Here are The Game Day’s Week 18 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers: 2-Start Pitchers, Spot Starters, & Hitter Picks. Use Josh Shepardson’s Week 18 MLB Sleepers to fill out your fantasy baseball lineups with upside plays.
Week 18 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers
Week 18 Fantasy Baseball 2-Start Pitchers To Add From Waiver Wire
Shane McClanahan, Tampa Bay Rays (48% rostered in Yahoo! fantasy baseball leagues)
- Start 1: vs. New York Yankees
- Start 2: vs. Boston Red Sox
Shane McClanahan has a potentially tricky setup next week, drawing the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. However, he’s pitched so well that it’s hard to be worried about matchups for him.
According to FanGraphs, the rookie lefty sports a 3.88 ERA, 3.56 SIERA, 1.25 WHIP, 8.1 BB%, 28.6K% and 32.0 CSW% in 14 starts spanning 65 innings. He hasn’t slowed down since Major League Baseball’s cracked down on foreign substance usage, either.
- Shane McClanahan fantasy baseball tip: McClanahan is a stellar option next week in leagues as shallow as 12-team mixers.
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Michael Pineda, Minnesota Twins (38%)
- Start 1: vs. Detroit Tigers
- Start 2: at St. Louis Cardinals
A couple of tasty matchups thrust Michael Pineda into the two-start streamer mix. He’s pitched adequately this year, recording a 3.93 ERA that bests his less-impressive 4.27 SIERA. The veteran righty’s a run-of-the-mill option.
However, the matchups are tantalizing. The Detroit Tigers rank 17th in wRC+ (92) against righties this year, with an exploitable 26.1 K%. The St. Louis Cardinals don’t punch out as often, with just a 22.1 K% against righties. With that said, they’re a less-imposing offense, ranking tied for 25th in wRC+ (86) against right-handed pitchers.
- Michael Pineda fantasy baseball tip: Like McClanahan, Pineda’s a viable option in 12-team mixers or larger formats.
- Read our Week 18 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Top MLB Pickups + Sleeper Stashes
Kyle Muller, Atlanta Braves (19%)
- Start 1: at New York Mets
- Start 2: vs. Milwaukee Brewers
Kyle Muller starts his week slated to pitch in one of Monday’s doubleheader contests. The potential for a complete game is there since MLB is utilizing seven-inning games for doubleheaders again this year, something to consider in leagues with bonuses for complete games.
The rookie lefty has pitched to a 2.41 ERA, 4.53 SIERA, 0.96 WHIP, 14.9 BB%, 29.7 K% and 29.9 CSW% in four starts. Unpacking all of those numbers, he’s likely due for regression, as his SIERA indicates he’s been rather lucky. Further, his control is below average. Nonetheless, his strikeout ability and favorable matchups place him in the two-start streamer mix.
- Kyle Muller fantasy baseball tip: Muller makes it three-for-three for suggested two-start streamers useful in leagues as shallow as 12-team mixers.
Week 18 Fantasy Baseball Spot Starters To Add From Waiver Wire
Tylor Megill, RHP, New York Mets vs. Atlanta Braves (24%)
Tylor Megill has been a godsend for the New York Mets, providing valuable innings to their injury-beleaguered rotation. The rookie righty’s spun a 2.10 ERA, 3.79 SIERA, 1.07 WHIP, 8.2 BB%, 27.0 K% and 26.1 CSW% in six starts spanning 30 innings.
Obviously, as the gap between his ERA and SIERA suggests, he hasn’t quite pitched as elite as his tiny ERA would lead one to believe. Nonetheless, his SIERA is rock-solid, too. At first blush, a matchup with the Atlanta Braves appears middle of the road, ranking tied for 12th in wRC+ (101) against righties. Considering they’re without superstar Ronald Acuna Jr., though, it looks more favorable.
- Tylor Megill fantasy baseball tip: Gamers in 12-team mixers or larger formats should give Megill a look.
See our full 2021 fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups list for Week 18.
Week 18 MLB Sleeper Hitters To Add From Waiver Wire
Brandon Nimmo, OF, New York Yankees (31%)
- 5 Games vs. Atlanta Braves
- 3 Games vs. Cincinnati Reds
The New York Mets are scheduled to play eight games. Brandon Nimmo should be a mainstay in his typical perch atop the order in those contests. The volume of at-bats he’ll see with eight games is mouthwatering.
Further, while the Mets are projected to face at least four lefties, the lack of the platoon advantage hasn’t been a problem for the left-handed-hitting Nimmo in recent years. In 303 plate appearances against southpaws since 2018, he’s hit .261/.380/.423 with seven homers.
Tucker Barnhart, C, Cincinnati Reds (19%)
- 4 Games at Chicago Cubs
- 3 Games at New York Mets
Tucker Barnhart‘s a viable streamer option for gamers who need a fantasy backstop, even in single-catcher mixers. The Cincinnati Reds are projected to face six righties. So, I like Barnhart’s odds of starting at least five games.
The left-handed-hitting catcher has hit well with the platoon advantage this year. He’s slashed .278/.363/.406 with three homers against righties this season.