by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
It’s not a deep week in regards to two-start options, but there are definitely both elite options and intriguing ones. With the fantasy season quickly flying by, fantasy owners need to make the decision if a pitcher is worth the risk. Is the upside enough? Does the downside risk outweigh the potential reward?
Here’s a quick breakdown of the tiers (and remember, the pitchers are also ranked within each tier):
- Tier 1 – The Elite
- Tier 2 – Not quite elite, but among the better options
- Tier 3 – Solid options
- Tier 4 – Borderline options only usable under the right circumstance
- Tier 5 – Options worth avoiding
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the week ahead:
- Would you trust CC Sabathia? It’s hard to bench him, but it’s also hard to keep him active with his continual beatings. Sure he was solid in his most recent outing, but the only month he’s posted a sub-4.00 ERA was back in April. Consider him a borderline option at this point.
- After leaving his last start early, the reports on Chris Archer appear promising. According to Marc Topkin (via Twitter), “Archer said “everything felt normal” playing catch, will start on Tuesday as scheduled”. While Archer has been impressive this season, he also has benefited from a .223 BABIP and 80.8% strand rate. Couple the likely regression with the injury concern and it keeps him from falling into one of our must use categories. That said, benching him (if healthy) seems nearly impossible.
- Ryan Dempster has struggled overall this season, and the Blue Jays (4.96 ERA over 3 starts) and Yankees (5.23 ERA over 2 starts) have helped to deliver the beatings. Don’t be confused with his potential name value, the truth is he isn’t that good in 2013.
- It has been a tough stretch for Dan Straily, failing to complete 5 innings in each of his past three starts. Still, his WHIP is just 1.22 WHIP and has struggled with a 66.6% strand rate. There is still value and a player worth considering.
- Samuel Deduno is not a good source of strikeouts, but he owns a 2.45 ERA at home this season and gets two matchups that do have promise.
- While Cole Hamels has been pitching better, with matchups against the Braves and Dodgers he has to fall into Tier 3 for the week. It’s impossible to sit him down, but there definitely is the potential for some blowups.
- Jhoulys Chacin has not been generating strikeouts, but he owns a 3.30 ERA and 1.21 WHIP in 22 starts this season. He has been hit hard, however, with a 24.8% line drive rate (including 26.0% mark in July and 25.0% in August). The matchups make him worth using, but don’t discredit the risk he comes with.
- Travis Wood has very good numbers this season, but he draws matchups with the Reds and Cardinals this week. That’s as hard as you get, especially with both starts coming at home (and the potential for the wind to be blowing out at Wrigley). He’s hardly a must start, depending on who else you have available to you.