Nick Nelson

The Week Ahead

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Week Ahead: A Lighter Load

Friday, June 21, 2013

The upcoming week is the lightest of the season thus far, with an exorbitant number of off days scheduled across the league. Eight teams are slated to play only five games, and all but five clubs will have at least one day off.

As a result, the two-start pitcher crop is as thin as any we've seen. But even with the limited options, you'll find plenty of appealing names in the mix, including studs like Yu Darvish, Hiroki Kuroda, Chris Sale, Gio Gonzalez, Madison Bumgarner and Cliff Lee.

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If you're looking for a good sleeper option, check out Eric Stults. The Padres southpaw has a 2.31 ERA since the beginning of May, and is owned in only 25 percent of ESPN leagues. He's set to face the Phillies and Marlins.

I'd also take a look at Kyle Kendrick, who has pitched fairly well recently outside of a clunker at Coors. Mets rookie phenom Zack Wheeler is of course intriguing, although he's already been snatched up in most leagues.

Going Twice…

American League

Strong Plays

Yu Darvish: @NYY (Kuroda), CIN (Latos)
Hiroki Kuroda: TEX (Darvish), @BAL (Britton)
Chris Sale: NYM (Wheeler), CLE (Masterson)
C.J. Wilson: @DET (Porcello), @HOU (Lyles)
Ervin Santana: ATL (Medlen), @MIN (Correia)

Decent Plays

Mark Buehrle: @TB (Moore), @BOS (Dempster)
Esmil Rogers: @TB (Hellickson), @BOS (Doubront)
Kevin Correia: @MIA (Fernandez), KC (Santana)
Rick Porcello: LAA (Wilson), @TB (Hellickson)
Justin Masterson: @BAL (Britton), @CWS (Sale)
Ubaldo Jimenez: @BAL (Tillman), @CWS (Axelrod)
Ryan Dempster: COL (Nicasio), TOR (Buehrle)
Chris Tillman: CLE (Jimenez), NYY (Sabathia)

At Your Own Risk

Jeremy Hellickson: TOR (Rogers), DET (Porcello)
Zach Britton: CLE (Masterson), NYY (Kuroda)

National League

Strong Plays

Gio Gonzalez: ARI (Cahill), @NYM (Wheeler)
Madison Bumgarner: @LAD (Ryu), @COL (Nicasio)
Eric Stults: PHI (Lee), @MIA (Eovaldi)
Cliff Lee: @SD (Stults), @LAD (Ryu)
Kyle Lohse: CHC (Jackson), @PIT (Morton)
Hyun-Jin Ryu: SF (Bumgarner), PHI (Lee)

Decent Plays

Kyle Kendrick: @SD (Marquis), @LAD (Capuano)
Zack Wheeler: @CWS (Sale), WAS (Gonzalez)
Chris Capuano: SF (Guadin), PHI (Kendrick)
Trevor Cahill: @WAS (Gonzalez), @ATL (Maholm)

At Your Own Risk

Juan Nicasio: @BOS (Dempster), SF (Bumgarner)
Edwin Jackson: @MIL (Lohse), @SEA (Bonderman)

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, 6/25: Joe Saunders vs. PIT
Saunders has been awful on the road (1-5, 6.46 ERA) and masterful at home (4-2, 2.53 ERA) so he looks like a good bet facing the Pirates at Safeco.

Thursday, 6/27: Sam Deduno vs. KC
In spite of his ugly 15/11 K/BB ratio, Deduno has had it working this year. He should be able to suppress a weak Royals lineup at home.

National League

Tuesday, 6/25: Jason Marquis vs. PHI
Marquis has rattled off four straight quality starts, and should have no trouble handling the Phillies at home.

Friday, 6/28: Dillon Gee vs. WAS
Over his last four starts, Gee is 3-1 with a 1.53 ERA and 32/4 K/BB ratio in 29 1/3 innings. Simply spectacular.

Total Games

American League

8: CLE

National League


Lefty/Righty Breakdowns

American League

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

National League

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

Evan Gattis: Out until early July (ribs)
Clay Buchholz: Out until late June (neck)
David DeJesus: Out until mid-July (shoulder)
Alex Avila: Out until early July (arm)
Anibal Sanchez: Out until early July (shoulder)
Trevor Crowe: Out indefinitely (shoulder)
Mark Teixeira: Out until early July (wrist)
Kevin Youkilis: Out until September (back)
Everth Cabrera: Out until early July (hamstring)
Alex Cobb: Out indefinitely (concussion)

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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