Zach’s Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 5/18
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Rubby De La Rosa (@MIA, vs. CHC)
Since allowing six runs across 5 1/3 innings in his season debut, De La Rosa has pitched to a 3.72 ERA and 1.11 WHIP while registering a 37-to-10 K/BB ratio over 38 2/3 innings. The fact that Rubby is showing considerable improvement in the strikeout department (8.59 K/9 this season compared to 6.55 K/9 in 2014) is encouraging, and keep in mind that this is a guy who whiffed just under a batter per inning over the course of his minor league career, so I don’t think this is a fluke. The Marlins and Cubs have both been middle of the pack offenses so far. In mixed leagues of 12 teams or more, I’d pitch him.
Nathan Karns (@ATL, vs. OAK)
Through eight starts, Karns’ first full season in the big leagues has been a success, as he’s gone 3-1 with a 3.77 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 44 strikeouts over 45 1/3 innings. Although the 4.2 BB/9 leaves a lot to be desired, Karns is displaying much improved control of late, posting a 2.6 BB/9 over his last three starts. The @ATL matchup is a favorable one but the vs. OAK matchup isn’t great. All in all, however, I think the risk outweighs the reward. If you’re in a mixed league of 12 or fewer teams, feel free to go with a more established one-start option. But if you’re looking for an under the radar waiver wire addition in a deep mixed format, Karns might just be your best bet.
Mike Foltynewicz (vs. TB, vs. MIL)
Continuing on the theme of potential deep league waiver wire gems, Foltynewicz makes for an intriguing choice. Overall, I’m slightly more optimistic about Karns, as Foltynewicz’s control issues have been more severe (5.3 BB/9), but Mike’s matchups are more appealing and he’s coming off his most effective outing of the season (6 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 7 K in hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park). The Rays and Brewers both rank in the bottom third of the Majors in runs scored.
C.J. Wilson (@TOR, @BOS)
It’s nice to see that Wilson has finally gotten back on track, with three straight outings of at least seven innings and no more than two earned runs. But his matchups next week are about as bad as they get, with the Blue Jays leading the Majors in runs scored and Wilson sporting a 5.87 ERA over his last three starts at Fenway Park. Wilson still deserves a roster spot in the majority of 12-team mixed leagues, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable pitching him in any mixed league for next week.
Aaron Harang (@COL, @WAS)
Harang owners have to be plenty pleased with what they have gotten from him so far this year, but when it comes to next week, it’s probably a good idea to take a break from him. Among NL clubs, the Nationals trail only the Dodgers in runs scored and they rank 3rd in the Senior Circuit in home runs. Even if we forget about that matchup, starting a non-elite pitcher in Coors Field is always very risky, especially an extreme fly-ball pitcher like Harang. Outside of NL-only leagues, there’s just too much downside here.
Drew Pomeranz (@HOU, @TB)
This one is pretty simple. While Pomeranz is 2-0 with a 1.89 ERA and 0.74 WHIP in three home starts this season, he’s 0-3 with a 6.86 ERA and 1.68 WHIP in four road outings. So with a pair of road starts looming, he’s a ditch, though it’s possible that Pomeranz can eventually break the pattern and graduate to automatic start status for two-start weeks. But for now, I’ll pass.