Nick Nelson

The Week Ahead

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Snow, Rain, Go Away

Friday, April 19, 2013


This year has featured some of the worst April weather in memory for many parts of the Midwest and East Coast, taking a significant toll on the early baseball schedule. Already we're seeing tons of cancellations, which is bad news for many fantasy owners. The good news is that these games will all be made up at some point, meaning flush weekly schedules as we get into the summer months.

In this space, we'll keep you updated on all the rescheduled games and doubleheaders, letting you know when you should set your weekly lineups to take full advantage.  In the meantime, keep a close eye on games scheduled in places like Chicago, Minnesota, Detroit, Philly, Boston and New York, as the short-term weather forecasts remain iffy.

A few notes on the upcoming week:

* The American League features a loaded schedule this week, with 11 teams scheduled to play seven games. That means plenty of two-start options, and there are a multitude of great choices in the mix. Beyond the big names like CC Sabathia, David Price, Jon Lester, Chris Sale, Max Scherzer and R.A. Dickey, there are a number of recommendable lower-tier pitchers. Hisashi Iwakuma is off to a fantastic start in Seattle with an 18/2 K/BB ratio through four starts. A.J. Griffin is 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA for Oakland. Jose Quintana, owned in only a small fraction of leagues, has been outstanding and is scheduled for two starts at home.

* The National League doesn't have quite as many attractive two-start options, but the guy I've got my eye on is A.J. Burnett. With 35 strikeouts through his first 24 innings, he'll get two turns on the road, both against struggling offenses.

* The following teams are slated to face more left-handed starters than righties in the coming week, so adjust lineups accordingly: Yankees, Rays, Mets and Giants.

Going Twice…

American League

Strong Plays

R.A. Dickey: @BAL (Gonzalez), @NYY (Hughes)
Alexi Ogando: @LAA (Vargas), @MIN (Worley)
Derek Holland: @LAA (Blanton), @MIN (Correia)
Matt Moore: NYY (Sabathia), @CWS (Quintana)
David Price: NYY (Hughes), @CWS (Sale)
Hisashi Iwakuma: @HOU (Norris), LAA (Vargas)
Felix Hernandez: @HOU (Peacock), LAA (Blanton)
A.J. Griffin: @BOS (Aceves), BAL (Tillman)
CC Sabathia: @TB (Moore), TOR (Happ)
Max Scherzer: KC (Davis), ATL (Minor)
Chris Sale: CLE (McAllister), TB (Price)
Jose Quintana: CLE (Masterson), TB (Moore)
Justin Masterson: @CWS (Quintana), @KC (Davis)
Jon Lester: OAK (Colon), HOU (Norris)

Decent Plays

J.A. Happ: @BAL (Tillman), @NYY (Sabathia)
Bartolo Colon: @BOS (Lester), BAL (Gonzalez)
Phil Hughes: @TB (Price), TOR (Dickey)
Jason Vargas: TEX (Ogando), @SEA (Iwakuma)
Wade Davis: @DET (Scherzer), CLE (Masterson)
Bud Norris: SEA (Iwakuma), @BOS (Lester)
Alfredo Aceves: OAK (Griffin), HOU (Peacock)

At Your Own Risk

Vance Worley: MIA (Nolasco), TEX (Ogando)
Joe Blanton: TEX (Holland), @SEA (Hernandez)
Brad Peacock: SEA (Hernandez), @BOS (Aceves)
Chris Tillman: TOR (Happ), @OAK (Griffin)
Miguel Gonzalez: TOR (Dickey), @OAK (Colon)

National League

Strong Plays

Ross Detwiler: STL (Wainwright), CIN (Cingrani)
Shelby Miller: @WAS (Haren), PIT (Locke)
A.J. Burnett: @PHI, @STL (Westbrook)
Cole Hamels: PIT (Locke), @NYM (Laffey)
Clayton Kershaw: @NYM (Laffey), MIL (Lohse)
Mike Minor: @COL (Francis), @DET (Scherzer)
Wade Miley: @SF (Vogelsong), COL (Francis)
Patrick Corbin: @SF (Cain), COL (Garland)

Decent Plays

Dan Haren: STL (Miller), CIN (Leake)
Ryan Vogelsong: ARI (Miley), @SD (Marquis)
Jason Marquis: MIL (Lohse), SF (Vogelsong)
Kyle Lohse: @SD (Marquis), @LAD (Kershaw)
Ricky Nolasco: @MIN (Worley), CHC (Villanueva)
Tony Cingrani: CHC (Villanueva), @WAS (Detwiler)
Mike Leake: CHC (Wood), @WAS (Haren)
Carlos Villanueva: @CIN (Cingrani), @MIA (Nolasco)
Travis Wood: @CIN (Leake), @MIA (Sanabia)

At Your Own Risk

Jeff Locke: @PHI (Hamels), @STL (Miller)
Aaron Laffey: LAD (Kershaw), PHI (Hamels)
Jeff Francis: ATL (Minor), @ARI (Miley)
Jon Garland: ATL (Teheran), @ARI (Corbin)

Streamer City

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

American League

Tuesday, 4/23: Mike Pelfrey vs. MIA
Pelfrey is nothing special but you could hardly ask for a better match-up than the dreadful Marlins offense at Target Field.

Wednesday, 4/24: Joe Saunders @ HOU
Saunders is off to a strong start with his new club and hasn't allowed an earned run in either of his past two starts. Look for him to keep it going against an Astros team he's already dominated once this year.

Thursday, 4/25: Wei-Yin Chen @ OAK
The Taiwanese strike-thrower has opened his season with three straight starts on the road and has fared reasonably well. He'll get another turn in pitcher-friendly Oakland.

National League

Thursday, 4/25: Kevin Slowey vs. CHC
Slowey is off to a tremendous start in Miami with a 2.04 ERA through three starts, though he's still looking for his first win. He's worth a look at home against the Cubs.

Friday, 4/26: Clayton Richard vs. SF
Throughout his career, Richard has reliably been a start-at-home, bench-on-the-road guy. Thus far that trend is holding up again this year; he was blown up in his first start in New York and has since been lights-out in two home tilts.

Total Games

American League

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

National League

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

Lefty/Righty Breakdowns

American League

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

National League

ARI: 4 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
ATL: 5 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
CHC: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
CIN: 4 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
COL: 4 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
LAD: 4 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
MIA: 4 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
MIL: 5 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
NYM: 2 vs. RHP, 4 vs. LHP
PHI: 4 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
PIT: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
SD: 5 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
SF: 2 vs. RHP, 4 vs. LHP
STL: 3 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
WAS: 5 vs. RHP, 2 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:

Aaron Hill: Out until late May (wrist)
Jason Kubel: Out until late April (quad)
Johnny Cueto: Out indefinitely (shoulder)
Michael Bourn: Out until late April (finger)
Adeiny Hechavarria: Out until early May (arm)
Chris Capuano: Out indefinitely (calf)
Derek Jeter: Out until after All-Star break (ankle)
John Lannan: Out until early June (quad)
Cameron Maybin: Out until early May (wrist)



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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