Need to upgrade your fantasy starting staff? Or maybe gaining points in wins and strikeouts is your main goal? Then consider these pitchers, who are in line to make two starts each in Week 18.
12-team mixed leagues
Brett Anderson (@ PHI, @ PIT)
Coming off a rough outing against the Braves, Anderson rebounded nicely Tuesday, limiting the A's to just two runs across seven innings. The 27-year-old southpaw has been a fairly reliable fantasy option throughout the season, and owners should not hesitate to start him next week. Only the Marlins and Mets have scored fewer runs than the Phillies this season. While the Pirates are a mid-tier offensive team, they are certainly not dangerous enough to outweigh the potential reward of the matchup against Philadelphia.
Tom Koehler (vs. NYM, @ATL)
Prior to Koehler's shaky performance against the Nationals on Wednesday, he had allowed two or fewer runs in six straight starts, so I'm comfortable with giving him a pass for one poor outing against a high-end offense. Look for far better results next week, when Koehler faces the Mets -- the third-lowest scoring team in the Majors, followed by a Braves club that ranks 24th in the Majors in runs, while ranking last in homers.
Jake Peavy (@ATL, @CHC)
Although Peavy's years as a fantasy ace are well behind him, he can still be a useful mixed league contributor. Since returning from the disabled list earlier this month, he's been just that, registering four quality starts in five tries. In 12 starts following his trade to the Giants last season, the veteran righty went 6-4 with a 2.17 ERA and 1.04 WHIP, thriving in his return to the National League West. His career-low 5.7 K/9 this season is somewhat concerning, but Peavy remains a viable option when the matchups are right, as is the case next week. The Cubs and Braves rank 11th and 12th in the NL, respectively, in runs scored, and 10th and 12th in OPS.
Deeper mixed leagues
Wily Peralta (vs. SD, vs. STL)
Following a two-plus-month stint on the DL, Peralta delivered a strong performance Tuesday, tossing six innings of two-run ball against a potent Giants lineup. Let's not forget that this is a pitcher who won 17 games last season to go along with a 3.53 ERA. In other words, he carries enough of a track record to suggest that he can serve as a quality back-of-the-rotation fantasy option from here on out. Don't be surprised if he soon enters the 12-team mixed league picture. For now, though, owners in deeper mixed leagues need to make sure that Peralta is not on the waiver wire. The Cardinals and Padres rank 18th and 22nd in the Majors, respectively, in runs scored, and 15th and 29th in OPS. He's certainly worth the risk for the two-start week.
Colby Lewis (vs. HOU, @SEA)
Take away Lewis' May 27 start at Cleveland (nine earned runs in 2 2/3 innings) and his July 5 outing at home against the Angels (10 earned runs in 4 innings), and he would have a 3.29 ERA as opposed to his current 4.42 mark. With a 3.29 ERA, Lewis should be owned in the vast majority of mixed leagues. Instead, he's available in many 12-team mixed leagues, and even some deeper mixed formats. Understandably, there's plenty of doubt concerning his ability to continue posting quality start after quality start, and a Houston offense that leads the Majors in homers and ranks fourth in runs scored presents a tough challenge. On the other hand, the Mariners rank in the bottom third of the Majors in runs, batting average and OPS. In deep mixed leagues, Lewis might just be your best waiver-wire option.
Bartolo Colon (@MIA, @TB)
At this point, Colon no longer deserves a roster spot in a 12-team mixed league. After all, he's 0-6 with a 6.16 ERA and a 1.61 WHIP over his past seven starts. He has sprinkled in three impressive outings during that span, however, so all hope is not lost. Even more importantly, Colon's matchups next week are quite appealing, as the Marlins and Rays rank in the bottom third of the Majors in runs scored and OPS. Plus, in three starts against the Marlins this season, Colon is 2-1 with a 3.48 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP.
Zach Steinhorn is a fantasy writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.