By the time you plug any of these players into your lineup, the trade deadline will have come and passed. Thus, some may be on a different rotation schedule by the time their projected start comes up, so pay close attention to player movement as the week begins. Remember, all the pitchers below are owned in less than 50% of leagues, and may be available on your wire.
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Friday, August 1, 2014
Chris Capuano NYY @ BOS John Lackey
Jeremy Hellickson TB vs LAA Matt Shoemaker
Matt Shoemaker LAA @ TB Jeremy Hellickson
Kyle Hendricks CHC @ LAD Clayton Kershaw
Franklin Morales COL @ DET Justin Verlander
Eric Stults SD vs ATL Mike Minor
Capuano has been thrown into the Yankees mix for starting pitching, and pitched well in his first appearance, holding the Jays to two earned runs on five hits, although he did hand out four free passes. He will need to get his control in order to be effective, and will definitely need to pitch better than he did earlier this season for Boston from the pen, where he put up a 4.55 ERA, 1.55 WHIP and 4.26 BB/9.
Hellickson has been limited to less than five innings in both of his starts this season, although on the plus side, he has only given up a single earned run in the course of tossing those nine innings. He has shown good control so far, and as per usual, strikes hitters out around league average. The bug risk in starting him is that he will not go deep into the game, costing you any chance at either a win or quality start.
Shoemaker will face off against Hellickson, and he is coming off a dandy seven inning no run start against the Tigers on Saturday. He only allowed three hits in the contest, walking none and recording five Ks. Despite the recent surge the Rays have been putting on, I actually like Shoemaker better than Hellickson in this match up.
Hendricks pitched much better in his second start than his initial outing, holding the Padres to five hits and no earned runs over seven innings. Admittedly, it was the Padres, and he did not fare as well against the Reds earlier in July, but he offers a chance at some strikeouts. The extreme ground ball inducing pitcher would be a good pickup for the back of your rotation, although his control worries me a bit. Of the six pitchers featured for Friday, he is prolly my favorite, albeit not in this contest as he faces the Dodgers and Kershaw, limiting his value if you are looking for a win.
The Rockies have to be happy that Morales' ERA has slowly been trending in the right direction, and while his last outing was a QS, he also allowed nine hits and four walks to the Nationals. Fortunately for him, his GB/FB ratio is improving as his fastball continues to lose velocity, and he certainly won't blow you away with his slightly below league average strikeout rate. Facing Detroit is a hit and miss opportunity, as their offense varies dramatically game to game, but realize that Morales is better at home than on the road on the season.
Stults is not the picture of a reliable starting option, as he continues to struggle to get past the fifth inning. His strikeouts have been getting more plentiful, and that should continue with the match up against the Braves, who are in the top five in MLB in Ks. Pitching at Petco is also favorable for him, where his ERA and homerun allowed rate are much better.
Saturday, August 2, 2014
Chase Anderson ARI vs PIT Vance Worley
Miguel Gonzalez BAL vs SEA Taijuan Walker
Anderson has pitched well in his last two starts in July, even though the two appearances came two weeks apart. He has lowered his ERA to 3.58, although a 4.61 FIP indicates that he is the beneficiary of some luck. As a moderate ground ball inducer, he won't provide a lot of strikeouts, and he needs to keep the ball in the park to be successful, which won't be as easy at Chase Field as it would have been at PNC Park.
Gonzalez has been very consistent for the Orioles this season, having allowed three or fewer earned runs in 15 out of 17 starts in 2014. He has also pitched into the eighth inning in his last three starts, but unfortunately his strikeout rate falls below league average, so the extra frames don't necessarily help all that much on that front. He also has a tendency to hand out base on balls rather generously, with a 3.35 BB/9 rate this season. Still, his ability to pitch out of danger keeps his ERA under four, although his WHIP is nothing to write home about.
Sunday, August 3, 2014
David Phelps NYY @ BOS Clay Buchholz
Phelps had a chance to add to his consecutive QS streak on Thursday, but the weather did not cooperate, the game ending after five innings due to rain. Phelps pitches into trouble, but seems to be able to escape serious trouble more often than not. Plus, he has the ability to provide a decent number of strikeouts, and given that he manages a K per inning over his career against Boston, that certain seems a possibility.
Sorry about the dearth of options on Saturday and Sunday, but those three pitchers were the only ones that fit the criteria and that I felt comfortable recommending this week.
Should you have questions regarding fantasy baseball, especially starting pitching, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org to continue the discussion.