2021 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers: Week 15 Two-Start Pitchers, Spot Starters & Hitter Streamers
Here are The Game Day’s Week 15 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers: 2-Start Pitchers, Spot Starters, & Hitter Picks. Use Josh Shepardson’s Week 15 MLB Sleepers to fill out your fantasy baseball lineups with upside plays.
Week 15 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers
Week 15 Fantasy Baseball 2-Start Pitchers To Add From Waiver Wire
Steven Matz, Toronto Blue Jays (45% rostered in Yahoo! fantasy baseball leagues)
- Start 1: at Baltimore Orioles
- Start 2: at Tampa Bay Rays
Steven Matz’sreturn from the injured list didn’t go swimmingly. He was limited to just 48 pitches, and the Seattle Mariners hung four runs on him in only 2.2 innings. Nonetheless, I’m suggesting using him for this two-start week before the All-Star break.
Matz’s 4.60 ERA isn’t good. However, his 3.79 SIERA, per FanGraphs, is adequate. Ditto for his 24.8 K%. The matchups are a mixed bag, with the Baltimore Orioles ranking fourth in wRC+ (111) and the Tampa Bay Rays ranking 21st (93) against southpaws this year. The latter matchup provides huge strikeout potential, as the Rays have punched out in 27.6% of their plate appearances against southpaws.
- Steven Matz fantasy baseball tip: The two-start pitcher pickings are slim. Matz is the best of the lot, though. He’s a dice roll in 12-team fantasy baseball leagues and a viable option in anything deeper.
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Jon Gray, Colorado Rockies (26%)
- Start 1: at Arizona Diamondbacks
- Start 2: at San Diego Padres
Let me address the elephant in the room first. Remarkably, Jon Gray has a higher ERA on the road this year and in his career than at home. It doesn’t make sense.
Regardless, the righty’s underlying stats are better than his 4.58 ERA on the road. Namely, he has a 3.89 FIP and 3.99 xFIP in road tilts in his career.
Overall this year, Gray has a 3.89 ERA, 4.55 SIERA, 1.24 WHIP, 9.8 BB%, 20.6 K%, and 28.0 CSW%. They’re not the most tantalizing statistics, but they’re far from disastrous. Seriously, the two-start pitching options are woeful, and at least he draws the lowly Arizona Diamondbacks for one of the starts. The Snakes rank 29th in wRC+ (81) against righties and 29th in wRC+ (75) over the last 30 days.
- Jon Gray fantasy baseball tip: Gray’s a usable option in 14-team mixers or larger fantasy baseball leagues. Further, he’s a more desirable option in leagues with daily lineup changes, where you can start him for the game against the Diamondbacks and bench him against the San Diego Padres.
Kwang Hyun Kim, St. Louis Cardinals (21%)
- Start 1: at San Francisco Giants
- Start 2: at Chicago Cubs
I’m perplexed by Kwan Hyun Kim beating his ERA estimators. Still, the southpaw’s the owner of a 3.79 ERA this year and 2.93 ERA through 98.1 innings since coming stateside last year, significantly better than his 4.65 SIERA in 2021 and 4.79 SIERA for his career. So I’m not buying into him continuing to defy the gap over the long haul.
However, the results are good enough to justify using him for a two-start week, hoping he staves off regression a little longer. The San Francisco Giants provide him a challenging matchup, ranking tied for seventh in wRC+(105) against southpaws this season. The Chicago Cubs are a softer matchup, though, ranking tied for 15th with a 99 wRC+ and striking out at a gaudy 26.5% rate.
- Kwang Hyun Kim fantasy baseball tip: Kim’s essentially on even footing with Gray, and it’s a coin flip between who I’d prefer cast a dart in the direction of in 14-team mixers or larger leagues.
Week 15 Fantasy Baseball Spot Starters To Add From Waiver Wire
Ross Stripling, Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays (35%)
Ross Striplingisn’t treated to two starts. However, if all four of the pitchers featured in this space are available in your fantasy baseball league, he gets the nod for me over the two-start pitchers.
Coincidentally, Stripling’s turnaround for the season came in his only bulk-reliever appearance of the year against this week’s opponent, the Tampa Bay Rays. He made that appearance on May 24, and he’s the owner of a sterling 2.45 ERA, 3.83 SIERA, 0.92 WHIP, 6.3 BB%, 24.7 K%, and 26.4 CSW% across 40.1 innings pitched since then.
- Ross Stripling fantasy baseball tip: The Rays are a challenging matchup, ranking tied for ninth in wRC+ (104) against righties. However, Stripling’s rolling, and the Rays are punch-out prone with a 26.2 K% against righties this year. Stripling’s worth a look in leagues as shallow as 12-team mixers.
Week 15 MLB Sleeper Hitters To Add From Waiver Wire
Odubel Herrera, OF, Philadelphia Phillies (15%)
- 4 Games at Chicago Cubs
- 3 Games at Boston Red Sox
The Philadelphia Phillies have seven games on the docket, and six of them are against righties this week. Odubel Herrera’sbeen better against lefties than righties this year. However, the left-handed-hitting outfielder’s fared better with the platoon advantage in his career.
Philadelphia’s leadoff hitter should benefit from the club facing seven average or worse starters this week — with Adbert Alzolay standing out as the possible exception if he returns to pre-blister form. Further, a trip to hitter-friendly Fenway Park is a cherry on top.
Gavin Sheets, 1B, Chicago White Sox (5%)
- 3 Games at Minnesota Twins
- 3 Games at Baltimore Orioles
I wanted to provide a deep-league option, and with Gavin Sheets on just 5 percent of Yahoo! rosters, he qualifies as just that. The rookie has wasted no time rewarding the Chicago White Sox for promoting him. In his first 17 plate appearances, he’s hit .400/.412/.933 with two homers, three runs, and eight RBIs.
Save for a matchup with Jose Berrios this week; the pitching matchups are drool-inducing. Additionally, he’ll take cuts against two of MLB’s worst bullpens. The Minnesota Twins have the fifth-highest reliever ERA (4.93), and the Baltimore Orioles are one spot behind them in sixth with a 4.85 ERA.