Zach’s Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 8/25
While looking at the projected two-start pitchers for next week, I came to the realization that there was really no one, outside of the more obvious guys, who I would definitely bench. So instead of the usual Pitches and Ditches, we’ll focus solely on Pitches this time.
Wei-Yin Chen (vs. TB, vs. MIN)
Chen has been one of my favorite two-start pitcher picks this season, and there’s a good reason why. He’s rarely terrible, and with a strong offense supporting him, a quality start usually means a W (not that we chase wins or anything). The owner of a 4-1 record and 2.72 ERA through six starts since the All-Star break, Chen gets to face the Twins and Rays next week, a pair of mediocre offenses that rank 9th and 14th respectively in the AL in runs scored on the road. Pitch with confidence!
James Paxton (vs. TEX, vs. WAS)
Yeah, he’s been a little erratic since returning from a four-month injury absence, managing just two quality starts in four tries. But the bottom line is that Paxton is a high-end talent who should only get better as he shakes off the rust. The Rangers lineup has been a major disappointment this season (losing Prince Fielder for the year certainly didn’t help) and while the Nationals are a top-tier offense overall, Washington’s lineup has been significantly less productive on the road than at home.
Matt Shoemaker (vs. MIA, vs. OAK)
I’ve been hesitant to climb aboard the Shoemaker bandwagon for awhile, but I’m now convinced that this is a guy who deserves to be on all 12-team mixed league rosters. After all, he’s 12-4 with a 3.56 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, just under a strikeout per inning and a 102/19 K/BB ratio. What more could you possibly ask for? That said, next week presents a tough challenge for Shoemaker, as he will face an underrated yet solid Marlins offense followed by the best offense in baseball in the A’s. Still, this is a situation where performance quality trumps the matchups, and Shoemaker’s performance quality this season has been pretty good.
Jimmy Nelson (@SD, @SF)
Nelson is coming off a mediocre outing against the Blue Jays, but prior to that start, he had registered five straight quality starts, so there’s no doubt that the former top prospect can succeed at the big league level. Both of Nelson’s starts next week will take place on the road in pitcher-friendly parks against a pair of offenses that each rank in the bottom third of the NL in runs scored and home runs at home.
Jake Peavy (vs. COL, vs. MIL)
The move back to the Senior Circuit has certainly helped Peavy, who sports a 3.58 ERA and 1.26 WHIP through his first five starts with the Giants. Both of his starts next week come at pitcher-friendly AT&T Park, and while the Brewers offense is formidable, the Rockies rank 13th in the NL in runs scored and batting average away from Coors Field. All in all, Peavy is a risk worth taking in all mixed leagues of at least 12 teams.