Quality starting pitching is essential to winning in fantasy baseball. If you have a pitcher that hasn’t been carrying their weight, consider adding a starting pitcher who will make two starts in Week 17.
If the pitcher you consider isn’t at the top of the rankings, there’s often a chance he’ll throw at least one good game out of the two he is probable to start. Worst case, a pitcher with two starts will generally keep a lower ERA and bring in more strikeouts, which could save owners in weekly head-to-head matchups.
Ervin Santana of the Anaheim Angels, who is 11-3 with a 3.34 ERA, 122 strikeouts, and a 1.12 WHIP in 129.3 innings, tops our list of two-start fantasy baseball pitchers in Week 17. He takes the mound Monday against the Cleveland Indians and Paul Byrd, then Sunday at Baltimore against Garrett Olson. Other “must starts” in Week 17 include:
- Scott Kazmir, Tampa Bay Rays (7-5, 3.04, 91, 1.17) May Pitcher of the Month
- Javier Vazquez, Chicago White Sox (7-7, 4.61, 117, 1.36) Week 2 Pitcher of the Week
- Jake Peavy, San Diego Padres (7-6, 2.66, 100, 1.12) Week 1 Pitcher of the Week
- Rich Harden, Chicago Cubs (5-1, 2.19, 102, 1.17)
- Johan Santana, New York Mets (8-7, 3.10, 116, 1.22)
One two-start pitcher that should impress you with his performance in Week 17:
- Shaun Marcum, Toronto Blue Jays (5-4, 2.65, 86, 1.00). Marcum was on fire in May before landing on the DL June 19 with a right elbow strain. He was limited in terms of wins and losses, but his ERA and WHIP were among the league leaders before he went down. Assuming he stays healthy, Marcum should eclipse last season’s win total and strikeouts this season. Most of you stashed him away on the DL, but Marcum is available in over 20% of fantasy leagues. If you have a spot to spare, add Marcum this evening. He is scheduled to take the mound Tuesday against the Baltimore Orioles and Garrett Olson, then Sunday against Seattle and Jarrod Washburn.
Waiver Wire Wonder – A two-start pitcher owned in less than 40% of leagues to consider in Week 17:
- Sidney Ponson, New York Yankees (5-1, 3.96, 34, 1.58). It’s amazing to think that ‘Sir Sidney’ was cut by the Rangers after pitching well for the historically pitching-starved Rangers. He takes the mound Monday night against Nick Blackburn and the Minnesota Twins, then Saturday at Boston and Jon Lester. He got rocked for 7 earned runs on July 2 against Texas, and we can’t guarantee a victory against Boston, but Ponson should be a good selection against Minnesota. Don’t expect many strikeouts and his WHIP is a little high, but at 5-1, there are no better options with less than 40% ownership.