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5 Two-Start Starting Pitcher Sleeper Streamers for Week 18


This piece focuses on the best two-start starting pitcher streamers and sleeper waiver wire pickups for week 18 of fantasy baseball. These sleeper pitchers are near or below 50% ownership in Yahoo! leagues, and some are ideal for shallow leagues, but most  are under-the-radar starters that can be considered in head-to-head leagues


Henderson Alvarez, MIA – 50% Owned

Projected starts: Tuesday vs. WAS, Sunday vs. CIN 

Henderson Alvarez Miami MarlinsI’m really not sure how Henderson Alvarez is owned in just half of leagues at this point. Aside from a sub-par outing against the Mets on July 11, he has been excellent for the past two-and-a-half months. Beyond that one start, he has not allowed more than two ER in any start since May 16.

Over that span of 12 starts, eight were quality starts, his record is 5-2 (for the Marlins keep in mind), and has lowered his ERA a full run from 3.62 to 2.62. He also hasn’t walked more than two batters in any start since early May. Bottom line is that he’s a very quality starting pitcher right now, and there’s a coin flip chance he’s available in your league.

This week, he’ll have two home starts, where he has a 1.64 ERA, 1.01 WHIP , and .242 BAA on the season. The Reds also can’t hit, just as a little added perk for his second start of the week.


Aaron Harang, ATL – 47% Owned

Projected starts: Tuesday @LAD, Sunday @SD

Aaron Harang has had quite the underrated season in Atlanta. People kind of forgot about him once he left Cincinnati several years ago, but he has managed to stick around the big leagues and apparently still has some bullets left in that right arm. Aside from one really bad start (June 18th against the Phillies when he gave up eight ER in five innings), he has been very solid. His last three starts have all been quality starts, and Harang has gone at least five innings in every appearance this season except for one.

Harang has been a better road starter than home starter in 2014, and this week he gets two starts away from Turner Field, both against former teams of his. His road BAA of .236 (vs. his home BAA of .284) is also encouraging for this week. And while the Dodgers offense is somewhat formidable, he’ll get a start against the Padres at Petco over the weekend, versus the worst offense in the league and one of the best pitcher's park in the league.


Marcus Stroman, TOR – 38% Owned

Projected starts: Tuesday @BOS, Sunday @HOU 

Marcus Stroman Toronto Blue Jay MLB NewsIt’s now arguable that Stroman is the ace of this Jays’ pitching staff, which is fairly remarkable given that he was in the minors only a few weeks ago.

His last two starts, he’s been virtually unhittable, going 14 scoreless innings, allowing only five hits total and striking out 12 while walking just two.  He also had a no-hit bid into the 7th inning against the Red Sox on Thursday.

Stroman continues to refine his stuff, but it’s clear he has ace-level capabilities, and at only 38% owned, he could seriously impact your fantasy team heading into the stretch run.

This week, he’ll get to face the Red Sox again, who he just mowed down as previously mentioned, as well as the light-hitting Astros in Houston. Get this guy into your lineups.


Jorge De La Rosa, COL – 21% Owned

Projected starts: Tuesday @CHC, Sunday @DET

Assuming Jorge De La Rosa isn’t dealt to the Yankees prior to the trade deadline, which is currently being rumored, he remains an available two-start option this week. His last four starts have been excellent, totaling 25.1 innings and just five ER, including a seven inning, 11 strikeout performance his last time out. Overall, he’s won five out of his last six starts.

Remarkably, his ERA at Coors Field is much lower than it is on the road, however his BAA is about the same (both around .240), perhaps indicating that he's been a tad unlucky on the road. He has a plus matchup against the Cubs, followed by a dicey one against the Tigers. I’d see how your week is going before rolling with him over the weekend against Detroit, but planning-wise, he’s not a bad two-start option this week.


Chase Anderson, ARI – 6% Owned

Projected starts: Monday @CIN, Saturday vs. PIT

In deeper leagues, Chase Anderson is a decent matchup play this week. Both the Reds and Pirates have struggled offensively for most of the season, although Pittsburgh has picked it up of late.  Anderson has some momentum going for him with two straight quality starts, after a little bit of a rough stretch at the end of June.

But his overall numbers are not bad, and his 52 K in 60.1 innings with just 22 BB is also somewhat encouraging. The Dbacks overall have also been playing better baseball over the past couple of weeks. If you’re desperate for some innings and there’s not much available on your waiver wire, Anderson could provide some value this week.