Two-Start Pitchers 2016: June 13-19: Are There Any Gambles Worth Taking?

by Ray Kuhn

Pitching is fickle… It is frustrating… We could go on all day with cliches such as those but as fantasy owners know all too well, they are 100% percent true. While we forecast pitching, and can generally do so with a reasonable degree of accuracy, things don’t always go as planned. That doesn’t mean we stop trying, though. With that in mind let’s take a look at how the pitchers who are taking the mound twice rank this week and try to determine where the potential value is:

Tier One:

  1. Max Scherzer – Washington Nationals – vs. Chicago Cubs; at San Diego
  2. Zack Greinke – Arizona Diamondbacks – vs. LA Dodgers; at Philadelphia
  3. Jacob deGrom – New York Mets – vs. Pittsburgh; vs. Atlanta
  4. David Price – Boston Red Sox – vs. Baltimore; vs. Seattle

Tier Two:

  1. Carlos Carrasco – Cleveland Indians – at Kansas City; vs. Chicago White Sox
  2. Jordan Zimmermann – Detroit Tigers – at Chicago White Sox; at Kansas City

Tier Three:

  1. Kyle Hendricks – Chicago Cubs – at Washington; vs. Pittsburgh
  2. Kenta Maeda – LA Dodgers – at Arizona; vs. Milwaukee
  3. Drew Pomeranz – San Diego Padres – vs. Miami; vs. Washington
  4. Julio Teheran – Atlanta Braves – vs. Cincinnati; at New York Mets
  5. Marcus Stroman – Toronto Blue Jays – vs. Philadelphia; at Balltimore
  6. Jake Odorizzi – Tampa Bay Rays – vs. Seattle; vs. San Francisco

Tier Four:

  1. Chris Tillman – Baltimore Orioles – at Boston; vs. Toronto
  2. Wei-Yin Chen – Miami Marlins – at San Diego; vs. Colorado
  3. Taijuan Walker – Seattle Mariners – at Tampa Bay; at Boston
  4. Gio Gonzalez – Washington Nationals – vs. Chicago Cubs; at San Diego
  5. Martin Perez – Texas Rangers – at Oakland; at St. Louis
  6. R.A. Dickey – Toronto Blue Jays – vs. Philadelphia; at Baltimore

Tier Five:

  1. Jimmy Nelson – Milwaukee Brewers – at San Francisco; at LA Dodgers
  2. Chase Anderson – Milwaukee Brewers – at San Francisco; at LA Dodgers
  3. Nathan Eovaldi – New York Yankees – at Colorado; at Minnesota
  4. Jerad Eickhoff – Philadelphia Phillies – at Toronto; vs. Arizona
  5. Sean Mannea – Oakland A’s – vs. Texas; vs. LA Angels
  6. Juan Nicasio – Pittsburgh Pirates – at NY Mets; at Chicago Cubs
  7. Brandon Finnegan – Cincinnati Reds – at Atlanta; at Houston
  8. Edinson Volquez – Kansas City Royals – vs. Cleveland; vs. Detroit
  9. Ervin Santana – Minnesota Twins – at LA Angels; vs. NY Yankees
  10. James Shields – Chicago White Sox – vs. Detroit; at Cleveland
  11. Jered Weaver – LA Angels – vs. Minnesota; at Oakland

Tier Six:

  1. Albert Suarez – San Francisco Giants – vs. Milwaukee; at Tampa Bay
  2. Zach Eflin – Philadelphia Phillies – at Toronto; vs. Arizona
  3. Mike Bolsinger – LA Dodgers – at Arizona; vs. Milwaukee
  4. Colin Rea – San Diego Padres – vs. Miami; vs. Washington
  5. Matt Boyd – Detroit Tigers – at Chicago White Sox; at Kansas City
  6. Chris Young – Kansas City Royals – vs. Cleveland; vs. Detroit
  7. Alfredo Simon – Cincinnati Reds – at Atlanta; at Houston
  8. Ricky Nolasco – Minnesota Twins – at LA Angels; vs. NY Yankees

Notes:

  • I told you so? Did anyone really think that Jordan Zimmermann would have a seamless transition to the American League? While I wasn’t expecting a disaster out of the right-hander, and I thought he held legitimate fantasy value, I wasn’t expecting a sub-2.00 ERA either. We should also be clear that that four starts is much too small of a sample size to sound the alarms, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take a closer look. Zimmermann has seen his ERA rise from 1.50 to 3.30. That is an ugly stretch, but it was really just two bad starts (seven earned runs allowed in each). Additionally, after his April a regression was in order as he began the season with a 92.3% strand rate and benefited from a .267 BABIP; which is the reason why his xFIP was 4.20. In two June starts things have gone the other way (56.3% strand rate and .314 BABIP), but his xFIP of 5.49 also reflects that. I would roll again with him this week, but I also wouldn’t be in objection to moving Zimmermann in a trade if you can get solid value.
  • There are so many players to that warrant your attention on the Cubs that it is easy to overlook Kyle Hendricks, who has been remarkably consistent. After his start on May 5 his ERA stood at 2.79 and following his most recent start it was 2.77 (it peaked at 3.29). Hendricks has done a very good job of limiting base runners with a 0.92 WHIP. The reason for that is two-fold as he has been able to limit the walks (1.98 BB/9), but he has also benefited from a .241 BABIP. However, Hendricks’ FIP of 3.05 and xFIP and 3.39 says that is pretty close to what we can expect from the right-hander.
  • Things weren’t going good for James Shields in San Diego, so to expect an improvement in Chicago would be foolhardy. He made his debut for the White Sox by allowing seven earned runs in just two innings of work. That performance was on the heels of his last start with the Padres that saw him allow 10 earned runs in 2.2 innings. Home runs have been an issue and it’s not going to get any better facing the Tigers at home in his next start. Sell if you can, but at this point he doesn’t deserve a spot in your starting lineup, as he has already done enough damage to your ratios.
  • Should we trust Chase Anderson? Over his last three starts he does have an ERA of 1.04 and he has struck out 13 batters in 17.1 innings while picking up two victories and not walking a batter. In the past month, a span of seven starts, Anderson has seen his ERA drop from 6.44 to 4.21 and his WHIP fall from 1.84 to 1.18. In realt, it has been a pretty solid season overall, except for four starts. Those starts saw Anderson allow 21 earned runs in 18.1 innings, but aside from that the right-hander has done pretty well. He hasn’t walked a batter in his last three starts, and on the season has a 2.17 BB/9. If you are looking for someone to fill some innings this week, you could do worse than taking a shot.
  • While he has had minor league success this season, Zach Eflin is not in an enviable position making his Major League debut in Toronto. While their performance has been inconsistent at times, the Blue Jays still have a powerful offense. Eflin does do a good job of striking batters out and limiting the walks, but making the jump to the big leagues is not an easy thing to do. You can add him to your bench, but rolling the dice on the rookie is a little risky.

2 comments

  1. Turn Two says:

    I know he’s on DL, but Cashner or Junior Guerra, rest of year? (NL Only 4×4 keeper)

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