Nick Nelson

The Week Ahead

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Week Ahead: Oriole Power

Friday, August 22, 2014


The Baltimore Orioles have been on an incredible run, winning 30 of 43 games since the start of July to take a commanding lead in the AL East.

At the heart of all that winning has been an exceptional rotation, and with the O's playing seven times at Camden in The Week Ahead, two members of that rotation will go twice at home.

One is Chris Tillman, who is 3-0 with a 2.14 ERA since the All-Star break. The other is Wei-Yin Chen, who is 4-1 with a 2.72 ERA during that same timeframe.

Both are highly recommended options, but Chen is more likely to be available in your league. He's owned in 43 percent of Yahoo! leagues and 50 percent of ESPN leagues.

There are plenty of other enticing two-start pitchers in the American League, as you'll see below in a robust "Strong Plays" section, but let's focus on a few that stand out, and peek at the NL side as well.

Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $40,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Friday night's MLB games. It's $25 to join and first prize is $5,500. Starts at 7:05pm ET on Friday. Here's the FanDuel link.

* Since the start of July, Matt Shoemaker has a 2.54 ERA and an outstanding 49-to-7 K/BB ratio in 49 innings, picking up wins in seven of nine starts during that span. He has quietly been integral in the Angels' success, and is looking ahead to two turns at home.

* Michael Pineda has picked up right where he left off since returning from injury. In total, he has allowed only seven runs and 23 hits in six starts this year. He's still available in a lot of leagues, and is slated to start twice next week, though both come on the road.

* Brandon McCarthy has been pitching incredibly well since coming over to the Yankees, with a 1.90 ERA and 51-to-7 K/BB ratio in 52 innings, but he'll be put to the test in Detroit and Toronto. Call it a hunch, but I think he finally slows up a little this week.

* Brewers rookie Jimmy Nelson had rattled off five straight quality starts prior to a rough outing his last time out. We like his chances of getting back on track in a week where the first of his two starts comes in San Diego.

* Speaking of San Diego, Padres starter Eric Stults was pretty bad for the first three months of the season, but he has a 3.02 ERA since the beginning of July and a 1.46 mark in August. Six of his last seven starts have come on the road, but he'll get to go twice at Petco this week. He's available in almost every league.

Going Twice…

American League

Strong Plays

Chris Tillman: TB (Odorizzi), MIN (Gibson)
Wei-Yin Chen: TB (Cobb), MIN (Nolasco)
Jose Quintana: CLE (House), DET (Porcello)
Rick Porcello: NYY (McCarthy), @CWS (Quintana)
Dallas Keuchel: OAK (Samardzija), TEX (Martinez)
James Shields: NYY (Pineda), CLE (Bauer)
Danny Duffy: MIN (Nolasco), CLE (House)
Matt Shoemaker: MIA (Eovaldi), OAK (Samardzija)
Michael Pineda: @KC (Shields), @TOR (Hutchison)
Jeff Samardzija: @HOU (Keuchel), @LAA (Shoemaker)
Jake Odorizzi: @BAL (Tillman), BOS (Webster)
Alex Cobb: @BAL (Chen), BOS (Buchholz)

Decent Plays

T.J. House: @CWS (Quintana), @KC (Duffy)
Brandon McCarthy: @DET (Porcello), @TOR (Happ)
Nick Martinez: @SEA (Paxton), @HOU (Keuchel)
J.A. Happ: BOS (Buchholz), NYY (McCarthy)
Roenis Elias: TEX, WAS (Roark)

At Your Own Risk

Clay Buchholz: @TOR (Happ), @TB (Cobb)
Scott Feldman: OAK (Hammel), TEX
Ricky Nolasco: @KC (Duffy), @BAL (Chen)
Jason Hammel: @HOU (Feldman), @LAA (LeBlanc)
Wade LeBlanc: MIA (Cosart), OAK (Hammel)

National League

Strong Plays

Alex Wood: @NYM (Gee), MIA (Cosart)
Johnny Cueto: CHC (Wood), @PIT (Liriano)
Madison Bumgarner: COL (De La Rosa), MIL (Nelson)
John Lackey: @PIT (Liriano), CHC
Tanner Roark: @PHI (Burnett), @SEA (Elias)

Decent Plays

Jorge De La Rosa: @SF (Bumgarner), @ARI (Anderson)
Dillon Gee: ATL (Wood), PHI (Burnett)
Francisco Liriano: STL (Lackey), CIN (Cueto)
Eric Stults: MIL (Nelson), LAD (Correia)
Jake Peavy: COL (Matzek), MIL (Lohse)
Lance Lynn: @PIT (Cole), CHC (Wood)
Travis Wood: @CIN (Cueto), @STL (Lynn)
Jimmy Nelson: @SD (Stults), @SF (Bumgarner)

At Your Own Risk

Tyler Matzek: @SF (Peavy), @ARI (Nuno)
Jarred Cosart: @LAA (LeBlanc), @ATL (Wood)
A.J. Burnett: WAS (Roark), @NYM (Gee)

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, 8/26: James Paxton vs. TEX
The young lefty has been excellent since joining the Mariners rotation, especially in his past two starts.

Wednesday, 8/27: Marcus Stroman vs. BOS
Since the start of July, Stroman is holding opponents to a .229/.285/.289 hitting line, with only one homer allowed.

Thursday, 8/28: Carlos Carrasco @ CWS
Carrasco has tossed 12 scoreless innings over his last two starts and should do well against a K-prone Sox lineup.

National League

Wednesday, 8/27: Odrisamer Despaigne vs. MIL
Despaigne has a 2.45 ERA in five starts at Petco Park.

Saturday, 8/30: Vidal Nuno vs. COL
Nuno will seek to take advantage of the Rockies' struggles on the road, where their OPS is 200 points lower than at home.

Total Games

American League

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

National League

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

Lefty/Righty Breakdowns

American League

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

National League

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

Edwin Jackson: Out indefinitely (back)
Homer Bailey: Out indefinitely (elbow)
Garrett Richards: Out for the season (knee)
Jed Lowrie: Out until September (finger)
Charlie Morton: Out until September (hip)
Yonder Alonso: Out for the season (arm)
Yu Darvish: Out until early September (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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