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The Week Ahead

The Week Ahead: Speed Chase

by Seth Trachtman
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Like every MLB season, 2017 has been a year of surprise breakouts. Chase Anderson is one of the most surprising.


The right-hander had shown flashes earlier in his career, but he’d become the definition of a back of the rotation starter during his first three seasons. Between Arizona and Milwaukee, the extreme flyball pitcher posted a viable 4.26 ERA and 1.35 WHIP over more than 400 innings. With a pedestrian 4.50 FIP, 7.2 K/9, and 1.3 HR/9 for his career, there wasn’t much sign of forthcoming growth.


Things have changed drastically for Anderson this season despite an oblique injury that left him sidelined for nearly two months. Tag-teaming alongside fellow Brewers ace Jimmy Nelson, Anderson has posted a 2.88 ERA in 22 starts, seeing a sharp increase in his strikeouts (8.3 K/9) and pushing his HR/9 below 1.0 for the first time in his career.


The difference has clearly been an uptick in velocity. The velocity on all of his pitches is up about two mph from 2016, and Anderson has continued to dominate since returning from an oblique injury in mid-August. Over those last six starts, Anderson is 4-1 with a 2.84 ERA in 31.2 innings as the Brewers have continued to stay in the playoff conversation.


He remains a must-start fantasy option, with divisional games against Pittsburgh and the Cubs this week.


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-Doug Fister’s last start ended a streak of five consecutive quality starts for the revitalized right-hander. He has a 4.40 ERA and 1.30 WHIP in 77.2 innings with the Red Sox this season. His improvement this season correlates with a rebound in his velocity, which has been his best since 2011. That happened to be the best season of his career, finishing with a 2.83 ERA and 1.06 WHIP between Seattle and Detroit.


-Luis Castillo has been shut down for the year, but Reds fans are now getting the pleasure of watching Tyler Mahle. He has a 2.70 ERA through four starts, albeit with 11 walks in 20 innings. The control he showed in the minors this year was nearly flawless with a 1.9 BB/9 in 144.1 innings between Double- and Triple-A, and he finished with a 2.06 ERA in the minors. He remains an intriguing option for the stretch run as he heads into a two-start week.


-Prospect fiends have likely enjoyed the arrival of Lucas Giolito late this season. He’s been dominant for the White Sox over five starts, with a 2.56 ERA and 0.95 WHIP. Giolito struggled for much of the year at Triple-A Charlotte with a 4.48 ERA but really started to come around late in the season, allowing a total of six runs over his last five starts. He’s shown improved control since his promotion (3.1 BB/9) and continues to build momentum for what could be an exciting White Sox rotation in 2018.


-Blake Snell was too wild early in the year to find success, but he’s shown much better control recently. The Tampa Bay lefty has a 3.33 ERA and 41/12 K/BB in 46 innings since the start of August, spanning eight starts. That’s quite an improvement for a pitcher who walked 25 batters in 42 innings early in the year before getting demoted to the minors. Patience is being rewarded.

Going Twice…


American League


Strong Plays


Mike Clevinger: @LAA, @SEA

Marcus Stroman: KC, NYY

Sonny Gray: MIN, @TOR


Decent Plays


Ervin Santana: @NYY, @DET

Jose Berrios: @NYY, @DET

Lucas Giolito: @HOU, KC

Doug Fister: @BAL, @CIN

Tyler Skaggs: CLE, @HOU

Blake Snell: CHC, @BAL

Dylan Bundy: BOS, TB

Mike Leake: TEX, CLE


At Your Own Risk


Martin Perez: @SEA, @OAK

Jharel Cotton: @DET, TEX

Ian Kennedy: @TOR, @CHW

Buck Farmer: OAK, MIN

Chad Bell: OAK, MIN



National League


Strong Plays


Clayton Kershaw: @PHI, SF

Chase Anderson: @PIT, CHC

Aaron Nola: LAD, @ATL

Gio Gonzalez: @ATL, @NYM

Patrick Corbin: @SD, MIA


Decent Plays


Jon Lester: @TB, @MIL

German Marquez: @SF, @SD

Tyler Mahle: STL, BOS

Brent Suter: @PIT, CHC

Dan Straily: NYM, @ARI

Luis Perdomo: ARI, COL


At Your Own Risk


Luiz Gohara: WAS, PHI

Nick Pivetta: LAD, @ATL

Matt Harvey: @MIA, WAS


Total Games


American League





National League


5: SF





Streamer City


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


American League


Tuesday, September 19: Daniel Gossett @ DET

Gossett has pitched relatively well against tough opponents recently, and the Tigers certainly aren’t that. He’s allowed four earned runs in 11.1 innings over his last two starts.


Friday, September 22: Reynaldo Lopez vs. KC

Lopez continues to roll since returning from the DL at the beginning of September with three quality starts. He will look to continue the streak vs. KC.


Friday, September 22: Kyle Gibson @ DET

Gibson is pitching the best ball of his career over his last five starts, allowing only five runs in 32.2 innings. The Tigers lineup has hardly anything left at this point. It’s a great matchup for him.


National League


Monday, September 18: Steven Brault vs. MIL

The Brewers are last in runs scored in the NL during the second half, while Brault has looked good in his last two starts with only three runs allowed in 11 innings.


Wednesday, September 20: Rafael Montero @ MIA

Montero is starting to find his early-career form again, albeit with shaky control. He’s allowed only five runs over his last three starts, spanning 18.2 innings.


Thursday, September 21: Tyler Chatwood @ SD

The Rockies rotation has been a merry-go-round, and Chatwood has earned his way back in with some strong relief work. He threw five scoreless innings at the Dodgers this week and has a much easier opportunity at San Diego.



The Infirmary


Here’s some injuries to prominent players over the last week, and other players to watch for in the coming week. You can get a full listing of injured players at Rotoworld's Injury Page.


Lonnie Chisenhall: Day-to-day (calf)

Travis d’Arnaud: Day-to-day (knee)

Dexter Fowler: Day-to-day (knee)

Scooter Gennett: Day-to-day (hand)

Carlos Gomez: Day-to-day (ankle)

Jake Marisnick: Out for the season (thumb)

Lance McCullers: Last start skipped (arm)

Daniel Murphy: Day-to-day (neck)

Jimmy Nelson: Out for the season (shoulder)

Eduardo Nunez: Out for at least a week (knee)

Steve Pearce: Day-to-day (back)

Salvador Perez: Day-to-day (intercostal)

Carlos Rodon: Out for the season (shoulder)

Amed Rosario: Day-to-day (hip)

Domingo Santana: Day-to-day (trap)

Bradley Zimmer: Out for the season (hand)