As always, probable pitchers are subject to change. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.
Two-Startapalooza’s back, beoches!
Man, I gotta tell yunz, I had a superly-dooperly extended break, and all ya’ll who know me know that there is not one hint of sarcasm in that statement. There were some lessons learned, particularly on the baseball front, although almost none of those items involved fantasy baseball since there was no fantasy baseball. We learned that Major League players love Derek Jeter so much that they’re willing to sully their good name by not only grooving him pitches in the All-Star Game and but also admitting it and then awkwardly and unsuccessfully backtracking. We learned that the Guru had a Derek Jeter Retirement Barf Bag – I bought five, by the way. Thanks Guru! We learned that another Derek, Derek Holland, is the grand Puba of not one but two fart games played in the Rangers bullpen, Pink Eye and Fart Bottle Roulette (nevermind the fact that Holland has been injured all year). We learned that baseball doesn’t give a crap about one Anthony Keith Gwynn Sr.
I for one learned that Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom gets recognized around New York for his fantastic early 1990s mullet and that he is not one bit ashamed of it. I discovered this in a great New York Times piece on deGrom that I read when trying to decide if I should stream him or hang onto him. Well, the fact that deGrom is a proud business-in-the-front, party-in-the-back kind of guy was just enough to make me sacrifice to keep him. That and the fact that he was mowing down dudes heading into the All-Star break. Over his last three games, he whiffed 27 and only walked four. Two of those were fairly dominant performances. If there was ever a time to scoop up Zane Smith’s more attractive clone (this is not saying much, as old-schoolers well know), it’s right now. deGrom is slated for a two-start week, including one in Safeco.
Here’s some more two-start guys for next week. Oh and tip of the cap to Sky, who did an amazing job filling in at Two-Startapalooza. During his stay he introduced some cool new ideas I might run with but also left behind a whole lot of some kind of sticky substance. Thanks Sky! I think?
Since we’re starting fresh, let’s reset what these tiers mean. This one is obvious. Sale is coming off a gillion days rest, so he’s a no-brainer. Wainwright would be money, but it’s possible Carlos Martinez takes his second start. The cagey Mike Matheny will do his best Tony La Russa impersonation and not divulge anything except for what’s right in front of us. Even still, it’s worth the risk to wager on Wainwright getting the two-fer.
This is the Start With Confidence tier. There’s a small chance one of these guys verps and a little puke dribbles out, but it’s not even worth worrying about. Or is it? It’s not. I was just kidding (Or was I? I was. I’ll stop now). If these guys screw up, it’s on me. So … Other than Adrian Beltre is there any reason to fear Kazmir’s Texas tango? On the flip side, those matchups for Julio are yumm-o, but his second-to-last pre-break start in Citi Field was a head scratcher. Lee is coming off injury, but he’s a gamer and wants to win, so I see him returning strong in an effort to a) get traded to a contender or b) earn his $30 million per year contract. Also: Homer Bailey might take Latos’ second start. Stay tuned.
John Lackey (@TOR, @TB), Jacob deGrom (@SEA, @MIL), Mike Minor (MIA, SD), Jake Odorizzi (@STL, BOS), Rick Porcello (@ARI, @LAA), Justin Verlander (@ARI, @LAA), Tanner Roark (@COL, @CIN), Jonathon Niese (@SEA, @MIL)
The Go Ahead and Start But Don’t Blame Me tier. These dudes have either been very good lately or in the recent past. But you know there’s a chance one of them does number two in his pants, and I know there’s a chance one of them does number two in his pants, so let’s not point fingers if, say, Verlander squats and does his thing on the mound in Anaheim.
Matt Cain (@PHI, LAD), Drew Hutchison (BOS, @NYY), Collin McHugh (@OAK, MIA), Wily Peralta (CIN, NYM), Taijuan Walker (NYM, BAL), Ryan Vogelsong (@PHI, LAD), Shane Greene (TEX, TOR), Tom Koehler (@ATL, @HOU), Danny Salazar (@MIN, @KC), Jeremy Guthrie (@CSW, CLE), Bud Norris (@LAA, @SEA), Matt Shoemaker (BAL, DET), Roenis Elias (NYM, BAL), Miguel Gonzalez (@LAA, @SEA), Hector Santiago (BAL, DET)
The Worth The Risk tier. Either the player has bounce-back potential, or good matchups, or he seems to have the invisible touch – eh! Note: Salazar could just be getting one start, but what if he returns to his old dominant self in Minny? Why would the Tribe not keep him around? Also, don’t really know for certain what’s going on with Walker, but I’m putting him in here. And: Either Shoemaker or Santiago might not be in here, as C.J. Wilson could come back from injury and take one of their starts.
Edinson Volquez (LAD, @COL), J.A. Happ (BOS, @NYY), Jake Peavy (@TOR, @TB), Roberto Hernandez (SF, ARI), T.J. House (@MIN, @KC), Bruce Chen (@CWS, CLE), Scott Carroll (KC, @MIN), Vidal Nuno (DET, @PHI)
The Got Nuts? tier, or maybe the Desperado tier. You’re back in your deep-league points standings, or significantly behind in your weekly matchup, and you need to throw guys out there and hope for the best. I have to come clean: I consistently devalue Happ because a) he sucked 15 years ago when he was in Philly yet somehow still has a job and b) he looks like that d-bag guy in Blink 182. No, not that d-bag, this d-bag.
Eric Stults (@CHC, @ATL), Kris Johnson (CLE, CWS), Franklin Morales (WSH, PIT), Miles Mikolas (@NYY, OAK), Yohan Pino (CLE, CWS), Scott Baker (@NYY, OAK)