The season numbers aren’t great but we’ve picked up some steam over the last few weeks and hopefully will finish strong. As always, if you have any suggestions or tips, please feel free to mention them in the comments section, and thank you for reading.
Here’s how we’re doing so far this season (through half of Week 23). Since this is the last column of the year, find me on twitter or on the #2xSP hashtag for end-of-season results:
45 quality starts
Here are this week’s recs (with team wRC+ for this season in parentheses):
RHP Jake Junis – 20.1% ESPN – v. DET (99), v. ARI (94)
Junis gets a couple nice offensive matchups here, though the numbers are certainly deceiving in that the Diamondbacks will be tougher than the true-talent Tigers. But nevertheless, it’s two nice matchups for Junis before considering how good he’s been lately. Since more or less moving back into the rotation — save for one relief appearance — to begin August, he’s been terrific: 3.02 ERA, 41-6 K/BB ratio in 50.2 innings and an OPS against of .632. Four of the 17 earned runs he’s allowed in that time frame came in one relief appearance, which is worth noting as well. I’ve already grabbed Junis in my deep keeper for safe winter storage — you might want to do the same.
RHP Jose Urena – 44.1% ESPN – @COL (86), v. ATL (91)
You can argue with the means, but not the results as Urena has a 3.55 ERA through nearly 160 innings this season. He’s only fanned 107 batters against 56 walks, but I still believe in the stuff and he’s just 26 years old. He’ll also spend nearly all of next season at that age, and sometimes it takes guys a while to figure things out at this level. Here’s what I also like about Urena, besides the fact that he throws absolute BBs (99.2 mph peak FB velo this year): each of his non-four-seam pitches has a double-digit whiff rate. If they can re-work his pitch mix a bit, I think he has the potential to strike out a bunch of batters.
LHP C.C. Sabathia – 37.6% ESPN – v. KCR (91), v. TOR (91)
To me this is a sneaky pickup, because you can get Sabathia on a make-up start against the Royals right before the Yankees start a series with the much more offensively-capable Rays (96 wRC+) on Tuesday. Sabathia is certainly nothing terribly special, but at a sub-40 percent ownership what are you really looking for, anyway? He’ll get two nice matchups this week before the end of the season, and to this point he’s been respectable on the season: 3.81 ERA, 7.2 K/9, 1.30 WHIP. It’s not stellar, but it is sturdy.
Last man out: RHP Mike Foltynewicz (@NYM, @MIA)