We're getting closer to the trade deadline, so we may be seeing some pitchers on the move very soon. With pitchers potentially on the move, that could make for some interesting new names popping up in this column through the rest of the season.
So while we wait to see who goes on the move, lets take a look at how last week's column is looking. To be frank...it could be better. Andrew Cashner was lit up for five earned runs over five innings (boy could you imagine if somebody ranked him as the best two-start pitcher last week?), and Drew Pomeranz is currently leading the way after allowing one run with four strikeouts over five innings.
There's still time for last week's guys to turn it around, but for now let's take a look at who you need to add for Week 16.
Week 16 Streamers - Under 50% Owned
Daniel Ponce de Leon, STL - 37% owned
Probable opponents: @ PIT, vs HOU
Despite coming off his shortest start of the season, Ponce de Leon has been solid as a starter for St. Louis this year. Currently sporting a 2.90 ERA over five starts with a 9.2 K/9 in 25 1/3 innings, Ponce de Leon struggled against Pittsburgh his last time out as he allowed four runs over 3 2/3 innings. Now he'll get the chance for revenge as he opens the week with another start against the Pirates.
While the Pirates may have had some success against Ponce de Leon in their last matchup, they have shown some struggles over their past 10 games, averaging 4.3 runs and 7.2 strikeouts per game. Ponce de Leon has recorded six or more strikeouts in three of his five starts, and he could very easily reach that mark in his second start against Pittsburgh. The biggest challenge for him this week comes in his second outing against Houston. The Astros have been one of the hottest teams in the league over the last two weeks, averaging 6.7 runs and hitting .298 over their last 10 games, but they have also been striking out at a high clip by averaging 8.6 per game in that span. Ponce de Leon will get a slight boost though thanks to the Astros' batting splits, as they are hitting worse against right-handed starters (.262 average, .804 OPS) than left-handers (.288, .855) and they are also hitting worse on the road (.266, .816) than at home (.275, .823).
Ponce de Leon has a fair amount of risk this week, but there are definitely indicators that he could put up a good week for fantasy. If owners are willing to gamble on the Astros splits favoring Ponce de Leon, they could be rewarded with some good strikeout numbers and maybe a win or two this week.
Martin Perez, MIN - 34% owned
Probable opponents: vs NYY, @ CHW
Perez is in the midst of his best season since his rookie year, as he currently owns an 8-3 record and 4.10 ERA with a career-high 7.9 K/9 with Minnesota. His ERA took a hit during June, but he kept up the strikeouts as he recorded six or more strikeouts in three of his five starts.
Owners looking for strikeouts will love Perez's first start against the Yankees, who are averaging 8.9 strikeouts over their last 10 games. On top of that, the Yankees are also striking out at a slightly higher rate against left-handed starters (24.4 percent) than against right-handers (22.5 percent). The strikeout potential gets even better in his second start against Chicago, as they are averaging 9.4 strikeouts over their last 10 games. Along with the strikeouts, Perez should see a nice week for his ERA, as the Yankees and White Sox are both averaging fewer than 4.4 runs per game over their last 10 games.
It seems like all the pieces are there for Perez to have a big week in fantasy, and after a rough June things appear to be settling down for him in July. If you're looking for the guy with the highest potential this week, look no further than Perez.
Week 16 Streamers - Under 25% Owned
Homer Bailey, OAK - 17% owned
Probable opponents: @ HOU, vs TEX
One of the hottest starting pitchers since the beginning of June, Bailey shined in his Oakland debut with six strikeouts over six innings while allowing just two runs against Seattle. He'll start his week against the Astros, and while he won't benefit from the home-road splits that Ponce de Leon will, Bailey will still get the benefit of Houston's struggles against right-handed starters. After Houston, Bailey will face the Rangers for the third time this season. Bailey struggled in his earlier outings against Texas, but both those starts came before his recent hot streak. The Rangers are averaging 11.5 strikeouts per game over their last 10 games, and Bailey will also get to benefit from their home-road splits, as they are hitting 10 points worse on the road with an OPS nearly 50 points lower than at home.
This week could pose some risk for Bailey's ERA, as the Rangers are averaging 4.7 runs over their last 10 games, while the Astros are averaging 6.7 runs in the same span. But if owners are willing to risk a hit to their ERA, Bailey should provide plenty of strikeouts against a pair of Texas opponents.
Chase Anderson, MIL - 15% owned
Probable opponents: vs CIN, vs CHC
It's been an up-and-down season for Anderson this year, but right now he's on the upswing. Over his last five starts, Anderson has posted a 2.45 ERA with 20 strikeouts in 25 2/3 innings. He'll start off the week against Cincinnati, which is averaging 5.7 runs per game over their last 10 games. While that looks scary to fantasy owners, it looks less daunting once you take out a 17-run and 11-run performance and see that they are averaging 3.6 runs in that span outside of those two games. The Reds are also averaging 8.8 strikeouts over that span, and Anderson will benefit from Cincinnati's struggles against right-handed starters, as they are hitting 32 points worse against them than left-handers. The Cubs on the other hand will provide a greater challenge, as they are averaging 5.8 runs over their last 10 games while hitting .276.
Despite a tough start against Chicago, Anderson should still have a chance to rack up strikeouts as the Cubs are averaging 9.6 strikeouts over their last 10 games. Owners looking at Anderson will have to judge whether they want to risk the Cubs start in order to get the Reds start, but he should provide solid value in Week 16.
Peter Lambert, COL - 2% owned
Probable opponents: @ WAS, @ CIN
Lambert is this week's high-risk, high-reward lottery pick. He has struggled when pitching in Denver, but this week he gets a pair of road starts which should allow him to be a sneaky play in fantasy. He'll start the week off against Washington, which is currently averaging 5.2 runs and 7.4 strikeouts over their last 10 games. Then he'll travel to Cincinnati for (as mentioned before) a much easier start against the Reds, where he will benefit from the same splits that Anderson will.
Lambert is a lottery pick that should be available in virtually any league. If you're picking him up this week, you're hoping for a high-strikeout performance with a potentially lower ERA pitching outside of Coors Field.