Zach’s Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 8/4
Kevin Gausman (@WAS, vs. STL)
Following a rocky outing on the road versus the A’s on July 20th, Gausman has now pieced together two straight quality starts, and he pitched well against a dangerous Angels lineup his last time out. He’s still walking a few too many for my liking (3.4 BB/9) and these might not seem like great matchups on paper. But note that the Cardinals have been arguably the most disappointing offense in the Majors this season, ranking next to last in the league in runs scored. The Nationals lineup is formidable, but Gausman has been a lot better on the road (2.86 ERA) than at home (4.24 ERA). In mixed leagues of 12 teams or more, he’s worth a shot.
Dillon Gee (vs. SF, @PHI)
Since returning from the DL, Gee has posted only one quality start in four tries, and he’s allowed a combined 11 earned runs over his last two outings. But his overall numbers are still strong, and he deserves the benefit of the doubt for the time being. Gee has been far from impressive against the Phillies this year, but the Philadelphia lineup is still mediocre at best. The Giants offense isn’t terrible, but it’s nowhere near elite.
Jason Hammel (vs. TB, vs. MIN)
To say that the A’s haven’t gotten what they had hoped from Hammel when they acquired him in early-July would be an understatement. In four starts with Oakland, he’s 0-4 with a 9.53 ERA and 2.12 WHIP. Not good. But I haven’t given up on him just yet. Next week, Hammel gets to face two sub-par offenses that both rank in the bottom third of the AL in runs scored since the All-Star break. And he will get to face them at home in a pitcher-friendly park. If he can’t get the job done here, feel free to cut bait in mixed leagues. But in deeper mixed formats and of course AL-only leagues, I’d trot him out there for this two-start week.
Charlie Morton (vs. MIA, vs. SD)
Usually a safe bet for a quality performance, Morton is in the midst of an uninspiring stretch that has seen him allow at least four runs in three of his last four starts. There is hope for next week, however, as both of Morton’s starts will come at home, where he boasts a 2.18 ERA and 1.14 WHIP for the season. The Padres are by far the lowest scoring team in the Majors this year and the Marlins offense, despite being surprisingly decent overall, ranks 13th in the NL in runs scored on the road.
Mark Buehrle (vs. BAL, vs. DET)
It was only a matter of time before Buehrle would become the victim of the dreaded stat correction. The month of July was not kind to the veteran southpaw, as he posted a 5.74 ERA and 1.84 WHIP in five starts. These are very scary matchups, and since Buehrle’s strikeout rate is low, pitching him basically amounts to chasing a win. No thanks. If you still own Buehrle in a mixed league, feel free to drop him. Hopefully, you cashed in your profits while you had the chance.
Phil Hughes (vs. SD, @OAK)
Talk about turning back into a pumpkin. The last time Hughes posted consecutive quality starts was a month and a half ago. Yeah, the strikeouts are nice, and his walk rate (0.85 BB/9) is actually excellent. But his hit rate (10.3 H/9) leaves a lot to be desired, and he’s too prone to the disaster outing. If we were just talking about the vs. SD start, I’d pitch him. But @OAK is a definite ditch, which makes the two-start week a ditch.