Nick Nelson

The Week Ahead

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New Ranger In Town

Friday, July 26, 2013


After two-and-a-half successful seasons in the National League, Matt Garza has returned to the Junior Circuit as a member of the Texas Rangers. The usual caveats about transitioning to a more difficult environment don't necessarily apply here, as Garza has proven his ability to handle the American League with three strong seasons in Tampa Bay before heading to Chi-town.

That differentiates him from Ryan Dempster, who made a similar move from Wrigleyville to Arlington a year ago. Dempster, who had spent his entire career in the National League prior to the trade, struggled down the stretch, posting a 5.09 ERA for the Rangers after a tremendous first half with the Cubs. Conversely, Garza has been effective everywhere he has pitched, and he was fantastic in his first start for Texas this week, so there's no reason to expect a drop-off going forward. If anything, his performance in the W/L column should get a healthy boost.

Garza starts twice for his new squad in The Week Ahead, with a pair of outings against division rivals, and he's a highly recommended option.

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Going Twice…

American League

Strong Plays

Matt Garza: LAA (Weaver), @OAK (Milone)
Derek Holland: LAA (Weaver), @OAK (Milone)
Jered Weaver: @TEX (Garza), TOR (Rogers)
C.J. Wilson: @TEX (Holland), TOR (Buehrle)
Ervin Santana: @MIN (Pelfrey), @NYM (Wheeler)
Felix Doubront: TB (Saunders), ARI (Kennedy)
Wei-Yin Chen: HOU (Norris), SEA (Saunders)
David Price: @BOS (Doubront), SF (Zito)

Decent Plays

Esmil Rogers: @OAK (Griffin), @LAA (Weaver)
Joe Saunders: @BOS (Workman), @BAL (Chen)
A.J. Griffin: TOR (Rogers), TEX (Holland)
Mike Pelfrey: KC (Santana), HOU (Norris)
Bud Norris: @BAL (Chen), @MIN (Pelfrey)
Jake Peavy: @CLE (Kazmir), @DET (Porcello)
Scott Kazmir: CWS (Peavy), @MIA (Eovaldi)
Zach McAllister: CWS (Danks), @MIA (Turner)

At Your Own Risk

Mark Buehrle: @OAK (Straily), @LAA (Wilson)
John Danks: @CLE (McAllister), @DET (Scherzer)

National League

Strong Plays

Jake Westbrook: @PIT (Burnett), @CIN (Cingrani)
Francisco Liriano: STL (Westbrook), COL (De La Rosa)
A.J. Burnett: STL (Lynn), COL (Nicasio)
Kyle Lohse: @CHC (Samardzija), WAS (Haren)
Jacob Turner: NYM (Hefner), CLE (McAllister)
Ricky Nolasco: NYY (Pettitte), @CHC (Villanueva)
Jorge De La Rosa: @ATL (Beachy), @PIT (Liriano)
Mike Leake: @SD (O'Sullivan), STL (Lynn)
Lance Lynn: @PIT (Burnett), CIN (Leake)
Yovani Gallardo: CHC (Villanueva), WAS (Jordan)

Decent Plays

John Lannan: SF (Zito), ATL (Wood)
Zack Wheeler: @MIA (Eovaldi), KC (Santana)
Jeremy Hefner: @MIA (Turner), KC (Chen)
Nathan Eovaldi: NYM (Wheeler), CLE (Kazmir)
Juan Nicasio: @ATL (Wood), @PIT (Burnett)
Carlos Villanueva: MIL (Gallardo), LAD (Nolasco)
Jeff Samardzija: MIL (Lohse), LAD (Capuano)

At Your Own Risk

Barry Zito: @PHI (Lannan), @TB (Hernandez)
Sean O'Sullivan: CIN (Leake), NYY (Hughes)
Alex Wood: COL (Nicasio), @PHI (Lannan)
Brandon Beachy: COL (De La Rosa), @PHI (Pettibone)
Ian Kennedy: @TB (Price), @BOS (Doubront)

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, 7/31: Corey Kluber vs. CWS
Kluber has a 2.22 ERA with 28 strikeouts in 24 innings this month, and shapes up as a very strong play against Chicago's meager offense, assuming he's healthy enough to go.

Friday, 8/2: Brandon Workman vs. ARI
Workman has been quality in his first two starts for Boston. Let's see if he can keep it going against a Diamondbacks team that has had little opportunity to scout him.

Friday, 8/2: Kyle Gibson vs. HOU
Outside of a brutal clunker against the Yankees, the rookie has performed well since being called up from Triple-A in late June.

National League

Wednesday, 7/31: Henderson Alvarez vs. NYM
The Mets have the second-worst team batting average in the National League at .236, so Alvarez's pitch-to-contact approach should work just fine against them.

Thursday, 8/1: Dillon Gee @ MIA
Even though he's been consistently productive for the better part of three months now, Gee remains unowned in the vast majority of leagues. His match-up against the Marlins is a streaming no-brainer.

Friday, 8/2: Carlos Torres vs. KC
Since joining the Mets rotation, Torres has allowed two runs in 11 innings, notching 11 strikeouts.

Total Games

American League

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

National League

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

Lefty/Righty Breakdowns

American League

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

National League

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

Tim Hudson: Out for the season (ankle)
Paul Maholm: Out indefinitely (wrist)
Matt Kemp: Out until early August (ankle)
John Jaso: Out until early August (concussion)
Domonic Brown: Out until early August (concussion)
Jason Marquis: Out for the season (elbow)



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.
Email :Nick Nelson



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