Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 5/12
Symmetry is the theme of this installment of two-start pitcher notes, as we have a neat three and three thing going. Let’s get to it!
Mike Leake (vs. SD, @PHI)
A mediocre finish to what was on the whole a true breakout season for Leake last year had many, including myself, thinking that last season’s 14-7, 3.37 ERA, 1.25 WHIP stat line could not be duplicated in 2014. Wrong. Through seven starts this year, Leake sports a 3.40 ERA and 1.09 WHIP, and he’s even showing improvement in the K/BB department. The Padres rank dead last in the NL in runs scored and share the home run cellar spot with the Mets. Citizens Bank Park is a tough place to pitch but the Phillies are also a sub-par offense.
Tom Koehler (@LAD, @SF)
Look, we all know that Koehler is due for a stat correction, and maybe it happens in the @LAD start, but maybe it won’t. Even though the Dodgers have one of the more dangerous lineups in the Majors, Koehler has already had success against them this year (7 IP, 0 ER on May 2). The Giants’ offense has actually performed fairly well this season, but they have been better on the road than at home. And besides, how can you bench a guy who has allowed two runs or less in six of his first seven starts?
Drew Smyly (@BAL, @BOS)
These matchups are plenty scary and Smyly has been shaky at times this year, but I think once he gets into the routine of pitching every fifth day (he pitched out of the bullpen until April 18), we will start to see more consistency. And listen to this. In 202 2/3 big league innings (roughly a full season of starts), Smyly is 12-5 with a 3.24 ERA and 1.16 WHIP to go along with 198 strikeouts. Pretty good.
Tim Lincecum (vs. ATL, vs. MIA)
As I mentioned in the Pitch or Ditch post below, Tiny Tim is getting dangerously close to DTM status. The former Cy Young award winner has recorded just two quality starts in seven tries this season and he’s allowed 50, yes 50 hits over his first 35 2/3 innings. I don’t care that both of his starts next week will come at home. The vs. MIA matchup might seem like a favorable one, that is until you realize that the Marlins have scored the second-most runs in the NL. Lincecum belongs on your bench next week in all mixed leagues. In mixed leagues of 12 or fewer teams, a strong case can be made that he belongs on the waiver wire.
Mark Buehrle (vs. LAA, @TEX)
Buehrle is the AL counterpart to Koehler in that you know that regression is coming but you don’t know when it will come. If it doesn’t come next week, I’d be shocked. The Angels rank 3rd in the AL in runs and 2nd in homers. @TEX is generally a matchup to avoid for all non-elite starting pitchers. I have a bad feeling about all of this.
Colby Lewis (@HOU, vs. TOR)
Lewis certainly deserves Pitch or Ditch attention going forward, as he could be a cheap source of strikeouts. He’s also done a nice job of limiting free passes so far this season, issuing only five walks through his first 25 innings. But the bottom line is that he’s been way too hittable, and until he can shake off more of the rust from his prolonged injury absence, he should only be used in ultra-favorable matchups. @HOU is one of those ultra-favorable matchups, so in a daily lineup league, I’d pitch him there, but vs. TOR is far from an ultra-favorable matchup. In 12-team mixed leagues, I’ll pass on Colby for the two-start week.