OK, I am going to stop recommending Sam LeCure because he never pitches when I put him on the Trolling the Wire list. Those who have pitched are doing pretty well as a whole so far this week so hopefully I can keep the momentum rolling with some strong weekend picks.
By the way, I am adding Bud Norris to “Hold” list with Brandon McCarthy. I think both are worth keeping on your roster permanently pretty much regardless of league format. He is piling up strikeouts (10.9 K/9) and walking 1.5 fewer batters than last year (3.0 BB/9 in 36 innings). He will make his final appearance on TtW this weekend*.
(*unless he falls off the Hold List at some point in the season. That would require a series of poor starts, but we’ll cover falling off the Hold List at a later time if McCarthy, Norris or any other participants fall off.)
Norris (HOU @ PIT) – He’s cutting up much better talent so of course I like him against the Pirates and their 25th-ranked offense according to runs scored. Maybe the removal of Brandon Lyon as closer will increase Norris’s chance at a win, too. In the interest of full disclosure, I have not checked to see if Lyon has blown any Norris starts.
Tom Gorzelanny (WAS @ FLO) – Off to a strong start this year, Gorzelanny seems to have refined his approach a bit resulting in some strong numbers. In his first start he allowed five earned runs in five and a third while striking out eight. He hasn’t approached that strikeout mark again topping out at four, but hasn’t allowed more than two in any of the four starts. He has been great in his two starts against Florida for his career, too, setting up a nice matchup for him to continue his strong start.
James McDonald (PIT v. HOU) – This was a guy I loved coming into the season and he got off to a pretty slow start last just 4.7 innings in his first start then allowing 5, 6 and 8 earned runs in his next three. He has put together a pair of strong six inning starts during his last two outings allowing just two runs, striking out eight and winning both decisions. Despite their overall ineptitude, Houston is 10th in runs, but that offense doesn’t really strike fear in anyone. Brett Wallace is the only one with a better than .900 OPS while Hunter Pence is the only other one above .800 among full-time players (Jason Bourgeois has a .929 in 46 AB).
Erik Bedard (SEA v. CHW) – Let’s pick on the White Sox while they are down. I think by season’s end they will be performing way better, but right now they are horrible with a .670 OPS that ranks 23rd in baseball. Plus it’s at home which only helps pitchers. Bedard is still getting on his feet after not pitching for all of 2010. I think that is an underrated factor that many don’t account for when analyzing him. It was a bit unreasonable to expect an automatic return to what we are used to out of him, but now we can see him rounding into form with a pair of strong starts against Detroit and Texas.
Results for Week 5 and the weekday picks for Week 6 coming on Sunday.