Nick Nelson

The Week Ahead

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Week Ahead: Young Cub

Sunday, April 24, 2016

In a rotation filled with established veteran hurlers, including the reigning NL Cy Young winner, Kyle Hendricks could be looked at as a boy among men – or a cub among bears, as it were. Placed next to the likes of Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester and John Lackey, Hendricks doesn't exactly have a track record that measures up.

But the 26-year-old should not be underestimated.

Last year, in his first full season, Hendricks put up a 3.95 ERA and 1.16 WHIP over 180 innings. In his short career, he has an outstanding 229-to-67 K/BB ratio over 278 innings and a better FIP than any other Cubs starter.

Hendricks has become a good source of strikeouts (he averaged almost one per inning last year), he limits base runners, and he has a good offense backing him up. Really, he has all of the components you're looking for from a fantasy standpoint so it's a little surprising he's only owned in 70 percent of Yahoo leagues.

In the coming week, he's lined up to face the Brewers and Braves, two of the worst teams in the National League, both at home. Grab him if he's available.

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* Orioles starters Kevin Gausman and Ubaldo Jimenez are both available in at least 75 percent of leagues, and are looking ahead to favorable match-ups against the Rays and White Sox. I'm particularly high on Gausman, who struck out nine in his final rehab outing on Wednesday.

* Taijuan Walker has allowed three runs total in his three turns. He hasn't missed a ton of bats so far but he definitely has the stuff. He'll get a pair of starts at home and his first opponent is the Astros, who have the second-most strikeouts in baseball.

* Jose Quintana has been cruising for the White Sox, but with tilts in Toronto and Baltimore on tap, I'd lean toward benching him this week.

* Chris Archer faces the same harrowing opponents in reverse order, but both at home. He's a tough call. He hasn't been able to get through six innings in any of his four starts, laboring constantly, but his velocity has been on the upswing and the strikeouts have certainly been there. I'm gonna go ahead and say this is the week he turns the corner. If he doesn't, it will be time to sound the alarms.

Going Twice...

American League

Strong Plays

David Price: @ATL, NYY

Chris Sale: @TOR, @BAL

Danny Salazar: @MIN, @PHI

Jordan Zimmermann: OAK, @MIN

Taijuan Walker: HOU, KC

Cole Hamels: NYY, LAA

Chris Archer: BAL, TOR

Decent Plays

Ubaldo Jimenez: @TB, CWS

Kevin Gausman: @TB, CWS

Rick Porcello: @ATL, NYY

Jose Quintana: @TOR, @BAL

Ian Kennedy: @LAA, @SEA

Garrett Richards: KC, @TEX

R.A. Dickey: CWS, @TB

At Your Own Risk

Mike Pelfrey: OAK, @MIN

Doug Fister: @SEA, @OAK

Tommy Milone: CLE, DET

Nathan Eovaldi: @TEX, @BOS

Kendall Graveman: @DET, HOU

National League

Strong Plays

Zack Greinke: STL, COL

Kyle Hendricks: MIL, ATL

Clayton Kershaw: MIA, SD

Noah Syndergaard: CIN, SF

Madison Bumgarner: SD, @NYM

Jaime Garcia: @ARI. WAS

Decent Plays

Raisel Iglesias: @NYM, @PIT

Vince Velasquez: @WAS, CLE

Ross Stripling: MIA, SD

Wei-Yin Chen: @LAD, @MIL

Jimmy Nelson: @CHC, MIA

Gerrit Cole: @COL, CIN

Drew Pomeranz: @SF, @LAD

Carlos Martinez: @ARI, WAS

Joe Ross: PHI, @STL

At Your Own Risk

Shelby Miller: STL, COL

Julio Teheran: BOS, @CHC

Matt Wisler: BOS, @CHC

Jorge De La Rosa: PIT, @ARI

Chad Bettis: PIT, @ARI

Tom Koehler: @LAD, @MIL

Jeff Locke: @COL, CIN

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, April 26th: Nate Karns vs, HOU

Last year in Tampa, Karns put up a 3.67 ERA while averaging a strikeout per inning. He's had his bat-missing stuff working early on with the Mariners.

Wednesday, April 27th: Martin Perez vs. NYY

The lefty has delivered quality starts in each of his first three turns this season. His K/BB ratio is problematic but shows signs of improving.

Friday, April 29th: J.A. Happ @ TB

Premium match-up here. Happ has excelled for Toronto and the Rays have the league's lowest-scoring offense.

National League

Tuesday, April 26th: Brandon Finnegan @ NYM

Finnegan has been getting good results with a more heavily featured changeup this season. He's had some bouts with control, but opponents are batting .129 against him through three starts.

Friday, April 29th: Chase Anderson vs. MIA

In his only start at home this year, Anderson was nails, hurling five scoreless frames in a win. The Marlins lineup has been struggling.

Total Games

American League



National League



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:

Gordon Beckham: Out until early May (hamstring)

Kevin Gausman: Returning this week (shoulder)

Joe Kelly: Out indefinitely (shoulder)

Daniel Nava: Out until late May (knee)

Trevor Plouffe: Out until early May (intercostal)

Danny Valencia: Out until May (hamstring)

Robbie Erlin: Out until May (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 @NickNelsonMN.
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