by Will Overton
For some in head to head leagues what happens today will determine whether or not they make the championship matchup this coming week. Not that you need reminded, there’s a lot of pressure on your right now.
For some in that spot there may be just a few K’s or a win between you and a win in that particular category. Or if you’re playing roto maybe you’re trying to make a late, pull out all the stops, push to gain ground in one of those categories.
If you are in either of those scenarios, I invite you to jump into the Sunday Stream. If you’re playing from behind, it might be time to throw the play it safe mentality out the window, especially if you’re the head to head guy I described. Before you can think about next week you have to win this one and so it’s time to go for broke and make some gambles.
Here are a few pitchers I’d gamble on today.
Ricky Nolasco – Miamia Marlins @ New York Mets: It’s kind of crazy to me that Nolasco is available in enough leagues to be a streaming option, but he is. Nolasco has been lights out all month long. In his last four starts he has a 1.20 ERA and has pitched two complete game shutouts in that span. He hasn’t been great against the Mets, but in one start at Citi Field this season he was dominant. And the Mets are statistically one of the worst offensive teams in baseball, especially recently. I’d expect Nolasco to continue what he’s been doing lately today.
Jake Odorizzi – Kansas City Royals vs. Cleveland Indians: A lot of people smarter than me thought this should’ve happened earlier. But no matter there, it’s happening now. Odorizzi has dominated the minor leagues this season, especially Triple-A where he has a 2.93 ERA in 18 starts. Odorizzi shows good control, nice strikeout potential and an ability to keep the ball in the park pretty well. This is a pretty fine time to be making a debut because Cleveland has been awful all season with the bats. And Odorizzi is likely auditioning for a starting job next season so he’ll be looking to make an impression. It’s scary rolling with someone you’ve never seen, but this kid seems for real.
Drew Smyly – Detroit Tigers vs. Minnesota Twins: It’s been a little while since we’ve seen Smyly making a start, but let’s remember he wasn’t too bad before he lost his job. The Tigers traded for Anibal Sanchez and Smyly became the odd man out, but he showed off some good stuff early on, including 87 K’s in 89 IP so far this season. There are a few things working in his favor today, one of them is that he is pitching at home where he had a bit more luck early on this season. Another is that he is a lefty facing a lefty heavy lineup in Minnesota. Lastly, his biggest problem earlier this season was the long ball, and Minnesota has the fifth fewest HR’s hit this season in all of baseball, not to mention the fact that it’s harder to hit it out of Comerica Park where Smyly will be pitching. Like the other this is a gamble, but there are calculated reasons to place your bet here.