Ever have one of those stretches where the pitchers on your bench way out perform the guys you’ve chosen to start? I’ve been ramming my head into the desk all week. Consider yourself warned and read on if you dare.
Joe Blanton v HOU (5/14) & v BOS (5/19) – Blanton is quietly having a solid year, although he’s been tough to time. I trust him to handle Houston but the Sox keep scoring runs. We like him a lot in 15 team or deeper formats.
Ross Detwiler v SD (5/14) & v BAL (5/19) – Detwiler has been getting it done. The Ks have something to be desired but his ratios are solid and they’re not a complete accident. You have to love San Diego although the Os are bit of a dice roll. I might use him in a 12 team format, and there’s no question in deeper leagues.
Ryan Dempster @ STL (5/14) & @ CHW (5/19) – Five quality starts, no wins. Man the Cubs suck. Dempster currently has a career best BB%, which has always been the main culprit keeping him out of the elite status. It’s not completely crazy to think that he’s taking something of a ‘next step’ at age 35. He’s a must start in any format, against any team.
Anthony Bass @ WSH (5/15) & v LAA (5/20) – He’s 1 and 4 but better than most realize. The Nats and Angels are both in the bottom nine of runs scored in all of baseball. At some point he may become a steady play but for now Bass is a thrifty NL-only play.
Josh Beckett v SEA (5/15) & @ PHL (5/20) – Beckett has been super shaky this year. The 1.7 mph dip in velocity means he’s hurt or still building arm strength. Either way he should have enough in the tank this week to deal with Seattle and Philly. He’s worth considering in 10-team leagues and likely a must start in anything deeper.
Christian Friedrich @ SF (5/15) & v SEA (5/20) – Pay attention and you’ll get your nickel’s worth right here. Friedrich mixes four pitches and has a big boy 92.4 mph fastball. He’s always had a nice K rate but, like most young pitchers, control was his bugaboo. Including AAA he’s only walked 5 batters in 36 innings this year so it’s possible he’s figured something out. He dominated the Padres in his debut (I know, I know) and he has two starts this week – SF and SEA. 12 team leagues are likely too shallow for someone this green but I think he’s solid gold in 15 team leagues this week.
Henderson Alvarez v TB (5/15) & v NYM (5/20) – Very few Ks but he’s been getting deep into games due to a GB% approaching 60%. His 2.61 ERA and 1.09 WHIP in the AL East are beautiful. FIP and xFIP suggest correction is coming. History shows us that when high GB% get corrected it’s brutal. He’s worth consideration in 12-team or deeper formats but don’t be surprised if he gets lit up in one of his starts this week.
Chris Capuano @ SD (5/16) – Capuano has been great for the Dodgers this season. A favorable schedule helps but at San Diego is as favorable as it gets. An absolute must start in 12-team leagues, a probably in 10 teamers too.
Mike Minor v MIA (5/16) – He’s been getting hammered lately. When he puts it all together he’ll be a stud. These change up guys sometimes take a while. For right now he needs to go on timeout in shallower leagues. Only start in 15-team or deeper.
Ubaldo Jimenez v SEA (5/16) – We’re going to spend a lot of time on this guy this season. He has Seattle, no brainer right? Here’s the rub; Jimenez makes all of his own problems by walking the park. Any random 9 major league hitters are capable posting some serious runs when you walk 5 and 6 batters per start. Despite the matchup he’s still only a maybe in 15-team formats.
Ricky Nolasco @ ATL (5/17) – FIP and xFIP say he’s not this good but he’s generating 50% groundballs and a lower than average HR/FB seems possible to sustain. The Braves are a good but not great offense so bet on the pitching. Feel free to start in any format.
Philip Humber @ CHC (5/18) – Humber more or less sucks but the Cubs are among the worst offenses in baseball. So, based on the matchup we expect somewhat less suck this week from Humber. Nice play in AL-only leagues.
Daniel Bard @ PHL (5/18) – All of 2 Ks in his last couple of starts and we have our latest proof that this was a mistake. The Phillies are certainly not the AL East so give him a shot in 15-team or deeper formats. Bard has been putrid enough to keep this from being a no- brainer [itch in those leagues, and shallower formats should avoid the trap.