As always, probable pitchers are subject to change. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.
I did some soul-searching math the other day, and I determined that 54 percent of the time, I’m right every time. But that benchmark of psychic-level foresight seems to no longer be reachable in these turbulent times. Although a few recent stumbles have me questioning myself a bit lately, there are some things I do know for sure. Taking a page out of Jimmy Fallon’s playbook, I give you my “True Facts of Truth” for the 2014 Fantasy Baseball Season:
1) Something (Bigger crackdown on P.E.D.’s? Climate change? More tightly wound balls?) has sapped the power out of guys who used to have power. Robinson Cano, Billy Butler, Jedd Gyorko and Evan Longoria are among those who have experienced major power outages.
3) Something (Bigger crackdown on P.E.D.’s? Climate change? Less tightly wound balls?) and not something else (kids throwing curveballs too early) has made Dr. James Andrews and very busy man and caused carpel tunnel issues for whoever types up the disabled list section of the transactions that run in newspaper sports sections.
4) The “R.A.” in R.A. Dickey stands for “Really Acting”.
5) Guys who were aces heading into the season (Justin Verlander, Matt Cain, Gerrit Cole, Gio Gonzalez, Homer Bailey) are not aces in 2014, and therefore not automatic green lights as two-start pitchers.
6) Guys who were not aces heading into the season (Johnny Cueto, Dallas Keuchel, Phil Hughes, Tim Hudson, Mark Buehrle, Josh Beckett) are pitching like aces and becoming dang near must-starts as two-start pitchers.
7) In cricket, the game of pepper is called “circle jerk.”
8) When in doubt, go with the Stream-O-Nator.
9) If you’re still not sold, look at a dude’s K/BB per game ratio.
10) Ronald Belisario is actually 61 years old.
Maybe you saw something in the list you can use and apply to the rankings below. Or maybe you saw some things that have you questioning the future of the human race. Regardless, let the Two-Startapalooza begin!
Mad Max has been Max Money as of late. PNC Park has been one of the hardest places to hit dongs this year, so I like Cueto in the Steel City. Admittedly, his start against the Jays at home scares me a little, but so do evil clowns and the two main guys in Steely Dan.
I can’t see too well – is that Vincent D’Onofrio or Dallas Keuchel who’s been dominating as a pitcher for the lowly Houston Astros in 2014? Indeed, Big D has been going all “Full Metal Jacket” on the AL this year, going deep in games, racking up a steady stream of strikeouts and blowing away quality opponents regardless of the setting. Over the past month, he’s blanked Seattle in Seattle and Texas at home, tamed the Tigers in Detroit and nearly went the distance against the Angels in Anaheim. You can look at those matchups and say maybe the Washington one is tough, but how much tougher is it than the four aforementioned starts? Meanwhile, I’ve got Wainwright penciled in up here because the most recent news was that he’d probably make the start Monday against the Mess, but I can’t think of any good reason why you’d run your best pitcher out there with all of the injuries taking dudes down. Heck, it might be contagious!
Tanner Roark (HOU, ATL), Jon Lester (MIN, @OAK), Hyun-Jin Ryu (COL, @SD), Marcus Stroman (@NYY, @CIN), Justin Verlander (KC, @CLE), Kyle Lohse (@ARI, @COL), Phil Hughes (@BOS, CWS), Wei-Yin Chen (@TB, @NYY), Yordano Ventura (@DET, SEA), Jonathon Niese (@STL, @MIA), Jacob Turner (CHC, NYM), Jason Hammel (@MIA, PIT), Tyson Ross (@SEA, LAD), Jake Odorizzi (BAL, HOU), Ervin Santana (PHI, @WAS), Wily Peralta (@ARI, @COL)
We bang on ESPN pretty hard here, but I’m giving some props to the writer who’s putting his balls on the line for Justin Verlander. That doesn’t mean I share his opinion. In fact, I’d have him lower if it wasn’t for his weak opponents and the chance that he figures it out. Oddly enough, the guy who was supposed to be modeling himself after Verlander – Yordano Ventura – is actually out-Verlandering Verlander. Since returning from the arm scare where many marked him down as done for the year, Yordano has turned in two quality-start wins where he eased up on the throttle and ditched the strikeouts for some regular old outs.
Roenis Elias (SD, @KC), Tyler Matzek (@LAD, MIL), Trevor Bauer (LAA, DET), Drew Pomeranz (TEX, BOS), Jason Vargas (@DET, SEA), Tom Koehler (CHC, NYM), Josh Tomlin (LAA, DET), Rubby De La Rosa (MIN, @OAK), Jacob deGrom (@STL, @MIA), Brandon Cumpton (CIN, @CHC), John Danks (SF, @MIN), Chris Young (SD, @KC), Jered Weaver (@CLE, TEX), Tommy Milone (TEX, BOS), Erik Bedard (BAL, HOU), Eric Stults (@SEA, LAD), Kyle Kendrick (@ATL, @STL), Matt Shoemaker (@CLE, TEX)
He’s been solid, but deGrom is getting a lot of lovin’ this week for a guy with no wins, two straight starts where he left in the fifth and two road starts in some not-so-easy parks (@STL can be particularly annoying in soup-like heat, and @MIA is no longer a gimme). It must be the fantastic mullet he’s rocking. If you’re desperate and feeling lucky, you could roll with Roenis this week. He’s shown flashes, and those are some great matchups.
The Four Horsemen of the Fantasy Baseball Apocalypse.