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Top Five Two-Start Pitchers for Week Six


Quality over quantity. Every fantasy owner knows this. But when looking at the starting pitcher free agent waiver wire for the coming week, ideally you'd like to have a guy that is going to be on the mound more than once. Most teams are going to have a couple of starters pitching twice in a week, which in turn raises their value as streaming options and weekly sleepers. In this weekly column, I’ll be looking at my top five two-start pitchers that you should consider streaming for your fantasy teams for the approaching Week 6.

These pitchers are projected to pitch twice in the coming week and are owned in less than 50% of Fleaflicker and Yahoo leagues.

 

Noah Syndergaard, SP, NYM

@CHC on 5/12, vs MIL on 5/17

Finally! It took unfortunate injuries to Mets starters Zack Wheeler and Dillon Gee, but the club has promoted top prospect Noah Syndergaard to fill out the starting rotation. Syndergaard has been stellar this season for Triple-A Las Vegas, going 3-0 with a 1.82 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, and a 34/8 K/BB rate over five starts. This includes 10.31 K/9 and a .191 batting average against, all factors that earned him the call-up over fellow top prospect Steven Matz.

Syndergaard’s first two career starts will be against the Cubs at Wrigley, followed by the Brewers coming to Citi Field. The Cubbies are just 3-6 so far in May, and have a .246 average against right-handed pitching on the year. Syndergaard will be opposing Jake Arrieta, who is coming off back-to-back losses. I like the weekend start against Milwaukee even more. Bringing up the rear in the NL Central, the Brewers have the second-lowest team average in the NL at .229. And while the early production from Adam Lind is nice, the fact that he leads his team in batting average, home runs and RBI shouldn’t lower confidence in Syndergaard too much. At 12% owned in Fleaflicker leagues, Syndergaard should be owned in mixed leagues this week, and perhaps longer depending on how long he stays in the Mets rotation.

 

Carlos Frias, SP, LAD

vs MIA on 5/12, vs COL on 5/17

In two starts this year since taking over for an injured Brandon McCarthy, Carlos Frias has gained a bit of trust as a streamer for this week. On the year, which also includes two relief appearances, Frias has a 3-0 record with a 2.13 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 11/3 K/BB in 12.2 innings. He has shown much improvement over 2014, where he ended the year with a 6.12 ERA in 15 appearances. This improvement comes from an increased GB/FB rate, as well as an better velocity across all his major pitches.

Frias’s first start is against the Marlins in Los Angeles. Facing right-handed pitching, Miami is second-worst in the NL, having struck out 208 times already in 2015. They are also a bottom-five team with a .690 OPS. Next, Frias faces faces a last-place Rockies team at home, and they are batting an abysmal .196 against Dodgers pitching. Frias is owned in only 12% of Yahoo leagues, and I;d rather start him with his matchups over the suddenly cold Anthony DeSclafani.

 

Colby Lewis, SP, TEX

vs KC on 5/11, vs CLE on 5/16

Yes, that Colby Lewis. The same Colby Lewis who missed all of 2013 recovering from Tommy John surgery and followed that up with a 10-14 record and a 5.18 ERA. In the early part of this season, Lewis seems to be back to his previous form. In six starts so far, Lewis has gone 2-2 with a 2.61 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and a 29/9 K/BB rate while holding opponents to a .232 batting average. And he's overcome some of his past gopheritis, allowing just three home runs in his 38 innings of work this season.

I’m not banking on Lewis being this solid all season, so I am striking on him while the iron is hot. He is owned in 22% of Yahoo leagues and has value as a streamer this week. Kansas City has been one of the most offensively productive teams all season, but they've been less successful against righties. Cleveland is a much different story, as their .244/.309/387 slash against righties is much more enticing.

 

Danny Duffy, SP, KC

@TEX on 5/11, vs NYY on 5/16

The man Lewis is facing in his first start, Danny Duffy, also has some value this week. After an off start against Cleveland where he gave up four runs in one-plus innings of work, Duffy's ERA ballooned to 4.55 after six starts. Was Duffy's 2.53 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in 2014 legit, or just a fluke? Some of his struggles this season can be attributed to the .368 BABIP, far above his .239 from last year, and rather higher than league average. Duffy has also seen a slight increase in his K/9 while decreasing his BB/9, signaling he could be in for a turnaround.

This week could be just what Duffy needs to make that turnaround. The Rangers are dead last in the AL in batting average, and near the bottom in every major category. I don’t love Duffy as much against the Yankees, but they have seen dips in production when going on the road, so that is something to look to for positive reinforcement for Duffy. At just 18% owned in Fleaflicker leagues, he is worth adding for the start against Texas, and he just might surprise you if you keep him active against the Yankees.

 

Mike Leake, SP, CIN

vs ATL on 5/11, vs SF on 5/16

I was surprised Mike Leake fit the criteria for this post, but I won’t complain that he is owned in only 36% of Fleaflicker leagues. This season, he has gone 2-1 with a .247 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, and 27 K in six starts. The 10 walks are a bit problematic, but he has still been the 17th-most-productive starting pitcher according to Yahoo. The 27-year-old has benefited from a .185 BABIP, which could become an issue, especially considering his career .289 BABIP.
The Braves are hanging in fourth in the NL East, but are still 6-12 in their last 18 games. On April 30th, Leake faced the Braves in Atlanta, going eight scoreless innings and allowing only two hits on the day, so I'm confident he can give you another productive start to begin the week. For the game against the Giants, Leake is 5-1 with a 3.83 ERA and 42 K in 47 innings over seven starts against San Francisco. I like this trend to continue over the weekend.

 

Those are my top five streaming options for the upcoming week. I would add that if you have a chance to add a pitcher such as Carlos Carrasco or A.J. Burnett, they are also quality streaming options, but they didn’t quite meet the ownership requirements for this column. As always, feel free to follow me on Twitter @JustBerglund.

 

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