First a look at the running totals through half of week 16:
Here’s a look at this week’s recs, with team wOBA in parentheses:
Kevin Gausman – 4.4% ESPN/14% Y!/56% own, 31% start CBS – @WAS (.310), v. STL (.305)
As a brief aside, it’s a bit odd to see the Cardinals offense that far down — 21st among MLB in wOBA — but in the end that’s part of what makes Gausman such a favorable option this week. Gausman has done a very nice job for the Orioles this year, especially given how many times he’s been up and down — he’s only made three of his ten starts this year on regular four days rest. The strikeout deficiency (6.0 per nine/15.8 percent) is a bit odd for someone whose average fastball checks in at 95.2 mph, and even more so when considering his solid forkball (20.7 SwStr%), but in some ways it makes sense when considering his 90 percent-plus contact rate on fastballs both in and out of the zone. A hittable fastball isn’t the end of the world, but it is a bit odd when it’s that hard.
Dillon Gee – 18.4% ESPN/26% Y!/72% own, 35% start CBS – v. SFG (.301), @PHI (.297)
Gee is just downright steady — 22-22 w/ 3.79 ERA over past three years and nearly 400 innings — and it surely helps to have a pair of bottom five offenses opposing him this week. It couldn’t come at a better time for the right-hander, who has allowed four, six, and five earned runs in his last three starts respectively (8.10 ERA), swelling his season ERA from 2.56 to 3.77.
Phil Hughes – 26.5% ESPN/43% Y!/81% own, 44% start CBS – v. SDP (.276), @OAK (.324)
The Padres matchup is phenomenal for Hughes (last in MLB in wOBA by 20 (!) points), and it comes at home, where the right-hander is inexplicably struggling despite his flyball heavy approach. Right now, Hughes has a home ERA of 5.51, and a road ERA of 2.92. That makes this week’s matchups a bit better, as he gets the punchless Pads at home before heading to the unfriendly confines of O.Co, which has a 75/95 HR park factor (and 88-93 for flyballs, for what it’s worth) and a team which just traded away one of its best power threats (Yoenis Cespedes). This might be a good chance for Hughes to get back on a roll and get that ERA under 4.00.
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