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The Week Ahead

Week Ahead: Invest in Heston

by Nick Nelson
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Even though he threw the first no-hitter of the 2015 season a few weeks ago, Chris Heston is owned in only about half of all fantasy leagues, and it's not hard to see why. The rookie right-hander has been quite inconsistent, mixing in plenty of clunkers with his gems.

In four starts since tossing the no-no at Citi Field, Heston has a 14-to-8 K/BB ratio over 23 2/3 innings, and opponents are batting .282 against him. Not exactly what you'd call dominant. But in the right match-ups, he is a reliable option, and that's why he is worth highlighting as a two-start pitcher for The Week Ahead.

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Heston's first start will come at home against the same Mets team he held hitless back in early June. His second turn of the week, also at home, is against an even worse Phillies offense. New York and Philadelphia rank 14th and 15th in the National League in runs scored and OPS, and Heston has been excellent when pitching in San Francisco, so you'll want to run with him if you can.

We'll run through a few other noteworthy two-start pitchers below, followed by your usual full list, streamer suggestions and more.

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* Taijuan Walker's emergence has led to a lot of pick-ups, but he's still out there in about 30 percent of both Yahoo! and ESPN leagues. If you can still get him, do so, because he is lined up for two home starts in Seattle and has a 2.01 ERA with a 43-to-3 K/BB ratio since the start of June.


* At age 36, Mark Buehrle is still getting it done. He has rattled off six straight quality starts since the end of May, with a 1.67 ERA and 0.91 WHIP over that span. The good times figure to keep rolling next week when he draws the White Sox and Royals.

* Andrew Heaney has garnered a lot of excitement with two spectacular outings to launch his anticipated MLB career, but I'd recommend pumping the brakes with his first of two starts coming in Colorado.

* Jose Quintana has rebounded nicely from a poor month of April, with a 3.03 ERA in his last 12 turns. Nine of his last 10 starts have been of the quality variety.

* Brett Anderson is somehow still available in 80 percent of Yahoo! leagues. I don't get it. He has been lights-out and is a must-play this week with match-ups against Philadelphia and Milwaukee at home.

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Going Twice...

American League

Strong Plays

Mark Buehrle: @CWS, @KC

Taijuan Walker: DET, LAA

Edinson Volquez: TB, TOR

Dallas Keuchel: @CLE, @TB

Jose Quintana: TOR, @CHC

Carlos Carrasco: HOU, OAK

Corey Kluber: HOU, OAK

Jake Odorizzi: @KC, HOU

Decent Plays

Roenis Elias: DET, LAA

Jesse Hahn: @NYY, @CLE

Trevor May: BAL, DET

Phil Hughes: BAL, DET

Andrew Heaney: @COL, @SEA

Chris Young: TB, TOR

Vincent Velasquez: @CLE, @TB

Alfredo Simon: @SEA, @MIN

Carlos Rodon: TOR, @CHC

Miguel Gonzalez: @MIN, WAS

Matt Moore: @KC, HOU

Ivan Nova: OAK, @BOS

At Your Own Risk

Matt Boyd: @CWS, @KC

Kyle Ryan: @SEA, @MIN

National League

Strong Plays

Chris Heston: NYM, PHI

A.J. Burnett: SD, STL

Francisco Liriano: SD, STL

James Shields: @PIT, @TEX

John Lackey: @CHC, @PIT

Jaime Garcia: @CHC, @PIT

Dan Haren: @BOS, CIN

Brett Anderson: PHI, MIL

Johnny Cueto: @WAS, @MIA

Jon Lester: STL, CWS

Decent Plays

Doug Fister: CIN, @BAL

Chad Bettis: LAA, ATL

Anthony DeSclafani: @WAS, @MIA

Jon Niese: @SF, ARI

Bartolo Colon: @SF, ARI

At Your Own Risk

Kyle Lohse: ATL, @LAD

Matt Wisler: @MIL, @COL

Manny Banuelos: @MIL, @COL

Chad Billingsley: @LAD, @SF

Streamer City

The following pitchers are generally available in over 50 percent of fantasy leagues and have favorable match-ups this week:

American League

Wednesday, July 8: Ivan Nova vs. OAK

Nova has been very solid since returning to the Yankees rotation, allowing two runs in 12 inning over two starts.

Thursday, July 9: Joe Blanton vs. TB

Blanton has mostly looked good while pitching for the Royals this year, especially at home. The Rays do not boast an intimidating lineup.

Friday, July 10: Justin Masterson vs. NYY

In his return from a lengthy stint on the disabled list this past week, Masterson looked very sharp while hurling five scoreless frames at Tampa.

National League

Tuesday, July 7: Robbie Ray @ TEX

Since joining the rotation at the beginning of June, Ray has been Arizona's best starter. The Rangers are much worse against lefties (684 OPS) than righties (743).

Wednesday, July 8: Charlie Morton vs. SD

Morton has won all four of his home starts, posting a shiny 1.98 ERA along the way.

Thursday, July 9: Tom Koehler vs. CIN

Koehler also has been tremendous in his home park, where he has gone 4-1 with a 1.68 ERA while holding opponents to a .199 batting average.

Total Games

American League




National League

5: ARI



The Infirmary

You can get a full listing of injured players at Rotoworld's Injury Page but here's the latest on a few prominent players who have been out of action:

Williams Perez: Out until mid-July (foot)

Tsuyoshi Wada: Out until mid-July (shoulder)

Jon Moscot: Out for the season (shoulder)

George Springer: Out until mid-August (wrist)

Giancarlo Stanton: Out until early August (hand)

Byron Buxton: Out until late July (thumb)

Aaron Harang: Out until late July (foot)

Cory Spangenberg: Out until late July (knee)

Tim Lincecum: Out until late July (arm)

Jon Jay: Out until mid-July (wrist)

Nick Nelson
Nick Nelson is a frequent contributor to Rotoworld's baseball coverage and regularly blogs about the Minnesota Twins at Twins Daily. Follow him on Twitter @NickNelsonMN.