Zach’s Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 6/6
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Thursday is the new Friday, at least for this week. Rather than giving you a sampling of my full two-start pitcher article, here’s the whole thing, and you’re getting it a day early! What could be better than that?
OK, let’s get started.
12-team mixed leagues
Tyler Chatwood (@LAD, vs. SD)
Boasting a 2.99 ERA and 1.21 WHIP through 11 starts this season, Chatwood has earned mixed league consideration, but mostly for his road outings. In five starts away from Coors Field, the Rockies righty is 4-0 with a 0.53 ERA, this compared to a 2-4 mark with a 5.30 ERA in six home starts. Although there will always be some risk involved in pitching Chatwood at home, the risk next week will be minimal, as the Padres rank in the bottom third of the NL in both runs and OPS. Plus, the 26-year-old dominated the Padres in San Diego last month, tossing eight shutout innings.
Mike Leake (@CIN, @PIT)
All it took was three weeks for Leake to lower his season ERA from 6.03 to 3.82, thanks to a five-start stretch during which he has allowed a combined six runs. His second matchup next week will be a challenging one, as the Pirates rank 4th in the NL in runs and 3rd in OPS. But the Reds are only a mid-tier offense. Combine that with Leake’s exceptional results of late, and fantasy owners should feel comfortable starting the Cardinals righty.
Matt Shoemaker (@NYY, vs. CLE)
Shoemaker’s 2016 campaign got off to a shaky beginning, as the 29-year-old carried an ERA of 8.49 through seven starts. But the Angels righty has allowed a combined four runs over his last three starts to go along with a 31-to-0 K/BB ratio across 22 2/3 innings. Entering Thursday, the Yankees rank 14th in the AL in runs and 15th in OPS. While the Indians offense has been solid overall, Cleveland ranks 12th in the Junior Circuit in OPS on the road.
Adam Conley (@MIN, @ARI)
Despite being far from consistent this season, Conley has shown us why he is a highly-regarded prospect, sporting a 3.72 ERA and 8.8 K/9 rate with only three home runs allowed through 11 starts. After blanking the Pirates over six innings on Wednesday while tallying nine strikeouts, the Marlins southpaw will be rewarded with a matchup against a Twins lineup that ranks 28th in the Majors in runs. Minnesota also just lost their biggest power threat, Miguel Sano, to the DL. The Diamondbacks present a much tougher challenge (7th in the Majors in runs and OPS), but Conley has already faced Arizona once this season, tossing 5 1/3 innings of shutout ball.
Deeper mixed leagues
Jonathon Niese (vs. NYM, vs. STL)
Having allowed three runs or fewer in each of his last five starts, Niese heads into a two-start week during which he will face a Cardinals team that leads the NL in runs scored. For this reason, the Pirates lefty is too much of a risk for 12-team mixed league purposes. But for owners in deeper formats willing to take on this risk, his other matchup offers reward potential, as the Mets rank 13th in the NL in runs and 14th in batting average.
Robbie Ray (vs. TB, vs. MIA)
Although Ray holds a mediocre 4.74 ERA through 11 starts, he has whiffed 66 batters across 57 innings, so owners in deep mixed leagues and NL-only formats can count on him for strikeout help. Next week, the Diamondbacks southpaw might even help in ERA as well, as the Rays and Marlins both rank in the bottom third of the Majors in runs scored this season.