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We inch closer and closer to the playoffs, and our Week 18 Pitching Planner prepares you!

Both Fantasy Baseball teams and MLB teams are eyeing the wondrous time of the year that is the postseason.

It doesn’t matter if we’re talking real or Fantasy, pitching is what wins in the playoffs.

With that in mind, it is my job to alert you when you should pitch someone and when you should make them sit on the Fantasy pine.

Week 18 means business and so do I, so let’s get this started.

Week 18 Pitching Planner

5 Pitchers to Start in Week 18

Rick Porcello, Boston Red Sox (vs. NYY, vs. ARI)

Porcello has two tasty matchups in Week 18 when he and the BoSox face off against the Bronx Bombers, who at the moment, are quite Bomber-less, at home. Arizona comes into town for an Interleague matchup where Porcello shouldn’t have any problems with the biggest dud of a team in 2016.

Jason Hammel, Chicago Cubs (vs. LAA, vs. STL)

Jason Hammel and the Cubbies face off against the punchless Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim to start off the week. The conference rival Redbirds come to Chitown to see if they can take some wind out of the sails of the NL Central leading Cubs.

Hisashi Iwakuma, Seattle Mariners (vs. DET, @ OAK)

Hisashi Iwakuma looks like a revived pitcher as of late for the Seattle Mariners and he’ll look to keep up his momentum against a Tigers offense who’s had their ups and downs in 2016. A visit to the yet again selling Oakland A’s will prove to be no match for the veteran righty.

Zach Davies, Milwaukee Brewers (vs. ATL, vs. CIN)

Zach Davies has been a nice surprise for the Brew Crew and for once in one week, he’ll be able to face two teams that have been, record wise, worse than the rebuilding Brewers. Atlanta seems to be gaining some confidence with their bats lately, but are a more swing a miss kind of club. Cincinnati traded away their most consistent bat and won’t stand a chance against Davies’ arsenal.

Kevin Gausman, Baltimore Orioles (@ Oak, vs. SF)

It seems as if Kevin Gausman might have started to put things together as of late. He and the O’s head into Oakland to face a gutted A’s team. San Fran goes into Camden Yards and although this isn’t as much of a sure thing, it will ultimately be a test to see if Gaus has what it takes.

5 Pitchers to Sit in Week 18

Jered Weaver, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (@ CHC, @ CLE)

Even though Jered Weaver had been OK as of late, Week 18 will prove to be a week that’ll derail any of his momentum. He faces two first place teams who have their eyes towards the playoffs. Don’t be the guy that reads into a name – Weaver is cooked this week.

Jeff Locke, Pittsburgh Pirates (vs. SD, @ LAD)

Pittsburgh has made some very questionable moves all season, and still having Jeff Locke in the rotation is easily one glaring one. Locke has been abysmal to say the least in 2016. With the Pirates, as well as Locke’s, struggles continue, the lefty should never be considered an option.

Kendall Graveman, Oakland Athletics (vs. BAL, vs. SEA)

Kendall Graveman has been too inconsistent to trust so far in his major league career which started last season. Oakland sees the powerful bats of Baltimore come into town as well as Seattle in Week 18. Both lineups are too dangerous to trust against Graveman’s shakiness.

A.J. Griffin, Texas Rangers (@ COL, vs. DET)

The wheels seem to be falling off of A.J. Griffin and Week 18 isn’t going to help much. A visit to the launching pad that is Coors Field starts off the week. Griffin and the Rangers go into Detroit to face a Tigers team who has the ability to tee off on the righty.

Tyler Duffey, Minnesota Twins (vs. HOU, vs. KC)

I don’t know who’s more of a mess in 2016: Tyler Duffy or the Minnesota Twins. Either way you look at it, Duffey will not be a solid option for the rest of the season, especially against two solid offenses like Houston and Kansas City.

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