First a look at the running totals through half of week 19:
And since some of you have asked some questions, click here for a link to the spreadsheet I keep with all the numbers.
Here’s a look at this week’s recs, with team wOBA in parentheses:
Jimmy Nelson – 3.3% ESPN/12% Y!/52% own, 31% start CBS – @SDP (.284), @SFG (.303)
Nelson has only made eight starts, but so far the numbers and peripherals are pretty encouraging. Nelson is fanning 7.2 per nine, which is right around the NL average for starters (7.4). That definitely plays up with his 51.7 percent groundball rate, which comes courtesy of a heavy sinker which he favors most in his repertoire (59.1 percent GB rate on it). It’s not a garden-variety sinker, either. It’s a 93-94 mph bowling ball that he throws about half the time, and is a nice complement to a very good slider (18.7 percent whiff rate). Tack on a couple really nice opposing offenses to be facing — late-season run or not I’m still pushing Padres — and Nelson is a really nice deep sleeper for this week. In his last six starts, he has a 3.82 ERA and .260/.323/.384 opponents’ line. Thank you grounders, right?
Matt Shoemaker – 36.9% ESPN/39% Y!/65% own, 46% start CBS – v. MIA (.308), v. OAK (.320)
This is a guy you’ll have to run pick up after Thursday night’s one-hit performance, as his fantasy stock is skyrocketing out of sight following the Garrett Richards injury. Shoemaker has been pretty awesome all season, at 12-4 with 8.9 strikeouts per nine, and perhaps most impressively a 102-19 K/BB ratio in 103.2 innings. Shoemaker has worked almost exclusively out of the rotation for the last two months, and as a starter this year he is 10-3 with a 3.44 ERA, 8.9 K/9, and opponents’ line of .250/.286/.399. Shoemaker isn’t overpowering (90-91 on both two- and four-seamers) but has a very good slider (16.3 percent whiff rate) and a filthy changeup (23.2 percent whiff rate/52.9 percent grounder rate). He’s mostly a fly ball pitcher, but can also get grounders on the curve in addition to the changeup.
Rubby de la Rosa – 3.2% ESPN/8% Y!/29% own, 12% start CBS – @TOR (.330), @TBR (.310)
de la Rosa is another deep, deep sleeper, but has a good combination of grounders (47.5 percent this year) and gas (mid-90s heat) that will hopefully add strikeouts as he improves his sequencing and evolves as a big league pitcher. It also helps that he’s struck out hitters at different times in his big league career, which has largely consisted of small cups of coffee through four different seasons. One must think he’s getting the jitters by this point. The Jays look scary on the surface, but have been largely punchless in August (24th in MLB w/ .290 wOBA), and the Rays have been no better (27th, .282). This is a time in the Red Sox rotation where opportunities abound, so it would behoove young RDLR to strike while the iron is hot. I think he has a good chance to do that this week.
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