Let’s all go streaking! Streaming. Yeah, streaming. It might be useful for head-to-head playoff scramblers if we pointed out the nice matchups for the weekend. If the schedule holds, you might be able to get the jump on your competitor by picking up a good Saturday start today, for example. Good luck, and keep your clothes on, for the most part. Pants are overrated though.
James McDonald @ CHC- I like him, but wish it wasn’t a day game at Wrigley. You never know which way the wind will blow, and add that to McDonald’s iffy command, and you could have a blowup. Still the best spot starter that might be available on the day. Unless…
Anibal Sanchez vs CLE – If this was an NL matchup, Sanchez would be at the top of the list. Well, there’s only one AL team with a worse offense, so consider Sanchez the 1A to McDonald’s 1. Looks like his high strikeout rate didn’t last into the American League, but Sanchez is still a good pitcher up against a bad team.
Mike Fiers vs NYM – It pains me to say it but the Mets offense right now is teh suxorest. If Jon Lannan can stifle them, Fiers can.
Tommy Milone vs BAL – The Orioles’ dirty little secret is that they have the fourth-worst offense in the American League. Milone is a dirty little secret of his own. Jason Guarente adds that the Orioles playing extras before a cross-country flight makes his matchup even more delicious.
Joe Kelly @ LAD – The Dodgers bought all those trinkets and still have a bad offense. Kelly’s ground ball ways are a little bit less important in Los Angeles, but he’s still a decent pitcher going into a good matchup.
Who’s available — Andrew Cashner v COL, Tyler Skaggs v SF, Jacob Turner v CIN? In that order, go and take the guy that batters haven’t seen a ton. No book might mean no idea, even in a matchup that looks as iffy as Turner against the Reds.
Clay Buchholz @ TOR – Toronto has had a scary-good offense at times this year, but recently it’s been scary-bad. Over the last month, the team has the worst offense (by wRC+) in the league! Buchholz is making the split finger work and could have a great day in Toronto.
Wade Miley v SF – I’m not in love love with the pitcher, and the Giants are a surprising offense this year, but it’s a decent pairing of pitcher and matchup. This is also assuming that Jarrod Parker (v BAL) and Jaime Garcia (@ LAD) are not available.
Zach Britton @ OAK – For the most part, since he’s been up, Britton has shown the ground-ball rate he was always supposed to have and the strikeout rate he was always supposed to possibly show. Sure, he had a blow up last time out against the Yankees, but that’s the Yankees. And sure, he wasn’t good last time he faced the A’s, but we all know how little one game against a team means. Plus, this game is in Oakland.
Carlos Villanueva v BOS – The Red Sox offense has also been much-reduced recently. Only two teams in the American League have been worse over the last month. Still, Villanueva hasn’t had the steadiest of careers, so he represents a riskier play than his opponent. Shaun Marcum (v NYM) would be here if he’d looked healthier in his past starts.
Jeff Locke @ CHC – Locke’s more about control and off-speed stuff then he is about stuff — his fastball doesn’t crack 90 — but the Cubs lineup (provided the wind isn’t blowing out) won’t test him too much. Last time against them, he struck out six and allowed two runs in seven innings.
Kyle Kendrick @ HOU – I’m going to go on record and say I don’t believe in Kendrick’s resurgence, but there is a little difference in his pitching mix and obviously he’s been more effective recently. You could go the ‘unknown’ way and pitch Jenrry Mejia, but he’s in a homer-happy stadium in Milwaukee. Jose Quintana (@ MIN) is a decent option, too.
Jon Lester @ TOR – I’ve seen him on a wire, or at least counseled those that were considering him. This is a good matchup for him. Repeat this blurb for Dan Haren (@ KC) if he’s there for you, but I’d prefer Lester.
Wandy Rodriguez @ CHC – It’s not a slam dunk, given Rodriguez’s work this year, and, once again, the possibility of a windy day game in Wrigley, but Rodriguez is still a decent option, and he could be available. If Mike Minor (v WAS) is somehow available in your league, I’d take him over the former Astro.
Dan Straily v BAL – Judging from his near-double-digit swinging strike rate, Straily’s got a decent shot of showing major league strikeout rates that compare well with his double-digit minor league strikeout rates. When he’s pitching at home, his terrible ground-ball rate is mitigated.
Andrew Werner v COL – He’s a Padre and he’s home. Maybe his strikeout rate is a little inflated right now, but he’s got legit control and ground-ball stuff, and he’s a Padre, and he’s home.
Patrick Corbin v SF – The Giants do have a bit of a weakness against lefties, and Corbin has held them to five runs in 12 innings so far this season, so maybe this is going to work out for the Diamondbacks a third time. if you’d rather go veteran, throw a dart at Ricky Nolasco (v CIN) or Joe Blanton (v STL). I’m not advocating violence.