Unless you've got a roster stacked with high-end pitchers you'll start against any matchup, you'll probably need to keep a close eye on the schedule as you get ready to set your lineup for the upcoming week. You'll need to know which of your starters have bad matchups, which are set for two starts in the upcoming week, and which fringe-y options might just be worth going out to grab on waivers.
Which is why you'll definitely want to check out SportsLine's weekly pitching Start 'Em & Sit 'Em chart from William Dubiel. A 15-year Fantasy veteran, Dubiel got his start in Fantasy baseball and has done work for Rotoballer, Metro US and multiple other outlets during his career. He was named the No. 4 MLB Ranker for the 2017 MLB season, so if there's anybody who can give you an edge in your Fantasy baseball league, it's him.
Now, he's helping you set your pitching lineup each week. William goes through every starting pitcher matchup for the upcoming week, making start and sit picks for each game. Here are three of William's calls for Week 8:
- There's a ton to like about Reynaldo Lopez this week despite his atrocious season numbers. The hard-throwing righty is still working on fixing his ERA after a disastrous start to the season, and this could be a week in which he makes some progress. Lopez draws the 27th-ranked offense in the Indians first, then he'll get the 29th-ranked Tigers Saturday. Cleveland has just a .650 OPS against righties in 2019, and Detroit is far worse against righties than lefties (.662 OPS vs. .736). Besides the matchup, Lopez has pitched a bit better than his dreadful 6.38 ERA indicates. He backs that up with a 4.70 SIERA, mainly due to the fact that he's striking out batters at the best clip of his career (23.9%). Detroit and Cleveland both rank in the top half of the MLB in strikeouts, so even if Lopez doesn't have his sharpest stuff in either start, he'll likely be able to mitigate the damage with enough strikeouts to make him a valuable two-start option this week.
- Griffin Canning is one of my top streaming candidates this week in a home matchup against the middling Kansas City offense. We haven't seen much of Canning so far ? just 9.2 innings across two starts ? but what we have seen has been impressive. Canning has produced from a fantasy aspect against two weak offenses (Detroit and Toronto) thanks to his high strikeout rate. With 13 Ks in those first 9.2 innings, he's literally struck out a third of the batters he's faced. Additionally, he's walked just two batters so far, which is better than his minor league marks, though not by a significant margin. He's shown strikeout stuff at every level of the minor leagues, using a slider and a curveball along with his 94-MPH fastball. He likely won't go deep enough into this start to get you a quality start, but a win and six or seven strikeouts should make him a quality streamer.
- I don't think I'm going out on a limb by suggesting you bench Yu Darvish this week, and every week from here on out. Darvish has been a strikeout machine his entire career when healthy, and while that's still holding true in 2019 he is negating all of that with his laughable control. Darvish has walked a ridiculous 19.3% of batters he's faced in 2019, and instead of improving on that number as the season has gone on he seems to be getting worse. Darvish is not only unstartable right now, I don't think you'd be out of line to drop him in a 12-team league. There is a fair chance the Cubs begin looking at removing him from the starting rotation so that he can work on his control issues, because they can't keep starting in the hole in the first few innings every five games.
- Kyle Freeland was a veritable ace last season, somehow managing a 2.85 ERA pitching in Coors. Remarkably enough, he pitched BETTER in Coors, with a 2.40 ERA at home and a 3.23 ERA on the road. A huge part of that was his ability to keep the ball in the ballpark, generating a ton of ground balls in lieu of striking hitters out. There was likely some regressing coming on his 8.5 HR/FB percentage, but "regression" is an understatement to what's occurred this year. After allowing just 17 home runs across 33 starts in 2018, Freeland has already allowed nine long balls in just eight starts this season. Regardless of where you drafted Freeland in March, it's impossible to trust him right now in either roto or points formats. He doesn't have the strikeout capability to off-set the major damage coming from the home runs, so there simply isn't any upside to point to until he figures it out--IF he figures it out.
So, how will you know which other pitchers to start and which to avoid? ... Join SportsLine right now to get access to the tools and date that can help you make the right decision!