Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 5/19
Zach back with you,
This is without question the most positive edition of the 2014 Two-Start Pitcher Notes series, as long-term, I’m even optimistic about my three ditches.. So let’s get started.
Wei-Yin Chen (@PIT, vs. CLE)
Chen has been far from dominant this year, and he’s still giving up too many hits. But he’s allowed two runs or less in five of his last six outings and is a guy who has always issued very few free passes (2.54 career BB/9). The Pirates and Indians are both middle of the pack offenses, so if you’re in need of an extra two-starter, Chen makes for a gamble worth taking.
Josh Beckett (@NYM, @PHI)
Although no longer the ace of years past, Beckett has been a pleasant surprise for his fantasy owners this year. He carries an outstanding 2.38 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and 8.64 K/9 rate into next week’s play and his two opponents, the Mets and Phillies, happen to be the two lowest scoring teams in the NL at home this season.
Drew Smyly (@CLE, vs. TEX)
Smyly opened the season in the Tigers’ bullpen before moving into the rotation, and after getting roughed up in his first start, he’s settled down nicely, allowing two runs or less in three of his last four outings while whiffing 22 batters over that span (24 1/3 innings). The young lefty entered the year as a legitimate breakout candidate, and I’m fully aboard the Smyly bandwagon. The matchups here aren’t easy, but at least for the time being, I’d feel comfortable pitching Smyly against any team.
Drew Pomeranz (@TB, @TOR)
Not too long ago, Pomeranz ranked among the game’s top prospects, and maybe the move from Colorado to Oakland was all he needed to take his professional career to the next level. Pomeranz did a fine job pitching out of the bullpen to begin the season, and he’s been even better since shifting into the rotation (10 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 13 K). I’m high on Pomeranz going forward, but I’m nervous about these matchups. The Blue Jays lead the AL in both runs scored and home runs while the Rays rank 3rd in the Junior Circuit in runs scored at home. In a 12-team mixed league, I’d play it safe for next week.
Rafael Montero (vs. LAD, vs. ARI)
I liked what I saw from Montero in his big league debut, and he could very well become a must-add in all mixed leagues at some point in the near future. But in 12-team mixed leagues, I’d be wary of starting him here, as the vs. LAD matchup kind of ruins the two-start week. That said, in deeper mixed leagues and of course NL-onlys, Montero is probably worth starting. And if you’re in a 12-team mixed and have an open roster spot, it’s not a bad idea to stash him and then start him going forward if he pitches well next week.
Jake Odorizzi (vs. OAK, vs. BOS)
I’m including Odorizzi here because it certainly seems like he’s turning the corner in his development, and you’ve got to love all those strikeouts. Be careful with him next week, however, as these are very dangerous matchups. In fact, I’d bench him in all mixed leagues. But if he somehow gets through the week in good shape, be ready to scoop him up!