Zach’s Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 5/11
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Mike Leake (vs. ATL, vs. SF)
No, Leake isn’t going to finish the season with a 2.47 ERA and 0.87 WHIP, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that he’s one of the more underrated pitchers in baseball. His pedestrian strikeout rate limits his fantasy value to that of a back end of the rotation guy, but he’s certainly someone worth holding onto in 12-team mixed leagues for the foreseeable future. And he’s certainly someone who you should be starting next week when he faces a Braves club that he just dominated last week to the tune of eight shutout innings followed by a Giants team that ranks next to last in the NL in runs scored.
Josh Collmenter (vs. WAS, @PHI)
No one was starting Collmenter at Coors Field anyway, so I’m giving him at least a partial pass for his last outing, though he did manage to make it through seven innings. Yeah, he’s kind of boring, and he’s not going to post gaudy strikeout totals. But his low WHIP, thanks to a minuscule walk rate, can be useful in deeper mixed leagues. Even in a 12-teamer, Collmenter is a quality option for favorable matchups or two-start weeks. The vs. WAS matchup is somewhat scary, but at least it’s at home, where Collmenter has been very effective over the course of his career. The @PHI matchup is a no-brainer, with the Phillies ranking dead last in the Majors in runs scored. In mixed leagues of 12 teams or more, I’d give him a shot.
Wily Peralta (vs. CHW, @NYM)
Coming off a breakthrough 2014 campaign, Peralta was inconsistent in the early going this season. But he’s now pieced together three straight starts of at least six innings and no more than two earned runs. His most recent start, versus a formidable Dodgers lineup (8 IP, 2 ER, 6 K), was especially impressive. I wouldn’t hesitate to start Peralta next week. The White Sox rank last in the AL in runs scored by a wide margin while the Mets have been at best a middle of the pack offense.
Alex Colome (vs. NYY, @MIN)
In a 12-team mixed league, I might play it safe and pass on Colome, but he’s a very intriguing option in deeper formats. The Rays have enforced a strict pitch count so far, as Colome missed the beginning of the season due to a case of pneumonia, but we can expect him to soon go deeper into games. And seriously, what’s not to like about a 1.80 ERA, 0.70 WHIP and 10-to-0 K/BB ratio? Still, the Yankees and Twins both rank in the top half of the AL in runs scored and batting average, which is why I’d only consider Colome in mixed leagues of more than 12 teams or AL-only leagues.
Ubaldo Jimenez (vs. TOR, vs. LAA)
Please don’t get sucked into the Ubaldo trap! I don’t care that he’s in line for two starts next week. I don’t care that he currently sports a 2.36 ERA and 0.98 WHIP to go along with 23 strikeouts in 26 2/3 innings. He’s a tease, and he’s liable to implode at any moment. The Blue Jays lead the Majors in runs scored while the Angels lineup, despite underperforming so far, remains very dangerous. Let someone else gamble on Ubaldo.
Chris Heston (@HOU, @CIN)
Heston looked fantastic over his first three starts this season, but two of his last three outings have been duds, and he simply doesn’t carry the track record necessary for fantasy owners to remain confident in him. Next week, Heston heads into two hitter’s parks to face two talented lineups, one of which (Houston) leads the AL in home runs. In 12-team mixed leagues, I wouldn’t have a problem with dropping him altogether.