Nick Nelson

The Week Ahead

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Down to the Wire

Friday, September 16, 2011


Last week in this space I highlighted Justin Verlander, who is running away in the American League Cy Young conversation. On the NL side, however, a tight race is playing out -- one that will come down to the wire.

It is practically impossible to differentiate between the numbers of Clayton Kershaw, Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee. Across the board, their stats look virtually identical. Sure, Kershaw has an edge in strikeouts, Halladay has his eight complete games, and Lee has amazingly recorded six shutouts. But, at the end of the day, it's pretty tough to point to one guy as being clearly better than the others.

The upcoming week may prove decisive as Kershaw, Halladay and Lee are all scheduled for two starts. At this point, Kershaw has to be viewed as the front-runner thanks to his 19 wins and the fact that Halladay and Lee are likely to split votes. The Dodgers southpaw is slated for a pair of plum match-ups, facing the Giants at home and the Padres at Petco. If he does what we expect him to do in those starts, he may effectively wrap up the award.

Halladay and Lee draw slightly tougher match-ups, but that shouldn't slow them down. Halladay is coming off a complete game shutout while Lee is the hottest pitcher in baseball, with two runs allowed over his past four starts.

I expect we'll have more clarity in this race at week's end... but maybe not much

Going Twice...

American League

Strong Plays
Ricky Romero: LAA (Weaver), @TB (Davis)
Derek Holland: @OAK (Harden), SEA (Furbush)
Jered Weaver: @TOR (Romero), OAK (Harden)

Decent Plays
Wade Davis: @NYY (Burnett), TOR (Romero)
Rich Harden: TEX (Holland), @LAA (Weaver)
Phil Hughes: MIN (Pavano), BOS (Wakefield)
Jerome WIlliams: @TOR (Morrow), OAK (Moscoso)
Gavin Floyd: @CLE (Carmona), KC (Chen)
Brad Penny: @KC (Hochevar), BAL (Hunter)
Fausto Carmona: CWS (Floyd), MIN (Hendriks)
David Huff: SEA (Furbush), MIN (Pavano)

At Your Own Risk
Brandon Morrow: LAA (Williams), @TB (Moore)
Charlie Furbush: @CLE (Huff), @TEX (Holland)
A.J. Burnett: TB (Davis), BOS (Lackey)
Carl Pavano: @NYY (Hughes), @CLE (Huff)
Liam Hendriks: SEA (Vargas), @CLE (Carmona)
John Lackey: BAL (VandenHurk), @NYY (Burnett)
Rick VandenHurk: @BOS (Lackey), @DET (Verlander)
Tommy Hunter: @BOS (Miller), @DET (Penny)

National League

Strong Plays
Edwin Jackson: NYM (Pelfrey), CHC (Coleman)
Chris Carpenter: @PHI (Halladay), CHC (Dempster)
Tim Lincecum: @LAD (Kershaw), @ARI (Kennedy)
Cory Luebke: @COL (Millwood), LAD (Kershaw)
Roy Halladay: STL (Carpenter), @NYM (Gee)
Cliff Lee: WAS (Detwiler), @NYM (Pelfrey)
Clayton Kershaw: SF (Lincecum), @SD (Luebke)
Bud Norris: @CIN (Bailey), COL (Chacin)
Ian Kennedy: PIT (Karstens), SF (Lincecum)

Decent Plays
Ross Detwiler: @PHI (Lee), ATL (Minor)
Chris Narveson: @CHC (Coleman), FLA (Hand)
Mike Pelfrey: @STL (Jackson), PHI (Lee)
J.A. Happ: @CIN, COL (Millwood)
Kevin Millwood: SD (Luebke), @HOU (Happ)
Jhoulys Chacin: SD (Latos), @HOU (Norris)
Mike Minor: @FLA (Nolasco), @WAS (Detwiler)

At Your Own Risk
Casey Coleman: MIL (Narveson), @STL (Jackson)

Streamer City

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

Thursday, 9/22: Jeanmar Gomez vs. CWS
Gomez is 3-0 with a 2.08 ERA in three starts since returning to the big leagues, and defeated the White Sox in Chicago a week ago.

Thursday, 9/22: Anthony Swarzak vs. SEA
Low K-rate aside, Swarzak continues to garner solid results and matches up well against the M's at home.

National League

Wednesday, 9/22: Wade Miley vs. PIT
The rookie southpaw has struggled with his control at times, but should be able to shut down the Bucs at home.

Tuesday, 9/21: Randall Delgado @ FLA
At just 21, Delgado has looked very sharp against big-league competition with a 3.24 ERA and 1.20 WHIP in five starts.

Wednesday, 9/22: Dana Eveland vs. SF
Eveland hurled seven shutout frames in San Francisco last week. See if he can stymy the Giants again at home.

 

Total Games

American League

5: KC
6: DET, OAK, TEX
7: BOS, CWS, LAA, MIN, SEA, TB, TOR
8: BAL, NYY
9: CLE

National League

6: ARI, ATL, CHC, CIN, FLA, LAD, MIL, NYM, PIT, SD, SF
7: COL, HOU, STL, WAS
8: PHI

Lefty/Righty Breakdown

American League

BAL: 7 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
BOS: 6 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
CWS: 4 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
CLE: 6 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
DET: 5 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
KC: 4 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
LAA: 4 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
MIN: 6 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
NYY: 7 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
OAK: 4 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
SEA: 4 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
TB: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
TEX: 4 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
TOR: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP

National League

ARI: 5 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
ATL: 5 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
CHC: 4 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
CIN: 3 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
COL: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
FLA: 4 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
HOU: 6 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
LAD: 3 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
MIL: 5 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
NYM: 4 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
PHI: 5 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
PIT: 4 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
SD: 5 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
SF: 3 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
STL: 6 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
WAS: 4 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
 
The Infirmary
 
You can get a full listing of injured players at Rotoworld's Injury Page, but here's the latest on a few prominent players who have been out of action:

Johnny Cueto: Out for the season
Shin-Soo Choo: Out for the season
Francisco Cervelli: Out indefinitely
Jon Rauch: Out for the season



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 at nnelson9.
Email :Nick Nelson



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