Nick Nelson

The Week Ahead

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Yu Times Two

Friday, May 18, 2012

Through the first six weeks of the season, Yu Darvish has lived up to the hype.

After shutting down the Athletics in his latest start, the Japanese phenom is now 6-1 with a 2.60 ERA to begin his major-league career. His arsenal has overwhelmed hitters, as he's whiffed 58 men in 52 innings and posted double-digit strikeouts totals in two games. His control was shaky early on – he issued four or more free passes in each of his first three starts – but he has shown marked improvement by allowing three or fewer walks in four of his past five turns.

Darvish is set to pitch twice in the coming week, once in Seattle and once at home against the Blue Jays. Obviously, he's a no-brainer "Strong Play."

Keep an eye on the home/road splits for a few other pitchers who are set to go twice. Gavin Floyd is slated to make two starts in Chicago, where he's 3-1 with a 2.01 ERA in four starts.

Conversely, Clayton Richard is lined up for two starts away from Petco, which has the makings of a disaster since he's 0-3 with a 7.99 ERA on the road.

Going Twice…

American League

Strong Plays

Yu Darvish: @SEA (Hernandez), TOR (Drabek)
Jeremy Hellickson: TOR (Drabek), @BOS (Buccholz)
Felix Hernandez: TEX (Darvish), LAA (Williams)
Hiroki Kuroda: KC (Paulino), @OAK (Milone)
C.J. Wilson: @OAK (McCarthy), @SEA (Noesi)
Jerome Williams: @OAK (Milone), @SEA (Hernandez)
Gavin Floyd: MIN (Walters), CLE (Jimenez)

Decent Plays

Kyle Drabek: @TB (Hellickson), @TEX (Darvish)
Tommy Milone: LAA (Williams), NYY (Kuroda)
Felipe Paulino: @NYY (Kuroda), @BAL (Hunter)
Rick Porcello: @CLE (Jimenez), @MIN
Tommy Hunter: BOS (Buchholz), KC (Paulino)

At Your Own Risk

Hector Noesi: TEX (Harrison), LAA (Wilson)
Ubaldo Jimenez: DET (Porcello), @CWS (Floyd)
Clay Buchholz: @BAL (Hunter), TB (Hellickson)

National League

Strong Plays

Gio Gonzalez: @PHI (Kendrick), @ATL (Beachy)
Jaime Garcia: SD (Richard), PHI (Kendrick)
Matt Cain: @MIL (Marcum), @MIA (Nolasco)
Madison Bumgarner: @MIL (Wolf), @MIA (Buehrle)
Edinson Volquez: @STL (Wainwright), @NYM (Dickey)
Erik Bedard: NYM (Santana), CHC (Garza)
Roy Halladay: WAS (Zimmermann), @STL (Wainwright)
Johan Santana: @PIT (Bedard), SD (Richard)
R.A. Dickey: @PIT (McDonald), SD (Volquez)
Ricky Nolasco: COL (Nicasio), SF (Cain)
Mark Buehrle: COL (Moyer), SF (Bumgarner)
Chris Capuano: @ARI (Corbin), HOU (Norris)
Bud Norris: CHC (Garza), @LAD (Capuano)
Matt Garza: @HOU (Norris), @PIT (Bedard)
Brandon Beachy: @CIN (Latos), WAS (Gonzalez)

Decent Plays

Adam Wainwright: SD (Volquez), PHI (Halladay)
Mat Latos: ATL (Beachy), COL (Moyer)
Patrick Corbin: LAD (Capuano), MIL (Wolf)

At Your Own Risk

Clayton Richard: @STL (Garcia), @NYM (Santana)
Kyle Kendrick: WAS (Gonzalez), @STL (Garcia)
Randy Wolf: SF (Bumgarner), @ARI (Wolf)
Jamie Moyer: @MIA (Buehrle), @CIN (Latos)
Mike Leake: ATL (Minor), COL (Moyer)
Mike Minor: @CIN (Leake), WAS (Strasburg)

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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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