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Pitching Primer: Week 13

Fri Jun 18 9:00am ET
By MIKE BARNER
Contributing Writer

Several teams have light schedules in Week 13, which doesn’t leave us with a ton of projected two-start pitchers. With that being said, let’s discuss the following five pitchers who are projected to start twice each, and what to expect from them in their matchups.

Blake Snell, San Diego Padres: vs. LAD, vs. ARI

Snell was hammered in his last start, giving up seven runs over 3 1/3 innings to the Rockies at Coors Field. While that’s obviously a difficult place to pitch, it marked the third time in his last five starts that Snell allowed at least five runs. That’s left him with a bloated 5.72 ERA. On the bright side, his FIP is much better at 4.37 and he’s still missing a lot of bats, recording a 30.4 percent strikeout rate.

While his first start of the week against the Dodgers might seem like a potentially dangerous matchup, their lineup is compromised with Cody Bellinger (hamstring), Max Muncy (oblique) and Corey Seager (hand) on the IL. His second start of the week is a favorable one against the Diamondbacks, who have the eighth-worst OPS in baseball. Add in his strikeout upside and Snell is still worth starting in most leagues.

Frankie Montas, Oakland Athletics: at TEX, at SF

After a disappointing 2020 season, Montas has bounced back to record a 4.21 ERA and a 3.69 FIP across his first 14 starts of 2021. He’s not only cut back on the rate at which he’s allowed home runs, but he’s also lowered his walk rate by four percentage points to 5.7 percent. In fact, he’s issued just three walks across 24 innings over his last four starts.

Montas will start off the week with a favorable matchup against the Rangers, who have the fifth-worst OPS in baseball. The Giants will be a tougher foe, especially with Mike Yastzemski recently being reinstated from the IL. However, with how well he’s pitched and a juicy matchup against the Rangers, Montas is still a viable starting option in most league.

Kyle Gibson, Texas Rangers: vs. OAK, vs. KC

Gibson’s first two seasons with the Rangers couldn’t be much more contrasting. He was awful in 2020, recording a 5.35 ERA and a 5.39 FIP. However, he’s bounced back with a 2.09 ERA and 3.11 FIP this season. There have been two main areas for his improvement. One, he’s only allowed 0.6 HR/9, compared to 1.6 HR/9 allowed last season. Also, he’s reduced his WHIP from 1.53 to 1.03.

Gibson has particularly thrived at home this season, posting a 2.79 FIP and a 0.88 WHIP. That’s where both of his matchups will be in Week 13. The A’s are no pushover, but the Royals have hovered around the bottom-third of the league in OPS for much of the season. That start alone makes him someone to keep in your starting lineup.

Mike Minor, Kansas City Royals: at NYY, at TEX

Minor is the definition of a matchup-dependent pitcher in fantasy. He hasn’t had the best of seasons, but he hasn’t been a total disaster, either, given his 4.63 ERA and 4.10 FIP. In fact, his 1.15 WHIP is on pace to be his best mark since 2018. Also, he’s sporting a 26.3 percent strikeout rate, which is his highest mark since 2017.

As mentioned previously, the Rangers have struggled offensively, so Minor has at least one matchup working in his favor for the week. The Yankees haven’t been great, but they are a right-handed heavy lineup that can go off any given night, especially at home. If you need strikeouts, then Minor is still worth starting. However, there is the potential that he does some damage to your team ERA.

Johan Oviedo, St. Louis Cardinals: at DET, vs. PIT

Oviedo is coming off of his best start of the season when he pitched seven scoreless innings against the Marlins. Prior to that outing, he hadn’t pitched more than five innings in a game all season, so it was also encouraging to see him finally give the Cardinals some length. If there was a negative, though, it’s that he only had four strikeouts. That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, either, given his 18.7 percent strikeout rate.

If you’re looking for someone to stream this week, it doesn’t get much more appealing than the two matchups that Oviedo has. The Pirates have the worst OPS in baseball and the Tigers aren’t much better, ranking with the sixth-worst mark in the category. Don’t count on Oviedo to provide many strikeouts, but he could provide a boost to your ratios based on these matchups.

Mike Barner has been covering fantasy sports since 2007. His work has appeared in Sports Illustrated, Yahoo, SportsLine and RotoWire. Mike was also a finalist for the 2018 FSWA Basketball Writer of the Year award. Follow Mike on Twitter @rotomikebarner.

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