With interleague play firing up tonight, it throws an interesting wrench into matchup plays since the rules are going to be different for one team in each game. That said, I would hope an American League pitcher isn’t completely thrown off of his game just because he has to bat a couple times and the DH shouldn’t obliterate a National League pitcher in a one game sample if he’s anywhere close to a worthwhile arm.
Let’s take a look at the weekend picks.
Erik Bedard (SEA @ SD) – It might be too late for you to pick him up, but I want to add him with Brad Penny and Ryan Vogelsong to the Friday picks. I’m not sure why he wasn’t originally included. He’s pitching well and gets a start in San Diego, it doesn’t add up much better than that.
Clayton Richard (SD v. SEA) – Can’t chase a win here even against the Mariners as the Padres have to face Michael Pineda so run scoring will be even tougher than usual for the Padres. Richard is an ultimate matchup play to be used exclusively at home almost regardless of opponent. He has excelled against Cincinnati and Philadelphia at home while getting a reprieve for a terrible outing against Pittsburgh where he allowed seven but just one earned. He has a 1.71 ERA at home; 7.27 on the road.
Joel Pineiro (LAA v. ATL) – I will reiterate what I said when I recommended him for Monday: I wouldn’t mess with him too often in innings cap leagues because of his meager strikeout rate, but he is an overlooked asset with legitimate value in the right league type. He turned in a quality outing against the A’s going seven allowing three, but striking out just three. Atlanta has been good this year on the whole, but they’re toting a .654 OPS on the road (22nd-ranked).
Tim Stauffer (SD v. SEA) – Can’t chase a win here even against the Mariners as the Padres get to face Felix Hernandez so run scoring will be MUCH tougher than usual for the Padres. He was toting a meager 4.5 K/9 in his first four outings, but has struck out 6 or 7 in his last five totaling 33 in 30 innings (9.9 K/9). Combine that with his improved walk rate of 2.1 BB/9 and now he has a career-best 3.7 K/BB. He has held most of his groundball gains from last year (55%) with a 52% rate which all adds up to a great skill set. He could reasonably shave a sizeable chunk off of his 3.81 ERA going forward. I would roster him immediately.
Jordan Zimmermann (WAS @ BAL) – His ownership rates are higher than most of the recommendations on Trolling the Wire, but there are still lower than they should be, at least in my opinion (70% or below across all three major outlets). His strikeout rate in his first five starts was a remarkably disappointing 4.2 K/9, which was worrisome because strikeouts were a significant part of his value coming into the season. In May he has struck out 21 in 18 innings across three starts bringing his season mark up to 6.6 and rising. He has a great 2.1 walk rate pushing his strikeout-to-walk rate above 3.0. He has a mediocre at best 4.13 ERA, in fact it’s below average, but his FIP is 2.67 thanks to a 59% LOB% that is 13% below the average. With these skills, Zimmermann has a good chance to become an above average pitcher the rest of the way.
Rick Porcello (DET @ PIT) – He was slated for Tuesday, but rained out. He is going Sunday so I’ll keep him as a recommendation especially since his draw improves getting the Pirates instead of the Blue Jays. And in case you missed it, here is what I said about in Sunday’s piece: After allowing 10 runs in 10 innings in his first two starts, he has allowed just seven in the next 32 innings across five starts (1.99 ERA) with a passable 5.9 K/9. More importantly, he has a 3.0 K/BB walking just seven. His walk and groundball rates have held from last year while he has added more than a full strikeout per game to his rate. A 3.65 xFIP and 3.76 FIP suggest that his 3.67 ERA is completely legitimate. Buy with confidence.
Results for Week 7 and Week 8’s Monday-Friday picks coming up Sunday evening.