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Offseason | MLB Week 27

Pitching Primer: Week 12

Fri Jun 9 5:33pm ET
Contributing Writer

There aren’t many viable streaming options among the two-start pitchers for Week 12. However, there are some pitchers who are already performing well that could thrive. Let’s highlight five pitchers who are set to take the mound twice each and discuss what their matchups could mean for their fantasy production.

Charlie Morton, Atlanta Braves: at DET, vs. COL

Morton hasn’t been bad for the Braves, posting a 3.89 ERA and a 3.99 FIP. However, his strikeout rate has dipped to 25.1 percent, which is on pace to be his lowest mark since 2020. Also, his WHIP has ballooned to 1.46. He’s clearly at the tail-end of his career, but that doesn’t mean he’s not an important member of the Braves’ starting rotation.

While his WHIP has been a problem, that might not be the case for Morton based on these two matchups. The Tigers have the worst OBP in baseball, which has contributed to them scoring the fewest runs. The Rockies have a .340 OBP at home, but that number plumets to .296 on the road. If there was ever a week for Morton to improve his WHIP, this is it. 

Chris Bassitt, Toronto Blue Jays: at BAL, at TEX

Bassitt mowed down the Astros on Wednesday, allowing two runs over eight innings. He only logged 81 pitches, but the Blue Jays decided to take him out and have closer Jordan Romano preserve their one-run lead. Bassitt has logged at least six innings in 10 of his 13 starts, using a 1.01 WHIP to help keep his pitch count down.

This is not going to be an easy two-start week for Bassitt. The Rangers have scored the most runs in baseball, while the Orioles have scored the eight-most runs. Both teams also do a good job of making contact, ranking inside the bottom-half of baseball in strikeouts. With that being said, Bassitt has quieted some good lineups this season, including a complete game shutout against the Braves. Keep him in your starting lineup.

James Paxton, Boston Red Sox: vs. COL, vs. NYY

Paxton has provided a significant boost to a Red Sox rotation that has dealt with plenty of injuries. He has made five starts since coming off the IL in the middle of May, allowing two or fewer runs in four of them. He has also logged 36 strikeouts over his 26 innings, leaving him with a 33.0 percent strikeout rate. The only season in which he finished with a strikeout rate of at least 30 percent came back in 2018 as a member of the Mariners.

These two matchups could mean more success is on the horizon for Paxton. Facing the Rockies in Boston provides him with a significant boost. The Rockies have a .796 OPS at home, but just a .646 OPS on the road. He will also be catching the Yankees at the right time with both Aaron Judge (toe) and Harrison Bader (hamstring) on IL. With those two hurt, the Yankees have been trotting out the likes of Jake Bauers, Willie Calhoun and Isiah Kiner-Falefa in their outfield.

Jameson Taillon, Chicago Cubs: vs. PIT, vs. BAL

The early returns on the Cubs’ deal with Taillon have not been good. He has a 7.02 ERA over 10 starts, although his FIP hasn’t been as horrible at 4.68. If he is going to get his ERA down to a more respectable number, he’ll need to do significant work on his 1.54 WHIP. He also hasn’t left himself with much of a margin for error with his 20.9 percent strikeout rate.

Taillon might have a big contract, but that doesn’t mean we want to roll with him in fantasy for this two-start week. The Pirates have the sixth-highest road OPS in baseball and we already mentioned how proficient the Orioles have been at scoring runs. More ugly stat lines could be coming for Taillon.

Tony Gonsolin, Los Angeles Dodgers: vs. CWS, vs. SF

Gonsolin hasn’t provided the Dodgers with much length, logging five or fewer innings in five of his eight starts. He also has just 30 strikeouts over his 40 2/3 innings. On the plus side, he has given up only four home runs while compiling a 2.21 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP. His 4.49 FIP is worrisome, but he has generally done a good job of keeping hitters off base, posting a 0.99 WHIP for his career.

These two starts being in Los Angeles is good news for Gonsolin, since he has a career 3.47 FIP and 0.93 WHIP at home. Things could start off nicely against the White Sox, who have the sixth-worst OPS in baseball. Additional strikeouts might be in the cards against the Giants, who have struck out the second-most times in baseball. Be sure that Gonsolin is locked into your starting lineup.

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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