Nick Nelson

The Week Ahead

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Week Ahead: Premium Quality

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Last week was not a great one for two-start pitchers. Most teams launched their top starters during the weekend coming out of the break, leaving a bunch of No. 4 and 5 starters (and question marks) in the two-start slots on Monday and Tuesday.

This week is a very different story. Not only do we find a large crop of high-end starters (especially on the National League side) but there are quite a few sleepers with favorable match-ups, several of whom could very well be available in your league.

Without wasting any more time, let's dive right in and look at a few...

Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $35,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Friday night's MLB games. It's $25 to join and first prize is $6,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on Friday. Here's the FanDuel link.

* His name is swirling in trade rumors, but if he stays put Ian Kennedy will start twice in the friendly confines of Petco Park. He's 3-0 with a 2.53 ERA in the month of July.

* Jorge De La Rosa is on a heck of a roll, with a 1.78 ERA in four starts this month. In his last turn he struck out 11 and walked none. He is scheduled to go twice away from Coors.

* Marcus Stroman has been quality in nine of his 11 starts since joining the Jays rotation, with a 2.21 ERA and plenty of strikeouts, but he's unowned in 70 percent of Yahoo! leagues and 85 percent of ESPN leagues. Let him rip against the Red Sox and Astros.

* The Braves are facing the Padres on consecutive weekends, so Ervin Santana has the fortune of facing baseball's worst offense not once, but twice this week. You might not find a better pair of match-ups in the same week all year.

* I've been pushing Jake Odorizzi hard and will continue to do so. He's been one of the game's best strikeout pitchers and has a 2.73 ERA at home, where he's slated for two starts. He remains available in a shockingly high number of leagues.

* Trevor Bauer and Chris Tillman have both been pitching really well lately and are both in line to make two starts at home.

* Match-ups note: The Tigers and Cubs are both scheduled to face tons of left-handed starters, so if you can, load up your lineup with righty hitters from those offenses.

Going Twice…

American League

Strong Plays

Marcus Stroman: @BOS (De La Rosa), @HOU (Feldman)
Yu Darvish: NYY (Phelps), @CLE (Bauer)
Jake Odorizzi: MIL (Lohse), LAA (Weaver)
Hisashi Iwakuma: @CLE (Bauer), @BAL (Tillman)
Jesse Chavez: @HOU (Peacock), KC (Shields)
James Shields: MIN (Gibson), @OAK (Chavez)
Jered Weaver: @BAL (Tillman), @TB (Odorizzi)
Anibal Sanchez: CWS (Quintana), COL (De La Rosa)
Jose Quintana: @DET (Sanchez), MIN (Gibson)
Trevor Bauer: SEA (Iwakuma), TEX (Darvish)
Chris Tillman: LAA (Weaver), SEA (Iwakuma)

Decent Plays

R.A. Dickey: @BOS (Buchholz), @HOU (Feldman)
David Phelps: @TEX (Darvish), @BOS (Buchholz)
Scott Feldman: OAK (Samardzija), TOR (Stroman)

At Your Own Risk

Kyle Gibson: @KC (Shields), @CWS (Quintana)
Brad Peacock: OAK (Chavez), TOR (Dickey)
Clay Buchholz: TOR (Dickey), NYY (Phelps)

National League

Strong Plays

Jordan Zimmermann: @MIA (Eovaldi), PHI (Burnett)
Stephen Strasburg: @MIA (Alvarez), PHI (Hamels)
Lance Lynn: @SD (Kennedy), MIL (Lohse)
Ian Kennedy: STL (Lynn), ATL (Harang)
Cole Hamels: @NYM (Gee), @WAS (Strasburg)
A.J. Burnett: @NYM (Colon), @WAS (Zimmermann)
Kyle Lohse: @TB (Odorizzi), @STL (Lynn)
Henderson Alvarez: WAS (Strasburg), CIN (Leake)
Josh Beckett: ATL (Harang), CHC (Jackson)
Jorge De La Rosa: @CHC (Jackson), @DET (Sanchez)
Homer Bailey: ARI (Anderson), @MIA (Eovaldi)
Aaron Harang: @LAD (Beckett), @SD (Kennedy)
Ervin Santana: SD (Stults), @SD (Stults)

Decent Plays

Eric Stults: @ATL (Santana), ATL (Santana)
Francisco Liriano: @SF (Hudson), @ARI (Cahill)
Vance Worley: @SF (Bumgarner), @ARI (Anderson)
Bartolo Colon: PHI (Burnett), SF (Bumgarner)
Mike Leake: ARI (Cahill), @MIA (Alvarez)
Chase Anderson: @CIN (Bailey), PIT (Worley)

At Your Own Risk

Nathan Eovaldi: WAS (Zimmermann), CIN (Bailey)
Yohan Flande: @CHC (Wada), @DET (Porcello)
Edwin Jackson: COL (De La Rosa), @LAD (Beckett)
Tsuyoshi Wada: COL (Flande), @LAD (Ryu)
Trevor Cahill: @CIN (Leake), PIT (Liriano)

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, 7/30: Danny Duffy vs. MIN
Owned in only 37 percent of Yahoo! leagues despite a 2.47 ERA, Duffy makes a great match-up play at home against the light-hitting Twins. He has allowed two or fewer runs in seven of his last eight starts.

Thursday, 7/31: Josh Tomlin vs. SEA
Tomlin's results haven't been great lately, but a 25-to-1 K/BB ratio over his past four starts bodes very well.

Thursday, 7/31: Drew Smyly vs. CWS
The lefty has been solid with a 3.80 ERA for Detroit, and should handle a mediocre Sox offense at home.

National League

Tuesday, 7/29: Dillon Gee vs. PHI
One of the most underrated starters in fantasy, Gee has shined this year with a 3.49 ERA and 1.09 WHIP but he's unowned in about 70 percent of all leagues.

Wednesday, 7/30: Brett Anderson @ CHC
In three starts away from Coors Field, Anderson has a 2.25 ERA and 0.81 WHIP.

Wednesday, 7/30: Jesse Hahn vs. STL
Hahn has been extremely effective when on the hill this year and is always a good bet at Petco.

Total Games

American League


National League


Lefty/Righty Breakdowns

American League

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

National League

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

Cody Ross: Out until mid-August (calf)
Troy Tulowitzki: Out until early August (quad)
Kelly Johnson: Out indefinitely (groin)
Starling Marte: Out indefinitely (concussion)
Andrew Cashner: Out indefinitely (shoulder)
Willie Bloomquist: Out indefinitely (knee)
Geovany Soto: Out until mid-August (groin)
Ryan Zimmerman: Out indefinitely (hamstring)

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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