Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 7/23
Time for our weekly two-start pitcher notes. I’ve focused on eight guys here who aren’t either automatic pitches or automatic ditches. Well, maybe Ubaldo is an automatic ditch but I really wanted a nice round number! Be sure to catch today’s podcast as we will run through all of this on the show.
Justin Masterson (vs. BAL, @MIN)
Two of Masterson’s last three outings have been awful but I haven’t lost faith in him. His exceptional month of June (2.06 ERA 1.00 WHIP) has bought him some more time. The Orioles rank near the top of the AL in both runs and homers but Masterson has been very solid at home this year (3.54 ERA). The Twins are at best a mediocre offense. Pitch.
Francisco Liriano (@CWS, vs. CLE)
Perhaps no starting pitcher in baseball is more frustrating to own than this guy. Walks continue to be an issue and there’s always a chance he completely blows up but I like him for this week. Liriano has notched six quality starts in his last seven outings and boasts a 9.89 K/9 rate for the season. The @CWS matchup is scary but he pitched well vs. the White Sox when he faced them last month. The Indians are no pushover either but despite their recent success, their lineup is far from elite. Liriano is a risky play but in 12-team mixed leagues I think he’s a risk worth taking. Pitch.
Ubaldo Jimenez (vs. DET, @MIN)
Ubaldo is pretty much DTM at this point. Yeah, he might do well @MIN but the vs. DET game could be a total disaster. Unlike Liriano, the risk here outweighs the reward. In mixed leagues, he’s a ditch.
Jeff Samardzija (@PIT, vs. STL)
Samardzija has rebounded nicely from a dreadful month of June, posting a 2.37 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 11.37 K/9 rate through three July starts. The Pirates’ lineup is no longer one to routinely pick on but it’s not exactly an overly intimidating lineup either. The Cardinals’ offense is strong but in two starts vs. STL this year, Samardzija is 1-0 with a respectable 3.86 ERA. I’m rolling the dice and saying pitch.
Wei-Yin Chen (vs. TB, vs. OAK)
Pitching Chen is far from a no-brainer as he has just four quality starts in his last eight outings, but I’ll give him a shot. The Rays are middle of the pack in the AL in runs and homers and rank near the bottom of the Junior Circuit in AVG. The A’s rank dead last in the AL in both runs and AVG. Plus, Chen is 4-2 with a 3.32 ERA in nine home starts this year. Pitch.
Jose Quintana (vs. MIN, @TEX)
I don’t care how well Quintana pitched at home vs. the Rangers a couple weeks ago or how well he pitched at Fenway Park on Thursday night. @TEX is an automatic ditch for all mid-tier starters and that in itself is enough of a reason why Quintana should be benched next week.
Clayton Richard (@SF, @MIA)
Richard is no longer a pitch at home but sit on the road guy. Over his last five road starts, he’s 3-2 with a 1.43 ERA and 0.85 WHIP. The Giants rank next to last in the NL in runs scored at home and the Marlins are nothing more than a mid-level offense. I’m pitching Richard without hesitation.
Erik Bedard (vs. CHC, @HOU)
The matchups are very favorable and Bedard is coming off an impressive outing at Coors, but I’ve lost all trust in him for the time being. The WHIP is horrible, the ERA is mediocre and he’s pitched to a 6.37 ERA since the beginning of June. In NL-only leagues and very deep mixed formats, I might trot Bedard out there. But in 12-team mixed leagues, I’m ditching.