Zach’s Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 4/27
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By now, you all know that Friday is two-start pitcher day here on the blog, but if you’re in a 12-team mixed league, you’ll have a tough time finding an appealing two-start pitcher for next week via the waiver wire, with the possible exception of the guy in the first picture. And even when it comes to two-start pitchers that are already on rosters, there are a bunch of borderline calls. So let’s begin.
Jered Weaver (@OAK, @SF)
Yeah, Weaver hasn’t been all that reliable so far this season, and the days of him serving as a consistent source of strikeouts might be a thing of the past. But I’m encouraged by what I’ve seen from him over his last two starts, the most recent one coming against the same A’s team that he will be facing next week. The Giants offense has struggled in the early going, ranking 13th in the NL in runs scored. In mixed leagues of 12 teams or more, I’d give Weaver a shot.
Homer Bailey (vs. MIL, @ATL)
After a shaky season debut, Bailey bounced back on Thursday, limiting the Brewers to two runs across 5 2/3 innings. Next week, Bailey again faces the Brewers, a team that ranks in the bottom five of the Majors in both runs scored and batting average. The Braves offense has exceeded expectations, but there’s a limited amount of talent in that lineup, so expect regression. It might take Homer a few more starts to fully shake off the rust, but pitching him next week is still a risk worth taking.
Chase Anderson (vs. COL, @LAD)
Anderson is more of a deep mixed/NL-only league two-start option, as these matchups aren’t ideal, particularly @LAD. That said, he’s allowed three runs or less in each of his first three starts this season to go along with a 16-to-4 K/BB ratio across 18 innings. Also note that in his two starts at Dodger Stadium last season, Anderson registered a 3.27 ERA and 1.09 WHIP. So despite the challenging matchup, at least the splits are on his side!
Drew Hutchison (@BOS, @CLE)
Long term, I’m not overly concerned about the inconsistent Hutchison, and his superb performance on Thursday certainly bodes well going forward. But the @BOS matchup is scary, and it’s ultimately the reason why I’d play it safe and ditch him for next week. In three starts against the Red Sox last season, Hutchison pitched to a 6.28 ERA while allowing 21 hits in just 14 1/3 innings. If he can make it through next week in good shape, I’ll once again consider him to be an automatic pitch.
Taijuan Walker (@TEX, @HOU)
Walker finally gave his fantasy owners reason for optimism on Tuesday, holding the Astros to one run on four hits over 5 1/3 innings while striking out eight. The bad news is that he issued four more free passes, raising his season walk total to ten over his first 12 2/3 innings. Not good. But Walker owners need to be patient. Remember that he’s only 22 years of age, so continued inconsistency should be expected. In mixed leagues of 12 teams or more, he doesn’t belong on the waiver wire. However, he does belong on your bench for the time being. It’s not like the Rangers and Astros are high-end offenses, but there’s simply too much downside in pitching Walker right now. You’ll get strikeouts, but at what cost?
Jason Hammel (vs. PIT, vs. MIL)
Hammel hasn’t been terrible this season. But at the same time, he’s been nothing special, posting a respectable 1.27 WHIP and exceptional 16-to-1 K/BB ratio across 17 1/3 innings but allowing 21 hits, including three home runs. Both the Pirates and Brewers have been below average offensively this season, which makes it tempting to pitch Hammel. I’d still lean towards ditching him until we see more consistency. In a deep mixed/NL-only league, he’s not a crazy gamble. In a 12-team mixed, I’ll let someone else take that gamble.