Nick Nelson

The Week Ahead

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Week Ahead: Nolasco Loves LA

Friday, September 6, 2013

Ricky Nolasco has taken his game to another level since being dealt to the Dodgers. He goes twice at home in The Week Ahead.

When the Dodgers acquired Ricky Nolasco from the Marlins back in early July, it looked like they were trading for a decent arm that could prove useful at the back end of their rotation. The 30-year-old right-hander had posted an unimpressive 4.68 ERA over the past three seasons, and was sitting with a 3.85 ERA and 5-8 record in 2013 for the Fish. Not since 2008 had he been an above-average pitcher.

The change of scenery has apparently had a profound effect on the veteran starter, because since moving to Los Angeles he's been on perhaps the best stretch of his career. In 11 starts as a Dodger, Nolasco has gone 7-1 with a 2.27 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 56/16 K/BB ratio over 67 1/3 innings. He has been nearly untouchable in his past two starts at Dodger Stadium, hurling 16 scoreless innings with 17 strikeouts while allowing only five hits and one walk.

Long viewed as an underachiever, Nolasco appears reinvigorated by the contending atmosphere. He goes twice at home this week and is among the most attractive two-start pitchers in The Week Ahead. He's also still available in almost 30 percent of Yahoo! leagues.

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 $800. Here's the link.

 A few more notes on the coming week...

* Martin Perez has won six straight starts for the Rangers, and will go twice at home. He's available in 70 percent of Yahoo! leagues. Pick him up and plug him in.

* The Mets and Marlins are scheduled to play a double-header next Saturday and neither has a day off, so they'll both play eight games.

* Bronson Arroyo was roughed up in his start last week, but that was in Colorado. In four starts prior, he had gone 4-0 with a dazzling 26/0 K/BB ratio and he held the Cardinals to three runs over seven innings in a no-decision on Wednesday. He's scheduled to take on a pair of weak lineups in the Cubs and Brewers next week.

*The Mariners recently called up James Paxton and will roll with a six-man rotation going forward. The new lineup cheats Taijuan Walker out of a two-start week this week and will limit the number of two-start weeks for all Mariners pitchers for the rest of the season.

Going Twice…

American League

Strong Plays

Martin Perez: PIT (Cole), OAK (Colon)

Jarrod Parker: @MIN (Hendriks), @TEX (Darvish)
Ivan Nova: @BAL (Gonzalez), @BOS (Dempster)
Chris Sale: DET (Scherzer), CLE (McAllister)
Max Scherzer: @CWS (Sale), KC (Santana)
Ervin Santana: @CLE (Jimenez), @DET (Scherzer)
Jered Weaver: @MIN (Hernandez), @HOU (Oberholtzer)
Yu Darvish: PIT (Liriano), OAK (Parker)

Decent Plays

CC Sabathia: @BAL (Tillman), @BOS (Lester)

Zach McAllister: KC (Guthrie), @CWS (Sale)
Ubaldo Jimenez: KC (Santana), @CWS (Rienzo)
Miguel Gonzalez: NYY (Nova), @TOR (Redmond)
Ryan Dempster: @TB (Hellickson), NYY (Nova)
Chris Tillman: NYY (Sabathia), @TOR (Rogers)

At Your Own Risk

Todd Redmond: LAA (Williams), BAL (Gonzalez)

Jeremy Hellickson: BOS (Dempster), @MIN (Hendriks)
Pedro Hernandez: LAA (Weaver), TB (Moore)
Jerome Williams: @TOR (Redmond), @HOU (Clemens)
Liam Hendriks: OAK (Parker), TB (Hellickson)

National League

Strong Plays

Jordan Zimmermann: @NYM (Gee), PHI (Martin)

Gio Gonzalez: @NYM (Torres), PHI (Hamels)
Shelby Miller: MIL (Peralta), SEA (Ramirez)
Francisco Liriano: @TEX (Darvish), CHC (Jackson)
Dillon Gee: WAS (Zimmermann), MIA (Koehler)
Carlos Torres: WAS (Gonzalez), MIA (Alvarez)
Hyun-Jin Ryu: ARI (Cahill), SF (Vogelsong)
Ricky Nolasco: ARI (Delgado), SF (Lincecum)
Bronson Arroyo: CHC (Wood), @MIL (Peralta)
Julio Teheran: @MIA (Koehler), SD (Erlin)
Kris Medlen: @MIA (Alvarez), SD (Kennedy)

Decent Plays

Travis Wood: @CIN (Arroyo), @PIT (Cole)

Ryan Vogelsong: COL (De La Rosa), @LAD (Ryu)
Tim Lincecum: COL (Chacin), @LAD (Nolasco)
Gerrit Cole: @TEX (Perez), CHC (Wood)
Randall Delgado: @LAD (Nolasco), COL (Chacin)
Jhoulys Chacin: @SF (Lincecum), @ARI (Delgado)
Wily Peralta: @STL (Miller), CIN (Arroyo)

At Your Own Risk

Robbie Erlin: @PHI (Martin), @ATL (Teheran)

Ethan Martin: SD (Erlin), @WAS (Zimmermann)
Tom Koehler: ATL (Teheran), @NYM (Gee)
Edwin Jackson: @CIN (Cingrani), @PIT (Liriano)
Henderson Alvarez: ATL (Medlen), @NYM (Torres)

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, 9/10: Erik Johnson vs. DET
It's a tough match-up for the fresh rookie, but Johnson has been dazzling in the minors this year so he's worth a look.

Wednesday, 9/11: Sonny Gray @ MIN
The impressive rookie should have a field day against the Twins, who have struck out more than any MLB club save for Houston.

Thursday, 9/12: Corey Kluber @ CWS
The surprising Kluber has been out for a month with a sprained finger. See how he fares in his return on Saturday and, if he resembles his previous form, plug him in against the Sox with confidence.

National League

Wednesday, 9/11: Yusmeiro Petit vs. COL

Petit has been a strikeout machine in limited action, and the Rockies have produced a meager 682 OPS away from Coors.

Thursday, 9/12: Nathan Eovaldi vs. ATL

Eovaldi has mostly been lights-out recently for the Fish, with seven quality starts in his past eight turns.

Thursday, 9/12: Joe Kelly vs. MIL

The standout sophomore remains unowned in most leagues despite a 2.82 ERA and wins in seven consecutive decisions.

Total Games

American League


National League


Lefty/Righty Breakdowns

American League

BAL: 3 vs. RHP, 4 vs. LHP

BOS: 4 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
CLE: 4 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
CWS: 7 vs. RHP, 0 vs. LHP
DET: 2 vs. RHP, 4 vs. LHP
HOU: 4 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
KC: 5 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
LAA: 3 vs. RHP, 4 vs. LHP
MIN: 6 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
NYY: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
OAK: 4 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
SEA: 6 vs. RHP, 0 vs. LHP
TB: 3 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
TEX: 5 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
TOR: 5 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP

National League

ARI: 4 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP

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

Allen Craig: Out indefinitely (foot)

Justin Masterson: Out indefinitely (oblique)
Jose Bautista: Out for season (shut down, hip)
Domonic Brown: Out until mid-September (heel)
Ike Davis: Out indefinitely (oblique)
Tyler Flowers: Out for season (shoulder)
Yonder Alonso: Out until mid-September (hand)

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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