Zach’s Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 5/25
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David Phelps (@PIT, @NYM)
Prior to his most recent outing, Phelps had pieced together five straight starts in which he pitched at least six innings while allowing no more than two runs. And his performance on Wednesday was far from terrible. The Mets rank dead last in the NL in runs scored this month while the Pirates haven’t been much better, currently in a three-way tie for 11th. Oh, and Phelps is 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA and 1.04 WHIP on the road this year compared to 0-1 with a 5.50 ERA and 1.67 WHIP at home. Good thing he will be making two road starts next week.
Wei-Yin Chen (vs. HOU, vs. TB)
I’ve always been a fan of Chen and this year is no exception, especially considering his impressive start to the season. I’ll admit that some regression is on the way. His current .237 BABIP is unsustainable, and that’s a big reason why Chen sports a 7.2 H/9 this season compared to a career H/9 of 8.9. But one of Chen’s biggest strengths is that he doesn’t hurt himself with walks (career 1.25 WHIP). The Rays offense is sub-par and while the Astros rank 3rd in the AL in runs scored, they’re also a very undisciplined team, ranking 1st in the AL in strikeouts by a wide margin. So perhaps Chen can take advantage of that. The vs. HOU matchup makes pitching Chen a bit risky, but with four quality starts in his last five outings, I’d go for it in mixed leagues of 12 or more teams.
Brett Anderson (vs. ATL, @STL)
Anderson is a much more appealing choice in deeper formats than in a standard 12-team mixed league, as starting him @STL is risky. But he deserves consideration nonetheless if you’re not happy with some of your one-start options. While Anderson is allowing well over a hit per inning, he’s issued a mere nine walks across 42 1/3 innings, and his strikeouts have picked up of late. Over his last two starts, Anderson has whiffed 15 batters.
Roenis Elias (@TB, vs. CLE)
Looking for a rotation fill-in who happens to be scheduled for two starts next week? Elias, who is likely still available in most 12-team mixed leagues, might just be your best option. The 26-year-old lefty boasts a 2.76 ERA and 1.26 WHIP through five starts this season, and don’t forget that he was solid last year over the course of his 29-start rookie campaign. Next week, Elias gets to face one below average lineup followed by one mid-tier lineup. Sounds good to me.
Shane Greene (@OAK, @LAA)
By now, Greene is firmly in the YPNM (your problem, not mine) group. The window to trade him for a useful player is pretty much closed, so Greene owners have no choice but to either hang onto him and devote a roster spot to a guy who cannot be trusted or simply cut him. In mixed leagues of 12-plus teams, I’d be hesitant to drop him being that he’s pitching a lot better of late and perhaps that trade window can reopen. But Greene should be glued to your bench until further notice, even in a two-start week. The disaster outing risk is too high.
Carlos Rodon (@TOR, @HOU)
The upside is undeniable, but 19 walks in 22 1/3 innings simply isn’t going to cut it at the big league level. It sounds like the White Sox will stick with Rodon in their rotation for the time being, and if you are a Rodon owner in a deeper mixed league, don’t rush to drop him, as patience is a must. But as long as he continues his wild ways, he cannot be trusted as a fantasy starter. And don’t even think about pitching him next week, as the Blue Jays and Astros both rank in the top-3 among AL clubs in runs scored and homers.
Nathan Eovaldi (vs. KC, @OAK)
Inconsistency has been the name of the game for Eovaldi, who has yet to toss back-to-back quality starts this season. The Yankees off-season acquisition continues to give up a ton of hits and he’s just not worth the trouble for mixed league purposes, especially next week. The Royals and A’s rank 2nd and 4th in the AL respectively in runs scored.
Chase Anderson (@STL, @MIL)
Although Anderson remains a quality Pitch or Ditch option when the matchups are right, these matchups would scare me off. It seems like every time I start a non-elite pitcher against the Cardinals, he gets rocked, and while the Brewers rank in the bottom third of the Majors in runs scored, the Milwaukee lineup has been much more productive at home, ranking 13th in the Majors in runs. Outside of NL-only leagues or very deep mixed formats, I’d take the conservative route and ditch Anderson for next week, despite his stellar pitching of late.