Welcome to the Week 16 Pitching Planner. With the July 31 trade deadline right around the corner, there could be several trades that impact your starting Fantasy roster for Week 16.
Whether it’s taking advantage of a traded player’s new matchup or looking for their potential replacement, be prepared to adjust your roster accordingly.
Week 16 represents a plethora of ace pitchers in a two-start week. Some – Clayton Kershaw, Jose Fernandez, David Price – are no-brainer starts. Other two-start pitchers, however, aren’t considered Fantasy aces, but could pitch like one due to favorable matchups.
For Week 16’s pitching planner I’ll cover five must-start two-start pitchers and five must-start one-start pitchers.
Let’s get to the pitching planner!
Week 16 Pitching Planner
Projected Two-Start Pitchers for July 27-August 2
Kevin Gausman, Baltimore: Atlanta, Detroit
Ubaldo Jimenez, Baltimore: Atlanta, Detroit
Joe Kelly, Boston: Chicago White Sox, Tampa Bay
Wade Miley, Boston: Chicago White Sox, Tampa Bay
Ivan Nova, New York Yankees: at Texas, Chicago White Sox
Masahiro Tanaka, New York Yankees: at Texas, Chicago White Sox
Nathan Karns, Tampa Bay: Detroit, at Boston
Felix Doubront, Toronto: Philadelphia, Kansas City
John Danks, Chicago White Sox: at Boston, New York Yankees
Jeff Samardzija, Chicago White Sox: at Boston, New York Yankees
Cody Anderson, Cleveland: Kansas City, at Oakland
Trevor Bauer, Cleveland: Kansas City, at Oakland
Anibal Sanchez, Detroit: at Tampa Bay, at Baltimore
David Price, Detroit: at Tampa Bay, at Baltimore
Edinson Volquez, Kansas City: at Cleveland, at Toronto
Chris Young, Kansas City: at Cleveland, at Toronto
Mike Pelfrey, Minnesota: Pittsburgh, Seattle
Collin McHugh, Houston: L.A. Angels, Arizona
C.J. Wilson, L.A. Angels: at Houston, at L.A. Dodgers
Sonny Gray, Oakland: at L.A. Dodgers, Cleveland
Mike Montgomery, Seattle: Arizona, at Minnesota
Hisashi Iwakuma, Seattle: Arizona, at Minnesota
Matt Harrison, Texas: New York Yankees, San Francisco
Martin Perez, Texas: New York Yankees, San Francisco
Alex Wood, Atlanta: at Baltimore, at Philadelphia
Julio Teheran, Atlanta: at Baltimore, at Philadelphia
Jose Fernandez, Miami: Washington, San Diego
Noah Syndergaard, New York Mets: San Diego, Washington
Adam Morgan, Philadelphia: at Toronota, Atlanta
Jordan Zimmerman, Washington: at Miami, at New York Mets
Kyle Hendricks, Chicago Cubs: Colorado, at Milwaukee
Raisel Iglesias, Cincinnati: at St. Louis, Pittsburgh
Mike Leake, Cincinnati: at St. Louis, Pittsburgh
Kyle Lohse, Milwaukee: at San Francisco, Chicago Cubs
Mike Fiers, Milwaukee: at San Francisco, Chicago Cubs
Charlie Morton, Pittsburgh: at Minnesota, at Cincinnati
Lance Lynn, St. Louis: Cincinnati, Colorado
John Lackey, St. Louis: Cincinnati, Colorado
Robbie Ray, Arizona: at Seattle, at Houston
Jorge De La Rosa, Colorado: at Chicago Cubs, at St. Louis
Clayton Kershaw, L.A. Dodgers: Oakland, L.A. Angels
James Shields, San Diego: at New York Mets, at Miami
Chris Heston, San Francisco: Milwaukee, at Texas
Matt Cain, San Francisco: Milwaukee, at Texas
Pitching Planner, July 27-August 2
Five Two-Start Pitchers to Start
- Kevin Gausman, RHP, Baltimore Orioles – Gausman is one of the best young pitching prospect in baseball and has electric stuff. His fastball averages a ridiculous 95.5 MPH, and a changeup that averages 10 MPH slower at 85 MPH. His secondary pitches have been the issue this season, but he’s shown flashes of dominance of late. Heading into Week 16, Gausman will face an Atlanta offense that ranks eighth worst in baseball and a Detroit offense, who can score runs, but strikeout a ton. It’s a gamble to start Gausman, but with two starts and plenty of upside, he’s worth the risk.
- Noah Syndergaard, RHP, New York Mets – Syndergaard has pitched excellent during the month of July, including a 13-strikeout performance against the Diamondbacks. In Week 16, he’ll face a Padres and Nationals’ offense – both of which rank in the top-10 in strikeouts. Syndergaard is an elite prospect. Ride him while he’s hot.
- James Shields, RHP, San Diego Padres – Over his last three games, Shields has totaled just 15.1 innings pitched. However, over that span he has given up just five total runs, while averaging six strikeouts per game. In Week 16, Shields will face the Mets and Marlins, both of whom rank in the bottom six in the league in runs scored. Shields may not be as dominant as he once was, but two ace-like performances seem destined against two of baseball’s weakest offenses.
- Hisashi Iwakuma, RHP, Seattle Mariners – Iwakuma has been lights out of late, allowing just four runs over his last 20.2 innings pitched, with just four walks and 18 strikeouts. The 34 year old will face the Diamondbacks and Twins in Week 16 – two beatable matchups against two of baseball’s most strikeout-prone offenses.
- Mike Fiers, RHP, Milwaukee Brewers – Fiers has been a bit inconsistent as times this season, but as proven to be a solid Fantasy pitcher in 2015. Over his last four starts, Fiers has pitched 25 innings to a 3.24 ERA, while recording 23 strikeouts. He’ll face the Giants on the road, then home against one the most strikeout prone teams in the league: the Chicago Cubs. If he can pitch well in San Francisco, he should have no problem putting up two solid starts in Fantasy Week 16.
Five One-Start Pitchers to Start
- Jeremy Hellickson, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks – Hellickson has pitched extremely well in the month of July, to the tune of a 2.50 ERA, while averaging over five strikeouts and less than one walk per outing. In Week 16, Hellickson will face the Astros, who – as a team – lead all of baseball in strikeouts. The way Hellickson has been pitching and Houston’s propensity to whiff, you have a perfect storm for a makeshift Fantasy ace in Week 16.
- Phil Hughes, RHP, Minnesota Twins – It took some time, but Hughes is finally pitching like the pitcher we drafted him to be. Over his last 14 innings, he has given up just one run and one walk. His strikeouts are basically nonexistent right now, but his ratios have more than made up for it. Hughes, who is statistically a better pitcher at home, is set to face the Mariners at home in Week 16. And to give you an extra boost of confidence, the Mariners’ offense ranks fourth worst in runs scored in all of baseball.
- Andrew Cashner, RHP, San Diego Padres – Frustrated Fantasy owners may sour at this pick, but over the month of July Cashner has been nothing short of, well, cash – as in cash-money (pun intended). Over three games in July, Cashner has pitched 20.2 innings with a 2.61 ERA and 13 strikeouts. He’s set to face a weak Mets’ offense in New York where he should have no trouble improving on his impressive July numbers.
- Chris Tillman, RHP, Baltimore Orioles – Tillman is yet another pitcher that seems to finally be figuring things out. Admittedly, I dumped his sorry [bleep] in a few leagues, but I may have been too quick on the trigger. Over this past two starts Tillman has been dominant, pitching 15 innings, allowing just three hits, one run, while striking out 12. Tillman, who will face a Braves’ offense that struggles to score runs, sets up to be a fine Week 16 Fantasy ace.
- R.A. Dickey, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays – At 40 years old, Dickey and his ferocious knuckleball are still effective at getting Major League hitters out. Over the past month, Dickey has improved his control considerably, allowing just six walks in all of July – compared to 17 in June alone. Dickey has also improved his strikeout rate over the past three games, striking out over five batters a game. In his only start of Week 16, Dickey will face a not-so-impressive Phillies lineup. If you need him, start him.
Best of luck this week and hopefully the Week 16 Pitching Planner gets you the win!
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