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Pitching Primer: Week 10

Fri May 24 1:46pm ET
By MIKE BARNER
Contributing Writer

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Snell carries some risk this week


There are a bevy of projected two-start pitchers for Week 10, including a couple of big names in Freddy Peralta and Max Fried. Let’s move past them and discuss five other pitchers who are scheduled to take the mound twice and discuss what their matchups could mean for fantasy baseball.

Justin Steele, Chicago Cubs: at MIL, vs. CIN

Steele was sent to the injured list after injuring his hamstring in his first start of the season. He hasn’t looked the same since making his return, giving up at least five runs in each of his last three starts. If there is a bright side, it’s that he has been slowly building his pitch count back up. In his last outing, he threw 93 pitches over 6 1/3 innings against the Braves.

Given Steele’s early injury, it’s not a huge surprise that he has been rusty while working his way back into shape. Now that he is near 100 pitches again, expect his numbers to improve. He is coming off consecutive seasons in which he had a FIP of 3.20 or lower. These could be just the matchups that Steele needs to get back on track, considering that both the Brewers and the Reds rank inside the bottom-half of baseball in OPS versus left-handed pitchers. The Reds have struck out the sixth-most times in baseball, while the Brewers have the 10th-most strikeouts.

Blake Snell, San Francisco Giants: vs. PHI, vs. NYY

It has been a disastrous start to the season for Snell, who has an 11.40 ERA and a 2.07 WHIP. He has walked nine batters over 15 innings and hasn’t made it through the fifth inning in any of his four outings. He is currently on the paternity list, but is not expected to miss his next turn in the rotation since he just took the mound Wednesday.

Signing late in the spring likely didn’t help Snell. He also recently had a stint on the injured list. Up next is matchups against two of the best lineups in baseball. The Phillies have scored the most runs, while the Yankees have scored the third-most runs. Snell might be a big name with an impressive track history, but he should be benched in most leagues for Week 10.

Michael King, San Diego Padres: vs. MIA, at KC

This mark King’s first season in the majors in which he is going to be a full-time starter. The initial results have been underwhelming with his 4.28 ERA and 4.97 FIP. Not one to usually give up a lot of home runs, he has already been taken deep 12 times over 61 innings. He has also shown a lack of control with his 10.6 percent walk rate.

The best part about King for fantasy managers is his ability to miss bats. Even though he hasn’t been as proficient in that department this season, he still has a 25.5 percent strikeout rate. The Marlins are a great matchup, given that they have scored the sixth-fewest runs in baseball. The Royals are more dangerous, though, especially in Kansas City. Still, King’s strikeout upside and first outing against the Marlins makes him worth starting in most leagues.

Charlie Morton, Atlanta Braves: vs. WAS, vs. OAK

Despite being 40 years old, Morton continues to be a reliable member of the Braves starting rotation. After posting a 3.64 ERA and a 3.87 FIP last season, he has a 3.35 ERA and a 3.90 FIP this year. His strikeout rate has declined compared to the last few years, but he’s not exactly a detriment in the department with his 24.8 percent strikeout rate this season.

As far as favorable matchups go, it doesn’t get much better with what awaits Morton in Week 10. First up will be the Nationals, who have scored the third-fewest runs in baseball. He will follow that up by facing an Athletics team that has scored the seventh-fewest runs, while also striking out the second-most times in baseball. Lock Morton into fantasy starting lineups.

Jose Quintana, New York Mets: vs. LAD, vs. ARI

Not one to rack up a ton of strikeouts, Quintana still produced a 3.57 ERA and a 3.52 FIP over 13 starts for the Mets last year. This season has been a struggle, leaving him with a 5.13 ERA and a 4.63 FIP. One of his biggest problems has been allowing a 46.2 percent hard-hit rate. For his career, he has given up a 36.1 percent hard-hit rate.

With how hard Quintana has been hit this season, a matchup against the Dodgers has the potential to be a disaster. Their .766 OPS is the second-highest mark in baseball. Despite Corbin Carroll having an underwhelming season, the Diamondbacks have the 11th-highest OPS in baseball. Even taking the Diamondbacks out of the equation, a matchup against the Dodgers alone means that Quintana should not be deployed in fantasy.

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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