Zach’s Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 6/16
John Danks (vs. SF, @MIN)
Danks was tough to rely on in mixed leagues for the first quarter of the season, but in four starts since getting bombed by the Astros on May 18th, he’s registered a 1.53 ERA and 0.85 WHIP. Surprisingly, the Giants and Twins both rank in the top half of the Majors in runs scored this season, but neither offense truly scares me. All in all, this is a situation where I’ll pay more attention to the recent performance of the pitcher.
Tommy Milone (vs. TEX, vs. BOS)
When it comes to Milone, it’s always been simple. When he’s on the road, you ditch him. When he’s at home, you pitch him. This season has been no different, as he’s 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA in five home starts compared to 2-3 with a 4.73 ERA in seven starts away from Oakland. Better yet, Milone is fresh off two straight quality starts on the road. But that’s besides the point, because he’s at home next week. The matchups aren’t overly appealing, but the Rangers and Red Sox both rank in the bottom half of the AL in runs scored on the road. But most importantly, Milone’s home/away split needs to be taken seriously. In mixed leagues of 12 or more teams, I’d give it a shot.
Marcus Stroman (@NYY, @CIN)
Following a brief stint in the bullpen, Stroman’s career as a big league starter has gotten off to a fine beginning, as he’s notched three straight quality starts while posting a stellar 17-to-2 K/BB ratio. At first glance, these matchups might seem unfavorable. But the Yankees and Reds have been arguably the two most disappointing offenses in all of baseball this season, both ranking in the bottom third of their respective leagues in runs scored. There’s still plenty of talent in those lineups, however, making Stroman a somewhat risky play. But in mixed leagues of at least 12 teams, I think it’s a risk worth taking.
Tom Koehler (vs. CHC, vs. NYM)
After getting off to a ridiculously good start to the season, Koehler is currently going through a regression phase that was simply inevitable. That said, he’s only had one disaster outing so far this year, and each of his last two mediocre starts came on the road in AL parks, so it’s not like he was a serious pitch candidate anyway. Although I recommended to bench Koehler for the one start against the Cubs, I’d at least think about using him for two-start pitcher purposes in deeper mixed leagues. The Cubs are still a sub-par offense, and when you add the vs. NYM matchup to the mix, Koehler becomes a lot more intriguing, as his best start of the season came against the Amazins (8 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K). Plus, he’s still 3-2 with a 2.70 ERA in six home starts this year.
Roenis Elias (vs. SD, @KC)
Based on the matchups, it’s very tempting to pitch Elias, as the Padres and Royals rank 30th and 23rd respectively in the Majors in runs scored. I’d be careful though. In addition to getting roughed up by the Yankees on Thursday, the last time Elias has allowed three runs or less in consecutive starts was over a month ago. The bottom line is that the consistency just hasn’t been there. Like in the case of Danks, the pitcher’s recent results outweigh the quality of the matchups.
Wade Miley (vs. MIL, vs. SF)
I expected better from Miley this season. Although he usually pitches decently enough to keep his team in the game, he’s allowed less than three runs in just four of his 15 starts, and that just doesn’t cut it when it comes to mixed league relevancy. In 12-team mixed leagues, he belongs on the waiver wire. In deeper mixed leagues, he still deserves a roster spot but should not be started for next week’s pair of home starts. Why? Well, Miley holds a 1-5 record with a 5.69 ERA and 11 home runs allowed in eight home starts this year. I think that’s a good enough reason.