Looking to improve an underperforming starting rotation? Or maybe you just need to gain some ground in strikeouts? Then consider adding these pitchers, who are all scheduled to make two starts in Week 14:
12-team mixed leagues
Chris Heston (vs. NYM, vs. PHI)
From a matchups standpoint, this is about as good as it gets -- the Mets and Phillies rank next to last and last, respectively, in the National League in runs scored. Heston has allowed three earned runs or fewer in each of his past five outings -- the first of those starts being his no-hitter -- which happened to come against the Mets. Heston needs to be in all active lineups for next week, even in shallower formats.
Brett Anderson (vs. PHI, vs. MIL)
Following his dominant performance against the D-backs on Wednesday, Anderson now boasts a 3-0 record to go along with a 1.61 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP over his past four starts (with 17 Ks along the way). Not only have the Phillies scored the fewest runs in the NL this season, but the Brewers rank 11th in the Senior Circuit, in both runs and batting average. If the Dodgers lefty is somehow available in your league, immediately add and activate him for next week.
Mark Buehrle (@ CWS, @ KC)
Buehrle might not be a particularly exciting fantasy option, but let's look at the facts. Wednesday's stellar showing against the Red Sox marked the sixth straight start in which he has pitched at least six innings while allowing no more than two runs. Sporting a 3.64 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP through 16 starts, the 36-year-old southpaw could be due for some regression, but don't expect that regression to come next week. The White Sox have scored the fewest runs in the Majors this season, and the Royals' offense (despite ranking a respectable 16th in the Majors in overall runs scored) is coming off a disappointing month of June, ranking 25th in both runs and homers.
Deeper mixed leagues
Miguel Gonzalez (@ MIN, vs. WAS)
If not for his shaky recent performance (9.65 ERA and 2.04 WHIP over his last two starts), I would be tempted to pitch Gonzalez even in 12-team mixed leagues. We cannot ignore those starts, however, and we certainly cannot ignore the looming matchup against the Nationals -- a top-tier lineup that ranks third in the NL in runs scored, fourth in homers and fifth in batting average. Still, the Baltimore righty has proven this year that he is worthy of consideration in deeper leagues for two-start weeks, even when at least one of the matchups is challenging. The good news is that the Twins lineup is middle-of-the-pack at best and Gonzalez will be facing the Nationals at home, where he has registered a 3.25 ERA (4.97 ERA away from Camden Yards).
Ivan Nova (vs. OAK, @ BOS)
Although Nova's second start of the season was not as impressive as his first outing, he did manage to limit the damage. He struck out seven Angels batters in 5 1/3 innings. His upcoming matchups are far from favorable, so I would be wary of pitching Nova in 12-team mixed leagues. That said, if you're trying to maximize your counting stats in a deep mixed league and are in search of a pitcher who might still be available on the waiver wire, Nova could be one of your better options.
Vincent Velasquez (@ CLE, @ TB)
Since making his big league debut early last month, Velasquez has not been very consistent, striking out over a batter per inning, but posting only one quality start in five tries. Thanks to a pair of favorable matchups, expect better consistency from Velasquez next week. The Indians and Rays both rank in the bottom third of the American League in runs scored, and the Tampa Bay offense has been cold for quite some time now, scoring more than four runs in a game just once in its past 13 contests.
Zach Steinhorn is a fantasy writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.