Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 6/24
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.