As always, probable pitchers are subject to change. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click this link.
For some reason, I’m cool with the cat-and-mouse game of pitchers hiding sandpaper and pine tar, and I kind of like umpire errors. They’re quirks that are part of the DNA of the game, like grabbing your balls and lighting your teammate’s feet on fire. Do we need new rules for ball grabbing and pyromaniacs with foot fetishes? I didn’t think so.
And while I love home plate collisions as much as the next tobacco-spewing, pot-bellied third base coach, baseball done good by following in the footsteps of the NFL and NBA and addressing concussions.
But maybe they didn’t go far enough. How else to explain rising star hurlers Danny Salazar and Michael Wacha confusing the mound for a carnival stand, and the catcher’s mitt for a stack of neatly arranged milk bottles? Salazar’s bizarre April 10 start against the White Sox was actually an improvement on his garbage juice-drenched season. Way to go Danny, you struck out 10 guys in just 3.2 innings of work – here’s your oversized plush California Raisin! Nevermind that Chicago banged out five runs on six hits, because an ERA of 12.27 for the game isn’t too far off from your 7.85 ERA for the season.
Meanwhile, Wacha got whiffs on 10 of his 12 outs in four innings of sloppy work against the Mets on April 23. This followed four pretty decent starts in which he went 2-2 and walked only three guys – yet he walked five during this Dock Ellis-esque performance at Citi Field.
All of this is to say that I’m a little worried about Wacha this week. Milwaukee can bash (and the Cardinals can’t hit) and it seems like pitchers experience control problems in Wrigley (and the Cardinals can’t hit).
Now that I’ve made it through a whole opening without playing on Wacha’s name even once, here’s the rest of this week’s double dippers:
I will doubt J-Fer no more, and while you may doubt Greinke and his hot start, you can’t doubt that he has some nice matchups. Same can be said for Wood, who was sick last time out against Miami and should be again.
Me: “Gallardo will bounce back this year.”
You: “You’re an idiot.”
Me: “That’s true, but Gallardo will still bounce back.”
True, he gives up some hits, and he’s not striking out people like he used to (6.54 K/9 rate), but he’s pitching smarter. No other way to explain a 1.42 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP. I don’t love him this week, but I don’t hate him either.
Jason Vargas (TOR, DET), John Lackey (TB, OAK), Kyle Lohse (@STL, @CIN), Tyler Skaggs (CLE, TEX), Jon Niese (@PHI, @COL), Tyson Ross (@SF, ARZ), Justin Masterson (@LAA, CWS), Alfredo Simon (CHC, MIL), CC Sabathia (SEA, TB)
Masterson is like Crazy Eyes on “Orange Is The New Black” – he might clean the bathrooms and act all cuddly and nice and give you six good innings with lots of punchouts and a chance to win, or he might pee on the floor and get bombed for five runs. I’m following Piper’s lead and avoiding the Masterbaterson.
On Monday we will have Odorizzi vs. Rienzo, and it’s not the undercard on the next big pay-per-view event. It is, however, a matchup you should avoid like the plague. McGowan, meanwhile, recently reported suffering from fatigue. McGowan to John Gibbons: “I’m not a pitching machine.” Gibbons: “Well …”