First a look at the running totals through half of week four:
Not a bad start. Here’s a look at this week’s recs, with team wOBA in parentheses:
LHP Jon Niese – 12.1% ESPN/16% Yahoo!/68% CBS (52% start) – @ MIA (.327), v. PHI (.305)
Wednesday’s postponement versus the Phillies pushed Niese back out of two start territory last week, and into consideration this week. Pretty much everything said about Niese in this space last week applies, but if one missed it — totally excusable — it basically said that the left-hander is a steady, reliable option who’ll neither light up nor burn out any specific statistical category. The Miami offense is a tougher matchup than one might think — seventh-best team wOBA overall — but the Phillies matchup should be a good one.
RHP Drew Hutchison – 7.6% ESPN/19% Yahoo!/56% CBS (37% start) – @PHI (.305), v. LAA (.336)
Hutchison is a bit of an unknown, having thrown just 91.2 innings and not exactly being the same level of prospect of Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez, or really any of the Jays relatively nice stable of young arms. But so far, he’s struck out everyone in sight, fanning 38 over just 33 innings through six starts. Hutchison isn’t particularly adept at inducing grounders, but nothing about his peripherals are really out of whack, suggesting that he’s fairly earned his current 3.82 ERA, if not something a bit better.
Hutchison relies a lot on a 92 mph four-seamer, but will mix in a two-seamer (89.4 mph), a slider (84.9%) and a changeup (85.3%). The slider is his predominant secondary, and he throws the changeup almost exclusively to left-handed hitters. The Phillies matchup should be a good one, but the Halos are among the best offenses in the game.
RHP Nathan Eovaldi – 32.5% ESPN/37% Yahoo!/78% CBS (57% start) – v. NYM (.280), @SDP (.267)
It’s criminal that Eovaldi is owned in this few of leagues. Not only is he pumping gas (95-96 on both two- and four-seamers) and striking people out (8.2 per 9), he’s 13th among all qualified pitchers in groundball rate at 55.0%. At the risk of being purposely blunt, pick him up and keep him. He won’t be there after this week.
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