Fantasy Baseball Forecast: Week 18 - Two-Start Pitchers

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Fantasy Baseball Forecast: Week 18 - Two-Start Pitchers
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

THE NUMBERS GAME
 
Start 'Em :

Jorge Cantu (89 percent) : Start him, or if you can, pick him up and then start him. He is only owned in 89 percent of leagues and most recently trending downward. He’s going ot be streaking up soon. He will be entering one of the hitter-friendliest parks in the bigs as well as one of the most hitter-friendly lineups in the bigs. This week Texas faces Seattle and Oakland. Cantu’s career numbers against both teams: In over 150 at bats Jorge is hitting .297 with four home runs. He doesn’t have great career power numbers against these teams, yet he has hit for an average almost 25 points above his total career numbers and with the devastating lineup around him his RBI chances will skyrocket.

Josh Willingham (89 percent) : Just like Jorge, start ‘em if ya got ‘em. Josh has phenomenal numbers at Chase Field (.333 AVG, .360 OBP, .964 OPS through 48ABs) one of the league’s better hitter’s parks. The start of August ushers in Josh’s historically best month for home run hitting (1 HR/20 AB vs. a career 1 HR/ 24 AB w/o Aug.) and second-best month for batting average (.280 avg. vs. a career avg. .261 w/o Aug, nearly 20 points higher).

Rajai Davis (69 percent):   His speed is great but when you account for his great career hitting numbers against KC and at home, he makes more of a complete fantasy impact.  Career numbers against KC: .366 AVG. with an OBP of .451. If he can keep raking at this pace his potential for swipes could jump this upcoming week. After KC he plays at home where he plays against Texas, hitting a .314 clip against them this year, nearly 40 points above this year’s numbers. You also have to take into account that Rajai has a career post all-star average 50 points higher than before the Midsummer Classic, as well as an OPS that’s over 140 points higher. His hot pace continues with 11 hits in his last 33 at bats and five stolen bases as well over the course of the last 15 games.

 

Sit ‘Em:

David Wright: Against both the Braves and Phillies this year, David Wright is hitting a pathetic .163 through 49 at bats with only two home runs.  His average at Citizens Bank is 46 points below his career average. His average against the three Braves starting pitchers is .247 through 73 at bats. His news facing the Phillies isn’t much better. He’ll be facing the murderer’s row of pitching: Oswalt, Hamels, and Halladay. His career against these pitchers is a little better, .269, but has only one home run in 52 at bats. His recent cold streak should help increase the uneasiness too. Through his last 15 games he’s hitting .216 with a .585 OPS, ouch!

Matt Kemp:   One out of every three hits against the Padres for Matt Kemp is a home run. The bad thing is, that’s through 26 at bats.  The Padres are holding Matt Kemp to a weak .192 average this season.  The 4 starters that he will face are holding him down to an even worse .184 avg.

Carl Crawford:   Against the Blue Jays this year he’s hitting .226 in 31 at bats. He’s also hitting .250 for his career against the starting pitchers that he’ll face up against. Crawford has also been a victim of poor hitting lately. He has a .217 average and .577 OPS through his last 15 games played. (Insert America’s Funniest Home Video ball-to-crotch punch line here.)
 

Two-Start Pitchers:

Travis Wood (15.1 percent) :   Start this rookie sensation. His first start is at the cavernous PNC park, the fourth-worst park for home runs. Pitching against that Pirate lineup should raise a brow or two as well. Pittsburgh is hitting a weak .248 against lefty pitching. Start No. 2 for Travis Wood takes place in Chicago against the under achieving Cubs. There's obviously not much history with this rookie against the Cubs, however he did have a great outing earlier on, giving up two runs off of two hits in seven innings.

Mat Latos:   Here's another good two-start young phenom for this upcoming week. First he starts at Dodger Stadium against a team that he worked over pretty well earlier on in the season. As well, Latos holds lefties in check to a .188 BAA, neutralizing the better hitters of LA's lineup (Xavier Paul, Andre Ethier, James Loney). Latos likes to minimize the home run threat with his great GB/FB ratio of .93.  His second start comes against the D-backs in the desert. Arizona's average against righties is bad enough for 22nd at .252.  Adding to the potential for fantastic fantasy numbers for Latos is Arizona's horrible strikeout rate. They lead baseball with 708 strikeouts against righties. Next closest...Florida with 632.  Expect a lot of whiffs for Latos.


 
Other Lesser-Known Two-Start SPs To Consider:

Clayton Richard (30.5 percent) - Same opponents as Latos above and always potential for a big game.

Randy Wells (9 percent) - This guy is on fire through his last three starts.  He has only allowed only three earned runs in 19.2 innings in the last three starts.

Written by James Bryce exclusively for TheFantasyFix.com .


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