Due to the uncertainty of rotation spots with the impending 2019 MLB Trade Deadline on July 31, the upcoming week in fantasy baseball will likely be one of the riskiest ones of the season as far as two-start pitchers are concerned.
As a result, those in leagues with weekly pickups might need to strongly consider factors like potential pitchers being traded, and pitchers losing rotation spots or starts, while looking ahead at Week 17 of the fantasy baseball season. And if the following three players can survive the trade deadline unscathed, however, they're all most likely in line for intriguing two-start weeks.
3. Vince Velasquez, Philadelphia Phillies
While Vince Velasquez is one pitcher being rumored to lose his rotation spot if the Phillies acquire a new starter via trade, he has been pitching pretty well as of late with a 3.52 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in three July starts. Zach Eflin, on the other hand, has struggled mightily this month (12.64 July ERA), and he could be the first starter bumped from the rotation if a new pitcher lands in Philadelphia. If Velasquez (owned in 8 percent of Yahoo! Fantasy Baseball leagues) stays put, he could draw a great two-start week against the San Francisco Giants and Chicago White Sox, both at home.
2. Merrill Kelly, Arizona Diamondbacks
Diamondbacks' rookie Merrill Kelly (owned in 35 percent of Yahoo! Fantasy Baseball leagues) has enjoyed a solid first season in the MLB. He currently owns a 4.22 ERA and 1.27 WHIP, which are both pretty decent numbers in 2019's juiced-ball environment. He should go twice in Week 17 and draw a couple of nice matchups between facing the Marlins on the road and Nationals at home. While Washington has been no pushover this season, Kelly has pitched better at home to the tune of a 3.77 ERA.
1. Reynaldo López, Chicago White Sox
Reynaldo López has been pitching well since the MLB All-Star break, and he may just make sense as a fantasy pickup outright. For Week 17 purposes, he is likely set to pitch at home against the Mets and on the road against the Phillies. López has shown potential as a top prospect, with a 1.71 ERA, 0.81 WHIP and 25 strikeouts in 21 innings pitched over his last three starts. If he can continue that pace this week, he may be worth retaining for the final fantasy stretch too.
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