An. Sanchez @ Hughes
Griffin @ Buehrle
Pelfrey @ Rienzo – Rienzo worth a look in deeper leagues
Wilson @ Jimenez
Doubront @ Guthrie – Guthrie on a run, but bad matchup
Holland @ Peacock
Gorzelanny @ Iwakuma – Gorzelanny worth a gamble if chasing wins and K’s
R. Hernandez @ Greinke
W. Chen @ Gaudin
Lee @ Jordan
Eovaldi @ A. Wood – Wood has great stuff, and it’s a great matchup
Ross @ Cingrani – Ross is hot but avoid the Reds
Villanueva @ Wacha – might as well use him vs. the Cubs
Burnett @ Nicasio
Wheeler @ McCarthy – tough matchup, and Wheeler hasn’t impressed
Verlander @ Pettitte
Williams @ Masterson
Straily @ Dickey – both are high-risk/high-reward
Correia @ Quintana – Quintana 3.34 ERA since rejoining rotation
Lackey @ Shields
Perez @ Keuchel
W. Peralta @ King Felix – great test for improving Peralta
Kennedy @ Leake – I’ll use Kennedy in San Diego but not in Cincy
Alvarez @ Minor
Jackson @ Kelly
Norris @ Cain
Locke @ Bettis – playing it safe on Locke in Coors
Mejia @ Spruill
Kendrick @ Strasburg – cut Kendrick if he has a bad outing here
Hellickson @ Kershaw
Straily @ Happ
Darvish @ Oberholtzer
Richards @ Kuroda
Fister @ Sale
Koehler @ W. Davis – Koehler a nice blue-plate special
Salazar @ Albers – if Salazar dominated the Tigers, what might he do to the Twins?
Hamels @ Teheran
Latos @ T. Wood – Wood is regressing…
Volquez @ Chacin – Chacin in Coors vs. an offense that’s much better away from Petco
Feldman @ Miley
Mejia @ Nolasco
Back with another installment of my weekly two-start pitcher notes. The special guest on today’s show was Steve Gardner of USA Today, so be sure to check out the podcast when it comes out later. Cory and JB will also discuss Car-Go, Wright and the Mets’ closer situation.
OK, onto my notes…
Miguel Gonzalez (@ARI, vs. COL)
Coming off two straight shaky outings, Gonzalez turned in a solid performance his last time out, on the road vs. the Padres, tossing six innings of three-run ball with eight strikeouts. These aren’t the greatest matchups in the world, but Miguel has been consistent enough this year (14-for-20 in quality starts) that I’m comfortable starting him in pretty much any two-start week.
Eric Stults (@COL, vs. NYM)
I don’t know, I still don’t fully trust Stults, but the results have been pretty darn good. Stults’ road ERA is more than two full runs higher than his home mark, and the fact that his road start next week comes at Coors Field is troubling. But the Rockies are without Car-Go and Stults actually pitched extremely well at Coors earlier this season (7 IP, 1 ER), which makes me feel a little better about this. And since he’s been lights out at home (5-2, 2.37 ERA, 0.93 WHIP), I think the Coors Field risk is worth it. Pitch.
Josh Johnson (vs. OAK, @TB)
Yeah, Johnson did a nice job in his latest start, on the road against the Mariners. But let’s face it, he only went five innings! Pitch efficiency has been an issue for him this season, particularly in his last few starts, and quite frankly, he’s been awful more times than not this year. These matchups are far from favorable, and to be honest, I’m at the point where I wouldn’t pitch Johnson regardless of the opponent. Let him be someone else’s problem. Ditch.
Hector Santiago (vs. DET, @MIN)
I’m a big fan of Santiago. I love the strikeout upside and overall, I view him as one of the more underrated pitchers in the game. Facing the Tigers is always a scary proposition, but Hector sports a quality 3.46 ERA in two starts vs. Detroit this year and has allowed three runs or less in nine of his last 11 starts. In mixed leagues of 12 teams or more, I’m definitely pitching Santiago. He’s a borderline call in shallower formats.
Danny Salazar (@MIN, @OAK)
We heard a lot about Wheeler. We heard a lot about Cole. But we didn’t hear much about Salazar prior to his big league debut. We probably should have, as through two starts (one made back in July as a rotation fill-in), Salazar has been awfully impressive. Two homers plagued him on Thursday night, but Salazar still whiffed 10 Tigers while pitching into the eighth inning. A 3.29 ERA, 0.80 WHIP and 17-to-2 K/BB ratio through 13 2/3 innings? What’s not to like? With one very favorable matchup and one so-so matchup on tap, I think you have to trot him out there. At least the @OAK matchup will be in a pitcher-friendly park.
Randall Delgado (vs. BAL, @PIT)
After piecing together back-to-back scoreless outings, Delgado has allowed four runs in each of his last two starts. He’s not a big strikeout guy, the vs. BAL matchup has blowup potential and the Pirates rank fourth in the NL in runs scored since the All-Star break. In deeper mixed leagues, maybe you take a chance on Delgado next week. But in 12-teamers, I’d rather play it safe. You would essentially be chasing wins here, and we all know how that usually turns out!
Jenrry Mejia (@LAD, @SD)
The schedule has been kind to Mejia thus far, but a 1.96 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 18-to-3 K/BB ratio are hard to ignore. He gets to pitch in a pair of favorable parks next week, and I love the @SD matchup. But the @LAD matchup is a bit too dangerous for my taste and Mejia’s track record is limited. To me, he’s a worthy NL-only play and borderline call in NFBC-style mixed leagues. In a 12-team mixed, I’d look elsewhere.
Garrett Richards (@NYY, vs. HOU)
I’m including Richards here because he’s allowed a combined five runs over his last three starts, spanning 18 innings, and because both of these matchups are promising. He’s a little risky, but as an under the radar play in deep mixed leagues, I actually like him slightly more than Mejia.
Gibson @ Danks (Gm 1) – Gibson hasn’t shown anything yet
Hendriks @ Leesman (Gm 2)
Porcello @ Nova
Weaver @ Jimenez
Parker @ Rogers
Peavy @ Big Erv
Garza @ Bedard
Lohse @ Saunders
Lannan @ Haren – Haren’s unpredictability scares me away here
Cashner @ Arroyo
Turner @ Beachy – tough matchup for Turner but he’s been solid
Rusin @ Lynn – Lynn should continue to get well vs. Cubs
Liriano @ De La Rosa
Hefner @ Corbin
Price @ Capuano
Tillman @ Vogelsong
Happ @ Harang – great to see Happ back out there, ditch or not
Fister @ Salazar – Salazar was great in his debut, but play it safe vs. Tigers
Sabathia @ Santiago – hang with ‘em on CC?
Deduno @ TBD (KC)
Dempster @ Cosart – Cosart’s K/BB ratio says play it safe
Ogando @ Hanson
Colon @ Bailey
M. Gonzalez @ Stults – O’s have not been as scary since All-Star
Medlen @ Zimmermann
T. Wood @ Hamels
Koehler @ Morton – not a bad spot to gamble on Koehler, either
Chacin @ Harvey
Nolasco @ S. Miller
Archer @ Spruill
Gorzelanny @ Bumgarner – Gorz has been sharp since joining rotation
***ZACH SAYS “Even though Nolasco pitched well versus the Cards earlier this season, I’ll take the conservative route and ditch. That St. Louis lineup is extremely dangerous, so this is a situation where the risk outweighs the reward. Agree on rest.”
Verlander @ Masterson
Kuroda @ Sale
Albers @ Shields
Wright @ Lyles – Lyles’ great hot streak feels so long ago…
Darvish @ Richards – Richards excellent lately, and at home vs. potentially Cruz-less Rangers
Johnson @ King Felix
Teheran @ G. Gonzalez
Jackson @ Kendrick – Kendrick 5.91 ERA in his last 10 starts
Alvarez @ Locke – I don’t trust Locke, but the numbers demand “pitch”
Straily @ Latos – tough road matchup for scuffling Straily
Bettis @ Mejia
Kershaw @ Kelly
Hellickson @ Miley
Norris @ Volquez
W. Peralta @ Cain
Garza @ Parker
E. Ramirez @ Feldman – I like Erasmo but the schedule is doing him no favors. Feldman has a 5.12 ERA in 5 starts with the O’s and M’s are scoring more lately
Danks @ Scherzer
Corbin @ Peavy – tough matchup for Corbin but he keeps rolling
Bedard @ Gibson
Lincecum @ Price – Rays are too tough to trust Timmy
Rogers @ Weaver
B. Chen @ Torres
Capuano @ Samardzija
Beachy @ TBD (PHI) – Beachy was OK last time and Phils are banged up
De La Rosa @ Liriano – who woulda thunk it?!
Haren @ Hand
Westbrook @ Cingrani
McAllister @ Turner – tough matchup for Turner, but he’s solid and at home
Nova @ Ross – double-sized blue-plate special!
Rienzo @ Porcello
McCarthy @ Doubront – tough spot for McCarthy’s return
Saunders @ W. Chen
Zito @ R. Hernandez – can you trust a guy who changed his name? Not me
Keuchel @ Pelfrey
Buehrle @ Wilson – not buying on Buehrle vs. even mid-tier offenses
Holland @ Griffin
Lynn @ Leake – Leake continues to defy logic and expectations
Big Erv @ Hefner
Kazmir @ Eovaldi
Nicasio @ Burnett – Nicasio throwing well enough to use on the road vs. so-so offense
Jordan @ Lohse
Greinke @ Villanueva
Hughes @ Kennedy – great spot for Kennedy’s Padres debut
A. Wood @ Lannan
An. Sanchez @ Kluber
Pettitte @ Quintana
Correia @ Guthrie
Lackey @ Oberholtzer
Perez @ Williams
Dickey @ Iwakuma – your call on Dickey
Kershaw @ Wainwright – pitching porn
Minor @ Strasburg
Thornburg @ Gaudin – family-sized blue-plate special!
Time for your weekly filling of my two-start pitcher notes. I guess I’m in a particularly good mood today as I like all of these guys…except one.
And make sure to listen to today’s podcast, as Mike, Cory and special guest Derek Carty will share their two-start pitcher thoughts.
Ricky Nolasco (@STL, vs. TB)
Nolasco continues to pitch just well enough to be start-worthy in most mixed leagues. He’s allowed three earned runs or less in each of his first five starts with the Dodgers yet he’s made it through the 6th inning in only one of those outings. He gets a tough set of matchups next week, but unless you’re in a mixed league with fewer than 12 teams, I’d throw him out there, close my eyes and hope for the best. He’s already had success against both teams this year and seems to be a rejuvenated pitcher now that he’s away from a losing environment.
Kyle Kendrick (vs. CHC, @WAS)
It was a rocky month of July for Kendrick, who failed to post back-to-back quality starts and is coming off a disastrous outing versus a far from intimidating Giants lineup. Still, I’d give him a shot next week. The Cubs offense is average at best while the Nats are a team that Kendrick has fared well against this season (3.20 ERA, 1.07 WHIP in three starts).
Corey Kluber (vs. DET, vs. LAA)
I know, the vs. DET matchup is plenty scary. But how can you bench a guy who has posted a 2.41 ERA and 1.04 WHIP over his last five starts to go along with 34 strikeouts in 33 2/3 innings? I can’t, so I’d pitch Kluber. But if you would prefer to sit this week out, it’s understandable. I guess it ultimately comes down to your specific situation and whether chasing K’s is worth the ERA/WHIP risk.
Andy Pettitte (@CHW, vs. DET)
Although Pettitte has been far from dominant this season, he always manages to keep his team in the game, so the risk of a disaster start isn’t all that high. Usually, I’d stay away from an aging two-start pitcher who has one very unfavorable matchup on tap, but in the case of Pettitte, I’d lean towards pitching him because I just don’t see him getting completely roughed up vs. the Tigers and expect him to do well vs. the White Sox.
Tyler Chatwood (@NYM, vs. PIT)
Nine quality starts in 15 tries and a 2.77 road ERA, even after his most recent start, an absolute shellacking @ATL. Chatwood is an extreme ground ball pitcher who has given up a mere four homers over 85 2/3 innings this year, a skill that is obviously essential for a pitcher who calls Coors Field home. The @NYM matchup is outstanding and even the Pirates, despite their overall team success, aren’t exactly a club that lights up the scoreboard. Pitch!
Wily Peralta (@SF, @SEA)
Like most young pitchers, Peralta is prone to blowups, but three earned runs or less in seven of his last eight starts combined with solid strikeout numbers is enough of a reason to start him next week. Oh yeah, and the matchups are ultra-favorable. Pitch.
Chad Gaudin (vs. MIL, vs. BAL)
It’s hard to argue with the results, and both of these starts will come at home, where Gaudin sports a 1.96 ERA. But I just don’t trust him. Maybe it’s the career 4.43 ERA and 1.48 WHIP and the fact that the vs. BAL matchup scares me to no end. I’m passing.
Wow. Six pitches to one ditch. I won’t even bother looking it up. For me, an 87% thumbs up rate is definitely a record.
Harang @ Tillman
Santiago @ Fister – tough matchup for Santiago but I like the K potential
Delgado @ Lester – Lester appears back in the groove. I’m cashing in my profits on Delgado, though
Bumgarner @ Archer
Keuchel @ Deduno – Deduno cashing in hot streak vs. weak schedule
Redmond @ Hanson – both of these guys are intriguing for various reasons, but not enough to pitch here
Ogando @ Milone – Ogando not sharp yet since coming off the DL
Ryu @ Wood – Wood has allowed more than 3 runs only 2 times in 21 starts. Mind, blown.
Medlen @ Lee
Chacin @ Cole
Miller @ Arroyo
W. Davis @ Gee
Jimenez @ Fernandez – gotta run with Ubaldo in Miami
Zimmermann @ Gorzelanny
Sabathia @ Cashner – CC still good enough to try in San Diego