Week 22 of the Fantasy Baseball season will soon become a memory. The season will soon be over and while most of us look forward to the season ending there still is some work to do this weekend. If you need starting pitching this weekend I have some options for you to consider.
Jesse Chavez and the Oakland Athletics travel to Texas for a Friday evening game with the Rangers. Chavez has had an up and down season and the past 5 starts have been no exception; the good thing here is his 9.12 strikeouts per nine innings and the bad being his 3.51 walks and nearly 2 bombs per nine innings. Those last 5 starts left him with a 1-3 record but a solid 3.53 xFIP. The Rangers over the past month haven't exactly set the world on fire either; they are striking out at a 18 percent clip with a .148 ISO, .327 wOBA and wRC+ of 101. I'm focusing on the strikeouts and hopefully the equally inconsistent Rangers pitcher Colby Lewis coughs up a few bombs of his own and allows Chavez to get a win on Friday.
Kyle Hendricks and the Chicago Cubs have a Friday night away game against the Phillies. Hendricks has had it rough over his past 5 starts going -1 but striking out nearly 9 hitters per nine innings pitched. Hendricks has allowed nearly 5 walks per 9 innings during that stretch but allowed less than a bomb and his 3.49 xFIP is solid. The Phillies over the last month or so strikeout 21.9 percent of the time with a .159 ISO, .321 wOBA and wRC+ of 101. I like the strikeouts and I like the matchup on Friday night against the Phillies Jerad Eickhoff who has an xFIP of 4.76 and has really struggled over his last 4 starts. Hopefully the Cubs bats will send Eickhoff home early and maybe give Hendricks a win on Friday.
Dan Haren and the Cubs have a Saturday night away game against the Phillies. Haren has had some hiccups since joining the Cubs but over his last 5 starts he's averaging almost 7 strikeouts and just under 2 walks per nine innings. He's also allowed almost 2 bombs per nine and his xFIP of 4.90 is on the high side. His last start against the Cardinals was a thing of beauty and we've already mentioned the Phillies 21.9 percent strikeout rate, .159 ISO, .321 wOBA and wRC+ of 101 so there isn't much point belaboring the issue. Haren's counterpart Aaron Harang has been just dreadful lately and what we should hope for is Haren to just be solid and if he is this should be a fairly safe streaming pick on Saturday.
Lance McCullers and the Houston Astros have a Saturday evening game on the road against the Angels. McCullers has been quite good this season and over his past 4 starts McCullers is 0-2 while averaging just over 10 strikeouts and just over 3 walks per nine innings. He's also keeping the ball in the yard having allowed just under 1 bomb per nine over those same 4 starts while keeping a solid 3.21 xFIP. The Angels offensive stats for the month of September are not very good; they strikeout about 18 percent of the time with a .140 ISO, .314 wOBA and wRC+ of 104. McCullers opponent Hector Santiago has had a rough patch recently and we should focus on the strikeouts and hopefully everything else falls into place on Saturday.
Jonathon Niese and the red hot New York Mets have a Sunday afternoon game against the Braves. Niese has had a rough time over his last 5 starts going 1-1 with 5.61 strikeouts, nearly 5 walks and over 2 bombs per nine innings pitched. His xFIP of 5.08 is just awful but if there is a silver lining in all this it would be this; the Braves offense is probably worse than Niese has been. In September alone the Braves have a 20 percent strikeout rate with a pitchers type 0.68 ISO, .262 wOBA and wRC+ of 63. Add in Niese's counterpart Matt Wisler who has been horrible, a Mets team that absolutely smashes right handers and you have a viable streaming candidate on Sunday in one Jonathon Niese.
Aaron Nola and the Phillies host the Cubs on Sunday afternoon. Nola has been dynamite over his last 5 starts going 3-1 with 8.13 strikeouts, just under 3 walks and just under 1 bomb per nine innings pitched. Nola also has a solid 3.86 xFIP and he'll need all of that and more against a Cubs team that in September is striking out at a 24 percent clip with a .265 ISO, .378 wOBA and wRC+ of 140. Is pitching opponent Jason Hammel has been known to cough up some runs so focus on the strikeouts, hope for a little bit of luck and hopefully Nola comes out on top this Sunday!
Good luck this weekend Fantasy Baseball owner!
On this week's Phil's Fantasy Sports Fake Teams Tim Finnegan join me to discuss DFS strategies like stacking as well as advice on how to win big DFS Tournaments. Fantasy Baseball legend Lenny Melnick joins me to talk 2016 Fantasy Baseball prospects and how Fantasy Baseball has changed over the years, Fasketball curator Daniel Grezlak joins me to talk about his unique and free to the public Fantasy Basketball stats site, Rotowire NBA writer Alex Rikleen joins me to discuss the Fantasy Value of Damian Lillard, what stats are the best for determining Fantasy Basketball value and much more Fantasy Hoops talk and Draft Kings Playbook writer Jason Walker and I discuss Fantasy Football Wide Receiver rankings and some sleepers. You can download the show from my site or listen below.