Nick Nelson

The Week Ahead

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Week Ahead: Slim Pickings

Friday, April 25, 2014


With six teams scheduled to play only five games, the coming week will feature the smallest group of two-start pitchers yet in this young season. Sifting through, you might have a bit of a tough time finding appealing options, especially on the AL side, but as always, we're here to help guide you.

In the Senior Circuit there is no shortage of enticing choices. Many of the hurlers who are scheduled to go twice are either off to tremendous starts, facing weak opponents, or both. There's not a single name on the list that I don't like, at least a little.  

Identifying quality candidates in the American League isn't quite as easy. There are a handful of Strong Plays but none are widely available. If you're looking for a two-start guy you can pick up and plug in, I recommend trying out Tyler Skaggs. The young righty is 2-0 with a 3.21 ERA through four starts and goes twice at home. He's available in more than 75 percent of Yahoo! leagues.

Beyond him, you want to go with Andre Rienzo, who is temporarily filling in for the injured Felipe Paulino and has shown some ability in the minors, though he's mostly untested in the big leagues. He may benefit from facing the Indians and Rays, two offenses that haven't really gotten going.

Outside of the two-start pitchers, there are some intriguing streamers that can be found below.

Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $60,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Friday evening MLB games. It's $25 to join and first prize is $8,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on Friday. Here's the FanDuel link.

Going Twice…

American League

Strong Plays

Yu Darvish: OAK (Gray), @LAA (Skaggs)
Sonny Gray: @TEX (Darvish), @BOS (Lackey)
Jason Vargas: TOR (McGowan), DET (Verlander)
John Lackey: TB (Bedard), OAK (Gray)
CC Sabathia: SEA (Young), TB (Bedard)

Decent Plays

Tyler Skaggs: CLE (Masterson), TEX (Darvish)
Justin Masterson: @LAA (Skaggs), CWS (Rienzo)

At Your Own Risk

Dustin McGowan: @KC (Vargas), @PIT (Volquez)
Jake Odorizzi: @CWS (Rienzo), @NYY (Tanaka)
Erik Bedard: @BOS (Lackey), @NYY (Sabathia)
Mike Pelfrey: LAD (Greinke), BAL (Gonzalez)
Andre Rienzo: TB (Odorizzi), @CLE (Masterson)
Chris Young: @NYY (Sabathia), @HOU (McHugh)

National League

Strong Plays

Michael Wacha: MIL (Gallardo), @CHC (Samardzija)
Madison Bumgarner: SD (Ross), @ATL (Harang)
Tyson Ross: @SF (Bumgarner), ARI (Miley)
Kyle Lohse: @STL (Lynn), @CIN (Cingrani)
Yovani Gallardo: @STL (Wacha), @CIN (Simon)
Zack Greinke: @MIN (Pelfrey), @MIA (Fernandez)
Tony Cingrani: CHC (Jackson), MIL (Lohse)
Alfredo Simon: CHC (Samardzija), MIL (GallardO)
Aaron Harang: @MIA (Fernandez), SF (Bumgarner)
Jeff Samardzija: @CIN (Simon), STL (Wacha)
Jose Fernandez: ATL (Harang), LAD (Greinke)

Decent Plays

Jon Niese: @PHI (Hamels), @COL (Chatwood)
Tyler Chatwood: @ARI (Bolsinger), NYM (Niese)
Franklin Morales: @ARI (Miley), NYM (Gee)
Wade Miley: COL (Morales), @SD (Ross)

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, 4/30: Drew Hutchison @ KC
He's struggled to last deep into games, but Hutchison has been fairly dominant with a 33/9 K/BB ratio in his first 26 innings.

Friday, 5/2: Vidal Nuno vs. TB
Give Ivan Nova's replacement a try at home against the Rays, who have been lukewarm offensively early on.

Friday, 5/2: Phil Hughes vs. BAL
An ugly 6.43 ERA masks a strong 20/6 K/BB ratio in 21 innings. As Hughes' .394 BABIP drops, his results should start to be more in line with his peripherals.

National League

Wednesday, 4/30: Kyle Kendrick vs. NYM
Kendrick has pitched well thus far, with a 3.52 ERA through five turns. He's a good bet to add another quality start at home against the Mets.

Friday, 5/2: Wily Peralta @ CIN
The young righty has allowed just six earned runs in four starts, with a solid K-rate to boot.

Friday, 5/2: Tyler Lyons @ CHC
Filling in for the injured Joe Kelly, Lyons makes a nice streamer play. In four starts between Triple-A and the majors, he has piled up 25 strikeouts in 26 innings.

Total Games

American League

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

National League

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

Lefty/Righty Breakdowns

American League

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

National League

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

Mark Trumbo: Out indefinitely (foot)
Justin Ruggiano: Out until late May (hamstring)
Chris Sale: Out until early May (elbow)
Michael Cuddyer: Out until early May (hamstring)
Scott Feldman: Out until early May (biceps)
Ivan Nova: Out for the season (elbow)



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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