Nick Nelson

The Week Ahead

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Week Ahead: Field of Dreams

Friday, May 24, 2013

For the first time all season, the schedule for the upcoming week features seven games for every team across baseball. These are great weeks for fantasy players as they include tons of two-start pitcher options and, of course, plenty of opportunities for hitters to put up numbers.

Note that the Athletics, Angels and Cubs are slated to face more lefty starters than righties. Adjust lineups accordingly to take advantage.


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Among the two-start pitcher crop, the high-end options include Yu Darvish, C.J. Wilson, James Shields, Chris Sale, Justin Verlander, Clay Buchholz, Madison Bumgarner, Adam Wainwright and Matt Harvey. Here are a few notes on some other names worth watching:

* Jered Weaver is tentatively scheduled to return to the Angels rotation, and I've got him taking Joe Blanton's spot on Tuesday, lining him up for two starts. Weaver is obviously an elite hurler, but he didn't pitch great before getting hurt and hasn't even made an official rehab start. I'd recommend caution if you have other options.

* Former Angels starter Ervin Santana has been spectacular thus far for the Royals, with a 2.77 ERA and 1.08 WHIP through eight turns. I'm still a little reluctant to recommend him this week with match-ups against the NL-leading Cardinals at home and the potent Rangers on the road. If he can power through these lineups, I'll be fully sold.

* The volatile Francisco Liriano hasn't worked his way into Strong Play territory yet but he's getting close with 25 strikeouts and a 1.00 ERA through three starts. He's got a pair of tough match-ups on deck that should prove telling given that he's faced weaker offenses thus far.

Going Twice…

American League

Strong Plays

Yu Darvish: @ARI (Kennedy), KC (Shields)
Hiroki Kuroda: @NYM (Harvey), BOS (Dempster)
C.J. Wilson: @LAD (Greinke), HOU (Norris)
James Shields: STL (Wainwright), @TEX (Darvish)
Chris Sale: CHC (Jackson), @OAK (Parker)
Justin Verlander: PIT (Liriano), @BAL (Hammel)
Jose Quintana: CHC (Samardzija), @OAK (Straily)
Zach McAllister: @CIN (Latos), TB (Hellickson)
Clay Buchholz: PHI (Cloyd), @NYY (Hughes)

Decent Plays

Jarrod Parker: SF, CWS (Sale)
Jered Weaver: @LAD (Ryu), HOU (Lyles)
Ervin Santana: STL (Lyons), @TEX
Bud Norris: COL (Chacin), @LAA (Wilson)
Ubaldo Jimenez: @CIN (Leake), TB (Cobb)
Ryan Dempster: PHI (Lee), @NYY (Kuroda)
Kevin Gausman: @WAS (TBD), DET (Porcello)
Jake Odorizzi: MIA (Fernandez), @CLE (Jimenez)

At Your Own Risk

Mark Buehrle: ATL (Hudson), @SD (Volquez)
Brandon Morrow: ATL (Maholm), @SD (Richard)
Jeremy Hellickson: MIA (Slowey), @CLE (McAllister)
Brandon Maurer: SD (Richard), @MIN (Diamond)
Aaron Harang: SD (Volquez), @MIN (Walters)
Dan Straily: SF (Bumgarner), CWS (Quintana)
Phil Hughes: @NYM (Niese), BOS (Buchholz)
P.J. Walters: @MIL (Burgos), SEA (Harang)
Scott Diamond: @MIL (Peralta), SEA (Maurer)
Jordan Lyles: COL (De La Rosa), @LAA (Weaver)
Rick Porcello: PIT (Gomez), @BAL (Gausman)
Jason Hammel: @WAS (Gonzalez), DET (Verlander)

National League

Strong Plays

Gio Gonzalez: BAL (Hammel), @ATL (Maholm)
Madison Bumgarner: @OAK (Straily), @STL (Wainwright)
Adam Wainwright: @KC (Shields), SF (Bumgarner)
Cliff Lee: @BOS (Dempster), MIL (Peralta)
Matt Harvey: NYY (Kuroda), @MIA (Slowey)
Jose Fernandez: @TB (Odorizzi), NYM (Niese)
Hyun-Jin Ryu: LAA (Weaver), @COL (De La Rosa)
Zack Greinke: LAA (Wilson), @COL (Chacin)
Mat Latos: CLE (McAllister), @PIT (Gomez)
Jeff Samardzija: @CWS (Quintana), ARI (Kennedy)
Trevor Cahill: TEX, @CHC (Jackson)

Decent Plays

Tyler Lyons: @KC (Santana), SF
Francisco Liriano: @DET (Verlander), CIN (Leake)
Tyler Cloyd: @BOS (Buchholz), MIL (Burgos)
Jon Niese: NYY (Hughes), @MIA (Fernandez)
Kevin Slowey: @TB (Hellickson), NYM (Harvey)
Jorge De La Rosa: @HOU (Lyles), LAD (Ryu)
Jhoulys Chacin: @HOU (Norris), LAD (Greinke)
Mike Leake: CLE (Jimenez), @PIT (Liriano)
Paul Maholm: @TOR (Morrow), WAS (Gonzalez)
Tim Hudson: @TOR (Buehrle), WAS (TBD)
Ian Kennedy: TEX (Darvish), @CHC (Samardzija)

At Your Own Risk

Clayton Richard: @SEA (Maurer), TOR (Morrow)
Edinson Volquez: @SEA (Harang), TOR (Buehrle)
Jeanmar Gomez: @DET (Porcello), CIN (Latos)
Wily Peralta: MIN (Diamond), @PHI (Lee)
Hiram Burgos: MIN (Walters), @PHI (Cloyd)
Edwin Jackson: @CWS (Sale), ARI (Cahill)

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, 5/29: Chris Tillman vs. WAS
Tillman has rattled off six straight quality starts and is 3-1 during that span. Tough to bet against him right now.

Thursday, 5/30: Vidal Nuno vs. NYM
After posting a 1.54 ERA and 26/2 K/BB ratio in Triple-A to start the season, Nuno has registered a 1.13 ERA in eight innings as a swingman for the Yanks. He's worth a look when he meets the Mets at home.

Friday, 5/31: Jerome Williams vs. HOU
The veteran starter has been terrific since joining the Angels rotation, with a 3.24 ERA in five starts, and he's coming off eight shutout frames against the Mariners.

National League

Wednesday, 5/29: Juan Nicasio vs. HOU
Nicasio has a 3.54 ERA this year at home in Colorado, where he's holding opposing hitters to a .187 average. The Astros would seem to stand little chance.

Thursday, 5/30: Andrew Cashner vs. SEA
The San Diego righty has pitched very well this year, with a 3.02 ERA and 1.19 ERA through 11 appearances. Since joining the rotation, he's turned in a quality start three times in three tries at home, winning all three.

Friday, 5/31: Julio Teheran vs. WAS
After a rough start, Teheran appears to be back on track. In three starts this month, he's 2-1 with a 2.53 ERA and 10/1 K/BB ratio.

Total Games

American League


National League


Lefty/Righty Breakdowns

American League

BAL: 6 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
BOS: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
CLE: 7 vs. RHP, 0 vs. LHP
CWS: 6 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
DET: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
HOU: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
KC: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
LAA: 3 vs. RHP, 4 vs. LHP
MIN: 7 vs. RHP, 0 vs. LHP
NYY: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
OAK: 3 vs. RHP, 4 vs. LHP
SEA: 4 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
TB: 7 vs. RHP, 0 vs. LHP
TEX: 6 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
TOR: 4 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP

National League

ARI: 6 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
ATL: 4 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
CHC: 3 vs. RHP, 4 vs. LHP
CIN: 4 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
COL: 4 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
LAD: 4 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
MIA: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
MIL: 4 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
NYM: 4 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
PHI: 6 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
PIT: 7 vs. RHP, 0 vs. LHP
SD: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
SF: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
STL: 6 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
WAS: 6 vs. RHP, 1 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:

Nolan Reimold: Out until early June (hamstring)
Trevor Plouffe: Out until late May (head)
Andy Pettitte: Out until early June (shoulder)
Chase Utley: Out until mid-June (ribs)
Carlos Ruiz: Out until mid-June (hamstring)
Ryan Vogelsong: Out until early July (hand)
Jaime Garcia: Out indefinitely (shoulder)
David Price: Out indefinitely (triceps)
Ian Kinsler: Out until early June (ribs)

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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