Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 4/15
Here’s the second installment of my two-start pitcher notes. Keep in mind that I’ve chosen only the pitchers who I consider to be tough calls. And be sure to listen to today’s podcast, as Cory and Joe will share their thoughts on many of these guys.
James McDonald (vs. STL, vs. ATL)
We’ve seen one outstanding performance and one mediocre outing from McDonald so far, and while I do like him as a bounce back candidate this year after a brutal second half last season, this is not the week to take a gamble. Both the Cardinals and Braves boast top-notch lineups, and although McDonald will be at home, where he pitched to a 2.73 ERA last year, this is just too dangerous until we see more consistency from him. Ditch.
Homer Bailey (vs. PHI, vs. MIA)
Despite enjoying a breakthrough 2012 campaign, Bailey continued to struggle at Great American Ballpark (4-8, 5.16 ERA). The vs. MIA matchup is tempting but the vs. PHI one has disaster written all over it, especially considering that he’s coming off a 5 IP, 7 ER performance vs. the Cards…and that was on the road! Ditch.
Kyle Kendrick (@CIN, vs. STL)
Cory’s a Kendrick believer and even he says to ditch him for next week. I’m not as high on him in general, so you know where I stand. These are both brutal matchups. No thanks.
Brandon McCarthy (@NYY, @COL)
Another Cory favorite, B-Mac has gotten off to a shaky start this season. He’s simply giving up way too many hits and doesn’t possess the strikeout ability to escape jams, although he does sort of make up for this by inducing a ton of ground balls. The bottom line is that you can’t feel comfortable trotting him out there next week, particularly in mixed leagues. But definitely monitor him over the next month or so, as he could emerge as a viable option once his schedule lightens up a bit.
Gavin Floyd (@TOR, vs. MIN)
Over the past few years, I’ve had a hard time figuring this guy out. Matchups just don’t seem to matter to him. He could just as easily get lit up by a light-hitting offense as he could dominate a strong lineup. I view Floyd as someone who you should just start regardless of the matchup or avoid entirely on draft day. He’s so frustrating to own. That said, I like the vs. MIN matchup so much that I’d be willing to gamble on the possibility of at least a QS @TOR. Pitch, but don’t be surprised if he throws a shutout at Toronto and then gets roughed up by the Twins!
Chad Billingsley (vs. SD, @BAL)
A quality season debut has me back on the Billingsley bandwagon. Gotta love the vs. SD matchup and while the Orioles can hit, I see Billingsley’s upside as being the highest of any other pitcher on this list. If you own him, start him.
Mark Buehrle (vs. CWS, vs. NYY)
While I appreciate Buehrle’s consistency and believe him to be a vastly underrated pitcher, he’s now thrown two stinkers to kick off the season and this pair of matchups is far from favorable, especially at the homer-friendly Rogers Centre. I haven’t given up on Buehrle, but like McCarthy, let’s be patient.
Wily Peralta (vs. SF, vs. CHC)
Two intriguing matchups here and I do like how Peralta rebounded his second time out after a shaky season debut. In deeper mixed leagues, I’d take a shot on the former top prospect. You know he’ll give you some strikeouts and I doubt that either of these outings will be of the disaster variety.