Nick Nelson

The Week Ahead

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Week Ahead: Straight Cashner

Friday, April 18, 2014


The Padres have had high hopes for Andrew Cashner since they acquired him from the Cubs in return for young slugger Anthony Rizzo two years ago.

Now, it appears that the 27-year-old righty is beginning to fulfill his promise.

Coming off a season in which he went 10-9 with a 3.09 ERA in 175 innings, Cashner was tabbed as San Diego's Opening Day starter this year, performing well against the Dodgers with six innings of one-run ball. Cashner has backed that up with three straight quality starts, including a complete game shutout against the Tigers.

Overall, he sits with a 1.27 ERA and 0.95 WHIP through four turns and is averaging more than seven innings per start.

He goes twice next week, but he'll be tested with both outings coming away from Petco Park and against good teams. As well as he's pitching, I still like him as a strong play.

Editor's note: Rotoworld's partner, FanDuel, is hosting a one-day, $15,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Monday night's MLB games. It's just $10 to join, and first prize is $2,000. Starts at 7:05 p.m. ET on Monday. Here's the FanDuel link.

A few other notes on two-start options:

* The young and talented Wily Peralta is owned in only 20 percent of Yahoo! leagues despite a 2-0 record and 1.96 ERA through his first three starts. He's slated for two home starts in the upcoming week, against the Padres and Cubs. Pick him up and plug him in.

* Fantasy owners may be reluctant to touch Jorge De La Rosa (0-3, 7.58 ERA) but a deeper look reveals a solid 20/8 K/BB ratio and he was of course very solid last year. I like his chances to get on track with starts against the Giants and Dodgers.

* Jenrry Mejia is currently scheduled to start twice at home, and we like his upside if he does (18 strikeouts in 16 innings so far) but a blister could push him back. Keep an eye on his status.

Going Twice…

American League

Strong Plays

Yu Darvish: @OAK (Straily), @SEA (Hernandez)
Felix Hernandez: HOU (Keuchel), TEX (Darvish)
Masahiro Tanaka: @BOS (Lester), LAA (Richards)
James Shields: @CLE (Salazar), @BAL (Gonzalez)
Chris Sale: @DET (Verlander), TB (Odorizzi)
Anibal Sanchez: CWS (Danks), @MIN (Hughes)
Justin Verlander: CWS (Sale), @MIN (Pelfrey)
Jon Lester: NYY (Tanaka), @TOR (Dickey)

Decent Plays

R.A. Dickey: BAL (Gonzalez), BOS (Lester)
Jake Odorizzi: MIN (Pelfrey), @CWS (Sale)
Tommy Milone: TEX (Scheppers), @HOU (Feldman)
Dan Straily: TEX (Darvish), @HOU (Keuchel)
Garrett Richards: @WAS (Roark), @NYY (Tanaka)
Scott Feldman: @SEA (Ramirez), OAK (Milone)
Dallas Keuchel: @SEA (Hernandez), OAK (Straily)
John Danks: @DET (Sanchez), TB (Ramos)
Zach McAllister: KC (Guthrie), @SF (Lincecum)
Clay Buchholz: BAL (Chen), @TOR (Morrow)
Miguel Gonzalez: @TOR (Dickey), KC (Shields)
Wei-Yin Chen: @BOS (Buchholz), KC (Guthrie)

At Your Own Risk

Mike Pelfrey: @TB (Odorizzi), DFT (Verlander)
Danny Salazar: KC (Shields), @SF (Vogelsong)
Jeremy Guthrie: @CLE (McAllister), @BAL (Chen)

National League

Strong Plays

Adam Wainwright: @NYM (Gee), PIT (Volquez)
Francisco Liriano: CIN (Leake), @STL
Andrew Cashner: @MIL (Peralta), @WAS (Roark)
Cliff Lee: @LAD (Maholm), @ARI (Arroyo)
Wily Peralta: SD (Cashner), CHC (Wood)
Hyun-Jin Ryu: PHI (Burnett), COL (De La Rosa)
Johnny Cueto: @PIT (Volquez), @ATL (Teheran)
Travis Wood: ARI (McCarthy), @MIL (Peralta)
Jason Hammel: ARI (Arroyo), @MIL (Estrada)
Julio Teheran: MIA (Koehler), CIN (Cueto)

Decent Plays

Tanner Roark: LAA (Richards), SD (Cashner)
Taylor Jordan: LAA (Skaggs), SD (Kennedy)
Ian Kennedy: @MIL (Gallardo), @WAS (Jordan)
Edinson Volquez: CIN (Cueto), @STL (Wainwright)
A.J. Burnett: @LAD (Ryu), @ARI (McCarthy)
Dillon Gee: STL (Wainwright), MIA (Koehler)
Tom Koehler: @ATL (Teheran), @NYM (Gee)
Jorge De La Rosa: SF (Vogelsong), @LAD (Ryu)
Mike Leake: @PIT (Liriano), @ATL (Hale)

At Your Own Risk

Ryan Vogelsong: @COL (De La Rosa), CLE (Salazar)
Jenrry Mejia: STL, MIA (Slowey)
Paul Maholm: PHI (Lee), COL (Nicasio)
Bronson Arroyo: @CHC (Hammel), PHI (Lee)
Brandon McCarthy: @CHC (Wood), PHI (Burnett)

Streamer City

The following pitchers are generally available in over 50 percent of fantasy leagues and have favorable match-ups this week:

American League

Thursday, 4/24: Corey Kluber vs. KC
Kluber's outstanding 18/3 K/BB ratio through two starts belies an ugly 5.40 ERA. He should be able to get his results in line against a struggling Royals lineup.

Friday, 4/25: Jesse Chavez @ HOU
He's off to a phenomenal start (1.35 ERA, 9.9 K/9 through three starts) but remains unowned in half of all Yahoo! leagues. No-brainer here.

National League

Wednesday, 4/23: Alfredo Simon @ PIT
The initial results in Simon's return to the rotation have been very good, as he's put up a 1.20 ERA in his first two starts.

Wednesday, 4/23: Nathan Eovaldi @ ATL
With a phenomenal 19/1 K/BB ratio through three starts, Eovaldi is recommended even in this tough match-up at Atlanta.

Friday, 4/25: Henderson Alvarez @ NYM
The righty hasn't looked great in his first three starts, but should be able to pull it together against one of the NL's worst offenses. The Mets are hitting just .229 as a team.

Total Games

American League

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

National League

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

Lefty/Righty Breakdowns

American League

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

National League

ARI: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
ATL: 6 vs. RHP, 0 vs. LHP
CHC: 6 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
CIN: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
COL: 3 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
LAD: 6 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
MIA: 4 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
MIL: 5 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
NYM: 7 vs. RHP, 0 vs. LHP
PHI: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
PIT: 6 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
SD: 7 vs. RHP, 0 vs. LHP
SF: 4 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
STL: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
WAS: 4 vs. RHP, 3 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:

Brett Anderson: Out until late May (finger)
Lorenzo Cain: Out until early May (groin)
Kole Calhoun: Out until May (ankle)
Josh Willingham: Out until late April (wrist)
Juan Lagares: Out indefinitely (hamstring)
Joe Kelly: Out until late April (hamstring)
Alex Cobb: Out until mid-May (ribs)
Adrian Beltre: Out indefinitely (quad)
Ryan Zimmerman: Out until mid-May (thumb)



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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