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*: 1-1, 16 IP, 6.19 ERA, 7.9 K/9, 2.3 K/BB, 1.94 WHIP (Julio Teheran, Jason Hammel, Garrett Richards)
Total: 5-9, 103.1 IP, 4.36 ERA, 6.9 K/9, 2.5 K/BB, 1.43 WHIP
A blowup game from Richards kept a couple of 3.00 ERAs in the dark so far this week, and the WHIPs have all been terribly ugly this week. In fact, Richards presently holds the lowest WHIP for this week of the trio with a 1.76. Yikes.
But the K rates are starting to improve — this week *may* change that — and things are generally looking pretty good. Here are this week’s picks, with the help of Twitter pal @tlschwerz:
Scott Diamond – 0.5% ESPN/4% Yahoo! – @BOS, v. BAL
Since coming off the DL, Diamond and Kevin Correia — I can’t believe it either — have acted as the de facto ‘stoppers’ for a team with a pair of struggling starters in Mike Pelfrey and Vance Worley. Diamond has pitched very well this year, adding a few Ks, dropping a few walks, slicing down the homers a bit, and has done so all with a BABIP that should come down about 50 points by the end of the season.
It’ll sound weird to non-Twins observers, but Diamond seems almost unflappable out there. He doesn’t have great stuff — an 88 mph fastball and a decent curve — but he manages to work all different parts of the zone, and has a good feel for what’s working and what isn’t. Neither of these matchups are particularly good, either, so I’m sticking my neck out a bit on this one.
Nick Tepesch – 3.7% ESPN/9% Yahoo! – @CHC, @HOU
It might be a popular thing to suggest this is a pair of downright, flat-out amazing matchups for Tepesch this week, but the Astros have picked up the past considerably, and are now a top-half offense. Still, the ‘Stros are striking out like nobody’s business, and the Cubs are still among the worst offensive teams in baseball.
Tepesch is getting grounders by the bucketful, which is a pretty good idea when guys like Andrus and Beltre are in your stable. He’s got a pretty good cutter and a nice curveball, which is good because his fastball velocity — almost a flat 90 mph — won’t typically fool anyone. Backed by the Rangers offense, I think Tepesch has a good shot to get me back towards .500.
Andrew Cashner – 8.8% ESPN/27% Yahoo! – v. MIA, @TB
Cashner’s one of a rare breed, and that is a strikeout/groundout pitcher. The strikeouts and velocity are down, but he’s also starting more than relieving, and contents can settle during transit. Still, 7.7 K/9 and a 53.8% grounder rate are healthy rates; he still has to find a way to cull the walks (4.6 per 9) though.
The walks and durability are always going to be troublesome for the fireballing righty — who hasn’t thrown more than 60 innings at any stop in his pro career — but it boiled down to Cashner and Jarrod Parker (@CLE, @SEA) for this week, and I took the gamble on the guy who has been a little better, and who I think has a little better matchups — because the Indians are hitting like nobody’s business.