Nick Nelson

The Week Ahead

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Low on Lester

Friday, June 03, 2011

You'll find varied two-start options in both the American League and National League in the upcoming week. A couple to note: Jon Lester was my Cy Young pick for the AL this year, and this week might be the only time you'll ever see me list him as anything less than a Strong Play. He's scuffled lately with one quality start in his past five tries, and has his work cut out for him in the upcoming week with road match-ups against the Yankees and Blue Jays. Meanwhile Matt Garza is tentatively scheduled to return to the Cubs rotation on Monday, which would make him a strong two-start option next week, but it's not etched in stone. I'll update the column over the weekend as needed.

Moving on to match-ups, Tampa Bay is the only AL team not scheduled to face a lefty starter. That's good news for Casey Kotchman (915 OPS vs. RHP) and Matt Joyce (1088 OPS vs. RHP), though not necessarily good news for John Jaso (615 OPS vs. RHP).

Elsewhere, the A's will face a league-high four lefties, which bodes well for Josh Willingham (918 OPS vs. LHP) and less well for David DeJesus (266 OPS vs. LHP).

In the NL, the Braves are set to draw six righties and no lefties, which might be a saving grace for the struggling Dan Uggla (336 OPS, 0 HR vs. LHP).

Going Twice...

American League

Strong Plays
Colby Lewis: DET (Scherzer), @MIN (Baker)
Felix Hernandez: @CWS (Humber), @DET (Porcello)
David Price: @LAA (Pineiro), @BAL (Matusz)
Michael Pineda: @CWS (Danks), @DET (Scherzer)
Gio Gonzalez: @BAL (Matusz), @CWS (Peavy)

Decent Plays
Brandon Morrow: @KC (Paulino), BOS (Lackey)
Matt Harrison: DET (Porcello), @MIN (Swarzak)
Guillermo Moscoso: @BAL (Matusz), @CWS (Danks)
Scott Baker: @CLE (Tomlin), TEX (Lewis)
Anthony Swarzak: @CLE (Carrasco), TEX (Harrison)
Joel Pineiro: TB (Price), KC
Freddy Garcia: BOS (Lester), CLE (Tomlin)
Rick Porcello: @TEX (Harrison), SEA (Hernandez)
Max Scherzer: @TEX (Lewis), SEA (Pineda)
John Danks: SEA (Pineda), OAK (Moscoso)
Josh Tomlin: MIN (Baker), @NYY (Garcia)
Jon Lester: @NYY (Garcia), @TOR (Drabek)
Brian Matusz: OAK (Gonzalez), TB (Price)

At Your Own Risk
Kyle Drabek: @KC, BOS (Lester)
Felipe Paulino: TOR (Morrow), @LAA (Santana)

National League

Strong Plays
Tim Lincecum: WAS (Lannan), CIN (Reineke)
Jordan Zimmermann: @SF (Sanchez), @SD (Stauffer)
Jonathan Sanchez: WAS (Zimmermann), CIN (Leake)
Cliff Lee: LAD (Lilly), CHC (Garza)
Roy Oswalt: LAD, CHC (Davis)
Zack Greinke: @FLA (Vazquez), STL (Carpenter)
Shaun Marcum: NYM (Capuano), STL (Westbrook)
Ubaldo Jimenez: @SD (Stauffer), LAD
Tommy Hanson: @FLA, @HOU (Myers)
Matt Garza: @CIN (Reineke), @PHI (Lee)

Decent Plays
John Lannan: @SF (Lincecum), @SD (Richard)
Jake Westbrook: @HOU (Myers), @MIL (Marcum)
Tim Stauffer: COL (Jimenez), WAS (Zimmermann)
Kevin Correia: ARI (Hudson), NYM (Capuano)
Clayton Richard: COL (Mortensen), WAS (Lannan)
Ted Lilly: @PHI (Lee), @COL (Mortensen)
Brett Myers: STL (Westbrook), ATL (Hanson)
Mike Leake: CHC (Davis), @SF (Sanchez)
Daniel Hudson: @PIT (Correia), @FLA

At Your Own Risk
Chris Capuano: @MIL (Marcum), @PIT (Correia)
Javier Vazquez: MIL (Greinke), ARI (Kennedy)
Clayton Mortsensen: @SD (Richard), LAD (Lilly)
Chad Reineke: CHC (Garza), @SF (Lincecum)
Doug Davis: @CIN (Leake), @PHI (Oswalt)

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, 6/8: Josh Outman @ BAL
The Tommy John survivor has allowed only three runs in 13 innings over two starts for the A's. His control has been shaky, but he's worth a play in this favorable match-up.

Thursday, 6/9: Derek Holland @ MIN
Holland has been scuffling a bit of late, but should be able to right the ship against the Twins at Target Field.

National League

Wednesday, 6/8: Zach Duke @ PIT
The southpaw was stellar in his D-backs debut last week, and will face off against his former club this week.

Wednesday, 6/8: Lance Lynn @ HOU
The 24-year-old showed some positive signs despite disappointing results in his MLB debut on Thursday. If he does indeed get the ball again next week, see if he can improve against the Astros.

Friday, 6/10: Travis Wood @ SF
After a rough start to the year, Wood has gone 3-0 with a 3.50 ERA since the start of May, rattling off five quality starts in six tries.

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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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