This week’s entry marks the conclusion of the two-start pieces for the 2012 season. While baseball will continue on into October, the week of regular season baseball doesn’t amount to enough time for anyone to start twice. So with that, thanks for a good year, and hope to see you all back here next season.
This week’s starters include a pair of guys I’ve mentioned already this season, and since a third option was tough to come by, a trio of very low ownership types that could be worth a look.
LHP Andy Pettitte (19.8 percent ESPN/25 percent Yahoo!) – @MIN (.316), @TOR (.308)
This week the legendary lefty gets a pair of teams who have packed it in for the season, as Pettitte looks to pitch the Yankees into the postseason with a strong late-season finish. Pettitte is no doubt pitching for a shot in the postseason rotation, but likely also to prove to himself that he ought to come back for at least another season. It’d be hard to argue against it at this point, as Pettitte’s come back with a vengeance this season, inducing grounders and strikeouts at career-best rates (58.1 percent/24.3 percent respectively). It’s obviously a small sample size in play here — Pettitte’s only thrown 63.2 innings — but he’s doing all of this at a pace of 4.7 WAR if he were to throw 200 innings. There’s no reason for him to not come back next season — at least not performance-wise — and there’s no reason you shouldn’t give him a whirl next week considering he’s also backed by one of the best offenses in the game.
RHP Marco Estrada (27.0 percent ESPN/30 percent Yahoo!) – @WAS (.321), v. HOU (.302)
This is the fourth time in the second half alone that I’ve mentioned Estrada, but I can’t get past how great his peripherals are. Virtually nothing is out of whack, as evidenced by his 3.56/3.43/3.50 pitching slash. Essentially, with a tip of the cap to Denny Green, he is who we think he is: a righty who generates a ton of whiffs, walks almost nobody, keeps the ball in the yard despite low ground ball rates, and has a perfectly reasonable strand rate and BABIP. For a while there, Estrada had a chance to post more WAR than actual wins, but he’s finally started racking up the Ws that actually benefit you as the fantasy player (he’s up to four now!). The Nationals are the tougher of the two clubs Estrada tangles with this week, but they’ve also clinched a playoff spot so the pedal may not be as hard to the metal as it was before. Regardless, the matchup with the Astros is the one you’re salivating over anyway.
Deep League Considerations
LHP Tyler Skaggs (1.4 percent ESPN/6 percent Yahoo!) – @SF (.309), v. CHC (.280)
Skaggs has lagged behind his prospect brothers — the now-A’s righty Jarrod Parker and Trevor Bauer — thus far in their burgeoning big league careers, but this week Skaggs can put himself on the radar in what’s likely to be a hard-fought race for rotation spots come next spring with the Diamondbacks. The Giants have been hot of late, but the Cubs are such a good matchup for any pitcher — especially a lefty — that it makes pretty good sense to gamble on the former to get the latter. One thing to note, however, is that Skaggs’ velocity has been down.
RHP Jenrry Mejia (0.1 percent ESPN/0 percent Yahoo!) – v. PIT, @ATL
There isn’t a ton to see here. The righty fireballer is available in pretty much all leagues, and gets the collapsing Pirates and the likely-to-have-clinched Braves next week. The Mets will be getting a look at their potential future here — and to be sure, he’s struggled thus far in a couple cups of coffee — so you may as well too (if you’re desperate in a deep league).
LHP Jorge de la Rosa (0.4 percent ESPN/1 percent Yahoo!) – v. CHC (.280), @LAD (.290)
In what can only be categorized as a cataclysmic year for his club, de la Rosa can’t be held responsible for any of it, really. He’s missed the entire season — save for a disastrous debut start Thursday night — and only figures to make two more starts down the stretch in an effort to hopefully help gauge his value as he’s a free agent to-be this offseason (as he’s sure to be bought out). With such a paucity of capable options this week, de la Rosa only really gets a look due to his career track record — which is actually only good, but not especially great — and the fact that he gets the Cubs once this week. The Dodgers are no great shakes against southpaws this season either (fourth-worst wOBA v. LHP in MLB).