Here are this week’s recommendations:
Ubaldo Jimenez – 13.2% ESPN/19% Y! – @SEA (.313 team wOBA), v. TEX (.322)
I still feel pretty good about my recommendations this week, but it’s certainly difficult to get a feel for who is starting Monday and Tuesday even now on Saturday with so many “undecideds” and even a blank spot in the upcoming schedule over at ESPN.com.
I keep telling myself I’ll never let Ubaldo hook me again, but here we are. A thoroughly mediocre, no longer hard-thrower with insane splits, Jimenez keeps his ownership levels at a spot where I still feel like I can pick my spots with him. The Mariners matchup is one that looks extremely accommodating; not only is Jimenez facing an average offense, but he has a 3.31 road ERA this year — compared to a 6.09 mark at home.
Certainly that makes the Rangers matchup pretty scary, but as has been said in this spot for the past 50-something weeks, sometimes it’s one matchup that has to tip the scales.
Kyle Gibson – 1.1% ESPN/4% Y! – @LAA (.328), @SEA (.313)
Gibson’s overall line isn’t pretty — 6.45-3.68-5.88 pitching slash — but outside of a blowup against the Yankees on July 4, the tall righty has been otherwise fairly decent. In fact, Gibson avenged the Independence Day blowout by beating the Yankees on the road in his last start of the first half, tossing five innings of one-run ball in a 10-4 Twins win.
What’s been a bit troubling with Gibson so far is the strikeouts — or lack thereof. In the second game versus the Yankees, Gibson fanned just one while walking four, and after starting his career with a 5-0 K/BB outing against the Royals, Gibson’s K/BB is an ugly 6/9. Gibson will certainly rely on command, but he should have enough raw stuff to at least come near a league-average strikeout rate, which combined with his good control, should mean he’ll soon show some improvement in both respects.
Also, he’s facing Joe Blanton on Monday. So that should help.
Tyler Skaggs – 0.6% ESPN/6% Y! – v. CHC (.309), v. SDP (.303)
Here’s a situation where I’m counting on ESPN’s probables, as Skaggs was optioned out to High-A Visalia prior to the All Star break to keep him on regular rest. With an option date of July 11, Skaggs should/would be eligible to come back up prior to Monday, when ESPN has him slated to start against the Cubs — and Matt Garza.
Skaggs has made five starts so far this season, and has fared rather well. He’s posted a strikeout rate above league-average (7.8 per 9), gotten a fair number of grounders (41.6%), and nothing in his profile looks too out of whack, except perhaps the 1.24 HR/9 mark. As a result, Skaggs’ 4.03 ERA falls about in line with what should be expected, and with a couple of matchups against below-average offenses in the upcoming week, the lefty looks like a good play in some very deep leagues. Get him while you can, because I think he’d be the preferred option over Randall Delgado in the near term.
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: 2-3, 32.2 IP, 4.96 ERA, 5.5 K/9, 2.0 K/BB, 1.44 WHIP (Justin Grimm, Juan Nicasio, Hector Santiago)
Week 7: 1-0, 29 IP, 3.41 ERA, 6.8 K/9, 1.8 K/BB, 1.34 WHIP (Julio Teheran, Phil Hughes, Scott Kazmir)
Week 8: 1-0, 34.2 IP, 4.93 ERA, 7.0 K/9, 4.5 K/BB, 1.27 WHIP (Jhoulys Chacin, Kevin Slowey, Dan Straily)
Week 9: 3-1, 34 IP, 2.65 ERA, 7.4 K/9, 4.0 K/BB, 0.94 WHIP (John Danks, Andrew Cashner, Chris Tillman)
Week 10: 4-0, 35.2 IP, 2.27 ERA, 5.6 K/9, 3.7 K/BB, 1.12 WHIP (Tony Cingrani, Corey Kluber, John Lackey)
Week 11: 0-1, 27 IP, 5.67 ERA, 6.7 K/9, 2.2 K/BB, 1.41 WHIP (Dillon Gee, Dan Straily, Ubaldo Jimenez)
Week 12: 0-3, 33.2 IP, 4.81 ERA, 5.1 K/9, 1.7 K/BB, 1.49 WHIP (Esmil Rogers, Kevin Correia, Eric Stults)
Week 13: 1-2, 19 IP, 3.79 ERA, 2.4 K/9, 1.7 K/BB, 0.95 WHIP (Phil Hughes, Samuel Deduno, Roberto Hernandez)
Week 14: 2-3, 39.1 IP, 4.35 ERA, 5.7 K/9, 3.1 K/BB, 1.27 WHIP (Scott Feldman, Tyler Chatwood, Randall Delgado)
Total: 22-24 (.478), 424.1 IP, 4.11 ERA, 6.2 K/9, 2.5 K/BB, 1.31 WHIP
League Averages (Starters): .497 win percentage, 4.09 ERA, 7.1 K/9, 2.5 K/BB, 1.30 WHIP