As always, probable pitchers are subject to change. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.
Are you like me? Have you been doubting the existence of the humidor at Coors Field since they allegedly installed it in the early 2000s? Didn’t it sound like some kind of lame way to side-step the concerns that juiced-up ogres were having a field day lighting up the scoreboard in the thin air? Yeah, that’s it, it’s the baseballs, not the steroids coursing through players’ veins, leading to 15-13 games. But no, there really is a humidor at Coors, and they really do put baseballs in there to bathe them in humidity, not groups of smelly 55-year-old cigar-smoking creeps.
All kinds of studies have been done that show home run numbers and batting averages have been somewhat deflated thanks to the humidor. But that hasn’t exactly transformed Coors into Petco. I don’t need to dig for stats on that – you’ve started your best guys there, and you’ve seen your ERA numbers skyrocket as a result. It’s why I see an “@COL” next to one of the guy’s names below and move them down from where they started. So what pitchers don’t get crushed in Coors? There’s no way to predict for certain, but I looked at some of the games where the Rockies were dominated in Denver and found something interesting. Three pitchers who have done well this year have good sinkers, decent-to-great curveballs and throw the four-seam fastball.
Lance Lynn blanked the Rockies over eight innings last Monday. His four-seam fastball has one of MLB’s best K/9 rates. Lynn has been throwing his sinker, a primary pitch, for strikes lately. And his curveball, which he throws with two strikes quite often, had to have been on that night. On June 3, Chase Anderson – not exactly a Cy Young candidate – went six-plus, giving up four hits and one run in a win. He too relies on a four-seamer, a nasty sinker and a curve that was one of the pitches he focused on heading into 2014. And way back on May 6, Dillon Gee gave up no runs on six hits in a winning effort. Primary pitch? Four-seam fastball. And, while they’re not great, he does throw a sinker and a curve with a knuckle grip. (In case you’re wondering, Tim Lincecum throws a two-seamer, and his curveball has been his bugaboo during his extended dazed-and-confused phase. No truth to the rumor that he uses the humidor for a little Puff the Magic Dragon action when the Giants are in Denver.)
Obviously, a good sinker is clutch in Coors to get those ground balls. What’s odd is that, although the four-seamer is used to surprise hitters and make the ball miss the sweet spot of the bat, it can be easily detected and bashed for dongs. Then again, mix that pitch with a great curve, and you might have something there. Look, I’m no Leo Mazzone. I don’t rock back and forth while writing the Two-Startapalooza every week. But slightly meaningless trends are slightly meaningless trends and that’s what fantasy writers are supposed to pick up on. As such, I think Josh Beckett and Dan Haren’s starts in Coors are worth a close watch this week. Indeed, Beckett throws a four-seamer, and his curve has been one of his best pitches, especially during his schweet comeback 2014. In fact, I wouldn’t be afraid to start him. Why not? If he blows up, you can always come back and yell at me in the comments or on Twitter @NiceRazzball. I’m not as big on Haren, but he does fit the profile.
Here’s some more two-starters for the week:
David Price (@NYY, @DET)
Is he a tad unpredictable? Yes. Could he mess himself on the mounds in either New York or Detroit or both? Yes. But after the five starts strung together by Price, all of which were double-digit strikeout performances where he gave up three runs or less, you can’t not roll him out there. He’s given up four walks TOTAL during this run. It’s like the Rays said, “Hey, David, we’re gonna trade you,” and he was like, “Shiz yeah, watch this,” and other teams were like, “Whoah,” and you were like, “I’m going to start him this week, both times.”
Latos has looked really good in two starts, and really horrendous in one, since he’s returned from the DL. We know one of these will be in the first group, and I’m willing to wager he handles Milwaukee at home just fine.
Josh Beckett (CLE, @COL), Garrett Richards (@CHW, HOU), Henderson Alvarez (PHI, @STL), Chris Archer (@NYY, @DET), Alex Wood (NYM, ARI), Jered Weaver (@CHW, HOU), Dan Haren (CLE, @COL), Jesse Hahn (CIN, SF), Rick Porcello (OAK, TB), Collin McHugh (SEA, @LAA), Hiroki Kuroda (TB, @MIN), Danny Duffy (@MIN, @CLE), Scott Kazmir (@DET, TOR), Taijuan Walker (@HOU, @CWS), A.J. Burnett (@MIA, @PIT), Tim Lincecum (STL, @SD), David Phelps (TB, @MIN), Jeff Locke (ARI, PHI), Jarred Cosart (SEA, @LAA), Zack Wheeler (@ATL, TEX)
The return of Taijuan! Amazing how available he’s been in the last week or so. I’m not expecting complete dominance, but these are very favorable matchups to return to. Meanwhile, Lincecum has been the marquee name in a lot of places as a guy to use next week. Really? Even the game in San Diego is a crap shoot with this guy. Hell, he could no-hit the Cards and then get smoked in Petco. Wow, that was a complete accident. I can’t even avoid the jokes. Speaking of San Diego, Hahn’s got two home starts this week.
Martinez and Saunders are here because of their trips to Citi Field, and that’s about it.
Christian Friedrich (@WAS, LAD), Hector Noesi (LAA, SEA), Yohan Flande (@WAS, LAD), Ricky Nolasco (KC, NYY), Brad Mills (@DET, TOR), Wade Miley (@PIT, @ATL), Samuel Deduno (KC, NYY), Marco Gonzales (@SF, MIA)
This cast is about as bad as the Robert Downey Jr. era of “Saturday Night Live.”