If you’re anything like me (and your office’s firewall is feeble or nonexistent), then I’m sure you’ve wasted countless hours clicking through the player cards on Baseball-Reference.com. It’s fun to get lost in the vortex of baseball history, absorbing interesting nuggets, like how Hawk Harrelson posted a 155 OPS+ in 1968. Of course, scientific analysis is overrated according to Hawk, so don’t bother telling him that the metrics suggest he was quite awesome that year. Baseball-Reference is also the place where I learn about player nicknames and Twitter handles and all that sort of nonsense that we simply cannot live without. But the most fascinating feature of the site is one that I was only recently made aware of — I’m sure it’s been there for awhile, so forgive me if you know about it already. Next time you’re visiting the website, click on the player search box and type “f**kface”, only leave out the censoring characters. Then search it, and enjoy. I have no idea why that particular player card shows up, but it’s hilarious nonetheless. Any insight on this topic would be appreciated in the comments section. Also feel free to focus your comments on the coming week’s two-starters, which are listed below.
As always, probable pitchers are subject to change. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.
A.J. Burnett (MIL, HOU); Chris Tillman (SD, TB); Doug Fister (HOU, @TEX); Derek Holland (@OAK, DET); Mike Minor (@ARZ, LAD); Hector Santiago (@MIN, @LAA); A.J. Griffin (TEX, KC); Justin Masterson (NYY, SEA); Homer Bailey (@MIA, @PHI); Wade Miley (ATL, @MIA); Jeff Locke (MIL, HOU)
- There’s some two-start goodness available on waivers this coming week, beginning with Jeff Locke (7% owned in Y! leagues), who’s establishing himself as a solid streamer option, having only allowed 4 ER through his last four starts. He’ll pitch at home against Milwaukee to begin the week, and again next weekend versus the cupcake Astros. Hector Santiago (12%) is another intriguing option for the week ahead. The southpaw is coming off of an 8 K, 0 R performance, and he faces two bottom-half offenses in week 7. Others to target: Chris Tillman (25%) and A.J. Griffin (37%). In shallow formats you might be able to get lucky and find Wade Miley (72%) or Justin Masterson (74%) on the wire, but odds are those two, and the rest of this group, are stashed already. As always, everyone from the first tier is a solid play.
- The second tier is a little thinner than usual this week, but still feel free to roll with these guys in your lineups. Aside from Kyle Lohse and Dan Haren, this group is widely available, and there’s plenty of upside. Facing two cupcake opponents, I was tempted to push Jason Vargas (20%) into the first tier, but his inconsistencies on the young season are a tad worrisome. Justin Grimm (17%) has been whiffing batters to the tune of a 9.7 K/9, which is an attractive figure, but Oakland and Detroit are tough assignments, so be wary. Bud Norris (13%) is another to use with caution — he’s always been a guy who performs much better in Houston, but he’ll be on the road for both outings next week.
Marco Estrada (@PIT, @STL); Barry Zito (@TOR, @COL); Josh Beckett (WAS, @ATL); Eric Stults (@BAL, WAS); Joe Blanton (KC, CWS); David Phelps (@CLE, TOR); Aaron Harang (@NYY, @CLE); Ricky Nolasco (CIN, ARZ); Jake Westbrook (NYM, MIL); Jeremy Hefner (@STL, @CHC); Dillon Gee (@STL, @CHC); Juan Nicasio (@CHC, SF)
- It’s always best to avoid tier three, if possible. In deep formats and AL/NL-only, though, you might have to dip into this group on occasion. The best upside here can be found in the form of Jake Westbrook (28%) and Joe Blanton (2%). Westbrook continues to outperform his peripheral numbers (1.62 ERA, 4.39 xFIP), and regression is bound to take hold soon, but it’s not a bad idea to see if he has a couple more useful outings in him. Blanton has turned in three straight quality outings, and gets a couple decent match-ups — the Royals are no pushover, but the White Sox lineup has been quite bad this year.