by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Are you trying to get a jump on your competition and snag Week 12s two-start pitchers? Where does the value lie? Who should we be rolling the dice on? First, let’s take a look at my AL/NL Sleepers for the coming week:
|American League||National League|
|Tier 1||Justin Verlander – Detroit Tigers – vs. Bal, vs. BosYu Darish – Texas Rangers – vs. Oak, at Stl
Max Scherzer – Detroit Tigers – vs. Bal, vs. Bos
|Adam Wainwright – St. Louis Cardinals – vs. CHC, vs. TexMatt Harvey – New York Mets – at Atl, at Phi|
|Tier 2||James Shields – Kansas City Royals – at Cle, vs. CWS||Shelby Miller – St. Louis Cardinals – vs. CHC, vs. TexMat Latos – Cincinnati Reds – vs. Pit, at Ari
Matt Cain – San Francisco Giants – vs. SD, vs. Mia
Jeff Samardzija – Chicago Cubs – at Stl, vs. Hou
|Tier 3||Jason Vargas – Los Angeles Angels – vs. Sea, vs. PitJose Quintana – Chicago White Sox – at Hou, at KC
Dan Straily – Oakland Athletics – at Tex, at Sea
Jarrod Parker – Oakland Athletics – at Tex, at Sea
|Patrick Corbin – Arizona Diamondbacks – vs. Mia, vs. CinHyun-Jin Ryu – Los Angeles Dodgers – at NYY, at SD
Paul Maholm – Atlanta Braves – vs. NYM, at Mil
Tim Hudson – Atlanta Braves – vs. NYM, at Mil
Travis Wood – Chicago Cubs – at Stl, vs. Hou
Mike Leake – Cincinnati Reds – vs. Pit, at Ari
|Tier 4||Dylan Axelrod – Chicago White Sox – at Min, at KCJordan Lyles – Houston Astros – vs. Mil, at CHC
Bud Norris – Houston Astros – vs. CWS, at CHC
Josh Johnson – Toronto Blue Jays – vs. Col, vs. Bal
Jeremy Hellickson – Tampa Bay Rays – at Bos, at NYY
Felix Doubront – Boston Red Sox – vs. TB, at Det
|Andrew Cashner – San Diego Padres – at SF, vs. LADBarry Zito – San Francisco Giants – vs. SD, vs. Mia
Francisco Liriano – Pittsburgh Pirates – at Cin, at LAA
Dillon Gee – New York Mets – at Atl, at Phi
Jorge De La Rosa – Colorado Rockies – at Tor, at Was
Dan Haren – Washington Nationals – at Phi, vs. Col
|Tier 5||Mike Pelfrey – Minnesota Twins – vs. CWS, at CleAaron Harang – Seattle Mariners – at LAA, vs. Oak
Jeremy Bonderman – Seattle Mariners – at LAA, vs. Oak
|John Lannan – Philadelphia Phillies – vs. Was, vs. NYMEdinson Volquez – San Diego Padres – at SF, vs. LAD
Charlie Morton – Pittsburgh Pirates – at Cin, at LAA
Jacob Turner – Miami Marlins – at Ari, at SF
Nathan Eovaldi – Miami Marlins – at Ari, at SF
Alfredo Figaro – Milwaukee Brewers – at Hou, vs. Atl
Ross Detwiler – Washington Nationals – at Phi, vs. Col
- A rain out cost Dylan Axelrod to lose his two-start status for Week 11, though he picks one up in Week 12 instead. While the Royals have suddenly awoken the past few days, starts against the Twins and Royals appear favorable (at least on paper). He hasn’t struck out many this season (4.99 K/9), but the upside is there for more (7.99 K/9 in minor leagues, 7.06 in the Majors in ’12). He’s a gamble, but one that probably is worth taking depending on your situation.
- Clay Buchholz has been dealing with a neck issue and, according to Sean McAdams (via Twitter) “Buchholz scratched from Sunday bullpen, ruled out of Tuesday start.” Not only is he no longer a two-start option, but fantasy owners probably want to find an alternative all together for the coming week. Felix Doubront will step into his spot, though the matchups make him an extremely risky proposition.
- We can put names like Dan Haren, Jeremy Hellickson and Josh Johnson all in the same classification. We know the potential and the talent, but with the way they’ve pitched this season it is hard to depend on them. They are viable, depending on your options, but you do so at your own risk at this point.
- While both Aaron Harang and Jeremy Bonderman have looked good recently, does anyone really trust him?
- With his rotation spot on the line Dillon Gee has responded with back-to-back strong outings (2 ER over 14.1 IP with 19 K) against two good teams (Yankees & Nationals). He is far from a guarantee, but with the way he’s been pitching he at least needs to be on our radars. That said, monitor the news closely because one misstep could lead to him being replaced by Zack Wheeler.
- Francisco Liriano has seemingly turned back the clock in 2013. Maybe the move to the NL has been the big difference, but he has two difficult road matchups and has been routinely hit hard (25.8% line drive rate). Don’t consider him a must use option in any format.
- You would think Ian Kennedy would be rated much higher, but his struggles go beyond a recent 4.0 IP, 10 ER performance. He’s allowed at least 4 ER six times in twelve starts this season. Until he proves that he can produce consistently he is going to be a borderline option.
- It has been a remarkable bounce back campaign for Jon Lester, but that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t carry significant risk with him. For his career he has struggled against both Tampa Bay (4.07 ERA, though he has been great against them this season) and Detroit (4.78). He has to be in your lineup, but that doesn’t mean he’s a lock to produce.
- Pitching for the Yankees isn’t quite what it used to be and Phil Hughes has watched balls fly over the fences when pitching at home (7 HR in 29.0 IP). With two home starts against offenses that can swing the bats, he’s a risky proposition.
- Jordan Lyles has allowed 3 ER or less in seven of his eight starts (including 2 ER or less in each of his past five). He may just be the pitcher that he currently is overall (4.03 ERA, 1.41 WHIP), but with a pair of matchups that don’t completely frighten you it makes him a viable option.