To start, or not to start, that is the question that we all face each week in Fantasy Baseball. The Week 7 Pitching Planner is here to help.
If you’re like me, you’re pitching is struggling mightily and you’re in dire need of help with your arms. Well, look no further friend, because together we’re going to get your pitching staff in line and on the right track.
There are sooooooooooo many pitchers out there, which is both a blessing and a curse.
As I look through the probable starters for Week 7, I begin to salivate at the aces that are going, most twice, BUT I’m not naming the obvious in this article. I want to dive deep and take a look at five two-start starters to pitch, five starters to sit, as well as the one-start waiver wire pickup of the week!
With that being said, let’s join together in this journey and dive headfirst into what could – no – make that will be, the turning point in our pitching staffs … fingers crossed!
Week 7 Pitching Planner
Five to Start
Kenta Maeda, Los Angeles Dodgers (vs. LAA, @ SD)
Maeda has looked good so far and these two matchups look even better. Profiling as a solid strikeout pitcher with decent control, I could easily see him dominating these two light-hitting lineups. The Dodgers offense has the ability to backup Maeda as long as he can go pitch for pitch with his opposition, which shouldn’t be too hard considering the pitching staffs he’s playing against. Maeda will look to continue his dominance against MLB hitters in Week 7 and so should you.
Marcus Stroman, Toronto Blue Jays (vs. TB, @ MIN)
Marcus Stroman is starting to look more and more like a must-start MLB ace. His control has been on point for most of the season and his strikeouts are starting to come along nicely. The two times Stroman has seen Tampa Bay, he’s went eight innings both times while winning both matchups. Minnesota and their lackluster offense shouldn’t be much of a match for Stroman and his high profile coming-of-age arsenal.
J.A. Happ, Toronto Blue Jays (vs. TB, @ MIN)
Simply put, Happ continues to dominate major league hitting. It seems since he had his stopover in Pittsburgh in 2015 with pitching guru Ray Searage, Happ has put it together to become a very solid pitcher. These opponents couldn’t be better for Happ. The swing-happy Rays are a tasty matchup and Minnesota isn’t much of a threat offensively as of right now. Another point of interest here is Happ will be pitching both of his games in Week 7 at pitcher friendly ballparks.
Danny Salazar, Cleveland Indians (vs. CIN, @ BOS)
Salazar is on the verge of becoming an ace. The only knock on him is he can be wild from time to time. He’s prone to throwing too many pitches which limits his innings, but he’s got the arm to strikeout teams in bunches and he will have that opportunity against Cincy. The matchup against Boston is a tad fringy but the Red Sox offense, though very potent, seems to stymie against high K-potential pitchers. He’s worth the play with the Reds game at the front end of the week.
Rick Porcello, Boston Red Sox (@ KC, vs. CLE)
Rick Porcello. What do we make of Rick Porcello? In Week 7, we see him as a must start. I feel like this will be the telling week for him as he pitches against a struggling Royals team and an anemic Tribe offense. The 27-year-old has been pitching lights-out baseball and seems to have his control issue taken care of thus far into 2016. Until he falters, continue to roll Porcello out there, especially on a two-start week.
Five to Sit
Drew Smyly, Tampa Bay Rays (@TOR, @DET)
Drew Smyly has been solid so far, but Week 7 serves to be a true test for the lefty. The matchup against Toronto is a scary one as Smyly is prone to give up the the fly ball too much. And what do those fly balls become at hitter-friendly parks? That’s right, home runs. The fly balls shouldn’t be much of a problem at Detroit, but their lineup has shown the ability to light up pitchers on the regular and the Rays offense is pathetic.
Yordano Ventura, Kansas City Royals (vs. BOS, @CHW)
With each Ventura start, I lose more and more confidence in him. His control is a major problem and he’s too prone to giving up the long ball and issues way too many walks (37 IP/28 BB). In his last three starts – on which he got to the sixth inning once – he’s had an average of a nine ERA and a 2.17 WHIP. Unfortunately for Ventura, things aren’t looking up as he toes the rubber against Boston and goes to the south side of Chicago to pitch against a surprisingly solid White Sox offense.
Michael Pineda, New York Yankees (@ARI, @OAK)
Similar to Ventura, I’m beginning to give up on Pineda. A wildly inconsistent pitcher in a hitters ballpark on one of the lowest scoring offenses doesn’t make an arm worth rostering. In Week 7 we’re looking at stops at Arizona and at Oakland. Neither team’s offense is really too threatening, but with Pineda’s struggles to start the season (6.28 ERA/1.6 WHIP), I wouldn’t trust him until he starts getting on track, and as of right now just that alone is a lot to ask for.
Carlos Rodon, Chicago White Sox (vs. HOU, vs. KC)
Carlos Rodon continues to battle control problems. His two starts in Week 7 seven aren’t going to make matters any better. Sitting on a 4.99 ERA and a 1.51 WHIP so far in 2016 shows that Rodon isn’t anywhere close to being ready for the majors. At 23, Rodon is a flame thrower with walk issues, which seem to be young pitcher’s MO. Rodon has a shiny 40 Ks but a rusty 16 BBs and 22 ER in 39.2 innings pitched to start out 2016.
Jered Weaver, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (@LAD, vs. BAL)
If you’re rostering Jered Weaver, either you’re in an extremely deep league or you’re hoping for Father Time to come anoint him with the Fountain of Youth. In all seriousness, if you’re reading this and you’re rostering him, please do yourself a favor and drop him. He sucks. Seriously, do it now.
One-start SP of the Week Who’s probably on Waivers
Alex Wood, Los Angeles Dodgers (vs. SD)
I’m becoming enamored with Wood. In 2014 he busted onto the scene in Atlanta with ace-like numbers and in 2015 he posted pedestrian-like numbers with LA. To start 2016, he’s been a little bit of both. The stat to like with Wood is his ever increasing K rate, and what do the San Diego Padres like to do? You guessed it: Strikeout.
Wood came out a few weeks ago and claimed he figured something out in his delivery and in the last three games his command and K rate aligned with his claim. He is owned in only 36-percent of Yahoo! leagues and with the tastiest of matchups in Week 7 and his claim to figuring out his mechanic problem, Wood could be on the verge of a must own season.
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