First a look at the running totals through half of week four:
Here’s a look at this week’s recs, with team wOBA in parentheses:
LHP Tyler Lyons – 0.3% ESPN/2% Yahoo!/17% own, 10% start CBS – v. CHC (.285), v. ATL (.299)
With a Joe Kelly setback and Jaime Garcia still at least a rehab start away from returning to the Cardinals rotation, it’s worth a look to consider the 26-year-old left-hander here. There isn’t a ton of data out on Lyons yet, but he works most often with a sinker, followed by a four-seamer and a slider. He’ll also mix in a handful of curves and changeups in a given game. With the reliance on the sinker, it would seem that Lyons would be a big groundball guy, but while he’s been slightly above average in that respect, he’s also been very good at getting the strikeout (20.8 percent so far in career, 24.7 percent in 2014). And why Lyons may not be be long for the Cardinals rotation, he gets two bottom-six lineups this week. That alone should make him a good play.
LHP Felix Doubront – 1.0% ESPN/3% Yahoo!/18% own, 6% start CBS – @MIN (.317), v. DET (.338)
There isn’t a lot on tape that’ll make someone wild about grabbing Doubront this week, given that his strikeout rate is down 1.6 per 9, his home run rate has nearly doubled, and he hasn’t traded in any of those lost strikeouts for added groundballs or decreased walks. What I do see is a solid lefty who is better than he’s shown, and who will face a skidding Twins offense that has nearly every key offensive contributor outside of Brian Dozier hurt. The Tigers matchup will be a difficult one — it always is — but that should just go to show how good the Twins matchup is for him.
RHP Ricky Nolasco – 2.8% ESPN/21% Yahoo!/28% own, 11% start CBS – v. BOS (.324), v. SEA (.294)
Nolasco may not be backed by a surging offense like he was when he hit the skids to start the season, but he’s been a much better pitcher as the calendar has shifted into May. Nolasco still paces the AL in hits and earned runs allowed, but if his last couple starts are any indication, he should be righting the ship. On May 2 Nolasco twirled a complete game, throwing 110 pitches and a 3-0 loss to the Orioles. Nolasco fanned six — then a season-high — and walked just one, both of which were spots where he wasn’t living up to his usual billing. In his follow-up start versus the Indians, Nolasco went six innings, fanning nine while again allowing three earned runs. Nolasco is by no means a fantasy ace, but he’s jockeying for that position in a rebuilt Twins rotation. With a couple home starts, including one against an anemic Mariners offense, Nolasco should continue to move his way back towards his usual high-3.00s ERA and 7ish strikeouts per 9.
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