I’m going to be honest.
With Fantasy Football season right around the corner, I have almost placed baseball in the rear view mirror. For that, I apologize. Both are incredibly fun and addicting, but the fact that football is actually starting up soon is very exciting. But yes, fantasy baseball is in the now and as we approach Week 13, fantasy owners need to start winning now if they want to make their league playoffs. So, without further ado, let’s highlight some two-start options for this week’s action.
C.J. Wilson, Los Angeles Angels (@DET, @HOU): After struggling in the beginning of the season, Wilson has been coming around as of late. His outing on Wednesday was an impressive one, allowing no runs, surrendering just two hits and striking out three. It was his second consecutive win and Wilson continues to induce groundballs (32 over last three starts). He is still fifth in the AL in walks (40), but has been much better lately, only walking eight batters over his past five starts. His first start of the week at Detroit will be a true test, but even if he throws a stinker in that contest, he will be worth the start alone after he faces the Astros. This ball club is ranked 24th in walks (193) and first in strikeouts (723, the only team in the 700’s). Wilson should flourish in that matchup, and if the Angels give him run support in Detroit, could be in line for a dominant week.
Kyle Kendrick, Philadelphia Phillies (@SD, @LAD): After bouncing around the bullpen for a few seasons, Kendrick has cemented his role in the Phillies rotation. He is sporting a solid 6-4 record with a 3.56 ERA and 62 strikeouts. An impressive number is two, as in the number of complete games Kendrick has posted. His last outing was a strong one against the Nationals, in which he struck out nine and only allowed one run, but the bullpen blew it in the ninth. Kendrick is a solid two-start option this week against a Dodgers team that is injury-ridden and is ranked 28th in runs scored this year. Kendrick isn’t a huge strikeout guy, but he to has been inducing groundballs, sporting a GB % of 49.8, his highest since the 2009 season. There may be a bit of luck involved here, as his strand rate stands at 76.6%, his highest since 2007. But hey, we aren’t complaining, and fantasy owners should ride him while he is productive.
Jeff Locke, Pittsburgh Pirates (@SEA, MIL): Locke has been a pleasant surprise in fantasy land here in 2013. Through 15 starts, he is 6-1 with an ERA of 2.01 and 63 strikeouts. He hasn’t been necessarily overpowering batters with his pitches, but his groundball percentage (53.5) is the 11th highest in baseball. And if you want to talk about getting a little lucky, look no further than Locke. His strand rate is the highest in the majors at 85.6%. Still, his 2.01 ERA is something to smile about, which is 1st in the NL and pitching against the Mariners gives him opportunity to keep it that low. The Mariners currently rank 26th in runs scored with 277. Don’t expect strong strikeout numbers, but he won’t surrender many runs and will have a terrific chance to win in both of these outings.
Ervin Santana, Kansas City Royals (ATL, @MIN): After a rough start to the season, Santana has looked strong in the month of June. He has posted four straight quality starts in which he has gone at least seven innings and has lowered his ERA to a strong 2.64. Unfortunately, Santana only received wins in two of those four starts, thanks to some awful run support from his Royals. Still, he has a 0.94 ERA, 20 strikeouts and just three earned runs over four starts here in the month of June. There is a theme here about groundball percentage, and again, Santana’s is the highest of his career (46.7). Santana also seems to be in more control on the mound this year, sporting a BB/9 of 1.36, the lowest of his career. That lack of walks results in a sub-one WHIP (0.98), the 5th best in the AL. Santana has always had the stuff to be great, and now that he is dealing as of late, he makes for a strong two-start guy in Week 13.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.