As always, probable pitchers are subject to change. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click this link.
If someone had told me on Aug. 15, 2013 that Zack Wheeler would only be half-owned in Yahoo and ESPN leagues at the start of June 2014 I would have quit fantasy baseball immediately and wailed the loudest Nicolas Cage wail I could muster. That day was the height of early Wheeler Mania: 6 IP and 12 Ks to just one walk in a no-decision at San Diego. At the time Wheeler was not only a member of the rookie pitcher crew that also included Gerrit Cole, Michael Wacha and Sonny Gray, he was arguably the main attraction. If that group was New Kids On The Block, he was at best Jordan Knight, or at least Donnie Wahlberg, but he wasn’t no Danny Wood. Control problems kept him from being all that he could be, they said. Bad catchers (John Buck) can make good pitchers pitch badly, they said.
Well, here we are in the weeds of the 2014 season and Wheeler is on the verge of getting kicked out of the group. Cole, Wacha and Gray have been, for the most part, pitching like the budding studs they were supposed to be, and Wheeler has looked more like Nuke LaLoosh before Annie had him wearing garter belts and breathing through his eyelids. Wheeler might not have found his Crash Davis in Travis D’Arnaud, but something is clicking. He got bashed around pretty good in D.C. on May 18 but he finally found the plate, walking only two guys. May 24 against the Diamondbacks was even better, as he K’ed 7 to just one walk. You can blow this K/BB ratio thing out of proportion and go ga-ga over Wheeler’s last start, a win in which he blew away nine Phillies and walked none in 6-plus innings. It wasn’t what he did in that start, it’s how he looked doing it. Wheeler had the command that scouts and experts who know way more than me said he was missing. He looked like he was pitching downhill. His curveball was wicked and his fastball was popping. I know road starts in Wrigley and whatever they’re calling the Giants’ stadium now are not ideal, but I think this is the week Wheeler returns to his place next to the Coles and Wachas of the world.
Here’s some more two-starters for Week 10:
Felix is looking more like vintage Felix and don’t even worry about that Coors start for Clayton, he’ll be A-OK.
Wilson’s been just a wee-bit spotty lately, otherwise he’d be a must-start. People are down on Cobb after he flopped in his first game back from injury, but I like him this week.
Chris Archer (@MIA, SEA), Jordan Zimmermann (PHI, @SD), Homer Bailey (SF, PHI), Zack Wheeler (@CHC, @SF), Hiroki Kuroda (OAK, @KC), Jaime Garcia (KC, @TOR), Tim Lincecum (@CIN, NYM), Bartolo Colon (@PHI, @SF), Yovani Gallardo (MIN, @PIT), David Phelps (SEA, @KC), Matt Garza (MIN, @PIT), Henderson Alvarez (TB, @CHC), Charlie Morton (@SD, MIL), Shelby Miller (KC, @TOR)
Homer Bailey’s season has resembled that scene in “Bachelor Party” where Tom Hanks sees different faces on the woman he’s thinking about banging who he thinks is a whore but is really his fiance, played by Tawny Kitaen. One second its Tawny (Wednesday’s solid win against the Dodgers), the next it’s a nun (6 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 5 BB, 5 K in a loss to the Red Sox), and the next it’s his big hairy friend Ryko (blowout loss in Philly).
Liam Hendriks (@DET, STL), Jake Arrieta (NYM, MIA), Samuel Deduno (@MIL, HOU), David Buchanan (@WSH, @CIN), Randy Wolf (TB, @CHC), Chase Anderson (@COL, ATL), Kyle Gibson (@MIL, HOU), Joe Saunders (BAL, CLE), Bud Norris (@TEX, OAK), Roberto Hernandez (NYM, @CIN), Danny Duffy (@STL, NYY), Jorge De La Rosa (ARI, LAD)
The Phillies have so many problems that it feels like we all forgot about the most glaring one coming into the season: Lack of starting rotation depth. A.J. Burnett was a nice add, but when you’ve got a pair of two-start weeks by Buchanan and Not Fausto Carmona Hernandez, that’s not so good, Al.
Justin Masterson (BOS, @TEX)
Don’t Masterbaterson too much, you’ll go blind.