Nick Nelson

The Week Ahead

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Beware the Short Week

Friday, May 3, 2013

Generally, it's somewhat rare for teams to have multiple off days scheduled in a week. It's even more rare to see this occur with more than a couple clubs. But in the coming week, a whopping six teams are slated to play only five games.

Five-game weeks obviously mean no two-start pitchers. They also mean fewer opportunities for hitters to put up numbers. So if you have players on the White Sox, Tigers, Mariners, Brewers, Cardinals or Nationals, consider benching them for the week ahead if you have strong alternative options available.

Here are few notes on mid-tier two-start guys who caught my attention for the upcoming week, followed by the usual info:

* After a rocky season debut, Kyle Kendrick has quietly rattled off five straight quality starts. He starts twice on the road and is available in close to 50 percent of leagues.

* Also worth a look as a short-term pickup in the NL is Bronson Arroyo, who has completed six or more innings in every start this year and has yet to issue multiple walks in a game. He gets a pair of home match-ups against the Braves and Brewers.

* On the AL side, take a look at Texas' Nick Tepesch. He's widely available despite his 3.54 ERA, and draws road match-ups against the Cubs and Astros.

Going Twice…

American League

Strong Plays

Tommy Milone: @CLE (McAllister), @SEA (Saunders)
Hiroki Kuroda: @COL (De La Rosa), @KC (Mendoza)
C.J. Wilson: @HOU (Bedard), @CWS (Quintana)
Ryan Dempster: MIN (Diamond), TOR (Happ)
Clay Buchholz: MIN (Worley), TOR (Buehrle)
Wei-Yin Chen: KC (Mendoza), @MIN (Diamond)

Decent Plays

Nick Tepesch: @CHC (Feldman), @HOU (Bedard)
Jeremy Hellickson: TOR (Happ), SD (Cashner)
Jarrod Parker: @CLE (Jimenez), @SEA (Iwakuma)
Scott Diamond: @BOS (Dempster), BAL (Chen)
Zach McAllister: OAK (Milone), @DET (Verlander)
Roberto Hernandez: TOR (Buehrle), SD (Volquez)

At Your Own Risk

Mark Buehrle: @TB (Hernandez), @BOS (Dempster)
Vance Worley: @BOS (Buchholz), BAL (Hammel)
Luis Mendoza: @BAL (Chen), NYY (Kuroda)
Erik Bedard: LAA (Wilson), TEX (Tepesch)
Ubaldo Jimenez: OAK (Parker), @DET (Scherzer)

National League

Strong Plays

Madison Bumgarner: PHI (Lee), ATL (Maholm)
Cliff Lee: @SF (Bumgarner), @ARI (Cahill)
Kris Medlen: @CIN (Bailey), @SF (Lincecum)
Paul Maholm: @CIN (Arroyo), @SF (Bumgarner)
Trevor Cahill: @LAD (Beckett), PHI (Lee)

Decent Plays

Tim Lincecum: PHI (Kendrick), ATL (Medlen)
Andrew Cashner: MIA (LeBlanc), @TB (Hellickson)
Jeremy Hefner: CWS (Sale), PIT (Rodriguez)
Josh Beckett: ARI (Cahill), MIA (LeBlanc)
Jorge De La Rosa: NYY (Kuroda), @STL (Garcia)
Bronson Arroyo: ATL (Maholm), MIL (Estrada)
Kyle Kendrick: @SF (Lincecum), @ARI (McCarthy)
Scott Feldman: TEX (Tepesch), @WAS (Gonzalez)

At Your Own Risk

Wade LeBlanc: @SD (Cashner), @LAD (Beckett)

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, 5/8: Chris Tillman vs. KC
Tillman is coming off his best start of the season (eight shutout innings against the Angels) and is 2-0 with a 1.31 ERA in his past three turns.

Wednesday, 5/8: Felix Doubront vs. MIN
The Twins haven't been able to do much offensively on the road, averaging just 3.3 runs/game away from Target Field, and the strikeout specialist Doubront has won three straight.

Friday, 5/10: Hector Santiago vs. LAA
After posting a 2.51 ERA while pitching out of the bullpen in April, Santiago moved into the rotation to replace injured Gavin Floyd and kept it going with a strong first start. He merits a look against the sputtering Angels.

National League

Tuesday, 5/7: Hiram Burgos vs. TEX
The rookie is off to an excellent start in Milwaukee but draws his toughest match-up yet in the Rangers. Is he up to the challenge? Tough to bet against him as well as he's pitched this year.

Wednesday, 5/8: Jason Marquis vs. MIA
Marquis has been reasonably effective this year despite battling control problems. He couldn't ask for a better match-up than the Marlins in his spacious home park.

Saturday, 5/11: Francisco Liriano @ NYM
The enigmatic lefty is scheduled to make his Pirates debut on Saturday. He's been flat-out dominant in a handful of rehab starts and was among the league leaders in K-rate last year, so it'll be interesting to see how he fares in the NL.

Total Games

American League


National League


Lefty/Righty Breakdowns

American League

BAL: 5 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
BOS: 3 vs. RHP, 4 vs. LHP
CLE: 6 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
CWS: 4 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
DET: 5 vs. RHP, 0 vs. LHP
HOU: 4 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
KC: 4 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
LAA: 3 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
MIN: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
NYY: 5 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
OAK: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
SEA: 4 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
TB: 4 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
TEX: 5 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
TOR: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP

National League

ARI: 4 vs. RHP, 4 vs. LHP
ATL: 6 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
CHC: 4 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
CIN: 4 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
COL: 4 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
LAD: 4 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
MIA: 3 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
MIL: 3 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
NYM: 2 vs. RHP, 4 vs. LHP
PHI: 4 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
PIT: 5 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
SD: 4 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
SF: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
STL: 3 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
WAS: 5 vs. RHP, 0 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:

Gavin Floyd: Out indefinitely (elbow)
Giancarlo Stanton: Out until late May (hamstring)
Joba Chamberlain: Out until mid-May (ribs)
Kevin Youkilis: Out until mid-May (back)
Brett Anderson: Out until mid-May (ankle)
Coco Crisp: Out until mid-May (hamstring)
Matt Harrison: Out until August (back)
Josh Johnson: Out until mid-May (triceps)

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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