In the wins are a totally useless statistic file you can add Matt Harvey’s start last night. He pitched a one-hit shutout with 12 strikeouts. Even had a perfect game going until Alex Rios dribbled out an infield single in the 7th. But because the Mets are the Mets, they were unable to score a run until the 10th leaving Mr. Harvey with a no decision for all his efforts. Needless to say it’s an amazing start, perhaps the best of the year this side of Yu Davish. A word needs to be said about the type of season Harvey is having. He has been overpowering the league all year, striking out over 10 a game and giving up only 21 hits in 49 innings. His strand rate is definitely high at 86%, but you’d expect a higher strand rate than normal with such a high strikeout guy. Can you buy low when a guy is doing this good?
Craig Kimbrel blown saves are like “good tequila” I’ve heard it exists, but I’ve never seen it. The past two years Kimbrel has been rock solid. But this year he has already allowed 3 HR and 3 blown saves, equal his totals from all of last year. Perhaps it’s the early pitching in the WBC, which appears to have done wonders for Fernando Rodney who already has 9 walks this year. Getting back to Kimbrel though, he surrendered the game tying and game winning HR last night to, the first time he has given up 2 HR in one game. I suppose the moral of the story is do not pay for saves.
- Kyle Kendrick continues rolling along, picking up his 4th win and lowering his ERA to 2.45. He went 7 IP and didn’t walk anyone, continuing his excellent command all season. He has yet to walk more than 2 in any start this season. Still only owned in half of Yahoo leagues, check and see if he is available.
- Josh Hamilton went 0-4 again. He has had 12 0-4 games already (well 13 if you count the 0-8 19 inning game twice) in only 33 games. He has only 2 HR, but even more unforgivable only 9 RBI on the season. Hamilton is still making contact at the same rate as always, he is just not hitting the ball as hard; seeing his LD% drop and his GB% rise. You can see just how anxious Hamilton is in the rise of his first pitch strike percentage. It has risen 10% from 60.5% to 70.8%.
- Roberto Hernandez had a win snatched from him by a surprisingly bad Rays bullpen. The Rays bullpen ERA is 29th this year compared to 3rd last year. Not a good sign for Rays pitchers. I suppose you are wondering why I’m writing about Roberto Hernandez, the pitcher formerly known as Fausto Carmona. Well, he is striking out over 9 per game with a very acceptable walk rate. His high 4.66 ERA can be explained by some bad luck with a 23.1% HR/FB rate. His xFIP is almost a run and a half lower at a 3.25.
- J.J. Putz was pulled with some sort of hand problem leaving the door open for Heath Bell to collect his second save. Closers are like a bad cough-just when you think it’s gone you wake up at 4 AM hacking up a lung. I’m looking at you Jose Valverde. Look to see who gets the next save in Arizona, Bell or David Hernandez.
- Junichi Tazawa may be the next closer in Boston. John Farrell has said he would like to use Tazawa to close while Bailey and Hanrahan are on the DL. Wouldn’t surprise me one bit if Tazawa held onto the job for the rest of the year. With a 14/3 K/BB ratio this year, on top of the 45/5 K/BB rate he posted last year Tazawa has closer stuff.
Wednesday’s Probable Starters
We have a full day of baseball and there are plenty of great options for 10-12 team mixed leagues. Bold = Start.
- Minor (ATL) @ Leake (CIN) – Minor has earned must start status every time out. Leake has pitched surprisingly well against the Braves in his career (1.35 ERA) and great at home this year (2.70 ERA, 1.15 WHIP)
- King Felix (SEA) @ Burnett (PIT) – A.J. Burnett has a 3.35 ERA in 38 starts as a Pirate. Take away his outing on May 2nd last year where he gave up 12 ER in 2 1/3 IP and the ERA is down to 2.91.
- Westbrook (STL)@ Villanueva (CHI) – Not sure how Westbrook is doing, but he’s doing it. Ride the hot streak while it lasts. Villanueva’s hot streak, on the other hand, has come and gone.
- Nolasco (MIA) @ Marquis (SD) – Nolasco could just as easily pitch a shutout as he could get bombed for 8 runs in 3 innings. Simply too much risk.
- Pettibone (PHI) @ Zito (SF) – Zito has been untouchable at home. Of course the 0.35 ERA will rise (that’s right, 0.35), but the fact that he even has such a low ERA at home means something.
- Fister (DET) @ Haren (WAS) – Fister is having that kind of season that many people thought he could for a few years now. Haren has pitched much better of late.
- Mendoza (KC) @ Tillman (BAL) – Mendoza fails to strike hitters out and walks far too many of them. That is a bad combination. Tillman is walking too many people to take that next step, but he strikes out just over 7 a game and limits the damage. The Orioles got him and Adam Jones for Erik Bedard. What a steal.
- Griffin (OAK) @ Masterson (CLE) – How quickly Masterson has come back to earth. No thank you against the A’s and heir lefty bats. Griffin gives up too many flyballs to start away from home.
- Peavy (CHW) @ Hefner (NYM) – Pitch Peavy while he is healthy. Don’t be fooled by Jeremy Hefner’s last few starts. His strand rate is incredibly high and he has gotten progressively worse as he has moved up the minor league food chain.
- P. Hernandez (MIN) @ Webster (BOS) – With Doubront getting moved to the pen due to the rash of injuries in Boston Webster was called up to make the start. Webster is a nice strikeout pay, but with walk rate hovering in the 4’s for his minor league career I’d sit this one out.
- Romero (TOR) @ Moore (TAM) – An ace is born in Matt Moore. Ricky Romero actually shows sign of having his control issues worked out with a new simpler motion to the plate. Until he proves he can consistently pitch watch him on the wire.
- Blanton(LAA) @ Norris (HOU) – Never thought I’d be saying this at the beginning of the year, but start Bud Norris against the Angels at home. Norris can really pitch when in Houston and the Angels are just lost right now.
- Holland (TEX) @ Lohse (MIL) – Lohse has shown no rust whatsoever even though he missed all of sprig training. Holland seems to be putting it all together this year.
- Phelps (NYY) @ Nicasio (COL) – Nicasio is walking over 4.5 per game and the Yankees are made to smach bad right handed pitching.
- Miley (ARI) @ Kershaw (LAD) – While Miley has really struggled with his command this year the game is in LA and the Dodgers don’t do so much hitting these days.