Zach’s Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 8/18
Kyle Hendricks (@NYM, vs. BAL)
How could anyone not be impressed by what they’ve seen from Hendricks through his first six big league starts? Although his minor league strikeout numbers are nothing special, his other ratios are outstanding, so it wouldn’t be wise to dismiss this fast start as a fluke. The Mets offense is mediocre at best and while the Orioles lineup poses a significant challenge, at least that start will come at Wrigley, where the O’s won’t get the benefit of the DH.
Mike Leake (@STL, vs. ATL)
Even though Leake is coming off his worst outing in awhile (5 IP, 8 H, 5 ER vs. BOS), I still have confidence in him. Prior to his last start, he had allowed a combined three earned runs over his previous three outings. The Braves and Cardinals rank 28th and 29th respectively in the Majors in runs scored.
Trevor Bauer (@MIN, vs. HOU)
Bauer’s erratic ways continue to frustrate his fantasy owners, but when he’s on his game, he’s a pretty good pitcher. And he’s fresh off a dominant performance against the Diamondbacks (8 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 9 K). Bauer’s 5.82 road ERA is a bit scary, but the Twins rank near the bottom of the AL in runs scored at home. The Astros offense has far exceeded expectations this season, but they have enjoyed a lot more success at home than on the road, where they are the lowest scoring team in the AL. Oh, and Bauer’s home ERA this season is 3.36.
Bud Norris (@CHW, @CHC)
Norris is more of a deep mixed/AL-only play, but he’s an intriguing option nonetheless. In his five starts since the All-Star break, Norris is 3-1 with a 3.10 ERA and 29 strikeouts in 29 innings, and the White Sox and Cubs are both mid to low-end offenses. Norris is rarely terrible, so the risk of a disaster outing is minimal. That said, his 4.55 road ERA is concerning. Depending on your specific situation, taking a shot on Bud could pay off, but he’s a true toss-up in a 12-team mixed.
C.J. Wilson (@BOS, @OAK)
Yeah, there’s reason for optimism following Wilson’s quality outing against the Phillies, but he was so awful leading up to his DL stint and in his first start back that I’d proceed with caution. If he makes it through next week in decent shape, I think it would be safe to once again treat him as a grad, a guy who deserves to start in just about any matchup. But making it through next week in decent shape will be tough to say the least. The A’s have been the top offense in baseball all season long and starting any non-elite pitcher at Fenway Park always scares me. At least for next week, the risk outweighs the reward.
Aaron Harang (@PIT, @CIN)
No, I’m not as down on Harang as I was earlier in the season, as he’s done a nice job proving his doubters wrong. But his last start was his worst since mid-June, and it’s fair to wonder if the 36-year-old is simply running out of gas, as he’s already eclipsed last season’s innings total. The Pirates rank 1st in the NL in runs scored since the All-Star break, and while the @CIN matchup isn’t terrible, like with Fenway Park, I try to avoid starting mid to lower tier pitchers at Great American Ball Park.