After last week’s veteran love fest, I’ve chosen to live a bit more on the edge with this go-round. This week’s bunch is a trio of far less proven guys.
Through half of week one, here are the stats:
So….not great, with the exception of the won-loss column. Good record though so far.
Onto this week’s recommendations:
RHP Jesse Chavez – 0.6% ESPN/7% Yahoo!/31% CBS – @LAA, v. HOU
Perhaps it’s because I saw Chavez carve up the Twins in the past few days (7 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 9 K/0 BB), but the slightly-built 30-year-old righty is off to a good start this year, having fanned just over a quarter of the hitters he has faced to go with a 55.6 percent groundball rate. It’s probably not legitimate (career 5.27/4.57/4.20 pitching slash and he shut down the Twins and the Mariners after all), but it’s the A’s and he does get the Astros on the back end next weekend. We’re digging pretty deep here, but why not?
RHP Brandon Morrow – 1.6% ESPN/8% Yahoo!/42% CBS – @MIN, @CLE
Morrow has a lot to prove coming off an inconsistent and injury-marred 2013 season, a year which saw him post a 5.63 ERA. Not unluckily so either, really, as his peripherals pretty much line up exactly. In the early goings of this season, Morrow has showed good fastball velocity — 93.6, his best since 2011 — good control, and most importantly, good strikeout rates. Neither of his starts was horrifically ugly (given his 5.73 ERA), but his win did come at the expense of the Astros last time out, in a game where he fanned nine batters. A good, healthy Morrow is still a coronary inducer, but he’s getting a Twins team this week that has been hitting Trevor Plouffe and Chris Colabello in the third and fourth spots on a semi-regular basis. That alone screams “stream!” Take a chance on the righty, huh?
LHP Robbie Erlin – 0.2% ESPN/2% Yahoo!/14% CBS – v. COL, v. SF
Erlin had a very nice spring, which allowed him to steal the No. 5 spot in the rotation from fellow contender Matt Wisler in the wake of yet another Josh Johnson injury. Erlin cruised past the Indians last time out, fanning six in as many innings at Progressive Field to get the fourth win of his big league career. Erlin’s raw stuff has never matched his minor league whiff rates — 9.5 per 9 overall, routinely above 10 in the low minors with stuff rarely reaching 90 — but he’s still right around league average overall, and his skill set works well with his home park, where he’ll get both starts this upcoming week. That’s a huge boon for a flyballer like Erlin, who’s got a career FB rate of 37.6 percent. It’s important to note however that both Colorado and the Giants are off to fast offensive starts, but like all data at this point, it’s hard to glean any definitive connections from it yet.
Here’s a link to the spreadsheet as well, just like last year.