Today, two widely available starters are on the hill and could be in line for very impressive performances. I have essentially adopted a semi-streaming strategy in my head-to-head league and many others are in a similar situation, and after succeeding with Erasmo Ramirez last night I think John Lannan and Chris Archer are solid bets tonight.
Lannan is facing a struggling Dodgers team and has been decent through his first 18.2 major league innings this year. Even with a terrible strikeout-to-walk ratio and huge ERA-FIP spit, Lannan still has an FIP of 3.74. Most of that is due to him not allowing a home run in any of his three starts this year, but pitching against Los Angeles should allow him to last one more start without giving up the long ball. One of the fantasy slights against Lannan is going to be his lack of strikeouts. If he has a bad outing, he won’t help in any category whereas at least a higher strikeout pitcher should net you 5-6 even in a poor game. Lannan did not pitch well in the minors this year, but I like him tonight against a lackluster Dodger lineup.
Archer is almost the antithesis of Lannan, but I like him as well. His FIP is lower than his ERA and he has had a ton of success with strikeouts in the majors and minors this season. His 2.82 BB/9 is abnormally low compared to the 4.36 mark he held through 128 triple-A innings this season, so expect that to rise, but his high strikeout potential makes him a worthwhile play. The Red Sox don’t have an intimidating lineup anymore, and pitching in The Trop certainly helps Archer’s chances at a solid start. His ability to walk the park makes him risky, but anyone you grab off of waivers at this point is likely a risky play.
Lannan is probably the surer bet for a quality start, while Archer is the better bet for an outright dominant performance. Depending on what your team needs, pick one up and stream them with confidence. It may not save your season, but it can definitely help your weekly stats by grabbing one of these two starter and inserting them into your rotation for tonight’s set of games.
Ben has been at RotoGraphs since 2012 and focuses most of his fantasy baseball attention toward dynasty and keeper leagues.