Nick Nelson

The Week Ahead

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Mixing It Up

Friday, June 01, 2012

Interleague play will ramp up next week, as clubs prepare to face unfamiliar opponents and American League pitchers hit the cages hoping to avoid embarrassing themselves.

The two-start roster for the upcoming week holds a dearth of high-quality options in the AL. The better pitchers on the list are either struggling or lined up for tough road match-ups (or both), and there are several guys who should probably be outright avoided. The Senior Circuit is much more flush with strong candidates, including Cliff Lee, Clayton Kershaw and the surging Jeff Samardzija.

If you're hurting for help in an AL-only league, check out the streamer suggestions on the next page or gamble on one of the "Decent Plays." NL players shouldn't have much trouble finding palatable options.

Going Twice…

American League

Strong Plays

Jason Vargas: @LAA (Richards), LAD (Billingsley)
Jon Lester: BAL (Arrieta), WAS (Jackson)

Decent Plays

Ricky Romero: @CWS (Humber), @ATL (Delgado)
Derek Holland: @OAK, @SF (Lincecum)
Scott Feldman: @OAK (Parker), @SF (Vogelsong)
James Shields: @NYY (Pettitte), @MIA (Sanchez)
Jarrod Parker: TEX (Feldman), @ARI (Cahill)
Andy Pettitte: TB (Shields), NYM (Gee)
Drew Smyly: CLE (Jimenez), @CIN (Bailey)

At Your Own Risk

Cole DeVries: @KC (Smith), CHC (Dempster)
Garrett Richards: SEA (Vargas), @COL (Friedrich)
Will Smith: MIN (De Vries), @PIT (Morton)
Philip Humber: TOR (Romero), HOU (Harrell)
Jake Arrieta: @BOS (Lester), PHI (Lee)
Ubaldo Jimenez: @DET (Smyly), @STL (Lohse)

National League

Strong Plays

Edwin Jackson: NYM (Gee), @BOS (Lester)
Kyle Lohse: @HOU (Harrell), CLE (Jimenez)
Ryan Vogelsong: CHC (Samardzija), TEX (Feldman)
Cliff Lee: LAD (Billingsley), @BAL (Arrieta)
Yovani Gallardo: CHC (Dempster), SD (Stults)
Anibal Sanchez: ATL (Delgado), TB (Shields)
Clayton Kershaw: @PHI (Blanton), @SEA (Millwood)
Homer Bailey: PIT (Morton), DET (Scherzer)
Ryan Dempster: @MIL (Gallardo), @MIN (De Vries)
Jeff Samardzija: @SF (Vogelsong), @MIN (Diamond)

Decent Plays

Jake Westbrook: @NYM (Hefner), CLE (Tomlin)
Tim Lincecum: @SD (Stults), TEX (Holland)
Eric Stults: SF (Lincecum), @MIL (Gallardo)
Charlie Morton: @CIN (Bailey), KC (Smith)
Dillon Gee: @WAS (Jackson), @NYY (Pettitte)
Chad Billingsley: @PHI (Lee), @SEA (Vargas)
Randall Delgado: @MIA (Sanchez), TOR (Romero)
Joe Saunders: COL (Friedrich), OAK

At Your Own Risk

Joe Blanton: LAD (Kershaw), @BAL (Hunter)
Jeremy Hefner: STL (Westbrook), @NYY (Hughes)
Lucas Harrell: STL (Lohse), @CWS (Humber)
Christian Friedrich: @ARI (Saunders), LAA (Richards)

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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 at nnelson9.
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