Here are The Game Day’s Week 17 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers: 2-Start Pitchers, Spot Starters, & Hitter Picks. Use Josh Shepardson’s Week 17 MLB Sleepers to fill out your fantasy baseball lineups with upside plays.
Week 17 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers
Week 17 Fantasy Baseball 2-Start Pitchers To Add From Waiver Wire
Shane McClanahan, Tampa Bay Rays (43% rostered in Yahoo! fantasy baseball leagues)
- Start 1: vs. Baltimore Orioles
- Start 2: at Cleveland Indians
Shane McClanahan boasts a high-octane arsenal. Among starters who’ve thrown at least 20 innings this year, McClanahan’s average fastball velocity (97.2 mph) is tied for the fifth-highest, per FanGraphs. It’s also the highest average velocity among southpaws meeting that innings threshold.
He backs his blazing heater with a slider, curve, and splitter. The rookie southpaw’s utilized his electric stuff to net the 13th-highest called strikes plus whiffs percentage (31.8 CSW%) among all starters who’ve pitched at least 20 innings in 2021. There’s still some refinement that can help him reach the next level. Still, his 28.2 K% is excellent, and the rest of his statistical profile is adequate.
- Shane McClanahan fantasy baseball tip: McClanahan is a talented rookie with the caliber of bat-missing stuff to warrant snagging and holding. As for this week, he’s a two-start pitcher who I’d trust in leagues as shallow as 12-team mixers.
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Caleb Smith, Arizona Diamondbacks (11%)
- Start 1: vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
- Start 2: at Chicago Cubs
Things get a little dicey behind McClanahan for the two-start pitching options this week. Caleb Smith was lit up in his last start, yielding nine runs in only one inning to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Unfortunately, it was his second bad turn in a row.
Nonetheless, his return to the rotation on June 1 has proven a good move more often than not, resulting in six starts of five innings or more and five starts allowing two runs or fewer in eight.
Smith’s largely a matchup-driven suggestion this week. The Pittsburgh Pirates rank dead last in wRC+ (83) against southpaws. The Chicago Cubs are tied for 12th in wRC+ (101) against lefties in 2021. However, they have an exploitable 25.3 K%.
- Caleb Smith fantasy baseball tip: Smith’s been messy in back-to-back starts, enhancing the risk of using him. Regardless, he’s a worthwhile two-start streamer in 14-team mixers or larger formats.
Ross Stripling, Toronto Blue Jays (24%)
- Start 1: vs. Boston Red Sox
- Start 2: at New York Mets
A bullpen appearance as a bulk-reliever turned Ross Stripling’s season around on May 24. Including the bulk-reliever showing, Stripling’s spun a 2.90 ERA, 4.00 SIERA, 0.97 WHIP, 7.6 BB%, 24.9 K%, and 26.8 CSW% since then.
The gap in ERA and SIERA suggests regression on the horizon. Having said that, his 4.00 SIERA is adequate. Before Stripling’s relief appearance, the Boston Red Sox roughed him up, scoring six runs in 3 2/3 innings. He’s since faced them again, allowing four runs in 5 2/3 innings. The matchup with the Red Sox isn’t ideal, creating risk.
- Ross Stripling fantasy baseball tip: Stripling’s a risky option with the Red Sox on the docket. However, the pickings are slim for low-risk two-start pitchers this week, leaving Stripling as the most talented option of the bunch. He’s an option in 14-team mixers or larger formats.
Week 17 Fantasy Baseball Spot Starters To Add From Waiver Wire
Dane Dunning, Texas Rangers at Detroit Tigers (11%)
Dane Dunning has been a five-and-dive starter on his best days for the Texas Rangers this year, amassing only 79 innings in 17 starts. Still, he’s responsible for a viable 4.22 ERA. Further, his 3.83 SIERA, 8.2 BB%, 24.9 K%, and 30.0 CSW% points to better days ahead.
The Detroit Tigers represent a fantasy-friendly matchup for Dunning this week. They’re tied for 18th in wRC+ (89) against right-handed pitchers this year. Of greater note, they have the second-highest strikeout rate (26.7 K%) against them this year.
- Dane Dunning fantasy baseball tip: Dunning’s an excellent option in 14-team mixers and a fringe option 12-team mixers.
Week 17 MLB Sleeper Hitters To Add From Waiver Wire
Akil Baddoo, OF, Detroit Tigers (34%)
- 4 Games vs. Texas Rangers
- 3 Games at Kansas City Royals
The Detroit Tigers are scheduled to play seven games this week. Further, Detroit projects to face at least five right-handed pitchers. Good news for Akil Baddoo, as he thrives against righties. The club’s left-handed hitting outfielder has hit .308/.385/.552 with six homers and 13 stolen bases against righties this year.
Alex Kirilloff, 1B/OF, Minnesota Twins (33%)
- 4 Games at Chicago White Sox
- 4 Games vs. Los Angeles Angels
Volume is king, and the Minnesota Twins are scheduled for a week-high eight games. Alex Kirilloff is a widely available option who hits in the heart of Minnesota’s order against lefties and righties. The rookie got off to a dreadful start through his first 14 plate appearances. However, since then, he’s hit a solid-if-unspectacular .260/.309/.441 with eight homers, 23 runs, 34 RBIs, and one stolen base in 220 plate appearances.