It’s a late release for Fantasy Baseball’s Week 21, Pitching Primer, so we have pitchers with projected starts from Wednesday, through the end of the week. The MLB schedule is a little light this week, and it’s a little difficult to find two-start pitchers who are available. Lance Lynn is one, who is less than 50% owned on both ESPN and Yahoo, with starts against the White Sox and Tigers.
Let’s get started on this week’s Pitching Primer! We’ll look at pitchers that you can stream, who are available in about 50% or more of ESPN and Yahoo fantasy baseball leagues. Listed will be a pitcher and their team, along with ownership percentages and their projected opponent.
Luis Castillo – Cincinnati Reds (ESPN: 40%, Yahoo: 57%)
Projected start: 8/30 vs. MIL
Coming into this season, there was a lot of expectation placed upon Castillo. Striking out almost 10 batters per nine innings, leaving 80.1% runners on base, Castillo had an impressive 2017 season. The start of 2018 was very different. In the first half of this season, Castillo gave up 19 home runs. The second half has been better so far, although he may be hard to trust. He’ll face the Brewers in his next start, at home. Castillo’s innings (home vs. away) are almost the same, but his home numbers are much better. It’ll be tough task, but if there’s anyone on the Reds’ pitching staff that can beat the Brewers, it should be him. If you believe in Castillo’s potential, he’s an interesting keeper option off of waivers/free agency (if you have a roster spot for him), since you’ll probably be giving up a pick in one of the last rounds of your 2019 draft.
Alex Cobb – Baltimore Orioles (ESPN: 17%, Yahoo: 24%)
Projected start: 8/29 vs. TOR
Cobb has thrown six quality starts in a row, but hasn’t taken a leap in ownership that we’re used to seeing from that kind of production. Pitching for the Orioles doesn’t help his cause. Cobb’s most recent starts have been against the Yankees, Red Sox, and Indians. If you’re in a league with quality starts as a category, you should seriously consider Cobb for this week’s start against the Blue Jays. The Blue Jays have been winning games, but a lot of it was helped by Kendrys Morales’ home run streak. Cobb’s success in August might be due to his pitch mix:
There’s a significant drop in his fourseam fastball, and increases in his sinker and splitter. I believe that it’s safe to assume that Cobb will keep on his trend since it’s been successful. His numbers for the season are not good, but things are going in the right direction for him, and this matchup with the Blue Jays is a good one.
Aaron Sanchez – Toronto Blue Jays (ESPN: 14%, Yahoo: 28%)
Projected start: 8/31 @ MIA
As a rotation, the Blue Jays didn’t amount to their potential. Sanchez will be making just his second start since June. His last start against the Phillies was less than desirable, but he has a chance to improve upon that against the Marlins. The Blue Jays will be in Miami for this series. The change in ball park should help to keep the opposing offense quiet, as long as Sanchez can pitch a decent game. He should have been able to build on his good start to the season if he didn’t spend two months on the DL. There’s a discrepancy between his ownership on ESPN and Yahoo, but he’s still readily available if you need him.
Steven Matz – New York Mets (ESPN: 10%, Yahoo: 15%)
Projected start: 9/1 @ SFG
The Mets have really good pitching, which makes it all the more frustrating. They have a staff with Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, and Zack Wheeler – yet, the Mets haven’t put together an offense to support their pitching for the season. They have been better for the last couple of weeks, and Matz had a great start on Sunday, but the offense couldn’t score any runs and the bullpen really let things get out of hand against the Nationals. Week 21’s start comes against the Giants, in San Francisco. Aside from a few bad starts this season, he’s done alright for himself. Matz faced the Giants two starts ago, and pitched five innings, struck out five batters, and allowed two runs. Hopefully, he can pitch a little deeper into this start, but if not, it could still be enough for the win if his offense can provide some run support.
Thank you for reading, and good luck with your fantasy baseball season and pitching streamers!