There are a bunch of two-start guys for Week 18, so this week I'm going to break down some of the fringier ones. At least a few of these guys should be available on your waiver wire, so if you need an option for your stretch run or a pre-playoff matchup, this is the place!
Jeremy Hefner, NYM – 7/29 @ MIA, 8/3 vs. KC
After a stretch of nine quality starts in ten appearances, Hefner has gotten pretty roughed up in his last two outings. Is it pumpkin time for the unheralded hurler? Hard to say, but he was so darned good from the end of May up until two weeks ago that he merits rolling out there this week against Miami and Kansas City, two of the worst offensive clubs in the major leagues.
Scott Kazmir, CLE – 7/30 vs. CHW, 8/4 @MIA
Kazmir’s redemption song is in full verse, as the former AL strikeout champion has recovered the bulk of his previous form and is back to being useful in fantasy leagues. He’s been solid since the start of May, but in July he’s really turned it on with a 2.03 ERA, 0.90 WHIP and 24/11 K/BB ratio over 31 IP. Kazmir gets the two lowest run-scoring teams in baseball this week, with matchups against the White Sox and Marlins; he’s a must-start in all formats.
Zach McAllister, CLE – 7/29 vs. CHW, 8/3 @MIA
Two ugly starts sandwiched around a DL stint shouldn’t hide the fact that McAllister was quietly having a very solid season for the Indians through May. The big righty labored in his return to the mound versus Seattle last week but is primed to return to his old ways against the same weak-hitting lineups that his stable-mate Kazmir faces.
Juan Nicasio, COL – 7/30 @ATL, 8/4 @PIT
Since returning from his demotion to Triple-A Colorado Springs, Nicasio has allowed just one earned run in 19 IP while tallying a 15/4 K/BB ratio. That may not wash away three months of steadily deteriorating pitching, but it’s enough to make the once-promising righty a nice under-the-radar play against the Braves and Pirates this week.
Brandon Workman, BOS – 7/30 vs. SEA, 8/4 vs. ARI
The Boston's 2012 minor league pitcher of the year, Workman has stepped into the big-league rotation the last two turns and provided highly competent results. The confident rookie, who features a plus fastball and a much-improved curveball among his offerings, has matchups this week against Seattle and Arizona. Expect a few more Workman-like efforts (sorry, just had to go there).
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