taking, but be sure you choose wisely. Your rivals have the same bounty from which to pick, and those who make the best selections will be rewarded when the week reaches its conclusion.

One pitcher not included among the two-start options is Jered Weaver (elbow). Though a few days ago, it appeared the Angels' ace could return from the 15-day disabled list as soon as Monday, he is now slated for a Wednesday start against the Dodgers. Even though Weaver is making just the one start in Week 9, he needs to be activated in all formats.

Owners in deeper leagues may want to take a flyer on Michael Kickham, who was chosen to take over Ryan Vogelsong's (hand) spot in the Giants' rotation. Kickham could pay some immediate dividends, as he debuts with a two-start week, facing the Athletics and Cardinals on the road.

Kickham doesn't profile to be good enough to make the cut in standard mixed leagues this week, especially with so many options, but each of the 70 starters listed below is a reasonably safe play for your active roster in those formats. Further below, I'll sort out all of the borderline two-start options.

Monday update: Kickham may not be the only prospect to make his big league debut this week, as the Cardinals are considering Michael Wacha to start Thursday against the Royals. According to MLB.com, swingman Joe Kelly and minor leaguer Maikel Cleto are also in contention to fill in for the injured John Gast (shoulder), who was placed on the 15-day disabled list.

Despite injuries, Clay Buchholz (collarbone) and Ian Kennedy (finger) are both expected to make starts later this week, though both will miss out on a two-start week. As a result of losing a start, Buchholz has been dropped from No. 21 to No. 44 in this week's rankings, while Kennedy has been left off the top 70 altogether.

My Top 70 Starting Pitchers for Week 9
Rank Player Start 1 Start 2
1 Adam Wainwright @KC (Shields) SF (Bumgarner)
2 Cliff Lee @BOS (Dempster) MIL (Figaro)
3 Justin Verlander PIT (Liriano) @BAL (Hammel)
4 Yu Darvish @ARI (Cahill) KC (Santana)
5 Mat Latos CLE (McAllister) @PIT (Gomez)
6 Chris Sale CHC (Jackson) @OAK (Parker)
7 Madison Bumgarner @OAK (Straily) @STL (Wainwright)
8 Matt Harvey NYY (Kuroda) @MIA (Slowey)
9 Felix Hernandez @SD (Cashner) N/A
10 Stephen Strasburg @ATL (Teheran) N/A
11 Clayton Kershaw @COL (Garland) N/A
12 Matt Moore @MIA (Nolasco) N/A
13 James Shields STL (Wainwright) @TEX (Perez)
14 Zack Greinke LAA (Wilson) @COL (Chacin)
15 Cole Hamels MIL (Gallardo) N/A
16 Jake Peavy @CHC (Wood) N/A
17 Matt Cain @STL (Miller) N/A
18 Max Scherzer @BAL (Gonzalez) N/A
19 Jeff Samardzija @CHW (Quintana) ARI (Corbin)
20 Gio Gonzalez BAL (Hammel) @ATL (Hudson)
21 Johnny Cueto @PIT (Rodriguez) N/A
22 Anibal Sanchez @PIT (Burnett) N/A
23 Jered Weaver LAD (Capuano) N/A
24 Hisashi Iwakuma @MIN (Pelfrey) N/A
25 CC Sabathia BOS (Doubront) N/A
26 Doug Fister @PIT (Locke) N/A
27 Jordan Zimmermann @BAL (Tillman) N/A
28 Jon Lester @PHI (Pettibone) N/A
29 Shelby Miller SF (Cain) N/A
30 C.J. Wilson @LAD (Greinke) HOU (Norris)
31 R.A. Dickey @ATL (Minor) N/A
32 A.J. Burnett DET (Sanchez) N/A
33 Hyun-Jin Ryu LAA (Blanton) @COL (De La Rosa)
34 Hiroki Kuroda @NYM (Harvey) BOS (Dempster)
35 Paul Maholm @TOR (Morrow) WAS (Duke)
36 A.J. Griffin @SF (Zito) N/A
37 Lance Lynn KC (Mendoza) N/A
38 Trevor Cahill TEX (Darvish) @CHC (Jackson)
39 Patrick Corbin @CHC (Samardzija) N/A
40 Alex Cobb @CLE (Kluber) N/A
41 Ryan Dempster PHI (Lee) @NYY (Kuroda)
42 Kris Medlen TOR (Rogers) N/A
43 Jose Fernandez @TB (Odorizzi) NYM (Niese)
44 Clay Buchholz @NYY (Hughes) N/A
45 Justin Masterson CIN (Arroyo) N/A
46 Mike Minor TOR (Dickey) N/A
47 Kevin Gausman @WAS (Duke) DET (Porcello)
48 Homer Bailey @CLE (Kazmir) N/A
49 Francisco Liriano @DET (Verlander) CIN (Leake)
50 Marco Estrada @MIN (Deduno) N/A
51 Tim Hudson @TOR (Buehrle) WAS (Gonzalez)
52 Tommy Milone @SF (Lincecum) N/A
53 Jonathon Niese NYY (Hughes) @MIA (Fernandez)
54 Jarrod Parker SF (Kickham) CHW (Sale)
55 Dan Straily SF (Bumgarner) CHW (Quintana)
56 Brandon Morrow ATL (Maholm) @SD (Volquez)
57 Jake Odorizzi MIA (Fernandez) @CLE (Jimenez)
58 Shaun Marcum @MIA (Eovaldi) N/A
59 Ervin Santana STL (Lyons) @TEX (Darvish)
60 Matt Garza ARI (Kennedy) N/A
61 Jose Quintana CHC (Samardzija) @OAK (Straily)
62 Derek Holland ARI (Miley) N/A
63 Phil Hughes @NYM (Niese) BOS (Buchholz)
64 Yovani Gallardo @PHI (Hamels) N/A
65 Travis Wood CHW (Peavy) N/A
66 Andrew Cashner SEA (Hernandez) N/A
67 Wade Miley @TEX (Holland) N/A
68 Bartolo Colon CHW (Axelrod) N/A
69 Mike Leake CLE (Jimenez) @PIT (Liriano)
70 Dan Haren @BAL (Garcia) N/A

Two-Start Options to Consider

Trevor Cahill, Diamondbacks (TEX, @CHC): Though Cahill's ERA is nearly a run lower than last season's, he continues to plateau skill-wise. He's actually getting fewer strikeouts and grounders so far this year, but he's getting help from a high strand rate and double play balls. At least he can count on the latter as well as his ability to avoid home runs. While Cahill may not provide many Ks, he should help your team's ERA and WHIP enough to be worth using in this two-start week.
This week's rank: 38
My take: Solid standard mixed league start.

Ryan Dempster, Red Sox (PHI, @NYY): What started off as a dream season for Dempster has suddenly turned sour, as he has allowed 15 earned runs over 12 2/3 innings in his last three starts. To be sure, Dempster has struggled with command, but he's also fallen victim to a .395 BABIP during his slump. He may never have another stretch of starts as dominant as his first seven from this season, but he's also not nearly as bad as he's been lately. Anyone can be off their game for three starts (see Justin Verlander), so Dempster deserves some slack from Fantasy owners this week.
This week's rank: 41
My take: Solid standard mixed league start.

Jose Fernandez, Marlins (@TB, NYM): Fantasy owners can't count on the Marlins to provide Fernandez with run support, but he's still been good enough to eek out a 2-2 record so far. He's also been efficient enough to last six innings or more on a pitch count. Fernandez has been solid in four May starts with a 2.16 ERA. Even taking favorable strand and BABIP rates into account, xFIP projects that a luck-free Fernandez would have a 3.47 ERA for the month, according to FanGraphs.com. Keep him active.
This week's rank: 43
My take: Solid standard mixed league start.

Kevin Gausman, Orioles (@WAS, DET): Gausman's stat line from his major league debut against Toronto didn't look impressive, as he allowed four runs over just five innings, but he was solid through the first three innings. With someone as inexperienced at any professional level as Gausman is, there is substantial risk, but with his talent, he should be trusted over steadier types further down the rankings, like Tim Hudson and Jose Quintana.
This week's rank: 47
My take: Solid standard mixed league start.

Francisco Liriano, Pirates (@DET, CIN): Liriano has prospered in each of his first three starts, and his 18 percent swinging strike rate is insane. Still, he has posted exceedingly high whiff rates in each of the last two seasons, and in both cases, he finished with an ERA north of 5.00. It's also impressive that Liriano has allowed only one extra base hit -- a double by Ruben Tejada -- but the Tigers and Reds could pose a stiffer challenge than the Mets, Brewers and Cubs. Despite his torrid start, Liriano is not a lock for a big week.
This week's rank: 49
My take: Marginal standard mixed league start.

Most Added Starters (5/27)
Player % change
1. Kevin Gausman, SP, Orioles 58
2. Dan Straily, SP, Athletics 24
3. Tyler Lyons, SP, Cardinals 22
4. Mike Leake, SP, Reds 18
5. Jose Quintana, SP, White Sox 17
6. Michael Wacha, SP, Cardinals 15
7. John Lackey, SP, Red Sox 14
8. Francisco Liriano, SP, Pirates 12
9. Zack Wheeler, SP, Mets 11
10. Jorge De La Rosa, SP, Rockies 10

Tim Hudson, Braves (@TOR, WAS): Hudson's key peripherals, such as his strikeout, whiff, walk and ground ball rates, are about where they were two seasons ago, but his ERA is the better part of two runs higher. Blame his 62 percent strand rate, which is completely out of character. Though Hudson has been less than impressive in his last three starts, he is a reasonable use of a rotation spot this time.
This week's rank: 51
My take: Marginal standard mixed league start.

Jonathon Niese, Mets (NYY, @MIA): Niese has rediscovered his command in his last two starts, and even during his more difficult stretch, he was getting grounders at a healthy rate. In subduing the Cardinals and Reds, Niese showed he can handle a tough matchup, so owners shouldn't fear starting him against the Yankees. Or the Marlins.
This week's rank: 53
My take: Marginal standard mixed league start.

Jarrod Parker, Athletics (SF, CHW): After a miserable first month, Parker has started to turn his season around. While his control hasn't been pristine, he has been throwing more strikes and, at least in his last two starts, issuing fewer walks. Parker has had difficulty finding consistency in his young major league career, but given his recent improvement and that he gets to make two starts in Oakland (career 3.47 home ERA) this week, he could be surprisingly helpful to standard mixed league owners.
This week's rank: 54
My take: Marginal standard mixed league start.

Dan Straily, Athletics (SF, CHW):
This week's rank: As with Parker, most of Straily's 2013 starts have hurt his Fantasy owners, but both last year and this year, he has been brilliant at times. Using Straily right now is not for the faint of heart, but the remaining options on the list are either similarly inconsistent or offer far less upside. If you need reassurance that it won't be too risky to take the plunge, Straily's biggest problem has not been his occasional wildness or difficulties against lefties, but rather a 51 percent strand rate that is sure to improve.
This week's rank: 55
My take: Marginal standard mixed league start.

Brandon Morrow, Blue Jays (ATL, @SD): In his first three seasons as a full-time starter, Morrow had done a decent job of getting hitters to chase after pitches outside the strike zone, but not this year. According to FanGraphs.com, only David Phelps and Jason Marquis have induced swings at balls at a lower rate than Morrow. Based on this year's stats alone, Morrow should not be in this week's top 70, but with the hope that he can rediscover his prior form, owners lacking better options can give him the nod over similarly risky alternatives.
This week's rank: 56
My take: Marginal standard mixed league start.

Jake Odorizzi, Rays (MIA, @CLE): Odorizzi had a decent Rays debut against the Blue Jays, though he didn't last long and induced a grand total of four ground balls. His flyball tendencies shouldn't be a problem against the Marlins, but it could make for an unpleasant outing in Cleveland. Though he brings some risk to the table, Odorizzi needs to be owned in far more than 42 percent of the leagues on CBSSports.com for his two-start week.
This week's rank: 57
My take: Marginal standard mixed league start.

Ervin Santana, Royals (STL, @TEX): Like Odorizzi, Santana can be susceptible to homers, as he showed on Thursday, when the Angels went yard four times. The Cardinals have been surprisingly devoid of power, but they can still be a dangerous matchup, and, so of course, are the Rangers. With so many two-start options from which to choose, you may actually benefit from benching Santana this week.
This week's rank: 59
My take: Marginal standard mixed league start.

Jose Quintana, White Sox (CHC, @OAK): There's not much that's extraordinary about Quintana's skill profile, but there are few red flags. Probably the biggest knock against Quintana is that he is inefficient, averaging more than 4.1 pitches per plate appearance, but that's less of a concern when he gets two chances in a week to pile up innings. Better yet, Quintana's matchups shouldn't be a problem. The Cubs don't score much, and while the Athletics are more potent, Quintana generally fares well on the road.
This week's rank: 61
My take: Marginal standard mixed league start.

Phil Hughes, Yankees (@NYM, BOS): With a 5.51 ERA and 1.50 WHIP, Hughes looks like someone to avoid in standard mixed leagues under all circumstances, but along with some horrible starts have been several good ones. Two of his poor starts came early, but he has rattled off five quality starts in his last seven outings. It's hard to predict when Hughes might implode, but his upside is high enough to make him worth a gamble with your final rotation spot.
This week's rank: 63
My take: Marginal standard mixed league start.

Mike Leake, Reds (CLE, @PIT): Leake has been in a groove, posting a 2.28 ERA over his last seven starts, and he has not allowed either of his two most recent opponents -- the Mets and Marlins -- to score. He has been even better than usual at avoiding walks, issuing only nine of them over a 43 1/3 inning span, and the Pirates should play right into Leake's strength. The Indians are more selective and simply have the most potent lineup he's seen in awhile, so Leake's recent run could reach its end in Week 9.
This week's rank: 69
My take: Marginal standard mixed league start.

Jeremy Hellickson, Rays (MIA, @CLE):
This week's rank: Hellickson is set for a week of extremes, as he will face the best- and worst-hitting teams in the majors in terms of extra-base power. He should have no problems handling the Marlins, but the Indians present a potential nightmare. Hellickson has been getting clobbered by lefties, and not only could Jason Kipnis and switch-hitting Carlos Santana and Asdrubal Cabrera present a threat, but they'll be hitting at Progressive Field, which favors left-handed batters.
This week's rank: N/A
My take: Deeper mixed league start.

Jorge De La Rosa, Rockies (@HOU, LAD): Getting strikeouts had been De La Rosa's forte prior to getting Tommy John surgery, but they've been lacking since his return late last season. De La Rosa has yet to regain his former velocity, but despite the lack of firepower, he's been thriving with a 3.40 ERA. It's helped that he has allowed only four home runs in 55 2/3 innings, but that's not likely to last with a mediocre ground ball rate and a schedule loaded with starts at Coors Field. Though his matchups aren't bad, you can find many superior options in standard mixed leagues this week.
This week's rank: N/A
My take: Deeper mixed league start.

Ubaldo Jimenez, Indians (@CIN, TB): Jimenez still lacks consistency, but he's getting strikeouts again, so he's worth keeping on your radar. Given that home runs have been a big part of Jimenez's problem, a start at Cincinnati doesn't bode well for a good week. Don't use him in this two-start week, but Jimenez could be worth streaming in future scoring periods.
This week's rank: N/A
My take: Deeper mixed league start.

Jason Hammel, Orioles (@WAS, DET): In holding the Yankees to two runs in 6 2/3 innings Wednesday, Hammel got his first quality start in his last five attempts. Hammel has been getting strikeouts lately, but he's been getting too few grounders and allowing too many extra-base hits. If Hammel can reestablish last season's high grounder rate, he'll be worth starting, but until then, he should be sat in mixed leagues.
This week's rank: N/A
My take: AL-only start.

Zach McAllister, Indians (@CIN, TB): A 2.89 ERA has helped McAllister win roster spots in 57 percent of the leagues on CBSSports.com, but once an unsustainable 82 percent strand rate recedes, he'll be letting down the many owners in deeper mixed leagues who are starting him. Beat the rush to bench or drop him in those formats. With a start in Cincinnati this week, he has no business being on virtually any mixed league active roster.
This week's rank: N/A
My take: AL-only start.

Jhoulys Chacin, Rockies (@HOU, LAD): Chacin's April, during which he posted a 1.46 ERA, was a BABIP-induced mirage, and he's had his comeuppance in May. His current 4.10 ERA is about where owners should expect it to remain, and since Chacin doesn't get many swings-and-misses, he shouldn't be much of a help with strikeouts. Even with decent matchups, he's best reserved for NL-only leagues.
This week's rank: N/A
My take: NL-only start.

Rick Porcello, Tigers (PIT, @BAL): With the next home run that Porcello allows, he will already be halfway to last season's total of 16. It's highly unlike Porcello to be so homer-prone, and at least in that regard, he should show improvement in the weeks to come. Given that Porcello consistently allows too much contact, too many hits on balls in play and too many baserunners to score, whatever windfall he gets from a lower home run rate won't be enough to make him a viable starter in mixed leagues.
This week's rank: N/A
My take: AL-only start.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Al Melchior at @almelccbs . You can also e-mail us at fantasybaseball@cbsinteractive.com .

Get player news notifications, manage your team and check scores
- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

  •  
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Angels RP Huston Street picks up save Monday
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(1:28 am ET) Angels pitcher Huston Street recorded the final three outs of Monday's 5-4 win over the Indians to earn his 26th save of the season.

Street allowed one hit and struck out one during the appearance. He has converted 26 of his 29 save opportunities this season.


Mariners send RP Jose Ramirez to Triple-A on Monday
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(1:28 am ET) The Mariners optioned reliever Jose Ramirez to Triple-A Tacoma following Monday's 8-7 win over the Rockies. Ramirez, who was acquired from the Yankees for Dustin Ackley, has not yet pitched for his new club. 

But the Mariners will opt to send him down and call up a fresh arm for the bullpen. Although, the corresponding move won't be announced until Tuesday. 


Astros' Luis Valbuena slugs 20th home run in loss on Monday
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(1:23 am ET) Astros infielder Luis Valbuena has recorded his first career 20-home run season, as he went 2 for 3 with a solo shot in Monday's 12-9 loss to the Rangers.

Valbuena's blast was his 20th of the year, but it also broke a 23-game homerless drought. Even with the two-hit effort, Valbuena is still batting a low .206 on the year.


Indians SP Corey Kluber gives up 10 hits in Monday's loss
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(1:21 am ET) Indians pitcher Corey Kluber was not sharp during Monday's 5-4 loss to the Angels.

Kluber allowed five runs on 10 hits over 5 2/3 innings. He also struck out four and did not walk a batter. His biggest mistake came in the sixth inning when he gave up a two-run home run to Conor Gillaspie.

Kluber is now 6-12 with a 3.60 ERA, but he has earned a quality start in six of his last eight outings.


Angels SP Garrett Richards fans 11 in Monday's win
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(1:15 am ET) Angels pitcher Garrett Richards struck out a season-high 11 batters during Monday's 5-4 win over the Indians.

Richards allowed four runs on four hits over 7 1/3 innings. He also walked three. His biggest mistake was giving up a two-run home to Yan Gomes in the first inning.

He received his 11th win of the season for his effort to break his two-game losing streak. Richards has earned a quality start in two of his last four outings.


Orioles' Chris Davis continues power surge with HR on Monday
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(1:11 am ET) Orioles slugger Chris Davis got his team off to a good start on Monday, as he crushed a three-run home run with one out in the first inning, en route to a 9-2 win over the A's. Davis' home run was his 27th of the year, surpassing his total of 26 from a season ago.

It was the only hit of the night for Davis, who is batting .276 with five homers and 15 RBI over his past eight games.


A's SP Jesse Chavez gets blasted by Orioles on Monday
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(1:08 am ET) Athletics starter Jesse Chavez was hit early and often in his outing against the Orioles on Monday. The right-hander allowed six runs on nine hits over just 3 2/3 innings. He threw 46 of 77 pitches for strikes, as the A's lost 9-2 on Monday.

Chavez (5-11) got off to a rocky start in this one, as he was down 3-0 before getting a chance to settle in. He gave up a three-run home run to Chris Davis in the very first inning. Caleb Joseph also touched up Chavez for a two-run blast in the fourth inning, as Chavez suffered his worst start of the season.

With the poor outing, Chavez's ERA rose to 3.88. He has now given up four or more runs in four of his past six starts, posting a 6.52 ERA over that stretch.


D-Backs SP Chase Anderson may make one more rehab start
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(1:08 am ET) After throwing four innings during a rehab outing in the minors Sunday, Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale said pitcher Chase Anderson may need another rehab start before returning to the team, reports The Arizona Republic.

Anderson was expected to replace Zack Godley in the rotation, but Hale said he is considering using a six-man rotation.

"That would help that, just get guys extra days," Hale said. "With [Patrick Corbin] coming back from Tommy John and all our young guys starting to pile up the innings. But it's tough to do that with still keeping seven bullpen guys. We would probably have to lose a position player. That's a very tough decision to make."


Orioles' Tyler Wilson posts strong start on Monday vs. A's
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(1:02 am ET) Orioles starter Tyler Wilson was excellent in his outing against the A's on Monday. The right-hander threw 100 pitches over 7 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on six hits. He walked two and struck out three, and did a good job of limiting the damage against him in the 9-2 victory.

Wilson (2-1) was making just his second start of the year for the Orioles. He made some relief appearances in between the starts, but was sent down to Triple-A on June 20. 

He gave up a run in the fourth and one on the eighth before being pulled from the game. His ERA actually rose to 2.19 ERA in the strong outing. 


Mariners OF Nelson Cruz hits 30th home run of season Monday
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(12:56 am ET) Mariners outfielder Nelson Cruz connected off Rockies pitcher Eddie Butler for his 30th home run of the season during Monday's 8-7 win. The solo shot was his only RBI of the game. He finished the contest 3 for 4 with one walk.

Prior to Monday's win, Cruz was hitting .407 with eight home runs and 12 RBI in his last 13 games.


 
 
 
Rankings