Fantasy Baseball: Top 10 sleeper pitchers for Week 17 include Kyle Gibson, Jon Gray
The short week after the All-Star break eliminates the possibility for two-start pitchers, so instead, Scott White offers his favorite one-start options owned in less than 80 percent of leagues.
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Hard to fit in a second start when a scoring period lasts only four days.
So for this shortened Week 17 (July 19-22) following the All-Star break, we'll depart from our usual two-start pitcher rankings and instead address the one-start options worthy of our consideration.
We'll stick to those you have a reasonable chance of adding off the waiver wire — i.e., the ones owned in less than 80 percent of CBS Sports leagues. And chances are you'll have to turn to the waiver wire to plug at least one opening. For most MLB teams — 28, to be exact — only three starts are available.
Let's make it happen.
Kyle Gibson is one of those on the short side of 80 percent who should probably be universally owned — and might be if not for his 4-6 record. If his season stats don't make a compelling enough case, he has gone seven innings or more in six of his past nine starts for a 2.87 ERA and faces the worst offense in baseball, Kansas City, this week.
Danny Duffy unfortunately opposes Gibson but has pitched well enough lately that you don't necessarily need a win to feel justified using him. His velocity is back where it was two years ago, and he has seven or more strikeouts in five of his past seven starts for a 2.66 ERA.
Still an elite swinging strike guy, Domingo German has fluctuated between bad and brilliant over the past six weeks. But you'll take a chance on brilliant when options are limited, especially with him facing the Mets, who have scored the fewest runs in the NL.
Jon Gray looked more like the ace his peripherals make him out to be in his first start back from the minors Saturday, and as with German, you'll gamble on the upside when options are limited. Though the numbers with the new humidor have normalized a bit, the Diamondbacks are a pretty good matchup at Chase Field.
There's still a lot to like about Nick Pivetta (his top-25 swinging strike rate being one) even after a disastrous June. He turned in a quality start against the hapless Orioles last time out, and faces a similarly regarded offense when the Padres come to town this week.
Those same Padres will face Vince Velasquez, who shut down the Mets in his first start back from a forearm contusion last time out. Peripherally, he isn't quite as strong as Pivetta, but it's hard to knock 10.5 strikeouts per nine innings.
German Marquez has been money on the road all season, delivering a 2.62 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and 9.2 strikeouts per nine innings across nine starts, so you have to like his chances at humidor-aided Chase Field. He actually faced the Diamondbacks last time out — and at Coors Field, no less — allowing two earned runs in six innings with eight strikeouts.
Jake Odorizzi has been an exceptional bat-misser this year, but the walks and home runs have overshadowed it. Those aren't as much of a concern against a dreadful Royals offense this week, though, and Odorizzi has been pretty good in three of his past four starts.
One of the keys to Dereck Rodriguez's success this year is where he pitches his home games, putting together a 2.28 in five appearances at AT&T Park. Well, he's on the road this week, but at the AL equivalent, Oakland Alameda Coliseum, where I expect him to continue his steady ways.
If you're not ready to trust Lance Lynn yet despite him turning in a 3.67 ERA with six quality starts in his past 10, you're not alone. The walks have been high and the strikeouts inconsistent. But that Royals matchup is so juicy that it might just tempt me to take a bite in a week like this one.
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