Stream, Stream, Stream: #2xSP (4.27-5.3)

After getting utterly rocked in the first week of #2xSP, this last stretch was very solid halfway through the second go-round. Hopefully that’ll keep up for the second starts, which take place Saturday and Sunday.

Here are the totals through half of week two:

3-3 record
3.72 ERA
5.2 K/9
2.7 K/BB
1.08 WHIP

Here’s a look at this week’s recs, with team wOBA in parentheses. Y! recs pulled courtesy of twitter pal @hotakesonsports. Give him a follow!:

RHP Joe Kelly – 28.8% ESPN/26% Y! – v. TOR (.346), v. NYY (.328)

Would you believe me if I told you Kelly has the best four-seam fastball velocity among qualified starters so far this season? Heck, I’m not sure I’d believe it myself, but at 96.1 mph here we are. Kelly has always had plenty of velocity, but this season his four- and two-seamer — his preferred heater — have picked up about a full tick each, and thus far the early results are promising. Kelly has fanned 18 hitters in 17.2 innings, while pitching to a 4.08 ERA that in some ways appears to be even a bit unlucky. It’ll be interesting to monitor not only the strikeout jump but the groundball drop — 39.6% this year, 51.8% career — because the latter is the sort of thing that is supposed to stabilize quite quickly. It’d also be truly interesting to see a pitcher that pitches better away from St. Louis, for once. This’ll be a tough week for Kelly, and maybe his first big test, as these are a pair of divisional foes who are swinging it pretty good right now.

RHP Jimmy Nelson – 45.4% ESPN/37% Y! – @CIN (.288), @ CHC (.317)

The Brewers have just three wins coming into Friday, and Nelson has one of them. Heck, in the two team losses — one for Nelson — he’s still pitched well, allowing three earned runs in 13 innings (2.08 ERA) with an 8-to-2 K/BB ratio and a .459 OPS allowed. The team’s luck has to shake out before too much longer, and I like the fact/chances that Nelson could be a big benefactor to the pendulum swinging the other way. It’s obviously not his fault the team enters play on Friday with a .263 collective wOBA — dead last in baseball. Nelson’s rates have been solid — 7.7 K/9, 1.8 BB/9, 57.8% grounder rate — and while it’s not impossible it’s just #SSS mirage, he was pretty dang good last year for a guy who went 2-9 with an ERA near 5.00. I like Nelson, and think he’ll do some good things this week.

LHP Tommy Milone – 9% ESPN/8% Y! – v. DET (.346), v. CWS (.298)

The allure around Milone — if you can call it that — here is simply pitching at home, where his stuff plays better, as well as the fact that he’s been pretty good at damage control this season. As his pitching slash may attest — 3.38/5.41/5.18 — that’s probably not a repeatable skill, but he still seems like a relatively safe pick to mitigate the risk of Kelly and Nelson. I’ll completely understand if you want to go a higher-risk, higher-reward route, in which case I’d recommend someone like Nate Karns, Chase Anderson, Ubaldo Jimenez or even Aaron Sanchez, whom I love but has been a train wreck thus far.

In addition to Rotographs, Warne writes about the Minnesota Twins for The Athletic and is a sportswriter for Sportradar U.S. in downtown Minneapolis. Follow him on Twitter @Brandon_Warne, or feel free to email him to do podcasts or for any old reason at brandon.r.warne@gmail-dot-com

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7 years ago

Trying to decide between Millone,Gee,Anderson, and Worley. How would you rank them. I’m leaning towards the latter 2.

Also I have Carrasco in a RP slot but could move him to SP and start Boxberge or Hector Rondon. What would you suggest?

Mike W.
7 years ago
Reply to  bob

Move Carrasco to SP and start Box or Rondon. Box may not give you a ton of saves (that situation in Tampa seems to be moving to the dreaded Closer by committee) but he will at least give you good K’s and ERA/WHiP numbers. Rondon is a must start if you need Saves since he has that job nailed down in Chicago, but will have the occasional blow up.

Milone, Gee, Anderson and Worley are just too hard to trust right now, go with the RP’s who are far more trustworthy.

7 years ago
Reply to  Mike W.

Would it change your opinion if it was a points leaugue?