Fantasy Baseball 2014: Pitchers To Consider For Week 3

By Adam Pfeifer
Tim Lincecum
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports


If you aren’t streaming pitchers, you’re doing it wrong.

Streaming pitchers is basically the equivalent to streaming defenses in fantasy football. You find someone with a favorable matchup against a weak or struggling offense and plug them in and hope for the best. It’s probably a bit easier to stream pitchers, at least in my opinion. Especially since no NFL defenses play twice in a given week of the season.

Many MLB pitchers do. And many fantasy owners rejoice.

Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants (vs LAD, @SD)


Whatever you do, just don’t play Lincecum against the Diamondbacks, but more importantly, against Paul Goldschmidt, who’s name is now permanently on the back of Lincecum’s jersey. After giving up 11 runs in two meetings to start the season, Week 3 should be much, much easier for Lincecum. He’ll face a dangerous Dodgers lineup, but they’ve been somewhat inconsistent to start the season, and the Giants defense will always keep them in a game. But this is more about his second matchup with a Padres team that he absolutely owns.

The Padres offense currently ranks dead least in runs scored (26) and 15th in strikeouts (88). Lincecum, though getting rocked, still struck out 12 batters in his first two starts, and still has the stuff to fan batters. This offense strikes out quite a bit, and Lincecum has had insane amounts of success against San Diego. Over the last three seasons, he is sporting an ERA of 2.72, striking out an insane 97 batters and winning eight of 13 starts. Fire him up this week and prepare for a rebound.

Zack Wheeler, New York Mets (@ARI, vs ATL)

Wheeler has some very nice stuff, but has been defeated in his first two starts of the season. He lacked run support in both outings, but also showed lack of command, working too deep into the count at times. In fact, it took him 96 pitches to get through just five innings on Wednesday. Still, with two starts on tap, he’s very viable, especially since he has some strikeout potential, whiffing six batters per game in his first two starts. The Braves offense has not been as strong as they look on paper, averaging just 3.27 runs per game this year (27th).

Yordano Ventura, Kansas City Royals (@HOU, vs MIN)

Henry Rowengartner has nothing on Ventura’s velocity.

Many fantasy owners were super excited about Ventura’s prospects for the 2014 campaign, and the Royals weren’t sure if they should use his velocity in the bullpen or in the rotation. We are fortunate to watch him pitch multiple innings. According to Pitch/FX, Ventura’s fastball averaged (!) 99.5 mph during his first start, while he ultimately set an MLB record with a heater that topped out at an insane 102.9-mph. Whenever you throw that hard, strikeouts will come, and Ventura sat down a solid six in his first start of the season. Now he’s a two-start option against an Astros offense that is always picked on for streaming purpose and a Twins offense that is exceeding expectations, and I expect them to regress to the mean in a big way. The Astros, meanwhile, don’t hit the fastball all that well, so I like Ventura quite a bit this week.

Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.




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