Zach’s Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 8/11
Shelby Miller (@MIA, vs. SD)
Coming off a terrific rookie campaign, Miller has been an overall disappointment this season, so much so that he was temporarily bumped from the Cardinals rotation last month. But in three starts since rejoining the starting staff, he’s registered a 2.41 ERA and 0.59 WHIP. The Padres remain the lowest scoring team in the Majors by a healthy margin while the overachieving Marlins offense has fallen back down to earth of late, ranking 11th in the NL in runs scored since the All-Star break. If available on the wire, Miller is a must-add in all mixed leagues of 12 teams or more. Next week is as good a time as any to trot him out there.
Tom Koehler (vs. STL, vs. ARI)
Although Koehler’s dominant April (2.97 ERA) is a distant memory by now, he does have six quality starts in his last nine tries. His ERA at home is 2.45, this compared to a 5.05 mark away from Miami, and the Cardinals and Diamondbacks both rank in the bottom third of the NL in runs scored on the road. I’m convinced. Pitch.
Odrisamer Despaigne (vs. COL, @STL)
Being that he’s fresh off three straight mediocre performances, pitching Despaigne next week might seem like a leap of faith. Well, I’m ready to take that leap. Let’s not forget that through his first five big league starts, the Padres righty boasted a 1.31 ERA, so the talent is certainly there for him to finish the season strong. The Rockies are by far the highest scoring team in the Majors when at home, but it’s an entirely different story away from Coors Field, as they rank 28th in runs scored on the road. Meanwhile, the Cardinals offense has struggled all year. In shallower formats, maybe there are better waiver wire options, but even in a 12-team mixed, Despaigne would be squarely on my radar.
Drew Smyly (@TEX, vs. NYY)
In our Pitch or Ditch posts, we’ve had a love/hate relationship with Smyly all season, and quite honestly, I’m not as high on him as Cory might be. I do think he has a bright future, but is he an automatic start in 12-team mixed leagues? Far from it. And getting traded to the Rays doesn’t exactly help his outlook, as his run support will almost certainly take a hit. Smyly actually pitched very well at Rangers Ballpark back in June, but I still don’t trust him there. Starting him against the Yankees is something I’d probably do in a daily lineup league, but for the two-start week, I just don’t have a good feeling about this.
Dan Haren (@ATL, vs. MIL)
At this point, I’m so down on Haren that I wouldn’t even pitch him in a two-start week coming off a gem versus a tough Angels lineup. Why? Because that was only his second quality start in his last nine outings. The bottom line is that Haren is a shell of his former self, his stuff and velocity so diminished that he often looks like he’s throwing batting practice. The Brewers rank 2nd in the NL in both runs scored and homers, and while the Braves have been a sub-par offense this year, Haren sports an ugly 4.99 ERA through 13 road starts.
Mike Minor (vs. LAD, vs. OAK)
This one is kind of obvious, as Minor has been a mess this year while both of these opposing lineups are very dangerous. But from a big picture perspective, it goes to show just how unpredictable starting pitching can be from one year to the next. This is a guy who was an undisputed top-30 SP heading into the season. Four months later, he’s an automatic ditch in all mixed leagues, even in a two-start week. Go figure.