Let’s first start with results:
Week 1: 1-3, 30 IP, 3.00 ERA, 5.4 K/9, 2.3 K/BB, 1.13 WHIP (Kevin Slowey, Ubaldo Jimenez, Joe Saunders)
Week 2: 2-3, 25.1 IP, 5.69 ERA, 6.8 K/9, 2.4 K/BB, 1.74 WHIP (Joe Blanton, James McDonald, Eric Stults)
Week 3: 1-2, 32 IP, 3.66 ERA, 7.9 K/9, 3.1 K/BB, 1.22 WHIP (Wade Davis, Carlos Villanueva, Patrick Corbin)
Week 4: 2-1, 22 IP, 6.14 ERA, 7.8 K/9, 2.1 K/BB, 1.95 WHIP (Julio Teheran, Jason Hammel, Garrett Richards)
Week 5: 2-2, 30 IP, 3.60 ERA, 5.4 K/9, 1.6 K/BB, 1.23 WHIP (Scott Diamond, Nick Tepesch, Andrew Cashner)
Week 6*: 0-2, 16.2 IP, 7.02 ERA, 5.9 K/9, 2.8 K/BB, 1.62 WHIP (Justin Grimm, Juan Nicasio, Hector Santiago)
Total: 8-13, 156 IP, 4.56 ERA, 6.5 K/9, 2.3 K/BB, 1.44 WHIP
Let’s take a peek at some leaderboards. Basically, the pitchers I’ve recommended so far this season are a bizarre combination of Teheran, Stults, and Bartolo Colon.
So there’s that.
Here are this week’s recommendations, with the assist again going to @tlschwerz from Twitter:
Julio Teheran – 9.6% ESPN/24% Yahoo! – v. MIN (.309 team wOBA), @NYM (.303)
We go back to the well with Teheran this week due to a couple very nice matchups. True enough, the Twins are among the highest-scoring offenses in baseball in May, but that’s come with Oswaldo Arcia and Josh Willingham slumping, Joe Mauer now hurting, and only Justin Morneau really rolling. That doesn’t seem all that sustainable. So that leaves both offenses Teheran faces this week as bottom-ten offenses. It should be a good week to get him rolling.
Phil Hughes – 46.0% ESPN/45% Yahoo! – @BAL (.328), @TB (.330)
Hughes was blasted last time out, as he failed to get out of the first inning while allowing seven earned runs to the Mariners. He also wasn’t good against the Royals in the start before that. But in the four starts prior to the last two clunkers, Hughes went 28 innings, fanned 30 while only walking 5, and allowed just 6 earned runs (1.93 ERA). In that span, he faced Tampa Bay and Oakland, both of which are two of the top 11 offenses in the game by wOBA.
The strikeouts are there, and the walk rate is pretty solid. I think Hughes has some projection in his game, and so do his FIP numbers — 5.88-4.62-4.32. I’m not starting him ultra-confidently — the Rays and O’s have good offenses — but I think he’s a fine option given the usual quality of sub-50% ownership pitchers.
Scott Kazmir – 20.1% ESPN/23 percent Yahoo! – v. SEA (.309), @BOS (.336)
I had originally wanted to select Ross Detwiler, but he has already been scratched from his start on Monday. That leaves Kazmir as a fill-in option. I like Kazmir against the Mariners — sixth-highest team whiff rate in the major leagues — but I’m worried a patient team like the Red Sox — third-highest team walk rate — will wait him out and pummel him when he is forced to work within the strike zone. That is, if he can find it.
Kazmir has so far done a very good job limiting the free pass — 2.8 per 9 to-date — but with that being the primary issue that led to his unraveling in the first place, he’ll be on that watch-list for a considerable amount of time before he’s considered out of the woods. To his credit, he’s currently throwing 1.9 strikes to every ball, and he’s doing so while throwing over five miles-per-hour faster than he did when he was last in the major leagues. In fact, the last time he threw this hard — 91.7 mph average heater — was in 2008 with Tampa Bay.
That year he carried a 3.49 ERA and was a plus-2.0 win player. The Indians would surely take that out of a reclamation project. His ERA says he has a ways to go (5.33), but he’s been a bit unlucky with the home run ball, his BABIP is up just a bit, and that actually leads to him having a 3.89 xFIP. Now there’s no guarantee that his HR rate will completely normalize — he’s allowing 2.5 per 9, which is ghastly — but he’s well over double his career rate. With his velocity all the way back, I think he may be worth a buy-low.
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