Nick Nelson

The Week Ahead

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Six-Man Rotation Invasion

Friday, September 13, 2013

Here in the final weeks of the season, several teams have decided to go with a six-man rotation the rest of the way. This provides an opportunity to take a look at extra guys, and to get starters some additional rest as a long campaign comes to a close.

It's not good news for fantasy owners looking to plug two-start pitchers into their lineups. Clubs like the White Sox, Mets and Padres will not have a starter go twice in the coming week despite playing six games. The Cubs and Twins, who both play seven games, will have one two-start option rather than two.

Nevertheless, there are plenty of solid candidates available in The Week Ahead, and we've got them all listed below, along with your usual assortment of notes, streamers and match-up info.

Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a $4,000 One-Day Fantasy Baseball league Friday. It's $10 to join and first prize is $800. Here's the link.

* Ever heard of Tanner Roark? Perhaps not, but the Washington rookie has gotten his major-league career off to a phenomenal start, with a 5-0 record and 0.94 ERA through 10 appearances. He'll get two starts at home this week, and is available in about 80 percent of leagues.

* The Cardinals have both Joe Kelly and Lance Lynn scheduled for two road starts, including one in Colorado. Even with the difficult match-ups, I'm liking Kelly, who has won in seven of his past eight starts, but I can't trust Lynn, who has a 6.21 ERA in his last six turns.

* Mike Minor is amidst a bit of a rough patch, but oddly, most of his recent struggles have come at home in Atlanta. He continues to be impeccable on the road, where he has a 2.65 ERA this season. He is slated for two road starts, so all systems are go.

* Andy Pettitte goes twice on the road against potent lineups, but I just can't bet against him right now. He has notched six straight quality starts and is 3-0 with a 2.13 ERA during that span.

* The Indians are set to take on the Royals and Astros. I'm liking Corey Kluber, who's 2-0 with a 2.15 ERA in his past seven starts. It's a little more difficult to trust Scott Kazmir, who has been less consistent, but the southpaw has had flashes of dominance, including his most recent start against the Mets in which he hurled six shutout innings with 12 strikeouts.

* Jorge De La Rosa is expected to go twice next week for the Rockies, but left his last start early due to discomfort in his throwing hand. Monitor his status over the weekend.

Going Twice…

American League

Strong Plays

Alex Cobb: TEX (Garza), BAL (Feldman)
Felix Hernandez: @DET (Sanchez), @LAA (Wilson)
Sonny Gray: LAA (Wilson), MIN (Hernandez)
Andy Pettitte: @TOR (Dickey), @OAK (Griffin)
James Shields: CLE (Kazmir), TEX (Garza)
C.J. Wilson: @OAK (Gray), SEA (Hernandez)
Anibal Sanchez: SEA (Hernandez), CWS (Sale)
Corey Kluber: @KC (Duffy), HOU (Bedard)
Jake Peavy: BAL (Feldman), TOR (Dickey)

Decent Plays

R.A. Dickey: NYY (Pettitte), @BOS (Peavy)
Matt Garza: @TB (Cobb), @KC (Shields)
Nick Tepesch: @TB (Hellickson), @KC (Guthrie)
A.J. Griffin: LAA (Richards), MIN (Hendriks)
Rick Porcello: SEA (Saunders), CWS (Rienzo)
Scott Kazmir: @KC (Shields), HOU (Harrell)
Scott Feldman: @BOS (Peavy), @TB (Cobb)

At Your Own Risk

Joe Saunders: @DET (Porcello), @LAA (Williams)
Liam Hendriks: @CWS (Johnson), SEA (Hernandez)
Erik Bedard: CIN (Leake), @CLE (Kluber)
Jeremy Hellickson: TEX (Tepesch), BAL (Gonzalez)

National League

Strong Plays

Joe Kelly: @COL (Nicasio), @MIL (Peralta)
A.J. Burnett: SD (Cashner), CIN (Arroyo)
Hyun-Jin Ryu: @ARI (Cahill), @SD (Stults)
Zack Greinke: @ARI (Corbin), @SD (Ross)
Mike Minor: @WAS (Haren), @CHC (Jackson)
Patrick Corbin: LAD (Greinke), @COL (Nicasio)
Cliff Lee: MIA, NYM (Harang)

Decent Plays

Tanner Roark: ATL (Wood), MIA (Flynn)
Yusmeiro Petit: @NYM (Wheeler), @NYY (Pettitte)
Jeff Locke: SD (Stults), CIN (Leake)
Wily Peralta: CHC (Jackson), STL (Kelly)
Juan Nicasio: STL (Kelly), ARI (Corbin)
Jorge De La Rosa: STL (Lynn), ARI (Cahill)
Edwin Jackson: @MIL (Peralta), ATL (Minor)
Trevor Cahill: LAD (Ryu), @COL (De La Rosa)
Mike Leake: @HOU (Bedard), @PIT (Locke)

At Your Own Risk

Dan Haren: ATL (Minor), MIA (Koehler)
Lance Lynn: @COL (De La Rosa), @MIL (Gallardo)
Brian Flynn: @PHI (Halladay), @WAS (Roark)

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, 9/17: Jose Quintana vs. MIN
Quintana continues to be one of fantasy baseball's most undervalued starters. He has worked seven or more innings in three of his last four starts -- all quality.

Wednesday, 9/18: Jason Vargas @ OAK
The A's haven't had a look at Vargas since early April. The lefty, who owns a solid 3.76 ERA, shut down the Rangers in his latest start.

Thursday, 9/19: Ubaldo Jimenez vs. HOU
Jimenez has been a little inconsistent this year, but a home match-up against the Astros is easy money.

National League

Wednesday, 9/18: Jon Niese vs. SF
Niese has been on a nice run lately, while the Giants have scored three or fewer in nine of their past 13 games.

Wednesday, 9/18: Charlie Morton vs. SD
Prior to a rough outing in St. Louis his last time out, Morton had been 4-0 in his previous six starts, allowing two or fewer runs in each.

Thursday, 9/19: Jhoulys Chacin vs. ARI
Chacin is coming on very strong in the second half, with a 2.24 ERA since the All-Star break.

Total Games

American League


National League


Lefty/Righty Breakdowns

American League

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

National League

ARI: 4 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
ATL: 5 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
CHC: 6 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
CIN: 4 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
COL: 6 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
LAD: 4 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
MIA: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
MIL: 6 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
NYM: 4 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
PHI: 5 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
PIT: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
SD: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
SF: 3 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
STL: 6 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
WAS: 3 vs. RHP, 4 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)
Brett Gardner: Out indefinitely (oblique)
Derek Jeter: Out for the season (ankle)
Ike Davis: Out for the season (abdomen)

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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