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Fantasy Baseball 2014: Pitchers To Consider For Week 8

Garrett Richards

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

 

Oh, so you are looking to replace Jose Fernandez.

In the creepy tone of the guy from the movie Taken, “Good luck.”

You aren’t finding Fernandez on the waiver wire. Heck, you aren’t finding a guy with half of Fernandez’s talent on the waiver wire. And yes, I am doing a terrible, terrible job of making you feel better. If you lost the best young arm in baseball to that dreaded Tommy John (I hate that guy), you are either going to have to try trading for another ace or stream pitchers each week.

However, you should be streaming two-start pitchers every week anyway.

Garrett Richards, Los Angeles Angels (vs HOU, vs KC)- Henry Rowengartner has nothing on Richards, who throws some serious heat. In fact, his 96 mph fastball velocity is the second-highest in all of baseball, and it’s really helped him see an uptick in strikeouts. But it’s been more than that. His heater is moving more, sinking quite a bit, which is a huge reason for his career high 9.35 strikeouts per nine innings. Richards has been awesome, and now he gets two home matchups in pitcher friendly Los Angeles against an Astros offense that strikes out the 6th-most times per game, as well as an inconsistent Royals unit that is scoring just 3.83 runs per game, the 8th-fewest in the majors. Richards is a must-start.

Ian Kennedy, San Diego Padres (vs MIN, vs CHC)- If you want strikeouts, Kennedy is your guy, as he has fanned 32 batters over his last four outings, raising his strikeout rate to 26.4 percent. He’s been really good lately, and if the Padres could just score some runs, we’d be looking at better overall fantasy results. This could be the week, however, as not only are the Twins and Cubs two weak offenses, but they are also two of the worst rotations in baseball. Both these offenses rank first and second in strikeouts per game (9.28, 9.15), so the strikeouts should continue from Kennedy this week. They are also both home starts, and there may not be a better pitcher park than Petco. The Twins’ offense is finally regressing, and if the Padres’ offense can be just serviceable, Kennedy could be in line for two wins with strong strikeout potential.

Dallas Keuchel, Houston Astros (@LAA, vs SEA)- Keuchel has been stellar lately, going nine, 7.2 and six innings over his last three starts, racking up 17 strikeouts and winning two games. He’s been a bright spot for the Astros’ rotation, and he gets two decent matchups in pitcher friendly venues. He has been a major ground ball guy, getting over 65 percent of his outs in such fashion, and the Mariners don’t scare me with their bats all that much. While the Angels have players, their offense has those nights where they really struggle.

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