Here are The Game Day’s Week 14 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers: 2-Start Pitchers, Spot Starters, & Hitter Picks. Use Josh Shepardson’s Week 14 MLB Sleepers to fill out your fantasy baseball lineups with upside plays.
Week 14 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers
Week 14 Fantasy Baseball 2-Start Pitchers To Add From Waiver Wire
Nick Pivetta, Boston Red Sox (46% rostered in Yahoo! fantasy baseball leagues)
- Start 1: vs. Kansas City Royals
- Start 2: at Oakland Athletics
Nick Pivetta teased what was to come in two starts for the Boston Red Sox last year. His 1.80 ERA overstated how good he was. However, his 4.13 SIERA is nearly identical to his 4.14 SIERA this year.
The 28-year-old righty hasn’t been a model of consistency from start to start. Although, the overall production has been stellar. According to FanGraphs, in 15 starts totaling 81.0 innings, he’s recorded a 4.00 ERA, 11.1 BB%, 27.6 K%, 1.26 WHIP, and 27.4 CSW%. He has a plus matchup to start the week against the Kansas City Royals, as they rank 22nd in wRC+ (89) against righties. The Oakland Athletics are a less challenging matchup than they appear on paper because leadoff hitter Mark Canha is on the injured list.
- Nick Pivetta fantasy baseball tip: Pivetta’s easily the two-start pitcher I feel most comfortable touting for this week. That’s relatively speaking, though, as he’s a fringe option in 12-team mixers.
Caleb Smith, Arizona Diamondbacks (14%)
- Start 1: at St. Louis Cardinals
- Start 2: vs. San Francisco Giants
Caleb Smith has a semi-daunting two-step this week. The St. Louis Cardinals rank 16th in wRC+ (98) against southpaws in 2021, and the San Francisco Giants rank fourth in wRC+ (110) against them. Regardless, he’s excelled — albeit significantly outperforming his 4.77 SIERA — since returning to the rotation this month.
In five starts totaling 26.1 innings this month, he has a 2.73 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 12.8 BB%, 24.8 K%, and 27.0 CSW%. However, Smith’s previously demonstrated the ability to perform well around below-average walk rates, so I’m viewing his true talent somewhere between his excellent 2.73 ERA and poor 4.77 SIERA.
- Caleb Smith fantasy baseball tip: Smith’s a pinch behind Pivetta as my favorite widely available two-start pitcher, worthy of using in 14-team mixers and larger, and a fringe option in 12-team mixers.
Bailey Ober, Minnesota Twins (2%)
- Start 1: at Chicago White Sox
- Start 2: at Kansas City Royals
Bailey Ober’s 4.64 ERA and 1.31 WHIP certainly don’t scream to stream. However, his 3.69 SIERA is enticing. The rookie hurler has a superb 4.4 BB%, and his 25.6 K% is stellar, too.
Ober entered the year, reportedly throwing his fastball in the upper-80s and backing it with a plus changeup, curve, and slider. FanGraphs credits him with an average fastball velocity of 91.8 mph, a minimum of 88.2 mph, and a max of 94.2 mph this year.
The newfound velo adds to the appeal of a hurler who dominated in the minors, despite being a soft-tosser. The Chicago White Sox represents a middle-of-the-pack matchup this week, and the Royals are a plus draw.
- Bailey Ober fantasy baseball tip: Ober’s a usable option in 14-team mixers. However, unlike Pivetta and Smith, I’m not yet ready to deem him even a fringe option in 12-team mixers.
Week 14 Fantasy Baseball Spot Starters To Add From Waiver Wire
Drew Smyly, Atlanta Braves vs. New York Mets (21%)
Drew Smyly opposes Jacob deGrom in his start against the New York Mets, greatly reducing his odds of earning a win. Regardless, he’s pitched well enough over the last nearly two months to warrant streaming consideration anyway.
In his last nine starts dating back to May 6, he has a 3.51 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 7.9 BB%, 19.2 K%, and 25.8 CSW%. Sure, his 4.68 SIERA suggests the other shoe will drop at some point, but I’m willing to suggest rolling the dice with him this week in a plus matchup. The New York Mets rank tied for 22nd in wRC+ (90) against lefties in 2021.
- Drew Smyly fantasy baseball tip: Smyly’s a fringe option in 12-team mixers this week.
Week 14 MLB Sleeper Hitters To Add From Waiver Wire
C.J. Cron, 1B, Colorado Rockies (48%)
- 3 Games vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
- 4 Games vs. St. Louis Cardinals
C.J. Cron’s full-season totals are ho-hum. He’s excelled at home, though. In 122 plate appearances at Coors Field this year, he’s smacked eight homers, with 20 runs, 24 RBIs, and a .299/.385/.607 slash.
He’s home for seven games this week, and his pitching matchups are Charmin-soft. Cron’s going to mash this week.
Abraham Toro, 3B, Houston Astros (12%)
- 3 Games vs. Baltimore Orioles
- 4 Games at Cleveland Indians
Abraham Toro’s another hitter who benefits from a seven-game week and drool-inducing pitching matchups. He struggled early in the season. However, he’s raked filling in for an injured Alex Bregman.
In 35 plate appearances since rejoining the Houston Astros this month, he’s hit .333/.429/.533 with five runs, two homers, 10 RBIs, and one stolen base. There’s a shelf life on his fantasy value with Bregman eventually returning. Still, he won’t reach his expiration date this week, making him a viable streamer.