The selective approach to last week’s Trolling picks paid off for us as the 10 starters logged a healthy 2.52 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 3.5 K/BB rate. That isn’t to say I wasn’t aiming for precision with my in-season picks, but the risk threshold has definitely been tightened as we wind the season down because there is less time to come back from implosions.
Monday was the holiday and then I couldn’t get it done before Tuesday & Wednesday day games because of the day job so here are picks for Thursday-Saturday. Apologies for those of you who needed M-T-W picks. I’m already working on Week 24 so I have it ready to go right away this weekend along with some Sunday picks on Friday or Saturday of this week.
Ivan Nova (NYY @ BAL) – Three straight 7 inning starts in which he allowed just five runs (2.14 ERA) and netted three wins. In fact, he has won eight straight starts only one of which was anything close to bad (7 ER in 5.3 IP at KC).
Mike Minor (ATL @ NYM) – He carries some risk as he has been a bit inconsistent mixing in a few 4-5 ER starts in with really good ones. The one constant has been his strikeout rate (8.6 K/9) so if that is a need for your team, he is an auto-start.
Cory Luebke (SD @ ARI) – I have been a fan of his all year, but there may be more risk than you want to take on if you’re protecting ratios. Two things working against him are that his two starts against Arizona haven’t been very good (7 ER in 11 IP) and his last two starts (one of which was an Arizona start) haven’t been great (8 ER in 10 IP) and some speculate he may be hitting a wall. I’ll stand firm as the strikeouts remain strong and I think it is more of a bump in the road than something due to fatigue.
Bud Norris (HOU @ WAS) – He is a perfect spot starter with an ERA nearly a full lower against the bottom feeders (3.44 against sub-.500 teams; 4.37 against better than .500 teams). His strikeout rate of nearly one per inning remains enticing, too.
Edwin Jackson (STL v. ATL) – He has a 3.44 ERA with the Cardinals despite the 8 ER beatdown in Milwaukee in his second start with the ballclub.
Anibal Sanchez (FLO @ PIT) – Appears to be improving over his last four and opponent like the Pirates is a great opportunity to stay hot.