After being stuck in baby purgatory — trust me, I mean that in a good way — the past couple weeks, I’m back with a nine-day old beauty (see below) and a three-man slate this week that I don’t totally love, but think could work due to some matchup stuff.
Here’s how we’re doing so far this season (through half of Week 7)
14 quality starts
Here are this week’s recs (with team wRC+ for this season in parentheses):
LHP Matt Moore – 31.8% ESPN – v. WAS (113), @PHI (90)
It’s hasn’t been a great season for Matty Mo — 5.28 ERA, 4.93 FIP, 1.53 WHIP — but here’s what we’re tapping into this week. The tougher of the two matchups for the 27-year-old lefty is at home against the Nationals. Moore’s splits carry about the biggest discrepancy you could imagine, as he’s got a 2.57 ERA at home and a 1.14 WHIP, while on the road he’s got a 7.80 ERA and 1.90 WHIP. Facing the Phillies at home should be a much easier matchup that can cushion that road ERA, but don’t be surprised if he holds down the Nationals while still allowing a good day to Bryce Harper. Somehow, lefties have hit the lefty hard this season: .404/.469/.825.
RHP Mike Clevinger – 24.1% ESPN – v. OAK (103), @KCR (75)
The numbers don’t all exactly match up, but Clevinger has been really good through four appearances for the Indians this season. He’s got a 1.56 ERA (2.75 FIP), and has a 0.98 WHIP despite walking 11 batters through 17.1 innings. You can pretty easily guess why; he’s allowed just a .111/.262/.130 line to the 65 batters he’s faced in the big leagues so far this season. It can be hard to recommend a guy with command issues or just 70 big league innings, but he’s coming off shutting down a really strong Astros offense last time out: seven innings, two hits, no runs, eight strikeouts and two walks. It’ll be interesting to see how the rotation shakes out when Corey Kluber returns. Could Clevinger push someone like Josh Tomlin or Trevor Bauer out? It doesn’t seem impossible.
LHP Tyler Anderson – 11.3% ESPN – v. SEA (101), @SDP (77)
Similarly to with Moore, I’m leaning on the fact that Anderson has done some good work at home, where his tougher matchup of the two will take place this week. In his parts of two seasons in the majors, Anderson has posted a 3.50 ERA in home starts and a 5.52 mark on the road. The Mariners might be a fairly tough matchup, but again I’ll gamble on those splits along with the fact that, when right, Anderson is a groundball kind of guy with good strikeout and walk rates. He’s also been really good in May (.696 OPS against, 3.06 ERA, 25 strikeouts in 17.2 innings) after an awful April (7.71 ERA, 1.005 OPS against, 24 strikeouts in 30.1 innings).