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Two-Start Pitcher Streamers: Week 14

Hey look at that! Another no-hitter, and this time it's four Chicago Cubs pitchers who combine to shutdown the Dodgers for the MLB record-tying seventh no-hitter of the season. And this also comes after MLB's crackdown on pitchers using foreign substances. So it seems safe to say that the Year of the Pitcher is still going strong.

So continuing to talk about pitching, let's recap the last two weeks of this column. First off, looking at Week 12, the clear winning pick from that column was Adam Wainwright, who went 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 13 innings of work. And now looking at Week 13's column, Ross Stripling is leading the way after recording a quality start against the Marlins in which he allowed one run on two hits and one walk while striking out seven over six innings of work.

Now that that's all out of the way, let's check out Week 14's two-start streamers.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers received five total writing awards and 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association, tops in the industry! Congrats to all the award winners and nominees including Best MLB Series, NFL Series, NBA Writer, PGA Writer and Player Notes writer of the year. Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller! Read More!


Week 14 Streamers — Under 50% Rostered

Nick Pivetta, BOS - 46% rostered

Probable Opponents: vs KCR, @ OAK

Speaking of no-hitters, let's start things off by looking at Pivetta, who just threw 6 2/3 hitless innings of his own last night. He struck out eight batters in the start against the Rays, marking his eighth straight start in which he struck out six or more batters. He had a rough outing against Toronto two weeks ago where he allowed six runs over five innings of work, but he's been pretty solid in the other four starts he's had this month, combining to post a 2.82 ERA with 29 strikeouts over 22 1/3 innings in those outings.

So he had a nice outing against Tampa Bay, and he'll open up Week 14 going against a Royals squad that has gone 3-7 over their last 10 games, however they've managed to slash .258/.331/.407 over that span. But while they've been heating up at the plate recently, Pivetta should still have a solid matchup against Kansas City. Not only are the Royals hitting worse on the road (.223/.290/.356) than at home (.262/.325/.422), but they are also hitting worse against right-handed pitching (.241/.309/.385, 22.1 K%) than against lefties (.251/.304/.402, 21.4 K%). And then in his second outing against the Athletics, it's an almost identical situation for Pivetta. Oakland has been hitting well over their last 10 games where they're slashing .267/.351/.460, but like with Kansas City, the Athletics are hitting worse against righties (.235/.319/.412) than against lefties (.244/.324/.426). On top of that, Oakland is hitting worse at home (.222/.319/.388) than on the road (.256/.322/.450).

If you're picking up Pivetta this week, you're banking on both his recent success and the fact he should benefit from lefty-righty and home-road splits in both of his starts this week. There are some signs though that suggest managers might want to avoid him, including his 4.31 xERA (38th percentile) and his career-worst 11.3 percent walk rate (21st percentile). However, he does own a 27 percent strikeout rate and .233 xBA — both of which are his best marks since 2017 — and minimally he should be a solid pitcher to choose for managers looking for strikeout help and willing to take the risk that their ERA might take a hit.

Jameson Taillon, NYY - 29% rostered

Probable Opponents: vs LAA, vs NYM

It's been an up-and-down year for Taillon, who currently sports a 2-4 record and 5.18 ERA with 69 strikeouts over 64 1/3 innings of work. Entering Thursday, Taillon had pitched a grand total of five innings and allowed six runs spread across his previous two starts. But yesterday, he limited the Royals to just one run on five hits and two walks while striking out six in 6 1/3 innings of work to earn his second win of the season. Again, he's been very inconsistent this year, but there might be some value to be found in his arm this week.

He opens things up against the Angels, who have been hitting well over their last 10 games with a .283/.333/.473 triple-slash line, and are averaging 5.5 runs per game in that span. However, they've lost three in a row against Detroit and San Francisco, and are hitting .212 with a .592 over this brief skid. And while they have a slightly better average against right-handers (.256) than against lefties (.253), they have a worse OPS against righties (.744) than lefties (.762), and they are hitting significantly worse on the road (.243/.303/.383) than at home (.265/.331/.475). As for his second start of the week, there's no benefit to be found in lefty-righty or home-road splits, as the Mets are putting up nearly identical numbers in both splits. What he will benefit from is the fact that they are struggling in all aspects at the plate recently, as they're slashing .190/.269/.326 and averaging 2.6 runs per game over their last 10 games.

That Angels outing will likely be the more difficult start of the two this week, but he has the potential to still put together a solid start against them. And then I expect his start with the Mets to be the better matchup of the week. Taillon is absolutely a risky play this week, but I still like his chances with these matchups. Try to target the other guys on this list first, but if you're willing to roll the dice on him, Taillon could be a gamble that pays off well.


Week 14 Streamers — Under 25% Rostered

Matt Manning, DET - 16% rostered

Probable Opponents: @ CLE, vs CHW

A highly touted prospect in Detroit's system, Manning is two starts into his major league career and has looked pretty solid early on. He's allowed four runs on nine hits and four walks over 10 2/3 innings with four strikeouts going up against the Angels and the Cardinals. Now in Week 14 he'll face a couple divisional rivals, starting off with a Cleveland club that has struggled recently, slashing .183/.230/.311 while averaging 2.8 runs per game over their last five games. Managers will have to bank on the recent skid by Cleveland, as Manning finds himself on the wrong side of both the lefty-righty and home-road splits for the Indians. In his second start, he'll face another club that has struggled a bit recently, as the White Sox are slashing .222/.280/.329 and averaging 3.2 runs per game over their last 10 games. This Chicago matchup could work out nicely for Manning, as they are hitting significantly worse against righties (.241/.330/.378) than against lefties (.272/.342/.451), as well as hitting worse on the road (.245/.328/.392) than at home (.254/.338/.405).

Now obviously it's hard to predict exactly how a rookie will perform from start to start, but it looks like this will be a solid week for Manning as he goes against a couple teams who are on recent offensive skids. And if he can post strikeout numbers closer to his career 29.8 percent strikeout rate in the minors, he could be a solid two-start option that's available in almost every league.

Caleb Smith, ARI - 15% rostered

Probable Opponents: @ STL, vs SFG

Don't let the 0-2 record this month fool you, Smith has been a solid pitcher since being moved to the rotation with a 2.73 ERA and 24.8 percent strikeout rate over five starts in June. He'll open the week up against the Cardinals, and while he won't get any advantage from their lefty-righty and home-road splits, he will benefit from the fact they have struggled significantly over their last 10 games, where they are slashing .200/.272/.275 and averaging 2.3 runs per game over that span. He'll have a much tougher time against San Francisco to close out the week, as they are slashing .301/.367/.564 and averaging 7.3 runs per game over their last 10 games. The lefty-righty splits are pretty much a wash, but he'll benefit from the fact the Giants are hitting significantly worse on the road (.231/.308/.422) than at home (.255/.346/.450).

Even with the Giants hitting worse on the road, this will still be a "one good start, one bad start" week for Smith. That San Francisco start should end up being the worst of the two, but if Smith can put up a passable performance against the Giants, managers should still be able to benefit from that nice matchup with St. Louis.

Carlos Martinez, STL - 15% rostered

Probable Opponents: vs ARI, @ COL

This is another "one good start, one bad start" scenario, but whereas Smith has put up good numbers this month, Martinez has been struggling. After a stretch of solid outings earlier in the season, Martinez has lost five straight starts in the month of June and has posted a 13.73 ERA over 19 2/3 innings of work. So if you think Taillon is a risky play, Martinez is definitely riskier. However, I think he can be a sneaky play this week and put up better than expected numbers.

He'll start things off with what should be the best outing of the week against the Diamondbacks, who are slashing .206/.280/.297 and averaging 3.8 runs per game over their last 10 games. They are also struggling to hit against right-handers (.222/.296/.350) and they are hitting worse on the road (.208/.288/.347) than at home (.252/.319/.394). As for the second start against Colorado, you can point out the fact that they are hitting far worse against right-handed pitching (.233/.300/.375) than against left-handers (.274/.335/.451), but that's not enough to overlook the fact the Rockies are a completely different offense at home (.283/.341/.473) than on the road (.197/.272/.301). And on top of that, Martinez has been worse on the road (1-6, 7.52 ERA) than at home (2-3, 5.85 ERA) this season.

Hands down, Martinez is the riskiest play this week. If you're picking him up this week, you're banking on a great start against Arizona, and then hoping he can be serviceable against Colorado. Based on his performance earlier this year against Arizona (6 IP, 3 ER, 6 K) along with their recent struggles, I think Martinez should provide enough value in that start to make him worth considering as a streaming option in deeper formats in Week 14.

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