Week 18 Two-Start Pitchers Update

Here is the latest update to Week 18 two-start pitchers. Again this list is subject to change going forward.

Pitchers not listed on last update: Scherzer, Chen, Beaven.

Pitchers no longer scheduled for two starts: Hughes, Fister, Huff.

Let’s take a look at Bruce Chen. Only family members, Royals fans and fantasy players could tell you that Chen had 12 Wins and a respectable 4.17 ERA last year for the Royals. In his last seven starts of 2010, Chen was 4-0 with a 2.64 ERA and a 1.015 WHIP. Still he was owned in less than 10 percent of fantasy leagues on Opening Day 2011.

According to Joe Lefkowitz’ site, Chen threw four pitches roughly the same percentage of the time in 2010. This year, he is throwing far fewer four-seam fastballs, roughly the same amount of sinkers and change-ups and more sliders than anything else. The slider is his primary pitch versus LHB while the changeup serves the same purpose for RHB.

Chen won his first three decisions and he was 4-1 with a 3.59 ERA after his start on May 5th. But he went on the disabled list with a strained back muscle, which caused him to miss seven weeks of the season. In his first five starts back from the DL, Chen posted a 2.90 ERA but was only 1-2. In his last start, the Royals lefty had his worst outing of his major league career, as he gave up 10 ER and saw his ERA jump from 3.30 to 4.29 on the season.

Some might say that was merely regression hitting all at once for Chen, as now his ERA is right in line with his xFIP (4.56). He did seem to be doing it with smoke and mirrors, as Chen has a career-low 5.45 K/9 and a 74.6 LOB%.

Overall this year, Chen has a 3.11 ERA at home and a 6.03 mark on the road. He’s allowed 7 HR in 31.1 IP in road games this year and 5 HR in 46.1 IP at Kauffman Stadium, one of the toughest parks to homer in this season.

This week Chen gets home starts against the Orioles and Tigers. Both teams are above-average in the AL in raw HR totals. Detroit also does well against LH starters, with a .735 against southpaw starters. Baltimore, however, ranks 13th in the 14-team loop with a .664 OPS against LH starters.

Likely available on the waiver wire, you could do worse then Chen as a streaming option for his two home starts this week. If your league has daily transactions, his game against Baltimore looks like the better matchup of his two in this upcoming period.

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