Thank you for your patience with me as I missed last week’s piece to attend a funeral in Minot, North Dakota. Now, onto this week’s business, but not before first taking a look at the running totals through week six:
Needless to say, the pre-DL Tyler Lyons clunker took its own toll on these stats. Let’s get back on track.
Here’s a look at this week’s recs, with team wOBA in parentheses:
RHP Nathan Eovaldi – 46.2% ESPN/46% Y!/80% ESPN (50% start) – @WAS (.309), v. ATL (.298)
A blowup in San Francisco (six earned over 4.1 innings) caused many to jump ship, with few opting for life preservers in a win over the Phillies in the interim. That can be expected, as not only is the Phillies offense not particularly good (.310 wOBA right around the MLB midpoint), but Eovaldi only whiffed a pair while allowing 10 hits over six innings. The 12 groundball outs was a nice touch, but not enough to keep the righty from halving his ownership rate from almost 90 percent down to under 50. But let’s be honest, how often is one going to find a pitcher who throws 95-plus, fans more than league average (7.7 per 9), and burns worms at a well above league average rate (51.3 percent GB rate). I’m not picking up Eovaldi to stream, but to keep to be perfectly honest. Consider it.
LHP Jose Quintana – 9.1% ESPN/36% Y!/83% CBS (54% start) – v. CLE (.323), v. SDP (.279)
Outside of a five earned run blip on the radar screen (Apr 19 v. Texas), Quintana has been cruising along for the White Sox to the tune of three earned runs or less in his other nine starts. That includes a run of six straight dating back to that outing against the Rangers. The 25-year-old left-hander has made the Pale Hose look wise for locking him up ($21m/five years) in the offseason, not only hanging onto his typical brand of 7ish strikeouts per nine, but bumping his groundball rate just above league average. That’s a nice combo, and a big reason why his 3.67 ERA has been 100 percent legit so far to date. At the outset it again looks like wins may be hard to come by for the lefty (two through 10 starts after nine in 33 last year), but he should be a good bet to log solid innings and he does have a couple reasonable matchups this week.
RHP Phil Hughes – 24% ESPN/33% Y!/70% CBS (47% start) – v. TEX (.310), @NYY (.323)
That’s not a misprint; yes, I’m recommending the born-again Hughes for his first return trip to the Bronx. Even though he’s facing a still above-average, if not particularly intimidating Yankee offense, there are still a lot of demons to be exorcised here. Don’t forget the team he’s pitching for too, and what beating the Yankees has meant — or not meant, as it were — to the Ron Gardenhire-era Twins over the past 12-13 years. Hughes is on a roll though, having not walked a hitter since the second inning back on April 20. That means Hughes has 29 strikeouts since his last walk, and that’s impressive even for a guy who is really surviving on just a couple variations of a fastball. Whether or not it’s truly sustainable will be hard to know for sure right now, but with a run like he’s been on (last six starts: 5-0, 1.60 ERA, 30/1 K/BB, .253/.256/.331 batting line), it’s worth trying to ride out.