Here are this week’s recommendations:
Jhoulys Chacin – 29.3% ESPN – v. SD (304 team wOBA), @BAL (.328)
Chacin’s having arguably his finest season as a major leaguer, and what’s odd is that it’s coming on the heels of his worst strikeout rate yet. In fact, he’s experienced a decline in whiff rate for his entire five-year career.
Chacin has supplemented his declining strikeout rate with an insanely good HR/9 rate — 0.3 per 9 which leads the NL — and a still solid groundball rate of 46.7%. All this while essentially becoming a fastball-slider guy by scrapping his curve.
The left-hander has been especially good since a June blip on the radar. In the 11 starts since then, Chacin has a 2.27 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP with just two home runs allowed. The home runs are downright perplexing — he pitches at Coors Field half the time, after all — but Chacin’s one of the better plays this week in an otherwise uninspiring lineup of sub-50% ownership candidates.
Danny Salazar – 5.2% ESPN – @MIN (.305), @OAK (.313)
Salazar throws the ever-loving fire out of the ball, averaging 96.9 mph on his fastball in his first two big league starts. Never a huge prospect, Salazar had been pegged with relief futures based on his slight frame, previous Tommy John surgery, and overall total package.
But for now, Salazar is flinging pearls in the place of noted Cistulli enthusiast Corey Kluber — or do I have that backwards? — with a couple nice matchups coming down the bend this week. The Indians broadcast did mention Thursday evening that there might be an innings cap in place with Salazar, but it doesn’t look as though that’s imminent in regards to these two matchups.
Garrett Richards – 0.6% ESPN – @NYY (.295), v. HOU (.296)
Little-known Richards, who took the rotation spot of the battered Joe Blanton, gets a phenomenal week of matchups with two of the three worst offenses in terms of team wOBA.
Richards has quietly had a nice season working as a swingman for the Halos this season, posting a 4.20/3.41/3.50 pitching slash — good for +1.0 WAR — on the heels of a crazy good groundball rate (57.5%) and good, but not necessarily great secondary stats. Richards throws extremely hard — 95.1 mph average heater — though that’ll certainly dial down a bit if he’s to stick in the rotation.
In lieu of continuing to post all the results from the full season, I’ve opted to post a link to the spreadsheet I keep of results so that readers can feel free to peruse it at their leisure.
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