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Week 16 Pitching Forecaster

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Yep, it's that week -- the quickest one of the Fantasy season. Each major league team has just three games on its schedule after a four-day All-Star break, creating a grand total of 90 starters who will toe the slab during Fantasy Week 16 (July 15-21).

Since most standard mixed leagues will employ somewhere between 60 and 80 starting pitchers on active rosters in a given week, that means that nearly every pitcher who makes a major league start this week is worth considering for your rotation. However, just because a pitcher makes the generous cut of this week's top 70 rankings doesn't mean you should rush out to pick him up, even if you currently have a pitcher on your active roster who isn't scheduled to start this week. If you still have, say, Scott Feldman or Phil Hughes left over from their just-completed two-start weeks, feel free to drop them for the likes of an Eric Stults or Mark Buehrle, both of whom latched on to one of the final spots in this week's rankings. Long-term, though, you'll be better off keeping a no-start Jarrod Parker or Andrew Cashner over some of this week's lesser one-start options.

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Many Fantasy owners may have to do without one or more of their most productive starters this week, as Max Scherzer, Matt Moore, Chris Sale, Patrick Corbin, Shelby Miller, Jose Fernandez, Julio Teheran, Kris Medlen, Matt Garza and Travis Wood are among those pitchers whose next turn in the rotation won't come until next week. At least Jake Peavy's owners have something to celebrate; the White Sox's veteran is expected to return from the disabled list to face the Braves on Saturday.

Friday update: The Rockies were the final team to set their rotation for this weekend. They will have Jorge De La Rosa, Juan Nicasio and Tyler Chatwood face the Cubs. De La Rosa and Chatwood are low-end advisable starts, while Nicasio should only be used in deeper formats for this short week.

My Top 70 Starting Pitchers for Week 16
Rank Player Start 1 Start 2
1 Felix Hernandez @HOU (Lyles) N/A
2 Adam Wainwright SD (Stults) N/A
3 Justin Verlander @KC (Guthrie) N/A
4 Cole Hamels @NYM (Wheeler) N/A
5 Anibal Sanchez @KC (Santana) N/A
6 David Price @TOR (Rogers) N/A
7 Clayton Kershaw @WAS (Zimmermann) N/A
8 Zack Greinke @WAS (Gonzalez) N/A
9 Cliff Lee @NYM (Harvey) N/A
10 Hisashi Iwakuma @HOU (Bedard) N/A
11 Madison Bumgarner ARI (Delgado) N/A
12 Stephen Strasburg LAD (Nolasco) N/A
13 Matt Harvey PHI (Lee) N/A
14 James Shields DET (Fister) N/A
15 Mat Latos PIT (Burnett) N/A
16 Francisco Liriano @CIN (Leake) N/A
17 Derek Holland BAL (Chen) N/A
18 Jered Weaver OAK (Griffin) N/A
19 John Lackey NYY (Kuroda) N/A
20 Homer Bailey PIT (Locke) N/A
21 Justin Masterson @MIN (Diamond) N/A
22 A.J. Burnett @CIN (Latos) N/A
23 Gio Gonzalez LAD (Greinke) N/A
24 Dan Straily @LAA (Wilson) N/A
25 Jordan Zimmermann LAD (Kershaw) N/A
26 Lance Lynn SD (Volquez) N/A
27 Doug Fister @KC (Shields) N/A
28 Jeff Samardzija @COL (De La Rosa) N/A
29 Jake Peavy ATL (Maholm) N/A
30 A.J. Griffin @LAA (Weaver) N/A
31 Hiroki Kuroda @BOS (Lackey) N/A
32 C.J. Wilson OAK (Straily) N/A
33 R.A. Dickey TB (Archer) N/A
34 CC Sabathia @BOS (Lester) N/A
35 Matt Cain ARI (Miley) N/A
36 Mike Leake PIT (Liriano) N/A
37 Ervin Santana DET (Sanchez) N/A
38 Mike Minor @CHW (Quintana) N/A
39 Bartolo Colon @LAA (Williams) N/A
40 Felix Doubront NYY (Pettitte) N/A
41 Jacob Turner @MIL (Lohse) N/A
42 Kyle Kendrick @NYM (Hefner) N/A
43 Martin Perez BAL (Tillman) N/A
44 Jon Lester NYY (Sabathia) N/A
45 Kyle Lohse MIA (Turner) N/A
46 Jeremy Hefner PHI (Kendrick) N/A
47 John Danks ATL (Hudson) N/A
48 Wade Miley @SF (Cain) N/A
49 Corey Kluber @MIN (Correia) N/A
50 Scott Kazmir @MIN (Pelfrey) N/A
51 Jeff Locke @CIN (Bailey) N/A
52 Ricky Nolasco @WAS (Strasburg) N/A
53 Wei-Yin Chen @TEX (Holland) N/A
54 Jeremy Hellickson @TOR (Buehrle) N/A
55 Yovani Gallardo MIA (Eovaldi) N/A
56 Chris Archer @TOR (Dickey) N/A
57 Ian Kennedy @SF (Gaudin) N/A
58 Tim Hudson @CHW (Danks) N/A
59 Paul Maholm @CHW (Peavy) N/A
60 Andy Pettitte @BOS (Doubront) N/A
61 Bud Norris SEA (Saunders) N/A
62 Zack Wheeler PHI (Hamels) N/A
63 Tyler Chatwood CHC (Jackson) N/A
64 Miguel Gonzalez @TEX (Wolf) N/A
65 Jorge De La Rosa CHC (Samardzija) N/A
66 Eric Stults @STL (Wainwright) N/A
67 Jose Quintana ATL (Minor) N/A
68 Mark Buehrle TB (Hellickson) N/A
69 Chad Gaudin ARI (Kennedy) N/A
70 Wily Peralta MIA (Alvarez) N/A

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Al Melchior at @almelccbs .

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- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

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Player News
Rangers' Alexander Claudio hoping to earn a role
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:27 am ET) Rangers pitcher Alexander Claudio is hoping to be the team's lefty in the bullpen, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Claudio is one of three lefties in camp competing for the job. He performed well in his first taste of spring training, retiring two lefties during his inning of work. He allowed one hit, and struck out two batters. While Claudio's fastball barely registers on the radar gun, manager Jeff Banister still came away impressed.

"I like the secondary stuff," Banister said. "He's accepted the type of pitcher he is and is willing to be that guy. He’s really intriguing with the kind of deception he brings."

Claudio posted a 2.92 ERA over 12 1/3 innings last season.


Dodgers' Erik Bedard willing to go to Triple-A
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(3/4/2015) Dodgers pitcher Erik Bedard is willing to go to Triple-A if he doesn't break camp with the major-league club, according to MLB.com.

Bedard allowed one run over two innings in his first taste of spring action on Wednesday. The veteran said he knows that if the Dodgers five starters are healthy, he'll be sent to the minors. "I know where I stand," Bedard said. "The game is still fun. I like to play baseball."

Bedard posted a 4.76 ERA over 75 2/3 innings last season. 


Dodgers' Alex Guerrero willing to play third base
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(3/4/2015) Dodgers infielder Alex Guerrero has been willing to learn third this spring, according to MLB.com.

Guerrero is in a bit of a unique position. With Howie Kendrick entrenched at second, Guerrero doesn't really have a spot in the team's infield. Due to his contract, however, the team can't just send him to the minors. Guerrero can block the move, and has already said he plans to do so if the team tries to send him down. If he can play third well, that may not be a problem.

For what it's worth, manager Don Mattingly believes Guerrero has looked better this spring. "I really do think the second year [in camp] he looks a lot different as far as being relaxed," Mattingly said. "He's swinging the bat well and he keeps improving."

The 28-year-old hit .333/.371/.621 over three minor-league levels last season. 


Twins' Byron Buxton doubles twice on Wednesday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(3/4/2015) Twins outfield prospect Byron Buxton doubled twice on Wednesday against the University of Minnesota.

Buxton came into last season ranked as one of the best prospects in the minors. He had injury issues, which ended his season early. While Buxton is still considered the Twins top prospect, he was passed by other players in the overall prospect rankings due to the injuries. 

Buxton seemed to be 100 percent on Wednesday, doubling twice during the contest. He scored one run and drove in one RBI. The 21-year-old should open the season in the minors, but could debut as early as this season depending on his performance. 


Twins' Jose Berrios strikes out four on Wednesday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(3/4/2015) Twins starter Jose Berrios struck out four during his first spring appearance on Wednesday.

Berrios took on the University of Minnesota, and turned in a good showing. While Berrios is a minor-leaguer, he's only 20, and was taking on players his age. Berrios allowed one hit and one unearned run over two innings of work. He struck out four batters.

Berrios is the team's third-best prospect according to Baseball America. He's expected to begin the year in the minors, but could move quickly based on how well he performs. 


Diamondbacks pitcher Braden Shipley makes debut Wednesday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/4/2015) Diamondbacks pitcher Braden Shipley pitched two innings in his spring training debut Wednesday, allowing just one baserunner and recording one strikeout. Shipley admitted he was a bit worried in his first appearance, reports AZCentral.com.

"I was a little nervous going in, but that was expected," Shipley said. "I think it was more excitement for me. That was really fun."

Manager Chip Hale said he expects Shipley to make starts in his next few appearances this spring.


Dodgers pitcher Brett Anderson faces batters for first time this spring
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/4/2015) Dodgers pitcher Brett Anderson was able to face live batters for the first time this spring since recovering from back surgery, the 27-year-old tweeted Wednesday.

Anderson was only able to pitch 43 1/3 innings in 2014 with a 1-3 record and 2.91 ERA after suffering the back injury that cut his season short. 


White Sox SS Tim Anderson looking to become long-term solution
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/4/2015) White Sox prospect Tim Anderson is on a mission in spring training this year. He wants to prove that he belongs in the majors with the big boys.

"Just show them I can stay at short and my defense has come a long way and it's going to get better," Anderson said. "I want to be a shortstop for a long time. I'm going to be a shortstop. I'm going to work hard to stay there."

Anderson is currently considered Chicago's No. 2 prospect and could be just the prospect the White Sox are looking for. In his 2015 debut, Anderson smacked a two-run single.

"I'm just staying calm and trying not to do too much and just doing what I've been doing to be here," Anderson said. "It has been exciting to get in here and work with all the big leaguers and get my reps in and see how they go in the daily routine."


Reds' Kevin Gregg hoping to win a spot in the bullpen
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(3/4/2015) Reds pitcher Kevin Gregg is hoping to win a spot in the team's bullpen, according to MLB.com.

Gregg may be 36-years-old, but understands he still needs to prove himself.  "I don't mind coming in and earning a spot," he said. "I'm coming off elbow surgery. At this point in my career, it's something I need to do."

Gregg had bone chips removed from his elbow in August, but was able to hit 92 mph in a showcase in February. He believes his velocity has improved since then.

Manager Bryan Price had good things to say about Gregg thus far. "He looks great. He looks durable," Price said. "He's got hand speed. He's crisp with his location. I've been extremely impressed with Kevin to this point."

The 36-year-old tossed just nine innings in the majors last year.


Diamondbacks pitcher Matt Reynolds sidelined with oblique injury
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/4/2015) Diamondbacks pitcher Matt Reynolds was scheduled to throw batting practice Wednesday, but was unable to do so while dealing with a sore right oblique, reports MLB.com.

"I'm like, 'I'm in here again, I can't get out of this darn room,'" Reynolds said.

Reynolds missed all of 2014 while recovering from Tommy John surgery, but he isn't having any issues with the elbow.

"My elbow feels real good," he said. "It feels strong."


 
 
 
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