It worked well for me last week, so we will continue the two part Pitch & Ditch articles during mid-week. It helps to break up the information into easier digestible chunks, and keeps the information more timely. Win-Win, right?
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Matt Harvey NYM @ARI Wade Miley
The Mets finally broke down and brought Harvey to the majors. He has an excellent fastball, but struggled with his consistency in the minors this season. Expect that pattern to continue, but if he can put in the innings, he will reward you with Ks. Just don't expect the rest of the peripherals to follow, at least not out of the gate.
Aaron Laffey TOR vs OAK Tommy Milone
No one seems to like Laffey, although I have seen a slight uptick in ownership numbers since I've been featuring him in these posts. Not that I think I have much to do with that, more the way he can handle the Red Sox contributes to his ownership. He's not the greatest option at home, he won't give you tons of strikeouts, but then again he should provide a good ERA and WHIP due to his stingy walk rate.
Zach McAllister CLE vs DET Justin Verlander
McAllister continues to be the best option in the Cleveland rotation (although if Ubaldo Jiminez could face the Tigers every time out, he'd be a Cy Young candidate). Decent strikeout numbers and you can usually count on a QS when he toes the rubber.
Luis Mendoza KC @ SEA Jason Vargas
Mendoza has been a pleasant surprise for the Royals and his owners in fantasy. 24:7 ratio over his last 4 starts, and although he won't rack up a tremendous number of wins (blame his offense), he does manage to keep his team in the neighborhood to pick up a victory, and that has to count for something...usually a QS if your league employs that stat.
Chris Tillman BAL vs TB James Shields
Tillman was back on track in his last start, and that's the potential fantasy owners want to see realized. As with all young pitchers, expect the roller coaster ride to continue for a while. He has yet to pitch at Camden Yards, so I am interested to see how he handles that park and it's propensity for high-scoring contests.
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Josh Collmenter ARI vs NYM Jonathon Niese
Collmenter continues the theme of inconsistency, even though he's too experienced to be considered a young 'un like the SPs up above. He has been pitching well lately, not allowing more than 2 ER in his last 7 appearances. Now that Bauer has been shipped back to the minors, expect him to keep his rotation spot going forward.
Ross Detwiler WAS @ MIL Michael Fiers
It's always nice to see someone you promote overcome adversity and re-establish himself. Witness Mr. Detwiler, who has been splendid since returning to the Nat's rotation following his bullpen demotion. I'd like to see more Ks, but if he can keep his walks to a minimum, he should continue to be a nice SP4/5 as we slog through the dog days of summer.
Jeff Karstens PIT @ HOU Jordan Lyles
Karstens at 29 is the wily veteran of this group. Posting a 26:7 ratio over his last 5 starts looks tempting, but the high rate of runs allowed bothers me. The last 4 starts have been spot on, however, and he's another SP4/5 for your fantasy roster, especially if Pittsburgh keeps putting up runs to bail him out on the occasional appearance where he can't shut down the opponent.
Rick Porcello DET @ TOR Carlos Villaneuva
Porcello was one of the pitchers that the Tigers' impatience hurt early in his career. This season, he looks like a different player, an actual pitcher who has figured things out. He relies on groundballs to get him out of trouble, and that's not always safe with the Detroit infield, but the recent addition of Omar Infante should at least shore up second base. Don't expect a boatload of Ks, but as with most control pitchers, if he keeps the free passes limited, he will continue to have success.
Carlos Villaneuva TOR vs DET Rick Porcello
I've like Villaneuva for 2 seasons now. Seeing him back in the Blue Jay rotation is a good thing, especially with all the injuries they've suffered this season. He has a 26:8 ratio over his last 4 outings, and has racked up 3 victories in those appearances as well. I would consider picking up either him or Porcello if your rotation is a bit shaky.
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