Nick Nelson

The Week Ahead

print article archives RSS

Gearing Up For the Stretch Run

Friday, August 03, 2012


The trade deadline came and went this past week, with several high-profile players switching teams. Now, as we venture into August, the finish line is beginning to materialize on the horizon.

In these final months, we'll see non-contending teams call up intriguing prospects for a late-season look (Corey Kluber of the Indians, one of this week's two-start pitchers, is a good example), while others will lock in for the stretch run.

Here are a few notes on the upcoming week:

* In the AL, I struggled with placing James Shields and Yu Darvish in the "Strong Plays" category this week. Both are looking ahead to at least one tough match-up, and neither has been especially effective lately – though they've both been racking up tons of strikeouts. Ultimately, it was their talent and whiff potential that swayed me to recommend them, but there's reason to proceed with caution.

* The Dodgers are slated to face five lefties in six games, including four straight to begin the week. Consider benching Andre Ethier (627 OPS vs. LHP) and get ready for a big week from Matt Kemp (1497 OPS vs. LHP).

* My favorite mid-tier two-start plays in the NL this week are Jake Westbrook, Jeff Karstens and Patrick Corbin.

Going Twice…

American League

Strong Plays

James Shields: TOR (Villanueva), @MIN (Diamond)
Yu Darvish: @BOS (Beckett), DET (Porcello)
Jason Vargas: @BAL (Tillman), @LAA (Haren)
Dan Haren: @OAK (Parker), SEA (Vargas)
Scott Diamond: @CLE (McAllister), TB (Shields)
Justin Verlander: NYY (Nova), @TEX (Holland)
Jake Peavy: KC (Mendoza), OAK (Parker)
Zach McAllister: MIN (Diamond), BOS (Buchholz)

Decent Plays

Carlos Villanueva: @TB (Shields), NYY (Hughes)
Jarrod Parker: LAA (Haren), @CWS (Peavy)
Phil Hughes: @DET (Porcello), @TOR (Villanueva)
Ivan Nova: @DET (Verlander), @TOR (Laffey)
Luis Mendoza: @CWS (Peavy), @BAL (Tillman)
Rick Porcello: NYY (Hughes), @TEX (Darvish)
Josh Beckett: TEX (Darvish), @CLE (Kluber)
Chris Tillman: SEA (Vargas), KC (Mendoza)

At Your Own Risk

Jeremy Guthrie: @CWS (Sale), @BAL (Britton)
Corey Kluber: MIN (Deduno), BOS (Beckett)
Zach Britton: SEA (Beavan), KC (Guthrie)

National League

Strong Plays

Edwin Jackson: @HOU (Keuchel), @ARI (Miley)
Lance Lynn: SF (Zito), @PHI (Worley)
Matt Cain: @STL (Westbrook), COL (Pomeranz)
A.J. Burnett: ARI (Miley), SD (Marquis)
Vance Worley: ATL (Sheets), STL (Lynn)
Jon Niese: MIA (LeBlanc), ATL (Sheets)
Yovani Gallardo: CIN (Arroyo), @HOU (Lyles)
Johnny Cueto: @MIL (Fiers), @CHC (Wood)
Ben Sheets: @PHI (Worley), @NYM (Niese)
Wade Miley: @PIT (Burnett), WAS (Jackson)

Decent Plays

Ross Detwiler: @HOU (Lyles), @ARI (Corbin)
Jake Westbrook: SF (Cain), @PHI (Lee)
Barry Zito: @STL (Lynn), COL (Sanchez)
Jeff Karstens: ARI (Corbin), SD (Wells)
Wade LeBlanc: @NYM (Niese), LAD (Capuano)
Chris Capuano: COL (Pomeranz), @MIA (LeBlanc)
Bronson Arroyo: @MIL (Gallardo), @CHC
Patrick Corbin: @PIT (Karstens), WAS (Detwiler)

At Your Own Risk

Kip Wells: CHC, @PIT (Karstens)
Jordan Lyles: WAS (Detwiler), MIL (Gallardo)
Drew Pomeranz: @LAD (Capuano), @SF (Cain)
Jonathan Sanchez: @LAD (Fife), @SD (Zito)
Dallas Keuchel: WAS (Jackson), MIL (Estrada)
Travis Wood: @SD (Ohlendorf), CIN (Cueto)


continue story »
12
Nick Nelson is a frequent contributor to Rotoworld's baseball coverage and regularly blogs about the Minnesota Twins at Twins Daily. Follow him on Twitter at nnelson9.
Email :Nick Nelson



Highest Searched Players over the last 7 days



Video Center

  •  
    Strategy: Mock Draft Analysis

    Strategy: Mock Draft Analysis
  •  
    WR: S. Watkins or T. Williams?

    WR: S. Watkins or T. Williams?
  •  
    Levitan: Ryan or Foles at QB?

    Levitan: Ryan or Foles at QB?
  •  
    Braxton Miller NFL projection

    Braxton Miller NFL projection
  •  
    Levitan: Cameron vs. Witten

    Levitan: Cameron vs. Witten
  •  
    Levitan: Gerhart vs. Morris?

    Levitan: Gerhart vs. Morris?
  •  
    Levitan: Romo vs. Brady?

    Levitan: Romo vs. Brady?
  •  
    Levitan: Murray or Foster?

    Levitan: Murray or Foster?