Nick Nelson

The Week Ahead

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Quick Starters

Friday, April 29, 2011

Alexi Ogando established himself as a dominant back-end reliever for the Rangers in 2010. This year, he's taken on a new challenge, moving into a starting role after pitching in relief for almost his entire pro career.

Thus far, the 27-year-old right-hander has proven up to the challenge, jumping out to a 3-0 start with a 2.30 ERA over his first five outings. In the upcoming week, he ranks among the strongest two-start options in the American League, as he'll look to continue his impressive season-opening run and further solidify his spot in the Texas rotation.

Ogando's first start of the week comes against the Mariners, a team he shut out over six innings in his season debut. His second turn will come against the Yankees, a team that roughed him up for five runs over six frames on April 17 -- his worst outing thus far. How will he fare? Should be a good test.

Ogando heads an AL two-start list that includes fellow fast starters Jon Lester and Dan Haren. You'll them, along with all the other options, below. Note that Roy Oswalt, currently listed as a two-start guy for the National League, is currently away from the Phillies and visiting his home state of Mississippi, which has been ravaged by storms. His status for Tuesday's start is uncertain.

Going Twice...

American League

Strong Plays
Alexi Ogando: @SEA (Bedard), NYY (Sabathia)
CC Sabathia: @DET (Penny), @TEX (Ogando)
Dan Haren: @BOS (Lester), CLE (Tomlin)
Justin Verlander: NYY (Colon), @TOR (Litsch)
Mark Buehrle: BAL (Guthrie), @SEA (Bedard)
Jon Lester: LAA (Haren), MIN (Pavano)
Josh Beckett: LAA (Chatwood), MIN (Duensing)

Decent Plays
Tyson Ross: CLE (Tomlin), @KC (Francis)
Brandon McCarthy: TEX (Holland), @KC (Hochevar)
Jeff Francis: BAL (Bergesen), OAK (Ross)
Josh Tomlin: @OAK (Ross), @LAA (Haren)
Jeremy Guthrie: @CWS (Buehrle), TB (Shields)
Brad Bergesen: @KC (Francis), TB

At Your Own Risk
Jo-Jo Reyes: @TB (Davis), DET (Penny)
Derek Holland: @OAK (McCarthy), NYY (Colon)
Erik Bedard: TEX (Ogando), CWS (Buehrle)
Bartolo Colon: @DET (Verlander), @TEX (Holland)
Tyler Chatwood: @BOS (Beckett), CLE (Masterson)
Brad Penny: NYY (Sabathia), @TOR (Reyes)

National League

Strong Plays
Kyle Lohse: FLA (Volstad), MIL (Narveson)
Aaron Harang: PIT (McDonald), ARI (Saunders)
Roy Oswalt: WAS (Hernandez), ATL (Hanson)
Clayton Kershaw: CHC (Coleman), @NYM (Dickey)
Anibal Sanchez: @STL (McClellan), WAS (Hernandez)
Tommy Hanson: MIL (Estrada), @PHI (Oswalt)
Jair Jurrjens: MIL (Estrada), @PHI (Lee)

Decent Plays
Tom Gorzelanny: SF (Bumgarner), @FLA (Volstad)
Livan Hernandez: @PHI (Oswalt), @FLA (Sanchez)
Kyle McClellan: FLA (Sanchez), MIL (Estrada)
Ryan Vogelsong: @NYM (Dickey), COL (Chacin)
Madison Bumgarner: @WAS (Gorzelanny), COL (Rogers)
James McDonald: @SD (Harang), HOU (Happ)
R.A. Dickey: SF (Vogelsong), LAD (Kershaw)
Marco Estrada: @ATL (Jurrjens), @STL (McClellan)
Jhoulys Chacin: @ARI (Saunders), @SF (Vogelsong)
Chris Volstad: @STL (Lohse), WAS (Gorzelanny)
Mike Leake: HOU (Happ), @CHC (Coleman)

At Your Own Risk
J.A. Happ: @CIN (Leake), @PIT (McDonald)
Casey Coleman: @LAD (Kershaw), CIN (Leake)
Joe Saunders: COL (Chacin), @SD (Harang)

Streamer City

The following pitchers are generally available in over 50 percent of fantasy leagues and have favorable match-ups this week:

American League

Wednesday, 5/4: Jake Arrieta @ KC
The young righty has been sharp in recent outings, with a string of three consecutive quality starts.

Friday, 5/6: Philip Humber @ SEA
Humber has been solid over his first four starts, with a 3.20 ERA and 1.07 WHIP. It won't last forever, but he should be able to keep it up against the Mariners.

National League

Wednesday, 5/4: Travis Wood vs. HOU
Wood has struggled in recent outings, but he's worth grabbing off waivers for this start against the Astros.

Thursday, 5/5: Brandon Beachy vs. MIL
The Braves rookie has been outstanding in early action. Give him a look at home against Milwaukee this week.

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Nick Nelson is a frequent contributor to Rotoworld's baseball coverage and regularly blogs about the Minnesota Twins at Twins Daily. Follow him on Twitter @NickNelsonMN.
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