First a look at the running totals through half of week ten:
Here’s a look at this week’s recs, with team wOBA in parentheses:
Trevor Bauer – 9.4% ESPN/25% Y!/75% own, 42% start CBS – v. LAA (.325), v. DET (.329)
Cleveland ended their Bauer outage, promoting the talented and mercurial right-hander in late May — single April start notwithstanding — to fill a rotation void vacated by the demoted Danny Salazar. The results have no doubt been mixed for Bauer in that five-start span, with some parts good (28 strikeouts in as many innings), and others not so good (4.82 ERA, .279/.331/.490 opponents’ line). The biggest issues were homers — he allowed two in each of his first two starts — with the latter of the two bad outings resulting in four earned runs in just 4.1 innings. Outside that start, Bauer has allowed 11 earned in 23.2 innings, for a much more reasonable 4.18 ERA. This week Bauer’s going to be a classic boom or bust play, with good strikeout potential but a pair of tough matchups, as the Tigers and Angels represent the league’s Nos. 4 and 5 lineups by wOBA so far this year.
Marcus Stroman – 6.8% ESPN/18% Y!/68% own, 42% start CBS – @NYY (.309), @CIN (.297)
Stroman’s season figures are a bit on the scary side (5.18 ERA), but that’s largely due to a couple blips on the radar when the right-hander was working in relief in his first cup of coffee. Stroman has made three starts in his return to the big leagues and has been largely successful, going 2-1 with a 2.50 ERA and 17-2 K/BB ratio in 18 innings pitched. This is a pair of good matchups for Stroman as well, as these aren’t your older brother’s Yankees — well actually they are but they played on different teams back then — and the Reds offense has been stagnant much of the season as well. This should be a good coming out party for the young righty.
Jon Niese – 40.6% ESPN/38% Y!/78% own, 53% start CBS – @STL (.303), @MIA (.320)
The sun comes up and sets the same way that I will recommend Niese every single time his starts fall on a Monday or a Tuesday with no following off day. It’s not that Niese offers much in the way of projection; he gets enough grounders and strikeouts to be moderately intriguing. It’s just that — at least in the eyes of this writer — he’s a very safe pick, good for innings, a few strikeouts, and very little blowup potential. In fact, the last start in which Niese gave up more than three earned runs came in September of 2013. That should be pretty good risk mitigation for the high-end boom or bust plays in Bauer and Stroman.