Let’s first start with results:
Week 1: 1-3, 30 IP, 3.00 ERA, 5.4 K/9, 2.3 K/BB, 1.13 WHIP (Kevin Slowey, Ubaldo Jimenez, Joe Saunders)
Week 2: 2-3, 25.1 IP, 5.69 ERA, 6.8 K/9, 2.4 K/BB, 1.74 WHIP (Joe Blanton, James McDonald, Eric Stults)
Week 3: 1-2, 32 IP, 3.66 ERA, 7.9 K/9, 3.1 K/BB, 1.22 WHIP (Wade Davis, Carlos Villanueva, Patrick Corbin)
Week 4: 2-1, 22 IP, 6.14 ERA, 7.8 K/9, 2.1 K/BB, 1.95 WHIP (Julio Teheran, Jason Hammel, Garrett Richards)
Week 5: 2-2, 30 IP, 3.60 ERA, 5.4 K/9, 1.6 K/BB, 1.23 WHIP (Scott Diamond, Nick Tepesch, Andrew Cashner)
Week 6: 2-3, 32.2 IP, 4.96 ERA, 5.5 K/9, 2.0 K/BB, 1.44 WHIP (Justin Grimm, Juan Nicasio, Hector Santiago)
Week 7*: 1-0, 17.1 IP, 4.15 ERA, 5.7 K/9, 2.2 K/BB, 1.27 WHIP (Julio Teheran, Phil Hughes, Scott Kazmir)
Total: 11-14, 189.1 IP, 4.37 ERA, 6.3 K/9, 2.2 K/BB, 1.40 WHIP
I’ll sum up this week so far in just three words: (redacted) Scott Kazmir!
Here are this week’s recs with the help of the amazing Zach Swanson, who pulled the Y! ownership figures:
Jhoulys Chacin – 10.6% ESPN/23% Yahoo! – @HOU (.305 team wOBA), v. LAD (.305)
If a fantasy owner is looking for an exploitative matchup this week, Jhou have come to the right place. Chacin gets a pair of offenses that have struggled pretty much all season, even if the disparity between the two is canyon-esque on paper.
Chacin has been extremely valuable, but it’s not entirely clear if it’s sustainable. His pitching slash is 4.10/3.21/4.22, but his home run rate is one-quarter what his career rate is, and in Colorado that just doesn’t seem plausible. He’s getting a ton of grounders — an encouraging development — but he’s still well below his career rate in that, and many other important rates (K/9 and strand rate, most notably).
I’m not exactly sure how his ERA and FIPs aren’t out of whack here, but they aren’t. So for now, I’ll just trust that when his numbers normalize, we’ll still be right around here. In the meantime, this is a good week for Chacin to continue rolling.
Dan Straily – 0.9% ESPN/8% Yahoo! – v. SFG (.319), v. CWS (.297)
Straily’s 5.73 ERA is unsightly, but with FIPs at 3.65 and 4.17, there’s good still to come with the 24-year-old righty. The strikeouts are there (8.7 K/9), and he’s slashed walks and home runs considerably from last year’s cup of coffee which resulted in a 3.89 ERA (and ugly FIPs).
In essence, it looks like Straily is starting to figure out the big leagues, and his numbers should follow suit shortly. A 54.1% strand rate can’t continue forever, after all. The White Sox matchup is the one to really hone in on this week; that offense has been brutal.
Kevin Slowey – 7.2% ESPN/19% Yahoo! – @TB (.330), v. NYM (.296)
To this point Slowey — who is on his second go-round in #2xSP — basically looks like the pitcher the Twins had hoped for, and in fact got when he was at his best. Despite pretty ordinary pure stuff, he’ll fan right around 7 per 9 (6.8), pollute the air with fly balls (42.3%), and walk virtually nobody (1.9 BB/9). In Slowey’s best season with the Twins (2008), he was worth +3.0 wins while doing pretty much the same exact song and dance.
The Mets matchup is the one that will have most owners salivating this week, but the Rays offense can be spotty at times as well. Slowey has had a few clunkers, but on the whole has been pretty solid. If wins are at a premium this week, look elsewhere. But you’ll get solid starts, and solid rates out of this finesse righty.
Slowey left his last outing with a strained lat. As a contingency, consider:
Ross Detwiler – 21.4% ESPN/32% Yahoo! – v. BAL (.332), @ATL (.324)
Detwiler also left his last start — on May 15 — with an injury, so basically I’m offering a hybrid Slowey-Detwiler combo for the third pitcher this week. I will use Slowey’s stats if he starts Tuesday as scheduled, and if not, I’ll use Detwiler’s Tuesday. Whomever I use on Tuesday, I’ll also use for their second start.
And if neither makes their start — a remote possibility, but a possibility nonetheless — we’ll just roll with Chacin and Straily this week. Monitor Slowey-Detwiler through the weekend, though.
As for Detwiler, he’s had a bit of a weird season. Pretty much all of his rates are down across the board — good, bad, and otherwise — and his BABIP has ballooned to .333 (versus .288 career mark). As a result, his WHIP is over 1.40, and I sort of consider WHIP to be the blood pressure of fantasy baseball. If it’s up, there are underlying issues.
So Detwiler isn’t a tremendous play, but he’s just oddly solid. Sort of like Joe Saunders when he’s going good.