We’re 40 weeks plus two days on Warne baby watch — Harper Elizabeth was due Wednesday — so I’m pumping out as much #content as possible. Last week we ended up getting tied up a bit so I had to share my recs on my twitter account — follow me @Brandon_Warne, if you wish — and if needed, I’ll be doing that next week under the hashtag #2xSP. Baby will be induced Tuesday night into Wednesday morning if she isn’t here yet, so that might tie us up next time around. So just keep that in mind, thanks!
Here’s how we’re doing so far this season (through half of Week 5)
10 quality starts
Here are this week’s recs (with team wRC+ for this season in parentheses):
RHP Zack Wheeler – 18.4% ESPN – @ARI (93), v. LAA (89)
I’ve been a big Wheeler guy for awhile now, and I love the matchups this week. You can sort of see the outline of a pitcher on the right track, too. He’s fanning 8.1 batters per nine and inducing grounders at a 55.6 percent rate. As a result, his 4.18 ERA is backed by a 3.85 xFIP and 4.23 FIP. In other words, he’s been decent and I think there’s room to improve. The strand rate should go up and help mitigate the BABIP drop, and in the meantime I’m always looking to gamble on talent rather than a so-so pitcher with easy matchups. I don’t know, maybe the baby delirium has me talking out of both sides of my mouth, but I like Wheeler this week. Who’d have thought he’d be one of the last men standing in this rotation?
RHP Brandon McCarthy – 38.4% ESPN – @SFG (71), v. MIA (92)
There are obvious health risks here, but when healthy, McCarthy is damn solid. Of course, we haven’t seen that since 2014. Still, I’ll take the risk this week with a couple nice matchups. When on the mound this season (29 innings), McCarthy has been solid, with a 3.10 ERA (3.57 FIP), 7.8 K/9 and a good walk rate (2.8 BB/9). He’s kept the ball in the yard (for the most part) and on the ground — at least better than his recent work had indicated. Also, in a small sample size he’s throwing harder this year (93.1 mph versus a career average of 90.9). What do you think?
RHP Jerad Eickhoff – 31.4% ESPN – @TEX (87), @PIT (83)
Eickhoff is off to a bit of a rocky start, but let’s be honest — he wouldn’t be available if that weren’t the case. Eickhoff was quietly very solid for the Phillies last year (3.65 ERA, 7.6 K/9, 1.9 BB/9) and has a couple of accommodating matchups this week. He’s pitched a bit better (4.11 FIP) than his ERA (4.76) would indicate, and honestly besides that, I’m not sure what else to say. Good pitcher, bad stretch and good matchups. Let’s play!