Rogers @ Doubront – tough matchup for Rogers despite success as a starter
Wainwright @ Parker
Jimenez @ Axelrod
W. Davis @ Gibson – great setting for Gibson’s MLB debut
Blanton @ Lyles – Blanton 39 K’s in his last five starts, but bad matchup for Lyles
Sabathia @ Britton
Samardzija @ Harang – Harang worth a gamble at home vs. weak lineup, in deeper leagues
Leake @ Tepesch – scary matchup for Leake but results demand to use him
Verlander @ Archer
Jordan @ Gee – great setting for Jordan’s MLB debut
Kennedy @ T. Hudson
Cain @ De La Rosa
Stults @ Turner
Hand @ Liriano
Lee @ Ryu
Buehrle @ Dempster
Porcello @ Hellickson – looks like all that enthusiasm for Porcello was premature!
Masterson @ Sale
Big Erv @ Correia – Correia has allowed more than 4 runs only once this year
Wilson @ Harrell
Latos @ Darvish
Westbrook @ Milone
Jackson @ Bonderman – not buying Bonderman’s fast start just yet
Kuroda @ Tillman – Yankees are last in MLB in OPS in June. Last.
G. Gonzalez @ Wheeler
Cashner @ Eovaldi – Eovaldi looking very sharp since return
Cahill @ Maholm
Lohse @ Morton – watch for Morton in deeper leagues
Kendrick @ Fife
Bumgarner @ Pomeranz
Alvarez @ Dickey – oh so NOW Dickey’s pitching well again?
Pettitte @ Diamond
Moore @ Keuchel
Kickham @ Arroyo
Gallardo @ Zimmermann
Miley @ Marcum – hope everyone hung with ‘em on Marcum
Marquis @ J. Fernandez
The bad news is that there wasn’t a podcast today. The good news is that my two-start pitcher notes will never go on a hiatus! So let’s get started.
Bronson Arroyo (vs. SF, vs. SEA)
Arroyo has always been an incredibly frustrating guy to own, as he could blow up at any moment. But the end-of-year numbers are usually pretty good. The annoying thing though is that it’s tough to play the matchups with him, as he could dominate an elite offense in one start and then struggle against a light-hitting team his next time out. While Bronson is coming off a poor performance @OAK, he’s allowed three earned runs or less in seven of his last nine starts. The fact that the Giants and Mariners both rank second to last in their respective leagues in runs scored this month only adds to his appeal. Pitch.
Jason Hammel (@CHW, @NYY)
Hammel’s overall numbers this year aren’t pretty, but if last season showed us anything, the Orioles’ righty still carries a decent amount of upside. The longball has been his biggest problem thus far, as he’s served up 16 of them through 16 starts, and the low K rate hurts his value. That said, I do like these matchups. Hammel is pitching a lot better on the road than at home, and the White Sox and Yankees’ lineups are both having trouble scoring runs of late. In deeper mixed leagues and of course AL-only formats, I’d be willing to roll the dice on Hammel.
Jason Marquis (@MIA, @WAS)
I don’t care how well Marquis was pitching, prior to his ugly outing on Tuesday, or how enticing these matchups might be. My longstanding policy of ditching Marquis under any circumstances will remain intact. He cannot be trusted. It’s really as simple as that. Maybe he’s worth a try in an NL-only league but I don’t see him as mixed league material. To tell you the truth, I don’t see him as fantasy material. But that’s just me.
Phil Hughes (@MIN, vs. BAL)
Just when you start to think that Hughes’ days as a mixed league contributor are numbered, he pitches a game like he did on Thursday, when he held the mighty Rangers to two runs on five hits over eight innings. He’s been a far better pitcher on the road than at home this season, which is the main reason why I’m scared about the vs. BAL matchup. But I love the @MIN matchup and would be fine with throwing Hughes out there next week with the hope that he can start performing at a more consistent level.
Shaun Marcum (vs. ARI, @MIL)
I was very high on Marcum heading into the season, so I’m a little surprised that the results have been this poor. But he was outstanding versus the White Sox on Wednesday and his peripheral stats suggest that his ERA should be a lot lower than its current 5.08 mark. These matchups aren’t great and Marcum has yet to string a few strong starts together, so sitting him is certainly understandable. But in deeper mixed leagues, I’d lean towards pitching him. I view him as a nice second half sleeper pick, health permitting of course.
Jeremy Hefner (vs. ARI, @MIL)
Did you know that Hefner sports a 1.80 ERA and 1.27 WHIP in five June starts. Let me tell you a secret. I didn’t until I just looked it up. So being that I said to pitch the erratic Marcum, the more consistent Hefner, who has the same two matchups, is most certainly a pitch.
Justin Grimm (vs. SEA, vs. HOU)
This is strictly an AL-only play, as Grimm has been way too unreliable to trust in a mixed league. But you could do a lot worse in an AL-only, as the Mariners and Astros rank in the bottom three in the AL in both runs scored and batting average.
Wily Peralta (@WAS, vs. NYM)
Although pitching Peralta in a standard-sized mixed league is probably too risky, those of you in particularly deep mixed formats might want to consider it. After a brutal start to the season, he’s pitching a little better in June, and the matchups here are quite tasty!
Dickey @ R. Hernandez – Dickey is outside the circle of trust right now
Bailey @ Griffin
Gomez @ King Felix
Oswalt @ Lackey – need to see more before using Oswalt vs. top offenses
Grimm @ Pettitte – Pettitte’s only good start of the last five was in Seattle
Kazmir @ Hammel – toss-up on Hammel, but he’s been facing some tough matchups lately
Hanson @ Alvarez
Marcum @ Danks – taking another shot on Danks
Minor @ Mendoza
Lynn @ Bedard – not trusting Bedard vs. the Cardinals
Diamond @ Koehler
Miley @ Zimmermann
Feldman @ Gallardo
Lincecum @ Kershaw – decent matchup for Lincecum, go for it
Hamels @ TBD (SD)
***ZACH SAYS “I’d pitch Wade Miley versus a Nats offense that ranks dead last in the Majors in runs scored in the month of June. Miley has been very inconsistent this year but he has posted a quality start in three of his last four outings. It’s worth a try.”
Cahill @ G. Gonzalez – good matchup for Cahill, assuming he’s healthy
Masterson @ Tillman – Tillman 4-0, 2.25 in June
Darvish @ Kuroda
Wilson @ Porcello
Nicasio @ Dempster – now five straight QS for Dempster
Correia @ J. Fernandez – Correia hasn’t been great this year, but only one terrible start, and great matchup
Buehrle @ Moore – Buehrle 2.16 ERA in June
Medlen @ Big Erv
Jackson @ Lohse – both throwing well lately but Lohse has matchup edge here
Wheeler @ Sale
Westbrook @ Bedard – not trusting Bedard vs. high-scoring Cards
Arroyo @ Milone – not trusting Arroyo… note that 4.45 road ERA
Kendrick @ Marquis
Locke @ Saunders – gotta use Saundo at home vs. weak Pirates
Kickham @ Fife
Colome @ Sabathia
M. Gonzalez @ Wang
Quintana @ W. Davis – good matchup for walk-prone Quintana
Walters @ Kluber
Webster @ Scherzer
Liriano @ Vargas – Vargas rolling of late
Straily @ Harang
Chacin @ Haren – I don’t trust Haren right now, too erratic
Norris @ Wood
Gee @ Pettibone – Gee is on a tear
Turner @ Zito – good matchup for both
Hudson @ Gorzelanny
Perez @ S. Miller
Greinke @ Volquez
Leake @ Corbin – whouda thunk it??
Pelfrey @ Carrasco – Carrasco worth a look in deeper leagues though
F. Garcia @ J. Johnson
Doubront @ Verlander
Archer @ TBD (NYY) – I like Archer but still too erratic
Axelrod @ Shields – Axelrod worth a look in deeper leagues, too
Morton @ Blanton – too risky on both
Parker @ Bonderman
De La Rosa @ Detwiler
Harvey @ Lannan
Maholm @ Figaro – your call on Maholm; Brewers can hit lefties
Lyles @ Samardzija
Eovaldi @ Cain
Magill @ Cashner
Latos @ Delgado
Tepesch @ Wainwright
Jimenez @ Britton – no on Ubaldo vs. O’s… bench but don’t cut
Rogers @ Hellickson – hangin’ with unpredictable Helly
Bumgarner @ Ryu
Lee @ Stults – he’s some kinda wonderful!
With only four games scheduled for Monday, the two-start group for next week is a little thinner than usual, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a handful of attractive options. So let’s get right to it. Here are some of the tougher decisions.
And as always, be sure to check out today’s podcast. This week’s special guest was Eric Mack of SI.com.
Chris Tillman (vs. CLE, vs. NYY)
Since getting roughed up by the Nats back on May 29th, Tillman has allowed three earned runs or less in each of his last four starts. These aren’t ideal matchups but after a hot start to the season, the Indians’ offense has struggled in the month of June, ranking 12th in the AL in runs scored and 13th in batting average. As for the Yankees, their lineup is an absolute mess, ranking dead last in the Majors in runs scored in June and second to last in average. Next week is a great time to roll the dice on Tillman.
Rick Porcello (vs. LAA, @TB)
Like Tillman, Porcello is also on a nice roll of late, his most recent outing notwithstanding. Prior to Wednesday’s poor showing vs. the Orioles, he had pieced together four straight quality starts during which he registered a 1.33 ERA and 0.70 WHIP. Plus, a strong Tigers’ lineup will always put him in a great position to pick up the W. The matchups are a little challenging, but in mixed leagues of 12 teams or more, I’d give Porcello a try.
Ubaldo Jimenez (@BAL, @CHW)
Regardless of the matchup, pitching Ubaldo is always a risk, as he’s liable to blow up at any moment, and unless both matchups are favorable, I’ll tend to shy away from starting him. The @BAL matchup worries me quite a bit, as the Orioles rank 3rd in the Majors in both runs scored and batting average and 1st in homers (thank you, Chris Davis). On the surface, the @CHW matchup seems favorable, as the Pale Hose are the lowest scoring offense in the AL. But note that the South Siders have actually been a middle of the pack offense in the month of June, and their lineup still includes some dangerous hitters. I want no part of Ubaldo next week.
Eric Stults (vs. PHI, @MIA)
Stults has flown under the radar so far this season but he’s been effective more times than not. Wednesday’s quality outing vs. the Giants marked the fifth straight start in which he has allowed two earned runs or less. Even with Giancarlo Stanton back, the Marlins’ lineup is still a lineup worth picking on, and the Phillies’ offense has been very erratic for much of the season. Unless you’re in a shallow mixed league, Stults deserves the nod.
Jeremy Hellickson (vs. TOR, vs. DET)
I’m not giving up on Hellickson just yet. The fact that he sports an excellent 70-to-19 K/BB ratio this season to go along with a career-low walk rate and a stellar 1.25 WHIP suggests that luck can at least be partly to blame for his dreadful 5.50 ERA. I expect the 26-year-old to start performing at a more consistent level as the season goes along. As for next week though, I’ll take the conservative route and ditch. The Blue Jays are hot and we all know what kind of damage the Tigers’ lineup can do to any pitcher. And it’s not like Hellickson can be counted on for strikeouts. I just don’t see the upside in pitching him here.
Chris Capuano (vs. SF, vs. PHI)
Capuano’s return from the DL on Wednesday was an overwhelming success, as he tossed six shutout innings vs. the Yankees, on the road no less. While the veteran lefty hasn’t quite resembled the pitcher who won 12 games for the Dodgers last season to go along with a 3.72 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 162 punchouts, he can still get the job done, and you have to like this pair of matchups. The fact that both of them are at home is an added bonus. In deeper mixed leagues, Capuano makes for a fine two-start option.
Kevin Correia (@MIA, vs. KC)
Don’t laugh but Correia is actually putting together a pretty darn good season. He’s allowed three earned runs or less in four of his last five starts, and although he gives up a lot of hits, he doesn’t hurt himself with walks. Maybe I’d think twice about pitching Correia in a 12-team mixed, as he is, after all, Kevin Correia. But in deeper mixed leagues, you can do a lot worse for next week. The Marlins are the Marlins and the Royals’ lineup is mediocre at best.
Keuchel @ Garza
Chatwood @ Strasburg – Chatwood pitching well, away from Coors, vs. struggling Nats
Deduno @ Kazmir
Hefner @ Hamels
R. Hernandez @ Phelps – Phelps hard to predict so far this year but upside is there
Hammel @ Dickey – Hammel much better on the road… your call on Dickey
Lester @ Fister – have to sit struggling Lester vs. Tigers
Teheran @ W. Peralta
Santiago @ Guthrie – good matchup for Guthrie rebound
Holland @ Lyons – tough matchup for Holland but results have been there
Cueto @ Miley
Cole @ Weaver
Kershaw @ Richard – Richard may get back into the always-start-at-home graces with a few more good ones…
Colon @ Iwakuma – surprise All-Star preview matchup of the year
Nolasco @ Lincecum