Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 9/23
Alas, we’ve come to the final edition of my two-start pitcher notes for the 2013 season. There’s a rather low number of borderline calls for next week, so hopefully you already have a bunch of no doubt two-start options on your roster.
A reminder that our final regular season podcast will come your way next week (date TBD), and most of the show will be dedicated to answering listener questions, so if you have any tough keeper decisions, let’s hear them! You can either post your questions right here on the blog or through Twitter (@fantasy411).
Good luck down the stretch!
Alex Wood (vs. MIL, vs. PHI)
After kicking off his big league career in dominant fashion, Wood has hit a speed bump this month, going 0-1 with a 8.49 ERA and 2.57 WHIP in three September starts. Although I’d lean towards pitching him, as these matchups aren’t too scary, it’s entirely possible that the 22-year-old is simply running out of gas, as the 137 innings he’s thrown between the Minors and Majors this season represents a 84 1/3 inning hike from last year. Let the categories guide you here. If you’re in a tight ERA/WHIP race, you might want to play it safe and ditch. Otherwise, I think Wood is worth starting thanks to the wins and strikeouts potential.
Wei-Yin Chen (@TB, vs. BOS)
This guy has frustrated me to no end ever since he returned from the DL back in mid-July. Yeah, he’s capable of throwing a gem on any given night, but a few rough outings have inflated his ratios. On the bright side, Chen has allowed three runs or less in 17 of his 21 starts this season. Unfortunately, his worst performance of the year came against the Red Sox at Fenway (3 2/3 IP, 8 ER on August 27). He was better in his Fenway Park rematch his last time out but still gave up 11 hits in 5 2/3 innings. The Red Sox clearly have his number, and for that reason alone I’m benching Chen. And it’s not like @TB is an easy matchup either.
Marco Estrada (@ATL, @NYM)
Estrada’s second half stat line (2-0, 2.62 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 42 K’s in 44 2/3 innings over seven starts) is simply outstanding, so there’s really no reason why you shouldn’t pitch him next week. The only reason why I’m even including him on this list is that he’s always been very home run prone and the Braves lead the Senior Circuit in homers this season. But the reward here outweighs the risk. Estrada is simply pitching too well right now for you to consider benching him. Oh yeah, and then there’s the @NYM matchup. You’ve gotta like that one!
Brandon McCarthy (@SD, vs. WAS)
McCarthy struggled upon returning from his lengthy DL stint, but it looks like he’s finally gotten his act together, with four quality starts in his last five outings. What makes next week risky is that the Nats rank 2nd in the NL in runs scored since the All-Star break and 1st in the NL in homers since the Midsummer Classic. But McCarthy has done a good job keeping the ball in the yard this season (11 HR allowed in 122 IP), so the risk is somewhat mitigated. As for the Padres, McCarthy has dominated them to the tune of a 2-0 record and 0.64 ERA. In mixed leagues of 12 teams or more, I’ll say pitch.
Eric Stults (vs. ARI, @SF)
Even though he’s faded a bit lately, Stults is still a pretty safe bet to turn in a quality performance. Not a lights out performance, but a quality performance. He walks very few and boasts a strong 123-to-38 K/BB ratio for the season. The main issue I have with next week, however, is that Stults is a combined 2-4 with a 5.59 ERA versus the Diamondbacks and Giants this year. Add in his low strikeout rate and there’s not a whole lot of upside here. I’d only use Stults in deeper mixed leagues. In 12-teamers, I’d pass.