We’re traveling for the next five days, so things will be a little bit truncated in terms of daily news updates for each team. That said, we’ll still have key news items, and every day we’ll have an outlook on a larger issue, either near-term or short-term.
Up first, two-starts pitchers for next week. Tomorrow, we’ll be back with a look at the waiver wire, and on Monday we’ll be giving you a top prospect in Double-A or Triple-A to keep an eye on for all 30 teams.
- SP Matt Koch took the loss in what was the best of his young career – eight innings, three runs, seven hits, a walk, three strikeouts. Koch continues to be pretty efficient in terms of pitch count – he only needed 97 pitches to get through eight innings last night. He’s allowed a lot of hard contact early on, but there are some positives in his ground ball rate and the performance of his changeup to consider him a decent streamer in 15-team mixed leagues.
- Two-Start Pitcher: The Snakes close a home-stand with three games against Milwaukee before traveling to New York for a three-game series with the Mets. Injuries have the rotation in flux right now, but it looks like the Thursday off day will allow both SP Pat Corbin and SP Zack Greinke to get two starts. Both are must-starts in all formats whether they start one of two games.
- Things have fallen apart quickly for SP Brandon McCarthy, who allowed 11 hits and six runs in five innings against Miami last night. He’s now allowed 14 earned runs in his last two starts, pushing his ERA from 3.09 to 5.58
- Two-Start Pitcher: It is a seven-game week for the Braves, starting with a makeup game with the Cubs on Monday, then three games in Atlanta with the Cubs, and a weekend series at home with Miami. SP Julio Teheran will get the Monday road start against SP Yu Darvish and a Saturday home start against SP Jose Urena – we’d start him everywhere. SP Mike Foltynewicz will start twice at home against SP Jose Quintana and SP Wei-Yin Chen. The strikeout upside makes him worth starting in all formats, too.
- OF Mark Trumbo hit his first home run of the season after nine games without one since coming off the disabled list. Trumbo is making a load of hard contact (46 percent), and we’d still recommend him for any team looking for a power source.
- Two-Start Pitcher: A two-game series at home against Philly and a four-game road set at Boston lines up SP Andrew Cashner for two starts. The matchups aren’t exceedingly difficult (SP Nick Pivetta and SP Eduardo Rodriguez), but Cashner hasn’t been good enough to start him against these two good lineups, even in AL-only leagues.
Boston Red Sox
- Two-Start Pitchers: Seven games at home for the Sox against the A’s for four and Orioles for three provides ample win opportunities for SP Rick Porcello and SP Eduardo Rodriguez. Porcello has a tough matchup Monday against SP Sean Manaea, but he’s still a must-start in all formats. Rodriguez, because he gets SP Daniel Mengden (who, granted, has been better recently) and SP Andrew Cashner, is also a must-start. For context, we’d start him over Foltynewicz but not Teheran or either of the Arizona starters.
- It is actually funny at this point to check out SP Tyler Chatwood’s performances – the guy has an ERA of 3.35, which is really good for fantasy purposes, and he has three wins in mid-May, which puts him on track for a nice mid-teens win total…also a nice fantasy number. But after yesterday’s five walks in five innings, he has 32 walks in 37.2 innings and a WHIP of 1.54. If you have the guts to start this guy every time out, more power to you, but a WHIP of 1.54 over a 170-inning season (which is about what Chatwood is on pace for) could put you in a massive hole in that category unless you have another starter and maybe an ace reliever balancing that with, say, a 1.00 WHIP over 250-275 combined innings.
- Two-Start Pitcher: It is an eight-games-in-seven-days week for Chicago, with a doubleheader in Cincy next Saturday. SP Yu Darvish starts at home Monday against SP Julio Teheran and Atlanta, and then draws SP Luis Castillo in game one of the Saturday doubleheader. These aren’t great matchups for win potential, but Darvish should be started everywhere. SP Jose Quintana gets two road starts against SP Mike Foltynewicz and SP Sal Romano. There may be 10-team leagues where we could see not starting Quintana, but it is unlikely you have better options. Again, for context, we’d start him over Eduardo Rodriguez, but not Teheran or the Arizona guys.
Chicago White Sox
- OF Nicky Delmonico, who before yesterday hadn’t hit higher than fourth in the order, led off for the first time this season. With regular leadoff man 2B Yoan Moncada out and the White Sox a 9-26 team, it can’t hurt to try Delmonico at leadoff with one of the three best OBPs on the team among regular, healthy starters.
- Two-Start Pitcher: It is only a five-game week for the White Sox, but their four-man rotation sets up SP Reynaldo Lopez for a road start at Pittsburgh against SP Trevor Williams and a home start against Texas against SP Mike Minor. Between Lopez’s improvement in his last three starts and the chance that he could win one of these two games, we’d feel good about adding him off waivers for a streaming option in shallow mixed leagues.
- Two-Start Pitcher: The Reds play seven games in six days, so only SP Sal Romano will start twice – he draws SP Chris Stratton in a road start against the Giants on Monday, and SP Jose Quintana at home against the Cubs on Sunday. Romano is coming off his best start of the season, but there’s not enough strikeout upside to make him for the Reds’ poor offense and bullpen behind Romano. He’s an NL-only play.
- RP Andrew Miller did in fact return from the disabled list yesterday and couldn’t get through the seventh inning that he entered fresh, allowing a walk and a two-run home run to Kansas City C Sal Perez.
- Two-Start Pitcher: SP Carlos Carrasco is a must-start in two road starts at Detroit on Monday (SP Mike Fiers) and Houston on Sunday (SP Lance McCullers Jr.).
- A minor trend to worry about with RP Wade Davis, who blew his second save of the season last night – in his last seven outings, he’s allowed hits in five of them and walks in three of them. We don’t think Davis is in any short-term danger of being removed from the closer role, primarily due to his contract, but it is still something to keep an eye on.
- Two-Start Pitcher: Next week is the start of a nine-game road trip in the NL West, and SP Tyler Anderson is the beneficiary – he gets SP Joey Lucchesi on Monday in San Diego and SP Ty Blach on Sunday in San Francisco. Anderson has had a few good road starts this year, save for an Opening Day blow-up against Arizona, so we’d consider him a better streaming option than White Sox SP Reynaldo Lopez for shallow mixed leagues.
- Two-Start Pitchers: A seven-game week split between home and road series set up SP Mike Fiers and SP Francisco Liriano for two starts each. Fiers isn’t starting anywhere – he gets SP Carlos Carrasco and the Indians at home on Monday and SP Wade LeBlanc and the Mariners in Seattle on Saturday. Liriano is an interesting streaming option because of his matchups – SP Josh Tomlin has been awful and will face Liriano on Tuesday, while SP Mike Leake hasn’t been much better and he’s Liriano’s opponent on Sunday.
- Two-Start Pitcher: SP Lance McCullers Jr. starts twice – Monday at the Angels (TBD, likely SP Andrew Heaney) and Sunday at home against Cleveland (SP Carlos Carrasco). He starts everywhere.
Kansas City Royals
- 1B Lucas Duda hit three doubles last night, driving in a run and scoring two. Duda has multi-hit games in five of his last eight starts.
- Two-Start Pitcher: SP Erik Skoglund hosts the Rays’ slumping lineup on Monday (SP Ryan Yarbrough), though they’ve hit lefties pretty well, then hosts the Yankees’ opposite-of-slumping lineup on Sunday (SP Luis Severino). That Yankees matchup is grounds for considering benching Skoglund in AL-only leagues.
Los Angeles Angels
- Two-Start Pitcher: A rare two-start week for the Angels with their six-man rotation thanks to seven games at home, and it’ll likely be SP Andrew Heaney going Monday against Houston and SP Lance McCullers and Sunday against Tampa Bay and SP Bullpen Day (likely RP Andrew Kittredge, though there is a tiny outside chance SP Nate Eovaldi could be back for this one). Heaney has been better than average in four of his five starts, including tough matchups like the Yankees and at Colorado (for the ballpark, not the lineup), and we’d be happy using his in 12-team and larger mixed formats.
Los Angeles Dodgers
- Two-Start Pitcher: The Dodgers head east for six road games at Miami and Washington next week. SP Alex Wood will face SP Wei-Yin Chen on Tuesday and SP Jeremy Hellickson on Sunday, and he should start in all formats.
- RP Brad Ziegler picked up his fifth save of the year with RP Kyle Barraclough setting him up in the eighth.
- Two-Start Pitcher: SP Wei-Yin Chen faces the Dodgers at home on Tuesday (SP Alex Wood) and the Braves on the road on Sunday (SP Mike Foltynewicz). He should be benched everywhere.
- 2B Jonathan Villar pinch hit last night, so that’s six out of the last seven games where he hasn’t started. Villar is droppable in 12-team and shallower formats – it looks like a combination of 2B Nick Franklin, 2B Eric Sogard, and 2B/3B Hernan Perez are going to prevent Villar from getting regular at-bats for the foreseeable future.
- Two-Start Pitcher: SP Junior Guerra will start twice in a six-game week of road contests for Milwaukee. He draws SP Pat Corbin at Arizona on Monday and SP Jake Odorizzi at Minnesota on Sunday. On the streaming scale, we’d place Guerra below Heaney but above Liriano and Lopez.
- Two-Start Pitcher: A weird six-game week where the Twins face three times, all at home. A makeup game against Seattle on Monday is the first of two starts for SP Jake Odorizzi, who faces SP Wade LeBlanc, and then on Sunday Odorizzi gets SP Junior Guerra and the Brewers. These aren’t cake matchups, so if you own Odorizzi in a shallower mixed league, be cautious if you have issues with your ERA and WHIP right now.
New York Mets
- OF Michael Conforto hit his second home run in four starts and is 5-for-16 in his last four games. He’s still in the bottom half of the Mets’ order, but we bet another week like this will get him back to the leadoff spot.
- Two-Start Pitcher: Five games at home for the Mets against Toronto and the Diamondbacks, but nobody gets two starts.
New York Yankees
- SP Sonny Gray was beat up by his old Oakland team, allowing five runs, nine hits, and three walks in five innings. Gray’s fastball has been awful this year per FanGraphs pitch value metrics, and his cutter hasn’t been much better. Those are the two pitches he’s throwing the most, so something is going to have to change in his next few outings to make him roster worthy in mixed leagues again. Gray used to have a much different approach that relied more on his fastball, but the Yankees don’t seem to be encouraging that.
- Two-Start Pitcher: Five games on the road for the Yankees against Washington and Kansas City, so nobody gets two starts.
- 2B Jed Lowrie keeps on hitting, picking up three more last night in six at bats, including a solo home run and an RBI single. He’s now OPSing 1.000 on the season.
- Two-Start Pitcher: The A’s continue a long road trip with three games in Boston and four games in Toronto. SP Sean Manaea is a must-start in all formats, facing SP Rick Porcello on Monday and SP Marcus Stroman on Saturday. SP Daniel Mengden draws SP Eduardo Rodriguez on Tuesday and SP Jaime Garcia on Sunday. Mengden is another intriguing option because he’s been very good in four of his last five starts, but he does allow a lot of contact and the Red Sox are not a team you want to do that against. We’d consider Mengden a risky play in 12-team formats, where the upside exists for Mengden to help you in WHIP and, to a lesser degree, strikeouts.
- RP Hector Neris allowed back-to-back home runs in the ninth inning last night, ruining SP Jake Arrieta‘s scoreless 7 1/3-inning outing. Neris has blown saves in two of his last four outings now, and baserunners continue to remain a problem with his 1.53 WHIP.
- Two-Start Pitcher: The Phillies play six games on the road against the Orioles and Cardinals, with SP Nick Pivetta starting twice. Pivetta bounced back on Wednesday after two bad starts, but he’s still not going deep enough to feel like he should start everywhere, especially with SP Carlos Martinez his opponent on Sunday. We’d be more willing to take a risk on Mengden or Heaney than Pivetta.
- SP Jameson Taillon was great in three innings last night, striking out five and allowing just a walk and a hit, but he had to leave after that due to a cut on his finger. Odds are he won’t miss his one scheduled start next week, but he could be pushed back a day or two.
- Two-Start Pitcher: SP Trevor Williams starts twice at home in good matchups, facing the White Sox and SP Reynaldo Lopez on Tuesday and the Padres and SP Joey Lucchesi on Sunday. Williams doesn’t have a good strikeout-to-walk ratio (29-to-20), but he has thrown 46 innings and he does have a better-than-average shot at getting two wins next week. If you need wins, this is the week’s best streaming option in shallowed mixed leagues.
San Diego Padres
- OF Travis Jankowski’s first full week leading off has been a successful one – his 3-for-5 night last week included a solo home run, and since moving in to the leadoff spot last Saturday he’s 9-for-21 for three walks, just four strikeouts, and a stolen base. Jankowski is an intriguing speed/run scoring option in deep mixed leagues.
- Two-Start Pitcher: SP Joey Lucchesi will start twice next week, first at home against SP Tyler Anderson and the Rockies on Monday and then Sunday at Pittsburgh against SP Trevor Williams. Lucchesi is striking out too many batters right now to sit him in any format, especially with the Rockies in the top 10 in the majors in team strikeouts.
San Francisco Giants
- Two-Start Pitchers: Seven games at home against the Reds and Rockies mean SP Chris Stratton and SP Ty Blach start twice next week. Blach is fine for NL-only leagues, but nowhere else – he gets SP Tyler Mahle on Tuesday and SP Tyler Anderson on Sunday. Stratton has had bad starts two of the last three times out, but these are matchups again two lineups in the bottom 10 in the majors in OPS, so we’d be fine starting Stratton in 12-team and larger mixed leagues, and if you are desperate for wins, maybe even in 10-team leagues.
- The Mariners-Tigers game was rained out yesterday, so they’ll play a doubleheader today, though rain remains in the forecast for at least the front end of the twin bill. SP Marco Gonzales is scheduled to start the opener, and SP Felix Hernandez will start game two.
- Two-Start Pitchers: The Mariners face the Twins on the road for a makeup game Monday, then head home for six with Texas and Detroit. SP Wade LeBlanc is a decent AL-only option, but nothing more, as he faces SP Jake Odorizzi on Monday and SP Mike Fiers and the Tigers on Saturday. The Twins have been hot and that matchup alone makes LeBlanc worth ignoring in mixed formats. SP Mike Leake goes Tuesday against the Rangers and SP Mike Minor, and Sunday against the Tigers and SP Francisco Liriano. Leake hasn’t had a good start in about a month, and we probably feel better about starting LeBlanc in AL-only leagues.
St. Louis Cardinals
- SS Paul DeJong homered and drove in four runs last night, breaking a slump in both categories (he hadn’t homered since April 22 or driven in a run since April 24). But DeJong does have seven hits in his last four games and only has a 22 percent strikeout rate this month after posting a 35 percent rate in 100 plate appearances in April,
- Two-Start Pitcher: SP Carlos Martinez was scheduled to start twice at the Twins on Tuesday (SP Jose Berrios) and home for the Phillies on Sunday (SP Nick Pivetta). Now, though, Martinez is on the disabled list, and likely only to start Sunday. That leaves the Cardinals with no likely two-start arms this week.
Tampa Bay Rays
- OF Carlos Gomez continues to drop in the batting order, as he was slotted in the seven hole last night. He responded with a 2-for-4 night, including a triple, two RBIs, and a run scored.
- Two-Start Pitcher: The Rays play seven road games at Kansas City and the Angels next week, but they have Bullpen Days lined up for the two starts. The beneficiary will be SP Ryan Yarbrough, who technically is in the rotation now and should start Monday against SP Erik Skoglund and Sunday against SP Andrew Heaney. Yarbrough isn’t likely to go deep enough to be worth streaming in mixed leagues, but he’s a fine AL-only play.
- SP Cole Hamels threw six innings of shutout, one-hit ball last night to beat Houston ace SP Justin Verlander. Hamels has allowed just five runs in his last 23 1/3 innings, and his strikeout-to-walk percentage of 15.9 percent is close to the level it was during his best seasons in Philadelphia.
- Two-Start Pitcher: SP Mike Minor will start twice on the road, beginning in Seattle on Tuesday against SP Mike Leake and Sunday in Chicago against the White Sox and SP Reynaldo Lopez. We continue to like Minor and would use him in 12-team mixed leagues and larger.
Toronto Blue Jays
- SP Marcus Stroman was placed on the 10-day disabled list with shoulder fatigue, rehashing the same issue that plagued him in the spring. We can’t see a reason to hold on to Stroman in a mixed format at this point, as there’s not a lot of upside even when he’s back.
- Two-Start Pitcher: SP Jaime Garcia will start twice next week, at the Mets on Tuesday (SP Jason Vargas) and home for the A’s on Sunday (SP Daniel Mengden). Garcia is only an option in AL-only leagues.
- RP Sean Doolittle is beginning to look like one of the five or six safest closer options in fantasy right now – his workload has dropped a little bit after a start that had him on pace to smash his career high in games and innings, and after last night’s two-strikeout ninth inning, he’s got 27 Ks in 17 2/3 innings to go along with eight saves.
- Two-Start Pitcher: Five games next week for the Nats, all at home against the Yankees and Dodgers, but nobody starts twice.