Stupid ESPN scoreboard. They told me Bartolo Colon was pitching on Sunday against Seattle. Alas he did NOT, instead pitching on Monday while teammate CC Sabathia got the nod against the Mariners. That little mishap cost this week’s set of picks the chance at a sub-4.00 ERA. The week started off poorly with Colon allowing six in six against Toronto and his supposed counterpart for today, Jason Vargas, getting knocked around on Monday, too.
Chris Narveson was also torched on Tuesday, leaving the picks with a 10.93 ERA after just three starts. It was smooth sailing from that point forward as the remaining nine starters posted a 2.33 ERA in 58 innings, but as I mentioned it just wasn’t enough to erase that early damage. At least if you’re streaming in a head-to-head league, the picks down the stretch were much better than the rough start.
Colon (NYY @ OAK) – It’s still a nice start against a weak offense in a friendly ballpark.
Ervin Santana (LAA @ KC) – The Royals offense has fallen back to the middle of the pack this month while Santana is getting into a groove. He will still have that implosion from time to time that leaves his composite numbers right around league average. I think this is a good spot for him.
Jason Hammel (COL @ LAD) – Hammel is something of an enigma as his first two years in Colorado saw some great skills paired with less-than-stellar ERA & WHIP totals not commensurate with those skills. This year the skills have eroded a bit, but the ERA & WHIP totals are around what we’d have expected in those other two years. I think his skills rise to where they were in 2009 and 2010 while holding firm or improving the ERA & WHIP, plus the Dodgers are an auto play-against team with their weak offense.
Prediction: Jo-Jo Reyes will break his no-win streak against Cleveland on Monday. I like his skills a bit and could see him on Trolling at some point soon. He’s been horrifically unlucky to this point. For now, I’ll just predict a win for him snapping that ugly streak.
Ryan Vogelsong (SF @ STL) – His ownership rates are on the rise, but he is still available in a ton of leagues for at least another week. The skills are there with a 7.0 K/9 and 2.9 K/BB so keep riding the streak while it lasts. With the rash of injuries hitting the pitching ranks of late, I’d hang onto Vogelsong for the time being.
Mike Minor (ATL v. SD) – He did well in last week’s start against a lame Pittsburgh Pirates offense and his reward is a start against the lowly San Diego Padres. They’ve been improved from their awful April performance, but I’m still not afraid of them. I really like Minor. Things will get crowded once Brandon Beachy gets back, but I think Minor will perform well enough to make things difficult for the Braves brass.
Erik Bedard (SEA v. BAL) – Bedard is no longer available in many CBS leagues (84%), but he’s still widely available in ESPN (66%) and Yahoo! (44%) leagues, so we’ll throw him out for another week, but he also joins the Hold List. He’s another guy who is probably being snapped up permanently a lot more given the spate of injuries that recently hit the game (Beachy, Josh Johnson and Wandy Rodriguez to name a few).
Chris Capuano (NYM v. PIT) – He has the one blowup in May (6 ER on 5/21), but otherwise he has allowed no more than 2 ER in his other four starts this month. The blowup was at the Yankees where he allowed four home runs so it’s fair to say it’s an anomaly. Best of all, he has 28 K in 29 innings this month. This a nice start for him.
Jordan Zimmermann (WAS @ ARI) – He’s off to the Hold List this week as his ownership rates creep near 70% at two of the three outlets (Y! is the holdout) and I don’t want to keep recommending a guy who isn’t widely available.
Tim Stauffer (SD v. HOU) – His skill set this year is really nice. He has kept most of his groundball gains from 2010 (53% after 55% last year) while adding strikeouts and cutting walks. Meanwhile his BABIP, LOB% & HR/FB indicators point toward some favorable ERA headed his way cutting into the 3.60 he is currently toting. I love him in a start against Houston, but that stupid, dumb offense of his might continue to cost him wins.
Danny Duffy (KC v. MIN) – Facing Texas twice and heading to Camden Yards, the rookie southpaw has acquitted himself well in the first three starts of his career all things considering. There is nothing particularly special about his 4.11 ERA or 1.57 WHIP (10 BB in 15.3 IP), but the 8.2 K/9 is very nice and he seems to be getting better start-to-start as he gets his feet underneath him in his debut season. He finally draws a favorable matchup and I think we could get our first glimpse of the high end ability this kid has in his future.
The weekend later this week…