Nick Nelson

The Week Ahead

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Friday, August 30, 2013


Stephen Strasburg, Adam Wainwright, Madison Bumgarner and Mat Latos are all scheduled to start twice in the coming week. Each has a sparkling ERA (Latos is highest at 3.03) and a fantastic K/BB ratio. Each has been the steady and reliable ace of his staff, and in most years would be viewed as a credible Cy Young contender.

Not this year, though.

That's because Clayton Kershaw, who also gets the nod twice in The Week Ahead, has run away with the competition, putting together a season for the ages in Los Angeles. The lefty is pacing the league in innings, strikeouts, WHIP and opponents' batting average. His MLB-leading 1.72 ERA is superior to the second-lowest, Matt Harvey's 2.27, by half a run.

Kershaw's starts both come on the road, including one in Colorado, but that seems awfully unlikely to put a hitch in his spectacular season. His owners are in for a pleasant week.

Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a $5,000 One-Day Fantasy Baseball league tonight (Friday). It's $10 to join and first prize is $1,200. Here's the link.

* Danny Duffy, who has a 1.10 ERA with 17 strikeouts in 16 1/3 innings in three starts for the Royals this year, goes twice at home and is unowned in 92 percent of Yahoo! leagues.

* Some mid-tier options that I'm liking this week: Ian Kennedy (two starts at Petco), Chris Tillman (22/3 K/BB in his last three starts) and Yusmeiro Petit (has piled up strikeouts all year at Triple-A and in the majors).

Going Twice…

American League

Strong Plays

Derek Holland: @OAK (Straily), @LAA (Richards)
Chris Archer: @LAA (Williams), @SEA (Hernandez)
Matt Moore: @LAA (Richards), @SEA (Ramirez)
Felix Hernandez: @KC (Duffy), TB (Archer)
Bartolo Colon: TEX (Perez), HOU (Clemens)
Hiroki Kuroda: CWS (Sale), BOS (Dempster)
Doug Fister: @BOS (Lackey), @KC (Chen)
Chris Sale: @NYY (Kuroda), @BAL (Tillman)
Justin Masterson: BAL (Norris), NYM (Matsuzaka)
John Lackey: DET (Fister), @NYY (Pettitte)

Decent Plays

Erasmo Ramirez: @KC (Chen), TB (Moore)
Dan Straily: TEX (Holland), HOU (Oberholtzer)
Garrett Richards: TB (Moore), TEX (Holland)
Bruce Chen: SEA (Ramirez), DET (Fister)
Danny Duffy: SEA (Hernandez), DET (Verlander)
Jose Quintana: @NYY (Hughes), @BAL (Norris)
Chris Tillman: @CLE (Jimenez), CWS (Sale)
Bud Norris: @CLE (Masterson), CWS (Quintana)

At Your Own Risk

Todd Redmond: @ARI (McCarthy), @MIN (Albers)
Andrew Albers: @HOU (Clemens), TOR (Rogers)
Paul Clemens: MIN (Albers), @OAK (Colon)
Ryan Dempster: DET (Scherzer), @NYY (Kuroda)

National League

Strong Plays

Adam Wainwright: @CIN (Bailey), PIT (Morton)
Stephen Strasburg: @PHI (Hamels), @MIA (Alvarez)
Joe Kelly: @CIN (Latos), PIT
Madison Bumgarner: @SD (Erlin), ARI (Miley)
Cole Hamels: @WAS (Strasburg), ATL (Maholm)
Clayton Kershaw: @COL (Bettis), @SD (Kennedy)
Mat Latos: STL (Kelly), LAD (Greinke)
Travis Wood: MIA (Alvarez), MIL (TBD)
Wade Miley: TOR (Happ), @SF (Bumgarner)

Decent Plays

Yusmeiro Petit: @SD (Kennedy), ARI (McCarthy)
Ian Kennedy: SF (Petit), COL (Bettis)
Charlie Morton: @MIL (Thornburg), @STL (Wainwright)
Henderson Alvarez: @CHC (Wood), WAS (Strasburg)
Homer Bailey: STL (Wainwright), LAD (Kershaw)
Brandon McCarthy: TOR (Rogers), @SF (Petit)

At Your Own Risk

Daisuke Matsuzaka: @ATL (Maholm), @CLE (Masterson)
Chad Bettis: LAD (Kershaw), @SD (Kennedy)
Paul Maholm: NYM (Matsuzaka), @PHI (Hamels)

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, 9/4: Jarred Cosart vs. MIN
Cosart has been phenomenal since joining the Astros rotation, with seven quality starts in eight tries and a 1.59 ERA. His peripherals suggest that the success is unsustainable, but he should still be able to handle the Twins.

Thursday, 9/5: Sonny Gray vs. HOU
The standout rookie has allowed only two runs over 15 innings in two starts at home this year. He fired eight shutout frames last time he faced the Astros.

Friday, 9/6: Scott Kazmir vs. NYM
It's been an up-and-down season for Kazmir, but I like his chances of suppressing the lousy Mets lineup at home.

National League

Wednesday, 9/4: Robbie Erlin vs. SF
While he's gotten blasted on the road this year, Erlin has put up a 2.77 ERA in two starts at Petco.

Thursday, 9/5: Greg Reynolds vs. STL
The right-hander merits a look based on his numbers in Triple-A, where he went 12-3 with a 2.42 ERA prior to being recalled recently.

Friday, 9/6: Chris Rusin vs. MIL
Rusin has allowed more than three runs in only one of his eight starts this season, and holds a 2.64 ERA.

Total Games

American League

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

National League

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

Lefty/Righty Breakdowns

American League

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

National League

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

Brandon Beachy: Out indefinitely (elbow)
Tony Cingrani: Out until mid-September (back)
Samuel Deduno: Out indefinitely (shoulder)
Matt Harvey: Out for the season (elbow)
Josh Reddick: Out indefinitely (wrist)
Jake Westbrook: Out indefinitely (back)



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.
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