Aces in the Hole: Week 10

The aces in the hole feature is designed to help readers get a leg up on the opposition by uncovering hidden short-term value on your league’s waiver wire. This feature will analyze a few possible two start pitchers to target for Week 10. Only pitchers owned in less than 40% of both Y! and ESPN leagues will be examined in this piece. If you seek two start options for the current week, click here. For a close look at week 9 streaming options, Rob Adams presents his Week 9 Stream Team right here.

Last week’s recommended options were absolutely awesome. Hopefully, you had them both in your lineups.

Dallas Keuchel: Keuchel came within a Mike trout infield hit away from a complete game shutout in his first start and only allowed 4 hits and 1 unearned run in his second. The final line:
17.2 IP, 14 K, 2 wins, 1.02 ERA and .57 WHIP

Josh Beckett: Beckett threw a no hitter on Sunday and was the second best pitcher here. Amazing.
14 IP, 12 K, 2 wins, 2.57 ERA, .93 WHIP


Two Start Pitchers

There are not really any great options this week, but there are plenty of solid ones. Owners should have no trouble finding a decent option if they are willing to take on a little risk.

Henderson Alvarez, Miami Marlins vs. TB (Cobb), @CHC (Samardzija)

Alvarez is owned in 12% of Y! leagues and 4% of ESPN leagues.

Note: Alvarez’s rotation spot is currently slated to go twice, but the Marlins will have an opportunity to skip Randy Wolf this week. If they choose to do so, Alvarez could end up with two starts in week 9 instead of week 10.

Pros: Alvarez does not get many whiffs, but he induces a lot of ground balls, and he does a good job limiting walks and HRs. The Rays offense has been slightly below average against RHPs so far this year and the Cubs have been among the league’s worst with a wOBA of .286. The matchups appear positive and Alvarez is a solid pitcher.

Cons: Alvarez struggles a little bit on the road and he has a reputation for being inconsistent. He can twirl a no-hitter one outing and get shelled in the next.

Final Verdict: Alvarez is my favorite 2 start option for week 10. Obviously if he gets moved up and pitches this Sunday, you will want to find a better option.

Henderson Alvarez: Green Light: All Systems Go!

Tom Koehler, Miami Marlins vs. TB (Archer) @CHC (Arrieta?)

Koehler is owned in 35% of Y! leagues and 27% of ESPN leagues.

Pros: Koehler has seen his ownership rates surge lately due to his sparkly 3.10 ERA and 1.16 WHIP. The matchups here are positive as neither team fares very well against righties. Koehler has done a good job avoiding hard contact with a 16% LD rate.

Cons: Despite the low LD rate, it looks like Koehler’s run will be over soon. His K/BB rate is only 1.67 and his BABIP is .229. When you put it all together, Koehler has an xFIP of 4.47, so I am not exactly confident in his abilities.

Final Verdict: Koehler’s matchups are fine, but he is not that good. Don’t assume he is a good option because of his YTD numbers.

Tom Koehler: Yellow Light: Proceed with Caution.

Jaime Garcia, St. Louis Cardinals vs. KC (Shields) @TOR (Hendricks)

Garcia is owned in 7% of Y! leagues and 6% of ESPN leagues.

Pros: In two outings, Garcia has seen a velocity spike (90.7 average fastball velocity would be a career high) and he has yet to walk a batter. He is striking out nearly a batter an inning and he has never been known for Ks. If Garcia can keep this up, he will be a must own in short order. Garcia’s matchup against the Royals looks streamable.

Cons: The matchup in Toronto looks scary. Between that and the small sample size with which to analyze his performance, there is enough here to make owners worry.

Final Verdict: Owners with roster space should add Garcia right now, but maybe wait before inserting him in lineups. He makes for a potentially rewarding, but risky play in week 10.

Jaime Garcia: Yellow Light: Proceed with Caution.

Danny Duffy, Kansas City Royals @STL (Miller) vs. NYY (Phelps)

Duffy is owned in 19% of Y! leagues and 8% of ESPN leagues.

Pros: Duffy has enjoyed a high level of success since being moved to the rotation. He is absolutely lethal against lefties (.092 wOBA!) and he has done a great job avoiding the HR. He has only allowed 2 long balls in over 55 IP the last two seasons, both of which coming in his last start. The matchups are pretty neutral this week. The Yankees are above average against lefties and the Cardinals are surprisingly among the league’s worst.

Cons: Duffy has been living right. His ERA is more than 2 full runs below his xFIP. He walks too many (1.75 K/BB), and is enjoying a .202 BABIP despite a LD rate near 24%.

Final Verdict: Beware the hype! Duffy has some nice long-term potential, but his current numbers are a mirage. The correction is coming.

Danny Duffy: Red Light: Use at Your Own Risk.


Additional Two Start Options

Yellow Light: Proceed with Caution

Charlie Morton, Pittsburgh Pirates @SD, vs. MIL- Morton is a solid pitcher with above average matchups. I would surely start him over Koehler and Duffy.

Jorge De la Rosa, Colorado Rockies vs. ARZ, vs. LAD- De la Rosa has pitched well lately (especially at home) but I still have a hard time recommending guys with 2 starts at Coors Field.

Roberto Hernandez, Philadelphia Phillies vs. NYM @CIN- Hernandez has good matchups and his sinker has been working lately. He is a low upside, but solid week 10 option.

David Phelps, New York Yankees vs. SEA, @KC- Phelps is more of a wild card, but he has pitched well since entering the rotation and he has two good matchups. His K ability gives him a higher ceiling than the others mentioned here, but he is much riskier too.


Red Light: Use at Your Own Risk

Bud Norris, Baltimore Orioles @TEX, vs. OAK- Norris is pitching very well, but the matchups here are not great. There are plenty of solid options this week, so Norris goes here.

Jake Arrieta, Chicago Cubs vs. NYM, vs. MIA- The matchups are pretty good, but Arrieta may get skipped at some point. There is too much risk here to trust him.

Bartolo Colon, New York Mets @PHI, @SF- Colon has been awful on the road this year. You can do better.

Kyle Gibson, Minnesota Twins @MIL, vs. HOU- Good matchups, mediocre pitcher.

Eric Stults, San Diego Padres vs. PIT, vs. WAS- Both teams hit lefties well. There are better plays this week.

Ricky Nolasco, Minnesota Twins @MIL, vs. HOU- Good matchups,bad pitcher.

Jared Cosart, Houston Astros vs. LAA, @MIN- Both teams do well against righties, so Cosart is a no go.

Liam Hendricks, Toronto Blue Jays @DET, vs. STL- Not trusting an unproven pitcher in these matchups.

Chase Anderson, Arizona Diamondbacks @COL, vs. ATL- Young pitcher at Coors? No thanks.


Rainouts and rotation changes can strike at any minute, so be sure to check back in the comment section for updates. If your league has a Sunday night line-up deadline, feel free to ask me your SP questions on twitter (@tlandseadel). I will respond to any question posed before 9 PM EST.

Keep in mind, all of the pitchers analyzed here are high risk options. Some will pan out, some will not. I would never advise anyone to start a mediocre two-start option or a streamer instead of a bona fide fantasy ace. These suggestions may make sense for owners in points leagues and category based leagues that tend to reward quantity over quality. They are best used to supplement your pitching staff, not to support it. If your league uses an innings maximum and/or rewards a quality focus, then you might want to set your standards a little higher.

Tommy Landseadel

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Tommy is also known as tlance on the CBS and Sports Hoopla message boards. He has been playing fantasy baseball for 16 years in many different format types and looks forward to helping you with your fantasy baseball questions! You can now follow me on Twitter @tlandseadel

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