Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 9/17
Here are my two-start pitcher notes for next week. And as always, be sure to listen to today’s podcast to hear what Mike and Cory have to say about all of these guys. Not a whole lot of appealing options this time around.
A.J. Griffin (@DET, @NYY)
Next week will be a tough test for Griffin, but the way he’s pitching right now (20 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 18 K in three starts since coming off the DL), you really can’t bet against him. If you’re a believer in the “due for a stat correction” theory, this would be a logical time to bench him. But I’m throwing him out there.
Aaron Harang (@WAS, @CIN)
Harang’s overall numbers won’t blow you away, but he’s allowed three runs or less in each of his last seven starts. But the 4.23 BB/9 and 1.60 K/BB leave a lot to be desired. The good news is that he’s actually pitched better on the road this year (7-4, 3.57 ERA) than at home (2-5, 4.02 ERA). The bad news is that the Nationals and Reds both rank in the top-6 in the NL in runs scored and batting average at home. The bad news outweighs the good news. In 12-team mixed leagues, I’m ditching.
Ervin Santana (vs. TEX, vs. CWS)
Big Erv is back! Since the beginning of August, Santana boasts a 3.10 ERA and 0.96 WHIP. Another encouraging note is that his home ERA is nearly a run and a half lower than his road mark, and he’ll be making a pair of home starts next week. The White Sox lineup is strong on the whole but they have struggled away from U.S. Cellular, ranking just 12th in the AL in road scoring. All that said, the vs. TEX matchup makes me very nervous. Erv got lit up by the Rangers at home on July 21 (1 2/3 IP, 6 ER) and this is a situation where one disaster outing could ruin the two-start week. I’ll play it safe and ditch.
Alex Cobb (vs. BOS, vs. TOR)
Since enjoying a four-start stretch during which he allowed a mere six runs over 28 innings, Cobb has alternated excellent and poor starts. He’s due for an excellent one and the Red Sox lineup is a shell of it’s former self. Not to mention that the Blue Jays have a tough time scoring on the road and that Cobb’s ERA at home this season is 3.34. Yeah, he’s risky. But all signs suggest that next week could be a decent one for Cobb. In 12-team mixed leagues, I might not bother. But in NFBC-style mixed leagues and of course AL-only leagues, I like him.
Mike Leake (@CHC, vs. LAD)
Leake is a very frustrating guy to own, as he’s always susceptible to a disaster outing. Considering that the Cubs rank second to last in the NL in both runs scored and batting average and that Leake’s road ERA is 3.74, I’d definitely pitch him there. But I don’t like the vs. LAD matchup one bit. The very potent Dodgers’ lineup has been underachieving of late, but it’s only a matter of time before they’ll get it going. And Leake’s 5.54 home ERA scares me big time. Outside of NL-only leagues, I’d stay away.
Miguel Gonzalez (@SEA, @BOS)
It was nice to see Gonzalez put up a decent stat line on Wednesday as he was coming off a mediocre performance on the road vs. the Blue Jays. This is a tough call, as the @SEA matchup is as good as it gets but the @BOS matchup is a rough one. But Miguel handled the Red Sox rather well back on August 15th (6 IP, 2 ER) and he’s been a very effective road pitcher this year, going 4-2 with a 3.06 ERA. I’ll say pitch.
Jhoulys Chacin (@SF, vs. ARI)
After allowing a combined three runs over his first three starts since coming off the DL in late-August, Chacin has struggled mightily in each of his last two starts, and I just don’t see how anyone can trust him. One might think that the @SF matchup is promising, but keep in mind that Chacin has been beat up in his two starts vs. the Giants this year (8 IP, 8 ER) and how can anyone have confidence in him pitching at Coors against a D-Backs lineup that ranks 4th in the NL in home runs since the All-Star break? Even in NL-only leagues, I’d have a hard time starting Chacin.
Travis Wood (vs. PIT, vs. STL)
Anyone notice that Wood has allowed three earned runs or less in each of his last five starts? The problem here is that his ERA at home is 4.86, the Cardinals are a dangerous lineup and the Pirates are no pushover either. I’d consider pitching Wood in NL-only leagues due to his recent performance, but he’s too risky for mixed leagues.