Several young hurlers made their big-league debuts in the past week, and a couple of them are lined up to make two starts in The Week Ahead. Are either worth plugging in for fantasy purposes?
The biggest name to arrive in the majors was Jon Gray, the third overall pick in last year's draft. He didn't look all that great in his introductory start for the Rockies, lasting only four innings against the Mariners, but he showed some good signs and is looking ahead to a couple manageable opponents in the Mets and Padres. He's not a bad option if the Rockies loosen the reins a bit; he was limited to 77 pitches in his first start.
Luis Severino piled up seven strikeouts with no walks and only two hits allowed against the Red Sox in his first taste of MLB action for the Yankees. He had been enjoying an excellent season in the minors as well, so there's some intrigue there. However, he goes on the road twice, and will have to face that monster Toronto lineup in his second start. I'd pass.
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* Matt Boyd, one of the top prospects sent to Detroit in the David Price trade, didn't make his MLB debut on Wednesday but it was first start as a Tiger and just his third as a big-leaguer. He performed very well against the Royals, allowing only one run over seven innings, but he'll be matched up against two playoff teams on the road next week.
* Drew Hutchison is 8-1 with a 2.76 ERA at home, and is scheduled to take the hill twice in Toronto. At the very least, you can bet on plenty of run support.
* It's been tough sledding lately for Yovani Gallardo, who has an 8.53 ERA in four starts since the All-Star break. It bears noting, though, that all of those outings have come against teams that are likely postseason-bound (Astros, Yankees, Angels). I like his chances to regain his effectiveness against the Twins and Rays. He is owned in less than 50 percent of Yahoo leagues.
* A quick glance at the peripherals will make it obvious that Yordano Ventura has not pitched as poorly as his 4.98 ERA suggests. Let him roll with a pair of home starts on the docket.
* Dating back to the start of June, Ian Kennedy has a 3.03 ERA and 64-to-16 K/BB ratio in 71 innings. That's excellent stuff. He has, however, been susceptible to the long ball all year (24 allowed in 20 starts) so his outlook is iffy with one of his two starts coming at Coors Field.
* Jon Niese lacks the eye-popping numbers of his young counterparts in the Mets rotation, but he has been pitching very well in his own right (2.58 ERA since the start of July) and is available in more than 80 percent of Yahoo leagues with two home tilts ahead.
* Is Michael Lorenzen hitting a rookie wall? He posted an 8.61 ERA in July, allowing a 1021 OPS against opposing hitters. Steer clear.
Hector Santiago: @CWS, @KC
Johnny Cueto: DET, LAA
Carlos Carrasco: NYY, @MIN
Chris Sale: LAA, CHC
Drew Hutchison: OAK, NYY
Yovani Gallardo: @MIN, TB
Jered Weaver: @CWS, @KC
Yordano Ventura: DET, LAA
Miguel Gonzalez: @SEA, OAK
Kyle Gibson: TEX, CLE
At Your Own Risk
Kendall Graveman: @TOR, @BAL
Matt Boyd: @KC, @HOU
Vidal Nuno: BAL, @BOS
Luis Severino: @CLE, @TOR
Gio Gonzalez: @LAD, @SF
Carlos Martinez: PIT, MIA
Madison Bumgarner: HOU, WAS
Matt Harvey: COL, PIT
Jon Niese: COL, PIT
Brett Anderson: WAS, CIN
Zack Greinke: WAS, CIN
Dan Haren: MIL, @CWS
Ian Kennedy: CIN, @COL
Taylor Jungmann: @CHC, PHI
Rubby De La Rosa: PHI, @ATL
Joe Ross: @LAD, @SF
Jon Gray: @NYM, SD
At Your Own Risk
J.A. Happ: @STL, @NYM
Aaron Harang: @ARI, @MIL
Chris Rusin: @NYM, SD
Michael Lorenzen: @SD, @LAD
David Holmberg: @SD, @LAD
The following pitchers are generally available in over 50 percent of fantasy leagues and have favorable match-ups this week:
Thursday, August 13: R.A. Dickey vs. OAK
Dickey is 5-3 with a 3.22 ERA at home this year, and pitched into the ninth inning in a victory over the A's when he faced them earlier this year.
Saturday, August 15: Chris Tillman vs. OAK
Over his last six starts, Tillman has posted a 1.09 ERA and has held opponents to a .197 batting average with zero home runs.
Saturday, August 15: Wade Miley vs. SEA
His inconsistency has made Miley a bit tough to trust, but he has usually performed well against lesser offenses and should be fine against the M's at home.
Wednesday, August 12: Robbie Ray vs. PHI
Ray has a 3.01 ERA and 1.19 WHIP in 12 starts this season. The Phillies have averaged just 3.7 runs per game.
Wednesday, August 12: Raisel Iglesias @ SD
The Cuban rookie has been up-and-down, but the strikeouts have been there and he should hold his own in this favorable match-up.
Thursday, August 13: Kyle Hendricks vs. MIL
It's a little surprising Hendricks isn't owned in more than 25 percent of Yahoo leagues. He has a 2.25 ERA in his last seven starts, and is averaging more than a strikeout per inning since the break.
5: BOS, HOU, TB
6: BAL, CLE, CWS, DET, MIN, OAK, NYY, SEA, TEX, TOR
7: KC, LAA
5: ATL, MIA
6: ARI, CHC, MIL, PHI, PIT, SD, SF, STL
7: CIN, COL, LAD, NYM, WAS
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:
Rick Porcello: Out until mid-August (triceps)
Rafael Soriano: Out indefinitely (shoulder)
Jason Kipnis: Out until late August (shoulder)
Kyle Kendrick: Out indefinitely (shoulder)
Corey Dickerson: Out indefinitely (ribs)
C.J. Wilson: Out indefinitely (elbow)
Tommy Milone: Out until late August (elbow)
A.J. Burnett: Out until early September (elbow)
Joe Panik: Out indefinitely (back)
Steven Souza: Out indefinitely (hand)