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The Week Ahead

Week Ahead: Choose Wisely

by Nick Nelson
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:09 pm ET

The coming week features some quirky and unusual scheduling. It's somewhat rare for a team to get two days off in a week, but in this case six different clubs are slated to play only five times, meaning no two-start pitchers for the A's, Rangers, Blue Jays, Marlins, Rockies or Brewers.

So it's a lighter two-start crop this time around, but have no fear. There are a number of intriguing options available, and we'll run through a few that we particularly like below, followed by the usual full list as well as everything else you'll need to set your team up for success in The Week Ahead.

Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $1,000,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Friday night's MLB games. It's $200 to join and first prize is $150,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on Friday. Here's the FanDuel link.

* Arizona's Chase Anderson has quietly been on a heck of a run, with a 1.74 ERA and about a strikeout per inning over his last five starts, but he remains unowned in more than 80 percent of Yahoo! and ESPN leagues. He's a great play in a week where one of his two starts comes at home against the Padres.

* Since seeing his ERA rise to a season-high 5.68 on May 6th, Brett Oberholtzer has been quality in nine of 10 starts, with a 2.84 ERA during that span. He won't get many strikeouts, and has two road match-ups scheduled, but is definitely worthy of consideration based on his consistency. He's available in almost every league.

* Trevor Bauer's results haven't been too consistent, but his K-rate is enticing and we very much like his match-ups this week -- at Minnesota and at home against the Astros.

* In six starts for the Cubs, rookie Tsuyoshi Wada has a 3.15 ERA and 30-to-10 K/BB ratio over 34 innings. He might not throw too hard, but it's tough to argue with those numbers and he is beneath most fantasy radars.

Going Twice…

American League

Strong Plays

Chris Archer: DET (Scherzer), @TOR (Hutchison)
Hisashi Iwakuma: @PHI (Williams), @BOS (Webster)
Jason Vargas: @MIN (May), @TEX (Tepesch)
Max Scherzer: @TB (Archer), @MIN (Nolasco)

Decent Plays

Kyle Gibson: CLE (Bauer), DET (Porcello)
Jered Weaver: @BOS (Webster), @OAK (Lester)
Brett Oberholtzer: @NYY (TBD), @CLE (Bauer)
Trevor Bauer: @MIN (Gibson), HOU (Oberholtzer)
Bud Norris: @CWS (Sale), @CHC (Jackson)

At Your Own Risk

Trevor May: KC (Vargas), DET (Scherzer)
C.J. Wilson: @BOS (Workman), @OAK (Gray)
Allen Webster: LAA (Weaver), SEA (Iwakuma)
Brandon Workman: LAA (Wilson), SEA (Hernandez)

National League

Strong Plays

Jordan Zimmermann: ARI (Nuno), SF (Lincecum)
Stephen Strasburg: ARI (Anderson), SF (Vogelsong)
Bartolo Colon: CHC (Wada), @LAD (Correia)
Ervin Santana: @PIT (Worley), @CIN (Leake)
Aaron Harang: @PIT (Liriano), @CIN (Simon)
Chase Anderson: @WAS (Strasburg), SD (Kennedy)

Decent Plays

Ryan Vogelsong: @CHC (Jackson), @WAS (Strasburg)
Ian Kennedy: @LAD (Correia), @ARI (Anderson)
Vance Worley: ATL (Santana), @MIL (Peralta)
Alfredo Simon: @STL (Lackey), ATL (Harang)
Mike Leake: @STL (Masterson), ATL (Santana)
Tsuyoshi Wada: @NYM (Colon), BAL (Gausman)
Vidal Nuno: @WAS (Zimmermann), SD (Despaigne)

At Your Own Risk

Justin Masterson: CIN (Leake), @PHI (Williams)
Jerome Williams: SEA (Iwakuma), STL (Masterson)
Edwin Jackson: SF (Vogelsong), BAL (Norris)

Streamer City

The following pitchers are generally available in over 50 percent of fantasy leagues and have favorable match-ups this week:

American League

Wednesday, 8/20: Michael Pineda vs. HOU
The talented young hurler finally returned from a long absence this week, allowing only two hits in five innings of one-run ball at Baltimore. Let him roll at home against Houston.

Thursday, 8/21: Carlos Carrasco @ MIN
In two starts since rejoining the Cleveland rotation, Carrasco has nine strikeouts with only one walk. He could do some damage against a K-prone Twins lineup.

Friday, 8/22: Joe Kelly vs. SEA
Kelly has been quality in each of his two starts since joining the Red Sox, and should thrive in this home tilt against the AL's worst offense.

National League

Wednesday, 8/20: Jorge De La Rosa vs. KC
Since the All-Star break, De La Rosa has a 3.69 ERA and an excellent 33-to-6 K/BB ratio in 39 innings. He has shown no aversion this year to pitching at Coors, where he's 8-2 with a 3.30 ERA.

Thursday, 8/21: Mike Fiers vs. TOR
Fiers offers big upside in the strikeout column, having fanned 14 hitters in his latest start, and the Blue Jays are slugging just .389 away from their home yard.

Friday, 8/22: Josh Collmenter vs. SD
Owned in only 6 percent of Yahoo! leagues, Collmenter is 6-3 with a 3.20 ERA at home. The San Diego offense is even more abysmal on the road (617 OPS) than at Petco (652).

Total Games

American League

8: MIN

National League


Lefty/Righty Breakdowns

American League

BAL: 4 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
BOS: 6 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
CLE: 5 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
CWS: 4 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
DET: 6 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
HOU: 5 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
KC: 4 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
LAA: 6 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
MIN: 6 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
NYY: 2 vs. RHP, 4 vs. LHP
OAK: 3 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
SEA: 5 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
TB: 4 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
TEX: 4 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
TOR: 4 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP

National League

ARI: 6 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
ATL: 6 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
CHC: 6 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
CIN: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
COL: 3 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
LAD: 4 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
MIA: 3 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
MIL: 3 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
NYM: 3 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
PHI: 4 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
PIT: 4 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
SD: 4 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
SF: 4 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
STL: 6 vs. RHP, 0 vs. LHP
WAS: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP

The Infirmary

You can get a full listing of injured players at Rotoworld's Injury Page but here's the latest on a few prominent players who have been out of action:

Manny Machado: Out until late August (knee)
Adam Eaton: Out until early September (oblique)
Nick Swisher: Out indefinitely (knee)
Carlos Gonzalez: Out indefinitely (knee)
Brett Anderson: Out for the season (back)
Anibal Sanchez: Out until mid-September (chest)
Jacob deGrom: Out until late August (shoulder)
Jed Lowrie: Out until September (finger)
Yonder Alonso: Out indefinitely (arm)
Yu Darvish: Out until late August (elbow)

Nick Nelson
Nick Nelson is a frequent contributor to Rotoworld's baseball coverage and regularly blogs about the Minnesota Twins at Twins Daily. Follow him on Twitter @NickNelsonMN.