Nick Nelson

The Week Ahead

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Week Ahead: Home Security

Friday, August 23, 2013

The massive contract that Zack Greinke received from the Dodgers over the winter drew some criticism, especially after a shoulder injury suffered in an early-season skirmish landed LA's $150 million man on the disabled list.

Fortunately, Greinke came back quicker than expected and has been a stalwart since returning, especially in his new home park. In 10 starts at Dodger Stadium this year, the right-hander is 6-1 with a 2.32 ERA and 0.97 WHIP. His opponents' OPS at home (637) is a full 100 points lower than on the road (737).

In the coming week, Greinke is slated to face two sub-par lineups -- Chicago and San Diego -- both at home, so he's a tremendously appealing option.

More notes on the week's two-start crop, as well as the usual assortment of lists and streamer recommendations, can be found below.

Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a $5,000 Fantasy Baseball Contest tonight (Friday). It's $10 to join and first prize is $1,200. Here's the link.

* The Mets are scheduled for seven games so they'll have a pair of two-start pitchers, and I'm liking them both. Rookie Zack Wheeler has been fantastic since the start of July (3.05 ERA, 49 K in 53 IP) while Jon Niese has settled into a nice groove lately himself with 18 strikeouts in his last two starts. They'll each face two of the worst offenses in the National League: Philadelphia and Washington.

* Jake Arrieta has always been intriguing because of his quality stuff, but he had a tough time pulling it all together in Baltimore. The hope was that a move to the NL might change his fortunes, and a debut for the Cubs in which he hurled seven scoreless innings against the Cardinals seemed to set him in that direction. But the 27-year-old got rocked in his follow-up against the Nats, coughing up six runs in four innings. He's a risky play with some upside in the coming week.

* The American League's two-start group includes a few different mid-tier options with high strikeout potential: Andre Rienzo, Danny Salazar and Felix Doubront. None of these guys is a lock to produce strong results but they can all be trusted to deliver in the K category.

Going Twice…

American League

Strong Plays

Hisashi Iwakuma: TEX (Holland), @HOU (Cosart)
James Shields: @MIN (Correia), @TOR (Rogers)
C.J. Wilson: @TB (Hellickson), @MIL (Lohse)
Anibal Sanchez: OAK (Griffin), CLE (McAllister)
Justin Verlander: OAK (TBD), CLE (Salazar)

Decent Plays

Jeremy Hellickson: LAA (Wilson), @OAK (Griffin)
A.J. Griffin: @DET (Sanchez), TB (TBD)
Phil Hughes: @TOR (Rogers), BAL (Gonzalez)
Jeremy Guthrie: TB (Hellickson), @TOR (TBD)
Andre Rienzo: HOU (Cosart), @BOS (Doubront)
Danny Salazar: @ATL (Maholm), @DET (Verlander)
Felix Doubront: BAL (Gonzalez), CWS (Rienzo)
Miguel Gonzalez: @BOS (Doubront), @NYY (Hughes)

At Your Own Risk

Esmil Rogers: NYY (Hughes), KC (Shields)
Travis Blackley: @SEA (Saunders), MIN (Correia)
Joe Saunders: TEX (Blackley), @HOU (Oberholtzer)
Kevin Correia: KC (Shields), @TEX (Blackley)
Jarred Cosart: @CWS (Rienzo), SEA (Iwakuma)

National League

Strong Plays

Zack Greinke: CHC (Arrieta), SD (Ross)
Cliff Lee: @NYM (Wheeler), @CHC (Rusin)
Gerrit Cole: MIL (Lohse), STL
Jon Niese: PHI (Kendrick), @WAS (Ohlendorf)
Zack Wheeler: PHI (Lee), @WAS (Haren)
Kyle Lohse: @PIT (Cole), LAA (Wilson)

Decent Plays

Ross Ohlendorf: MIA (Eovaldi), NYM (Niese)
Tyson Ross: @ARI (McCarthy), @LAD (Greinke)
Kyle Kendrick: @NYM (Niese), @CHC (Arrieta)
Nathan Eovaldi: @WAS (Ohlendorf), @ATL (Maholm)
Juan Nicasio: SF (Zito), SD (Ross)
Mike Leake: @STL, @COL (Nicasio)
Paul Maholm: CLE (Salazar), MIA (Eovaldi)
Brandon McCarthy: SD (Ross), SF (Zito)

At Your Own Risk

Barry Zito: @COL (Nicasio), @ARI (McCarthy)
Jake Arrieta: @LAD (Greinke), PHI (Kendrick)

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, 8/27: Jose Quintana vs. HOU
Quintana is enjoying a very nice season for the Sox, and is averaging about a strikeout per inning since the beginning of June.

Tuesday, 8/27: Martin Perez @ SEA
The Texas southpaw has tallied four consecutive quality starts, including a win over the M's in his latest turn.

Thursday, 8/29: Brad Peacock vs. SEA
Since rejoining the Houston rotation earlier this month, Peacock has a 1.86 ERA with 20 strikeouts in 19 1/3 innings over three starts.

National League

Tuesday, 8/27: Trevor Cahill vs. SD
Cahill is coming off a strong outing in Cincy, and he piled up a season-high 10 strikeouts in his lone start against the Padres back in June.

Thursday, 8/27: Ethan Martin @ NYM
The Phillies rookie has been solid since an ugly debut, and has notched 22 strikeouts in 20 2/3 innings of work.

Total Games

American League


National League

7: NYM, PHI,

Lefty/Righty Breakdowns

American League

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

National League

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

Jason Heyward: Out for the season (face)
Jonathan Broxton: Out indefinitely (elbow)
Placido Polanco: Out until early September (concussion)
Joe Mauer: Out indefinitely (concussion)
Jenrry Mejia: Out for the season (elbow)
Jeremy Hefner: Out for the season (elbow)
John Lannan: Out for the season (knee)
Jake Westbrook: Out indefinitely (back)
Alexi Ogando: Out indefinitely (shoulder)
Jose Bautista: Out indefinitely (hip)
Taylor Jordan: Out for the season (shut down)

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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