A week without two-start pitchers?! I know it was tough for some of us to get through, but it’s over now. We have a full week of baseball ahead of us, so let’s take a look at the good, the bad and the ugly among the options we have:
Must Use Options:
CC Sabathia – New York Yankees – vs. Tor, @ Oak
Generally I am cautious with pitchers coming off the DL, but there are always exceptions to the rule. This is CC Sabathia, a pitcher with two starts and one of them is in Oakland. It’s a no-brainer to run him out there in all formats.
Phil Hughes – New York Yankees – vs. Tor, @ Oak
Hughes had a little hiccup in Atlanta (6 ER over 4.1 IP), but that was his only poor outing in the past six weeks. He’s allowed 3 ER or fewer in his other six outings over this stretch. With a powerful offense behind him, it certainly is impossible to shy away.
Lance Lynn – St. Louis Cardinals – @ Mil, vs. CHC
Lynn had a tough three start stretch, but came back strong in his last outing before the All-Star Break (0 ER over 6.0 IP with 7 K). He’s also pitched well against both of his opponents this season with a 1.35 ERA in 1 start against the Brewers and 1.35 ERA in 2 starts against the Cubs. It’s certainly hard to imagine that you have enough other options that you wouldn’t want to use him.
Matt Moore – Tampa Bay Rays – vs. Cle, vs. Sea
Moore has not been the pitcher any of us hoped for entering the season, with a 4.42 ERA and 1.45 WHIP over 99.2 innings of work. Control has been the biggest issue (50 BB), but he is still has the strikeout upside and has a pair of favorable matchups. He has also pitched extremely well at home, with a 3.79 ERA. I’d roll him out there in all formats.
Other advisable plays:
- Chris Capuano – Los Angeles Dodgers – vs. Phi, @ NYM
- Wade Miley – Arizona Diamondbacks – @ Cin, vs. Hou
- Jonathan Niese – New York Mets – @ Was, vs. LAD
- Anibal Sanchez – Miami Marlins – @ CHC, @ Pit
- Jason Vargas – Seattle Mariners – @ KC, @ TB
Options Depending On Your Situation:
Trevor Bauer – Arizona Diamondbacks – @ Cin, vs. Hou
I know we all want to consider Bauer a must start option. He has a ton of upside and earned his first win of the season in his last outing. That said, even with a start against the Astros, there’s a lot of risk in running a rookie pitcher out there (especially one that is going to have to pitch in Great American Ballpark). We have to temper expectations for him as we’ve seen him take some lumps already. That’s not to say that I wouldn’t use him, because chances are that I would, but don’t consider him a slam dunk to excel.
Alex Cobb – Tampa Bay Rays – vs. Cle, vs. Sea
He has much more strikeout potential than he’s shown thus far (7.97 K/9 in the minors vs. 6.32 this season). He’ll need to get that number up if he wants to excel and, while the Indians are one of the hardest teams to strikeout, that matchup with the Mariners is way too appealing. He has potential, but a 4.89 ERA definitely makes you give a moment of pause. Then again, he’s sporting a 61.7% groundball rate and a 60.2% strand rate. Seems like there’s good potential here as a sleeper of the week.
Scott Diamond – Minnesota Twins – vs. Bal, @ KC
He has a 2.62 ERA and 1.18 WHIP, so you would think he’d be a must use option, right? Not quite, as he has managed just 45 K over 79.0 IP and control has been almost too good (1.37 BB/9). It just feels like an implosion could come at any time, though it’s hard not to like what he’s done. The matchups are favorable, but not necessarily THAT favorable. While I would proceed with a little caution, in most instances I’d almost definitely use him, but it’s impossible for me to call him a must use option.
Chris Tillman – Baltimore Orioles – @ Min, @ Cle
Tillman was originally slated to start on Sunday, but back spasms pushed him back a day. In the end, the result was probably better for fantasy owners. Instead of facing the Tigers Tillman now gets favorable matchups with the Twins and Indians. I know his recent outing at Double-A caused a little concern (3 ER over 3.1 IP), but it shouldn’t. It was strictly a way to keep him on schedule and fresh, instead of sitting around for 10 days without pitching. Tillman showed strikeout stuff at Triple-A, with 92 K over 89.1 IP this season, and is definitely worth considering.
Other options to consider:
- Bronson Arroyo – Cincinnati Reds – vs. Ari, vs. Mil
- Homer Bailey – Cincinnati Reds – vs. Ari, vs. Mil
- Bartolo Colon – Oakland A’s – vs. Tex, vs. NYY
- Aaron Cook – Boston Red Sox – vs. CWS, vs. Tor
- Ross Detwiler – Washington Nationals – vs. NYM, vs. Atl
- Gavin Floyd – Chicago White Sox – @ Bos, @ Det
- Edwin Jackson – Washington Nationals – @ Mia, vs. Atl
- Jeff Karstens – Pittsburgh Pirates – @ Col, vs. Mia
- Zach McAllister – Cleveland Indians – @ TB, vs. Bal
- Travis Wood – Chicago Cubs – vs. Mia, @ Stl
- Carlos Zambrano – Miami Marlins – vs. Was, @ Pit
Options to Avoid:
Jonathan Sanchez – Kansas City Royals – vs. Sea, vs. Min
With good matchups we all want to use Sanchez, don’t we? He’s supposed to be a strikeout pitcher and we’ve long heard about his potential. The thing is, we can’t use the potential argument anymore. He’s been bad for too long. He has a 6.75 ERA, 1.94 WHIP and just 1 quality start in 11 starts this season. It’s tempting with the matchups, but the risk is way too big.
Other options to avoid:
- Joe Blanton – Philadelphia Phillies – @ LAD, vs. SF
- Brett Cecil – Toronto Blue Jays – @ NYY, @ Bos
- Samuel Deduno – Minnesota Twins – vs. Bal, @ KC
- Jeff Francis – Colorado Rockies – vs. Pit, @ SD
- Christian Friedrich – Colorado Rockies – vs. Pit, @ SD
- J.A. Happ – Houston Astros – @ SD, @ Ari
- Philip Humber – Chicago White Sox – @ Bos, @ Det
- Jordan Lyles – Houston Astros – @ SD, @ Ari
- Ross Ohlendorf – San Diego Padres – vs. Hou, vs. Col
- Rick Porcello – Detroit Tigers – vs. LAA, vs. CWS
- Everett Teaford – Kansas City Royals – vs. Sea, vs. Min
- Josh Tomlin – Cleveland Indians – @ TB, vs. Bal
- Kip Wells – San Diego Padres – vs. Hou, vs. Col