I am going to break this week's Pitch & Ditch into two articles, partially due to the large number of Starting Pitchers owned in less than 50% of leagues that I feel are worth a shot, and partially due to my having tickets for 3 Tigers games this week. Now if only this heat wave would break, especially with a Thursday afternoon game coming up...not that I am complaining about getting to see the Tigers take on the Angels with Trout, Trumbo and Pujols all smacking the ball around.
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Anyhoo, look at how many options you have for Thursday! A veritable smorgasbord of SPs. Let's dig in.
Wei-Yin Chen BAL @ MIN Cole DeVries
Chen has had a solid season, and was stifling the Tigers, until the Orioles' bullpen came on to save the game and sent it into extra innings. With a 19:5 K/BB ratio over his last 3 starts, he looks like a nice option against the Twins, who prolly tired themselves out with that outburst Monday night.
Freddie Garcia NYY @ OAK A.J. Griffin
Freddie is back in the Yankee rotation with Pettitte on the shelf, and you can expect a decent effort any time he takes the mound. Nothing spectacular, but the Bronx Bombers are certainly living up to that moniker lately, so I'd be willing to take a chance.
A.J. Griffin OAK vs NYY Freddie Garcia
Now that I've promoted his opposite SP just a few lines above, I am going to suggest you take a chance on Griffin as well. He's coming off his 4th straight QS since joining the rotation in Oakland, and while I would like to see more Ks, his numbers aren't awful, just yawn inducing. He sports a sub 3 ERA coupled with a sub 1 WHIP. Ride the hot hand, and hope the Yankees hitters take a day off.
Lucas Harrell HOU @ SD Edinson Volquez
Harrell is pretty inconsistent, but he is pitching at Petco against the Padres. Those two circumstances alone make him worth a shot.
Mike Leake CIN vs ARI Joe Saunders
I can't figure out Leake's low ownership numbers, especially in light of his recent success on the bump. He hasn't allowed more than 2 ER in his last 5 starts, and while he doesn't strike out many batters, he really doesn't walk hitters, either. I expect he will no longer be a candidate for this article if he has another successful outing. I guess that's a suggestion to add him to your roster full time.
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Paul Maholm CHC vs MIA Mark Buehrle
Maholm has been on fire, posting a 16:3 ratio over his last 3 starts, and a sub 1 ERA. He also snagged 3 wins in those appearances. I know he pitches for the Cubs, but I like his chances to continue this run against the Marlins who are not known for their offense.
Joe Saunders ARI @ CIN Mike Leake
I will admit I don't consider Saunders to be a very good pitcher, but I have to at least give him credit for keeping his team close in his last 5 starts. That's worth something, but the lack of Ks is something else. At least he doesn't walk many.
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Marco Estrada MIL @ CIN Homer Bailey
I make no bones about it, I love me some high strikeout pitchers, and Marco fits right in. Not so sure he is long for the rotation, but while he's starting, you need to stream him and pick up those excellent K numbers for your team. The ERA is a bit high for my tastes, but the WHIP is good at 1.04 and a 6:1 K/BB ratio is superb.
Miguel Gonzalez BAL @ CLE Derek Lowe
Unlike Mister Estrada above, I believe that Gonzalez is secure in the Orioles' rotation for the near future. Expect some regression, but not right away, as hitters will need a bit of time to figure him out, won't they? The strikeout rate is acceptable, but he needs to limit his walks to be more effective.
Aaron Harang LAD @ NYM Johan Santana
At this point in the season, I should not be able to include the Harangatang on this post. What has he done to all you struggling owners that you cannot see his value. Good team, decent Ks, sub 4 ERA...I will grant the WHIP is too high, but the rest of the numbers make him a worthwhile addition to a pitching staff.
Luke Hochevar KC vs SEA Felix Hernandez
Hochevar seems to be unaffected by the ankle injury he suffered a bit ago, but like Mr. Harrell above, is inconsistent at best. I keep waiting for the sign he has figured out this pitching thing, but I am not holding my breath by any means. Also, the Mariners have a horrendous home/road split that is decidedly in favor of them playing all their games on the road, and Kauffman is not exactly a pitchers' park. Proceed with caution.
Jason Marquis SD vs COL Drew Pomeranz
Marquis continues to shine in his Padres' uniform, although his W/L record doesn't properly reflect how solid he's been. I have to like him at home, and going up against the Rockies, who have problems with their offense on the road.
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