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Brad Peacock
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The Week Ahead

Week Ahead: Rad Brad

by Seth Trachtman

Sometimes you have to wait your turn. Astros starter Brad Peacock is making the most of his turn in the rotation this year.

The former top Nationals prospect had a breakout 2017 season as a swingman for the Astros, but he was stuck in the bullpen last year due to Houston’s incredibly reliable starting five. Peacock got another shot to start this spring, and has run with the opportunity, particularly recently.

Over his last six starts, Peacock is 3-1 with a 1.32 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, and 41/11 K/BB in 34 innings. In the process, Peacock has lowered his ERA from 5.28 to 3.20, and he’s continued to fan more than one batter per inning for the third consecutive season.

An extreme flyball pitcher, Peacock is also faring well at keeping the ball in the park after some struggles in that department last season. Throwing a nearly identical number of innings so far (64.2) compared to his entire 2018 season (65), Peacock has allowed only five home runs vs. 11 home runs last season.

It’s still fair to have some anxiety about Peacock’s durability considering that he’s reached 150 innings only once in his pro career, and he last made 25 starts in 2013. Still, the recent health track record is relatively clean, and Peacock has provided quite a return for fantasy owners through the first two months of the season. With a favorable two-start week ahead (vs. Milwaukee and Toronto), there’s no reason to think the success will run out anytime soon.

-Texas has been one of this year’s surprise teams, currently tied for the second AL Wild Card spot with Boston. They’ve managed despite a 5.01 ERA from their starting rotation, but they have some interesting pitchers emerging behind Mike Minor and Lance Lynn. One of them is Ariel Jurado, who has made three consecutive quality starts. Jurado was never considered a top prospect due to his inability to miss bats, but that hasn’t been as big of a weakness this year with his increased velocity. The sinkerballer has a viable 7.1 K/9 overall and 7.5 K/9 as a starter after posting a 5.6 K/9 over more than 300 innings at Double-A. It’s worth noting that Jurado also had nearly one strikeout per inning in four starts at Triple-A Nashville this year, so we’re now looking at improvement over a sample size of nearly 60 innings in 2019. With an outstanding 53 percent groundball rate and sub-2.0 BB/9 for his minor league career that has been nearly matched in Texas this year, Jurado is starting to look more and more like a fantasy option in deeper leagues.

-Fantasy owners have reason to be frustrated with Chris Archer, but it looks like he turned a corner over his last two starts. Archer has been streaky, to say the least, this year. He had a 2.74 ERA and 26/9 K/BB through his first four starts, followed by a 9.68 ERA and 14/15 K/BB over his next four starts, that included an IL stint. The control has returned over his last two outings, as Archer has allowed five runs in 13 innings with 13/4 K/BB against formidable opponents in Milwaukee and Atlanta. His velocity has also started to return after a very slow start to the season, showing average fastball velocity over the last two starts (94.5 mph) that is on par with his average velocity from last season. With another outing vs. Atlanta followed by a visit to Miami in his upcoming two-start week, Archer is worth adding if he was dropped in your league.

-It’s easy to overlook what happens in Baltimore these days, but John Means continues to provide fantasy value for those paying attention. The rookie lefty made a quality start at Texas this week, which is no easy feat, and has now allowed three runs or fewer in eight of his 10 starts, including six straight. There’s reason to be skeptical that he can keep up his success the rest of the way with a .249 BABIP and extreme flyball rate at Camden Yards, along with a poor 6.3 K/9 as a starter. Still, he could be worth a flier with a two-start week coming up, including a matchup vs. an inept Blue Jays lineup.

-Atlanta has yet to announce who Dallas Keuchel will replace in the starting rotation. With lofty ERAs and recent struggles, it seems likely that either Kevin Gausman or Mike Foltynewicz will get a breather sooner than later. Keuchel is set to make a start at Triple-A tomorrow, and runs the risk of ruining the upcoming two-start week dockets of those Braves hurlers, at the very least.

-For the second time in three weeks, the Rockies have a full slate of games at Coors Field. Fantasy owners know what that means for their hitters and pitchers. For the latter, it’s worth noting that ace German Marquez has a 4.93 ERA in seven starts at Coors after posting a 4.74 ERA at home last season, making him a somewhat shaky two-start play if you don’t need his strikeouts. Similarly, it’s also a tough time to pick up and play young starter Peter Lambert despite his excellent MLB debut at Wrigley Field.

 

Going Twice…

Note: Probable pitchers as of Friday, June 7, and are subject to change.

American League

Strong Plays

Chris Sale: TEX, @BAL
Charlie Morton: OAK, LAA
Jose Berrios: SEA, KC
Trevor Bauer: CIN, @DET
Brad Peacock: MIL, TOR
James Paxton: NYM, @CHW

Decent Plays

Mike Minor: @BOS, @CIN
Spencer Turnbull: @KC, CLE
Ariel Jurado: @BOS, @CIN
John Means: TOR, BOS
Felix Pena: LAD, @TB
Mike Leake: @MIN, @OAK

At Your Own Risk

Trent Thornton, @BAL, @HOU
Jakob Junis: DET, @MIN
Dylan Covey: WAS, NYY

 

National League

Strong Plays

Hyun-Jin Ryu: @LAA, CHC
Patrick Corbin: @CHW, ARI

Decent Plays

Joe Musgrove: @ATL, @MIA
Jose Quintana: @COL, @LAD
Anibal Sanchez: @CHW, ARI
Chris Archer: @ATL, @MIA
German Marquez: CHC, SD
Jerad Eickhoff: ARI, @ATL
Dakota Hudson: @MIA, @NYM
Jason Vargas: @NYY, STL
Sandy Alcantara: STL, PIT
Jon Duplantier: @PHI, @WAS

At Your Own Risk

Yu Darvish: @COL, @LAD
Mike Foltynewicz: PIT, PHI
Kevin Gausman: PIT, PHI
Peter Lambert: CHC, SD
Taylor Clarke: @PHI, @WAS

 

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 12: Zach Plesac vs. CIN
Plesac has been great so far, and could be here to stay in the Cleveland rotation with Carlos Carrasco out for the foreseeable future. If Plesac is still available, this is a great time to claim him with a matchup vs. Cincinnati. The Reds are 24th in OPS vs. right-handers (.708).

Wednesday, June 12: Daniel Norris @ KC
The Royals haven’t done well vs. southpaws this season, with a .643 OPS that puts them 28th in MLB. Norris is having mixed results this season, but his 3.00 K/BB ratio does show potential.

Friday, June 14: Adam Plutko @ DET
Detroit has been the worst team in baseball vs. right-handed pitching, with a .655 OPS. Plutko has had limited major league success, but he had a 1.70 ERA in 14 starts at Triple-A last season and throws strikes. At this point, the Tigers almost resemble a Triple-A lineup.

National League

Monday, June 10: Michael Wacha @ MIA
Wacha is a big risk given how poorly he’s pitched this season, but this is as good an opportunity as any to get on track. Miami’s lineup has been one of the worst against right-handers this season (.657 OPS).

Tuesday, June 11: Cal Quantrill @ SF
Quantrill has had back-to-back solid outings, and has a solid chance to see the streak continue at San Francisco, who are producing a .673 OPS vs. right-handers.

Saturday, June 15: Chase Anderson @ SF
Facing the Giants is a favorable matchup for any pitcher. Anderson is coming off a mediocre outing vs. Miami, but it’s still worth a go against the Giants.

 

Total Games

American League

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

National League

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

 

The Infirmary

Here’s some injuries to prominent players from the last week, and other players to watch for in the coming week. You can get a full listing of injured players at Rotoworld's Injury Page.

Jeimer Candelario: Placed on IL (back)
Robinson Cano: Day-to-day (quadriceps)
Matt Carpenter: Day-to-day (knee)
Carlos Carrasco: Placed on IL (illness)
Jhoulys Chacin: Placed on IL (back)
Shin-Soo Choo: Day-to-day (hand)
Seranthony Dominguez: Status uncertain (elbow)
Joey Gallo: Placed on IL (oblique)
Gio Gonzalez: Placed on IL (arm)
Mitch Haniger: Day-to-day (leg)
Adam Jones: Day-to-day (hamstring)
Isiah Kiner-Falefa: Day-to-day (finger)
J.D. Martinez: Day-to-day (back)
Andrew McCutchen: Out for the season (knee)
Steve Pearce: Placed on IL (back)
Buster Posey: Placed on IL (hamstring)
Jefry Rodriguez: Placed on IL (back)
Pedro Severino: Day-to-day (head)
Dwight Smith Jr.: Placed on IL (concussion)
D.J. Stewart: Placed on IL (ankle)
Matt Strahm: Placed on IL (ribs)
Blake Swihart: Placed on IL (oblique)
Gleyber Torres: Day-to-day (shoulder)
Jonathan Villar: Day-to-day (thumb)

Seth Trachtman
You can find Seth Trachtman on Twitter @sethroto.