Nick Nelson

The Week Ahead

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Week Ahead: The Wright Stuff

Friday, May 29, 2015


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With their rotation depleted by injuries and illness, the Baltimore Orioles turned to one of their top pitching prospects earlier this month. Mike Wright has made the most of that opportunity to say the least.

 

In his major-league debut on May 17th, Wright delivered 7 1/3 scoreless innings in a victory at home against the Angels. He followed that up with seven more scoreless frames against the Marlins in Miami, and picked up another win this past Thursday against the White Sox. In three starts he's 2-0 with a 1.40 ERA and 0.83 WHIP.

 

The Angels, Marlins and White Sox all rank among the worst offenses in the majors, so Wright's incredible initial success should be viewed with some degree of skepticism, but he's a good pitcher. MLB.com ranked him as Baltimore's seventh-best prospect entering the season, and prior to being called up he was 3-0 with a 2.64 ERA and 30-to-9 K/BB ratio in six starts at Triple-A.

 

The 25-year-old righty has been snatched up in a fair number of fantasy leagues (22 percent Yahoo!, 37 percent ESPN), but there's still a decent chance he's available in yours. He'll be tested in the coming week, with road starts against the Astros and Indians, but is certainly an intriguing two-start option.

 

Read on to learn about some others...

 

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* Alfredo Simon was placed on the bereavement list this past Wednesday, but assuming he returns in time for his scheduled turn on Tuesday he'll be among the most attractive two-start options in the American League. He has been excellent recently -- including seven strong innings against a power-packed Houston lineup in his latest outing -- and is looking ahead to the Athletics and White Sox.

 

* After an ugly start to his season, Clay Buchholz is turning it around. The Red Sox righty has been quality in four straight starts, lowering his ERA from 5.73 to 4.33. He'll get the Twins and A's at home.

 

* Ubaldo Jimenez has been shockingly effective overall this year, and usually he'd be listed as a Strong Play, but I would be somewhat hesitant to plug him in this week. He's been significantly worse away from Camden (0-2, 5.40 ERA) and draws two starts on the road, with the first coming against the league-leading Astros.

 

* The National League is jam-packed with appealing two-start options, including a few surprising names. One is Ryan Vogelsong, who is coming off an absolutely splendid month of May in which he went 4-0 with a 1.14 ERA. He'll try to keep the hot streak going against Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, two of the NL's lesser offenses.

 

Going Twice...

 

American League

 

Strong Plays

 

Chris Archer: @LAA, @SEA

Felix Hernandez: NYY, TB

Michael Pineda: @SEA, LAA

Garrett Richards: TB, @NYY

Alfredo Simon: OAK, @CWS

Jeff Samardzija: @TEX, DET

Carlos Carrasco: @KC, BAL

Clay Buchholz: MIN, OAK

 

Decent Plays

 

Alex Colome: @LAA, @SEA

Mike Pelfrey: @BOS, MIL

Phil Hughes: @BOS, MIL

Scott Feldman: BAL, @TOR

Collin McHugh: BAL, @TOR

Rick Porcello: MIN, OAK

Mike Wright: @HOU, @CLE

Ubaldo Jimenez: @HOU, @CLE

 

At Your Own Risk

 

R.A. Dickey: @WAS, HOU

Colby Lewis: CWS, @KC

 

National League

 

Strong Plays

 

Jordan Zimmermann: TOR, CHC

Max Scherzer: TOR, CHC

Jaime Garcia: MIL, @LAD

Lance Lynn: MIL, @LAD

Ryan Vogelsong: PIT, @PHI

Gerrit Cole: @SF, @ATL

Andrew Cashner: NYM, @CIN

Noah Syndergaard: @SD, @ARI

Jacob deGrom: @SD, @ARI

Clayton Kershaw: @COL, STL

Zack Greinke: @COL, STL

Jon Lester: @MIA, @WAS

 

Decent Plays

 

Kyle Hendricks: @MIA, @WAS

Alex Wood: @ARI, PIT

 

At Your Own Risk

 

Sean O'Sullivan: CIN, SF

Mike Fiers: @STL, @MIN

Eddie Butler: LAD, MIA

Josh Collmenter: ATL, NYM

Archie Bradley: ATL, NYM

Jose Urena: CHC, @COL

 

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, June 3: Wade Miley vs. MIN

In the month of May, Miley has gone 3-2 with a 2.60 ERA, showing huge improvement with his control after an erratic April.

 

Wednesday, June 3: Nathan Karns @ LAA

Karns hasn't allowed more than two runs in a start since mid-April, while the Angels rank last in the AL in OPS and second-to-last in runs.

 

Friday, June 5: Ricky Nolasco vs. MIL

In five starts since returning from the disabled list at the beginning of May, Nolasco is 5-0 with a 3.77 ERA.

 

National League

 

Wednesday, June 3: Michael Foltynewicz @ ARI

The rookie has looked very good for the most part in his initial exposure to the majors. He has tallied seven strikeouts in each of his last four starts.

 

Thursday, June 4: Anthony DeSclafani @ PHI

DeSclafani has been quite good this year, with a 3.46 ERA over nine starts, and should feast on the hapless Phillies lineup.

 

Thursday, June 4: Jeremy Hellickson vs. NYM

Though he's had his ups and downs, Hell Boy has logged back-to-back quality starts and we like his chances at home against a Mets team that has been struggling to score runs.

 

Total Games

 

American League

 

6: CLE, CWS, DET, KC, LAA, NYY, OAK, TOR, TEX

7: BAL, BOS, HOU, MIN, SEA, TB

 

National League

 

6: ATL, CIN, COL, MIA, MIL, PIT, PHI, SD, SF

7: ARI, CHC, LAD, NYM, STL, WAS

 

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:

 

Enrique Burgos: Out indefinitely (shoulder)

Daniel Nava: Out indefinitely (thumb)

Shane Victorino: Out indefinitely (calf)

Devin Mesoraco: Out indefinitely (hip)

Kyle Lobstein: Out indefinitely (shoulder)

Samuel Deduno: Out until early June (back)

Danny Duffy: Out until mid-June (biceps)

Michael Morse: Out until mid-June (finger)

Wily Peralta: Out until late June (ribs)

Coco Crisp: Out indefinitely (neck)

Josh Johnson: Out until mid-June (elbow)

Matt Adams: Out until August (quads)

James Loney: Out until late June (finger)

Neftali Feliz: Out indefinitely (ribs)



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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