Two-Start Pitchers – Week of 7/2
By now you know the drill. Here’s a list of 10 of the tougher calls for next week along with my commentary.
Ricky Romero (vs. KC, @CWS)
He’s struggled mightily in June (7.33 ERA, 1.81 WHIP) but his outstanding 2011 season and solid start to this year has earned him a fairly long leash. If this were a one-start week where he would face the White Sox on the road, I might sit this one out. But it isn’t, and I think overall the reward is worth the risk. If he gets bombed next week I’ll start to worry.
Ivan Nova (@TB, @BOS)
Nova has bounced back nicely in June following a mediocre May, but these matchups are frightening. Still, he pitched well at Fenway earlier in the year and has had success against the Rays this season. In 10-team mixed leagues, I’d play it safe and sit him, but in 12-teamers he’s a pitch.
Chad Billingsley (vs. CIN, @ARI)
I’ve just about had it with this guy. Yeah, the strikeouts are nice, but the high hit rate and control issues are troubling. The D-Backs rank in the top-3 in the NL in both runs scored and batting average at home, and while the Reds have been a middle of the pack offense this year, they still have some dangerous hitters in that lineup. In 12-team mixed leagues, I’m staying away.
Ubaldo Jimenez (vs. LAA, vs. TB)
I don’t trust him. It’s as simple as that. He’s just too prone to the disaster outing and the walks often get out of control. These matchups are far from appealing, as the Angels rank 1st in the majors in runs scored in June and the Rays’ lineup always has the potential to put up big run totals. Pitch only in 15-team mixed or AL-only leagues.
Carlos Zambrano (@MIL, @STL)
After kicking off the year on fire, Big Z has cooled off considerably. His ERA has gone up by almost a full run since the start of June and he’s issued 15 free passes over his last three starts. The Cards rank 1st in the NL in both runs scored and batting average and the Brewers are tied for 2nd in the NL in homers. I’m taking the conservative route and ditching.
Homer Bailey (@LAD, @SD)
Meet my blue-plate special! The Padres and Dodgers rank 12th and 15th respectively in the NL in runs scored in June and the Dodgers as a team are batting .219 this month. And now Andre Ethier is hurt. Not to mention that Bailey is 4-2 with a 3.09 ERA and 1.14 WHIP in seven road starts this season. I’d be shocked if he doesn’t turn in two quality outings here.
Jeff Samardzija (@ATL, @NYM)
He’s been an absolute mess of late, so starting him is asking for trouble. The Braves’ offense is fairly strong and the Mets pounded him on Wednesday. Don’t chase the strikeouts!
Clayton Richard (@ARI, vs. CIN)
Three straight dominant road starts versus sub-par offenses hasn’t convinced me that Richard can go into Chase Field and handle the D-Backs. His career numbers at Chase (7.71 ERA, 1.61 WHIP) are ugly, and the home matchup against the Reds isn’t favorable enough to outweigh this risk. He’s an NL-only and deep mixed league play. 12-team mixed? No thanks.
Wei-Yin Chen (@SEA, @LAA)
His poor performance yesterday vs. a weak Indians’ lineup has scared me off a bit. Chen has recorded just two quality starts in his last six outings and the strikeouts haven’t been there lately. Despite the appeal of the @SEA matchup, the @LAA matchup makes me very nervous. Ditch.
Daisuke Matsuzaka (@OAK, vs. NYY)
You just never know what you’re going to get from Dice-K and a disaster outing is always right around the corner. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if he pitches well against the A’s. However, it would surprise me if he registers a quality start vs. the Yankees. In 10 career starts against the Bombers, Matsuzaka sports a 5.52 ERA and 1.52 WHIP. Enough said! He’s strictly an AL-only option.