Nick Nelson

The Week Ahead

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The Stretch Run Begins

Friday, August 2, 2013

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With a lighter schedule on tap, two-start pitchers are less plentiful than usual in The Week Ahead but you'll still find plenty of attractive options, especially in the National League where I view nine of the 15 listed as recommended plays. See below for detailed notes on this week's two-start crop, as well as streamer suggestions, schedule breakdowns and injury updates.

* The Mets are currently utilizing a six-man rotation, so they have no two-start pitcher this week even though they play six times.

* The Twins haven't announced who will replace the demoted Scott Diamond in their rotation, but all signs point to it being Andrew Albers. The 27-year-old has put up very nice numbers in Triple-A this year, but he's a slow-tossing lefty with iffy stuff so take a wait-and-see approach.

* My sneaky two-start play of the week: Jose Quintana. He's been a rare bright spot for the Pale Hosers, with a 2.79 ERA in July, and draws home starts against the Yankees and Twins. He's available in more than 80 percent of Yahoo! leagues.

* Many owners understandably bailed on Edwin Jackson after his atrocious first half, but he's been a different guy since the beginning of July, with a 1.83 ERA and only six walks in 34 innings. I like him this week even with two road starts.

Going Twice…

American League

Strong Plays

Hisashi Iwakuma: TOR (Dickey), MIL (Peralta)
James Shields: MIN (Diamond), BOS (Dempster)
Anibal Sanchez: @CLE (Kluber), @NYY (Hughes)
Justin Verlander: @CLE (Masterson), @NYY (Pettitte)
Jose Quintana: NYY (Pettitte), MIN (Diamond)
Justin Masterson: DET (Verlander), LAA (Williams)
John Lackey: @HOU (Oberholtzer), @KC (Guthrie)

Decent Plays

R.A. Dickey: @SEA (Iwakuma), OAK (Griffin)
Martin Perez: @LAA (Williams), @HOU (Oberholtzer)
Jeremy Hellickson: @ARI (Miley), @LAD (Nolasco)
Andy Pettitte: @CWS (Quintana), DET (Verlander)
Jerome Williams: TEX (Perez), @CLE (Masterson)
Jeremy Guthrie: MIN (Correia), BOS (Lackey)
Corey Kluber: DET (Sanchez), LAA (Wilson)

At Your Own Risk

Andrew Albers
: @KC (Shields), @CWS (Quintana)
Kevin Correia: @KC (Guthrie), @CWS
Brett Oberholtzer: BOS (Lackey), TEX (Perez)
Ryan Dempster: @HOU (Lyles), @KC (Shields)

National League

Strong Plays

Stephen Strasburg: ATL (Minor), PHI (Kendrick)
Joe Kelly: LAD (Nolasco), CHC (Jackson)
Matt Cain: MIL (Peralta), BAL (Chen)
Adam Wainwright: LAD (Kershaw), CHC (Villanueva)
Chad Gaudin: MIL (Thornburg), BAL (Feldman)
Jeff Locke: MIA (Alvarez), @COL (Chatwood)
Clayton Kershaw: @STL (Wainwright), TB (Hernandez)
Edwin Jackson: @PHI (Kendrick), @STL (Kelly)
Mike Minor: @WAS (Strasburg), MIA (Alvarez)

Decent Plays

Kyle Kendrick: CHC (Jackson), @WAS (Strasburg)
Henderson Alvarez: @PIT (Locke), @ATL (Minor)
Ricky Nolasco: @STL (Kelly), TB (Hellickson)
Tyler Chatwood: @NYM (Wheeler), PIT (Locke)

At Your Own Risk

Tyler Thornburg: @SF (Gaudin), @SEA (Saunders)
Wily Peralta: @SF (Cain), @SEA (Iwakuma)

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, 8/7: Bud Norris @ SD
Norris has been solid if unspectacular this year, but maybe the heat of a pennant race will lift his game. He'll surely find run support easily to come by in Baltimore.

Wednesday, 8/7: Todd Redmond @ SEA
Since joining the Toronto rotation in early July, Redmond has posted an outstanding 26/7 K/BB ratio in 20 2/3 innings.

Friday, 8/9: Scott Kazmir vs. LAA
Over his last eight starts, Kazmir is 3-0 with a 2.16 ERA, holding opponents to a 494 OPS.

National League

Thursday, 8/8: Jhoulys Chacin @ NYM
Chacin has been phenomenal of late, with quality starts in seven of his last nine turns and a 2.28 ERA during that span.

Friday, 8/9: Brandon Beachy vs. MIA
In his first start back from Tommy John surgery, Beachy wasn't as bad as the numbers (3.2 IP, 7 ER) indicate. He looks like a good bet to bounce back in against the Marlins.

Saturday, 8/10: Taylor Jordan vs. PHI
In six starts for the Nationals, the rookie right-handed has registered a 3.31 ERA while allowing only five walks and two homers.

Total Games

American League


National League


Lefty/Righty Breakdowns

American League

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

National League

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

Albert Pujols: Out indefinitely (foot)
Miguel Montero: Out until mid-August (back)
Jason Hammel: Out until mid-August (arm)
Kevin Slowey: Out until September (arm)
Yovani Gallardo: Out indefinitely (hamstring)
Yadier Molina: Out until mid-August (knee)
Matt Moore: Out until mid-August (elbow)
Lance Berkman: Out indefinitely (hip)
Melky Cabrera: Out indefinitely (knee)

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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