Rotations are still being sorted out following the All-Star Game, and thus "TBA" still is showing up as the opponent in a couple of next Sunday's games, but these recommendations are made in spite of who the other team is trotting out to the mound, for the most part. Remember, this article only covers streaming options owned in less than 50% of leagues. Despite that limitation, there are quite a few pitchers worth considering this week, so let's just get to it, shall we?
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Rubby De La Rosa BOS @ TOR Marcus Stroman
Brandon McCarthy NYY vs TEX Colby Lewis
De La Rosa is sticking in the Boston rotation, which is generally a good thing, although if you pick him up, don't expect high strikeout totals. They may come, but then again, you should prepare for a two or three K effort, and take anything more with gratitude. Also beware of a regression, as his strand rate is high and BABIP is low compared to league averages.
McCarthy was plucked from the Diamondbacks to shore up a tepid Yankee rotation, and he has done that with aplomb, allowing only two earned runs over his two starts for his new team, and also striking out nine hitters in his last appearance against the Reds at home. When he is on his game, he is stingy with the walks and can usually supply the basis of a QS, if not an actual win.
Friday, July 25, 2014
Brett Anderson COL vs PIT Charlie Morton
Kevin Correia MIN vs CHW John Danks
Odrisamer Despaigne SD @ ATL Alex Wood
Zach McAllister CLE @ KC Yordano Ventura
Getting Anderson back was a welcome treat for the flailing Rockies, especially if his last start is an indication of how he will be dealing in future starts. He held the Pirates to a single earned run in his last start, striking out 8 to boot. He faces them again at the end of the week, and while familiarity with his stuff could be an issue, he has always had the talent to succeed, it was just his inability to take the mound every fifth day that made him a risk in fantasy.
I hate to keep recommending Correia, since I keep expecting a correction to take place, but he has been remarkably consistent for a month now. He won't strike out many, but he also will scatter the limited hits he allows to keep his team in the game. He can be extremely valuable if your league uses QS as a scoring category, having tossed seven QS in his last nine starts.
How is Despaigne still owned in under half of the leagues? True, it is tough to analyze Cuban League stats, but he has shown in his four starts for the Padres that he can limit the earned runs, and he even struck out seven in his last appearance on the road against the Dodgers. His control returned in that game, too, not issuing a free pass over seven innings. A home start would be preferred, but facing the Braves gives him a chance to post some nice K numbers.
McAllister pitched well against the Tigers before being optioned to Triple-A after throwing 5.1 innings of one run ball, for which he received no decision. For the nonce, the Tribe is listing him as their SP when opening up against the Royals in Kansas City, so he provides a potentially decent streaming option, pitching for a team playing well. His numbers with the Indians look pretty ugly, but he has been quietly effective at Triple-A, with five of his six starts being of the QS variety.
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Josh Collmenter ARI @ PHI Cliff Lee
Shane Greene NYY @ TOR Drew Hutchison
Collmenter can give a fantasy owner a string of nice starts, then blow up as he did two starts ago against the Braves, where he yielded five earned runs on 11 hits in a six inning loss. One thing to watch out for with him is the decision by the Diamondbacks to limit his innings, so the opportunity for wins or QS will be diminished as the season progresses. He is also demonstrating a career low strikeout percentage (5.6 K/9 through 104.1 innings), although his strand rate and BABIP do not indicate any sort of correction coming soon, both falling within league averages. The road is not his favorite place to pitch, so this start carries with it risk.
I am not sure we can trust Greene to keep pitching as well as he has since being thrust into the Yankee rotation two starts ago, since his career minor league numbers did not indicate he would be anything astounding once he was promoted to the main club (4.39 ERA, 1.48 WHIP over six seasons). The thing is, he is pitching well right now, striking out batters and not giving up hits, while demonstrating good control. He has done that away from his home park, and thus I don't have any worries about him being on the road in this start, although facing the Jays won't be easy. On a day when the pickings are slim, he strikes me as the best option.
Sunday, July 27, 2014
Scott Carroll CHW @ MIN TBA
Miguel Gonzalez BAL @ SEA TBA
Roberto Hernandez PHI vs ARI Vidal Nuno
Vidal Nuno @ PHI Roberto Hernandez
T.J. House CLE @ KC Bruce Chen
Jake Peavy BOS @ TB Jake Odorizzi
Eric Stults SD @ ATL Mike Minor
What a wealth of options to wind up the week. We don't know who Carroll will be facing at Target Field, but if he pitches like he did in Boston and Cleveland over his last two starts, that won't really matter. In the past 11.2 innings, he has allowed a scant three hits and no earned runs. That is not a prediction, just something to keep in mind. Minnesota are not world beaters. It will be interesting to see if the 29 year old can keep his scoreless streak alive for one more game.
Gonzalez is also facing an unidentified pitcher on the road in Seattle, and his home/road splits make this start a bit worrisome, as his ERA is nearly a run and a half worse when pitching away from Camden Yards. He has no track record against the Mariners, so I am relying on his recent history to put him forth as a streaming option here. If his control is evident, then he can provide a decent set of stats.
Hernandez and Nuno face off in Philly, and I am pressed to determine who I trust more here. Nuno is coming off a poor performance against the Giants on the road, where he gave up four earned runs in five innings while Hernandez is working off a gem of an eight inning start where he only let one earned run cross the plate. Of course, Hernandez in the start before that allowed five earned runs. The thing I am trying to say is that these are two inconsistent pitchers and while you may be tempted to use both sides against the middle, having both in your lineup could be disastrous, or could make you seem like a genius. Prolly something in between the two extremes, but still risky.
House may just be sent back to the minors when Justin Masterson is activated from the DL, so don't pin all your hopes on this start. House has proven hittable, as his .345 BABIP shows, but if he can generate ground balls, he has a better chance that the ball will stay in the park, as he does have a tendency to let fly balls travel long distances when hitters can get some loft on one of his pitches. A few Ks, limited walks and potentially six decent innings is about what you can expect from House, so long as he avoids the home run pitch.
Peavy, if you go by his record, would seem to be a terrible option. Yet, over his past three starts, he has pitched into the sixth inning or later, and given up only six earned runs, while tallying 19 strikeouts and five walks. Some seasons certain pitchers just cannot buy a victory, and this is that kind of year for Peavy. He has had some poor starts that inflated his peripherals, but essentially, he has been the victim of poor support and bad luck. Certainly I will not tell you to expect a win from him on the road facing the Rays, but also don't be shocked if you get a QS from a losing starting pitcher.
Stults, despite generating a decent amount of ground balls, has a problem with the long ball, his season HR/9 ratio sitting at an ugly 1.7. He generally has good control, as his BB/9 ratio is a very good 2.08 on the season, but he lacks the ability to ring up high strikeout totals (5.35 K/9). Pitching away from Petco is another disadvantage he suffers in this match up. He does get to face the free-swinging Braves, so there is a chance he can put up some decent K numbers, and he also tends to limit the earned runs and hits, so he merits a mention here. I would prefer to hang my hat on one of the other Sunday SPs, namely Peavy and perhaps Carroll, but if your wire is bare, then Stults isn't a horrible option, and the Braves may just make his strikeout numbers look acceptable.
I will again plead that Despaigne needs to be owned in more than half of the leagues out there. Make it happen.
Should you have questions regarding fantasy baseball, especially starting pitching, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org to continue the discussion.