2-start pitchers to pick up in fantasy
Is your fantasy starting pitching staff struggling? Or maybe you just need to gain some ground in strikeouts? Then consider adding these hurlers, who are all scheduled to make two starts in Week 13.
12-team mixed leagues
Mike Leake (vs. MIN, vs. MIL)
After suffering through a rough three-start stretch (May 16-27) during which he posted a 12.86 ERA and a 2.50 WHIP, Leake has gotten back on track, allowing three runs or fewer in each of his past five outings. Although the Reds righty cannot be relied upon for a high strikeout rate, control has never been an issue, as he boasts a career 2.3 BB/9 mark. Leake does not deserve a permanent spot on 12-team mixed league rosters at this time, but he's a fine starting option when the matchups are favorable, especially in two-start weeks. The Brewers rank 26th in the Majors in runs this season and 28th in average. And though the Twins have been a middle-of-the-pack offense overall, only one team (the Mets) has scored fewer runs on the road.
Kendall Graveman (vs. COL, vs. SEA)
Graveman's strong performance this spring earned him a spot in the A's Opening Day starting rotation, but his April struggles resulted in a demotion to the Minors. Since being recalled, however, the 24-year-old righty has registered six quality starts in seven tries, and he's been particularly sharp of late, pitching to a 2.31 ERA through five June starts. Next week's opponents -- the Mariners and Rockies -- rank 25th and 28th, respectively, in runs scored on the road.
Marco Estrada (vs. BOS, @DET)
Fresh off a dominant performance against the Rays on Wednesday, during which he tossed 8 2/3 shutout innings, Estrada will face a tough test next week. His opponents -- the Red Sox and Tigers -- rank in the top half of the American League in runs scored and in the top five in average in June. These matchups make Estrada a borderline option when it comes to 12-team mixed leagues, but his recent numbers are too impressive to discount. As a result, I would ultimately lean toward starting him in all mixed leagues with 12 or more teams. After all, the Toronto righty has notched five quality starts in his past six outings, earning four wins along the way.
Deeper mixed leagues
Nathan Karns (vs. CLE, @NYY)
The matchup on the road against the Yankees would scare me off from Karns in 12-team mixed leagues, but in deeper formats, I think he's worth the risk for this two-start week. Karns still needs to learn how to pitch deeper into games, as he's averaging only 5 2/3 innings per start. On the whole, however, his first full big league season has been an overwhelming success. Plus, the Indians' offense has been quiet lately, with Cleveland ranked 14th in the AL in runs scored this month.
Mat Latos (vs. SF, @CHC)
The 2015 season has been frustrating for Latos and his fantasy owners. The Marlins righty posted a 6.12 ERA in his first nine starts before missing several weeks due to injury. But since his return from the DL, the righty has been better (4.12 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 20-to-6 K/BB ratio in 19 2/3 frames). These matchups are not particularly favorable, which is why I would avoid Latos in shallower leagues. That said, his solid big league track record and strikeout potential give him value in deeper formats.
Kyle Hendricks (@NYM, vs. MIA)
Of all the pitchers discussed here, I'm the least confident in Hendricks, so he's more of a very deep mixed league or National League-only option. But despite his recent inconsistency, he certainly has the potential to help fantasy owners next week. Both the Mets and Marlins rank in the bottom third of the NL in runs scored, meaning Hendricks has the matchups on his side.