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June 8, 2014 posted by Brian Johnson

2014 Fantasy Baseball Weekly Pitching Crystal Balls: Week 11 Edition

2014 Fantasy Baseball Weekly Pitching Crystal Balls: Week 11 Edition
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You don’t need me to recommend starting the Kershaws and Wainwrights of the world (I hope), but we all should dare to stream sometime. This column is here to highlight some hurlers owned in fewer than 50% of Yahoo (Y!) leagues. There will probably be some more creative fluff for the intro next week, but yours truly went to a wedding last night and my head hurts, so yeah … away we go.

Pitchers to Target

Colin McHugh (46% owned on Y!) – This makes no damn sense – the ownership percentage that is. Not only is this guy a solid stream, but he’s borderline universally own-able. Get on your horse right meow and add McHugh because he’ll add much value to your fake team against the Rays on Friday (in Houston). McHugh holds a filthy 9.72 K/9, and Tampa Bay is averaging fewer than three runs per game against RHP with a .695 OPS.

Jason Vargas (29% owned on Y!) – Vargas has started 13 games so far this season, and he’s allowed two ER or fewer in 10 of them. Like my uncle, who went to three Def Leppard concerts in his lifetime, Vargas was rocked three times, but they came against offenses with some heavy lumber (TOR, DET, and CHW). This week, the southpaw draws the Yankees at home, and weather permitting, he’ll get another start at the Cell against the White Sox. New York has the fifth-most strikeouts against lefties and rank 19th in OPS, while Chicago is just as bad (if not worse) in both categories. Kansas City’s offense is finally coming to life, and Vargas could score you double dubbyas.

Jake Odorizzi (7% owned on Y!) – The first half of the last name is unfortunate; as was the last half of his last start when the wheels fell off in the fifth inning. Ignore the 5.31 ERA, the skill set is there for the 24-year old. Odorizzi has an 11.08 K/9 (would be second in MLB if he qualified), and his .372 BABIP shows that he’s been a little unlucky. He’ll face the Cardinals at home on Tuesday and they haven’t  been impressive on the road, averaging just over three runs per game.

Erik Bedard (3% owned on Y!) – Let’s get Bedarded in here! Man, the Orioles really fleeced the Mariners when they dealt Bedard for Adam Jones a few years back, but it’s the Rays who are somehow reaping the benefits. So sorry, Seattle, at least you have the Seahawks. Fantasy GMs should start to believe that Bedard has truly resurrected his career, as he’s allowed no more than one ER in six of his last eight starts. Like Odorizzi, he’ll face the Cardinals at home this week, who rank 26th in OPS vs LHP (.648).

Brad Peacock (1% owned on Y!) – Two Astros in one column!? It’s a shock to me too, but get used to it. Houston is a doormat no more and Peacock’s been giving them some solid innings as of late. By no means is he a slam dunk stream this week, but Peacock will draw two starts. The first comes at Arizona, who has whiffed the eighth-most times against RHP, and the other comes at home against Tampa Bay, who … well, just reread the McHugh write-up above. The walks are an issue (4.98 BB/9), but the 8.52 K/9 is desirable, so don’t be afraid to show those feathers and do a little peacocking if you’re desperate.

Pitchers to Avoid

Jake Peavy (46% owned on Y!) – You’re better off pretending Peavy doesn’t exist. That is unless you’re stacking hitters against him in DFS. To put it eloquently, Peavy sucks. His K/BB (1.83) is waaaay below his career average (3.13), and there’s no alibi for the poor performance in any of his peripherals. He’ll take the bump in Baltimore, which is just plain bad news, and once again at home against Cleveland. Don’t sleep on the Indians; they are comfortably top-seven in triple-slash categories against RHP, and the heart of their order is intact now that Jason Kipnis is back.

Jacob deGrom (11% owned on Y!) – Owners jumped all over this dude after he registered 11 K against the Phillies, but don’t drink the Kool-Aid – at least this week. deGrom gets the Brewers at Metco on Wednesday, and you want no part of this. Milwaukee rakes against lefties, and they’re hitting .265 on the road, which ranks first in the National League.

Chase Whitley (4% owned on Y!) – Whitley’s been more than decent with a 2.42 ERA in five starts, but I have a bad feeling about his next start in Seattle. The Mariners offense is hot right now, hitting .284 over the last week, and they don’t strike out a lot against RHP (fifth-fewest in baseball).

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