Did you wish your mom a Happy Mother’s Day? Good. She deserves it.
First pitches are fired off in about an hour, so let’s not dawdle.
There are a handful of pitchers I’m considering today, but almost all of them come with risks. The one pitcher we rarely have to worry about, Clayton Kershaw, is supposed to pitch in Coors Field. But they had snow overnight so I wouldn’t be surprised if they get postponed again.
[UPDATE: There is a Dodgers lineup posted for the game questioned above. Kershaw becomes an immediate consideration. He’ll also be low-owned because of pitching against the Rockies and in Coors field. Las Vegas has the game’s over/under at 10. Colorado’s Jorge de la Rosa, mentioned below, has a 9.00 ERA. He’s pitching worse than his career BABIP and WHIP indicate he should, but a Dodgers stack might pay off today.]
Here are the pitcher’s I’m going to own most:
1. Garrett Richards, $10,200 — $10.2 is a steep price to pay for a pitcher with a BABIP and WHIP that indicate he’s pitched better than his average. Still, the Astros are the second-most strikingoutennest team in baseball and Richards is expected to log plenty of innings.
2. Danny Salazar, $8,600 — We’re trying to win tournaments here, so when we veer off studs like King Felix and Kershaw, we’re looking for high strikeout potential. Salazar, a strikeout pitcher, faces the Twins, who have struck out ninth most. He’s also sixth-most likely to win according to Las Vegas and he has the third best weighted on-base average matchup of the day. Like Richards, any way I dice up the numbers Salazar ends up among the top 10. The biggest concern is that the Twins have been playing out of their minds of late. There is a chance for an implosion here.
3. Felix Hernandez, $11,700 — Another lofty price tag, I know. We’re also targeting another pitcher set to regress a bit against a team that doesn’t strike out a tone. Only, Hernandez is elite and pitching at home — Safeco is the fourth-best pitcher’s park in the Majors this season.
4. Alex Wood, $8,300 — We go from a safe-ish stud pick, to a boom-or-bust pick in Alex Wood. Wood is a bit expensive to take a flyer on, but he should rack up quite a few strikeouts against the Nationals, who’ve struck out fifth most in MLB this season. Nationals Park has been middle of the road for pitchers and hitters so far this season.
5. Matt Garza, $7,100 — What? No, I’m not proud of this advice, but Garza ranks second on my upside chart. The Cubs have vaulted to the top of the strikeout chart and Garza can still miss bats. His WHIP and BABIP indicate he’s been pitching about as well as he should. Park factor is a concern because Miller Park has been hitter’s heaven so far this season.
6. John Danks, $5,500, or Tyler Lyons, $5,400 — Danks doesn’t get enough strikeouts for my taste, but he’s expected to really surprise in that department today against the Reds. My research — except for his numbers against right-handed batters — suggests he’s a good play, but my gut tells me otherwise. Lyons may not be any less risky than Danks. He lasted just 4.1 innings in his first outing of the season and has a 6.23 ERA to show for it. He also has an absurd 14.54 K/9. Opponents reached base almost 50 percent of the time in that last game (.462) and his WHIP is a staggering 1.80. Neither of those numbers are sustainable, except for the worst pitchers in baseball history. Lyons has just 13 ML starts under his belt, so I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt. He faces the Pirates, which is good and bad. They’ve struck out 10th-most this season, but they’ve also scored 19 runs in their last three games, breaking out of a prolonged drought in a big way.
Some other pitchers to consider: Jake Odorizzi, Clay Buchholz, Michael Pineda, Bartolo Colon, Jorge de la Rosa (if they play, which I doubt.
Blue Jays vs. Clay Buchholz — Yes, Buchholz is in my other pitchers list. Research says there’s a chance he could have a good game. There’s also a good chance the Blue Jays righty mashers turn this into a home run derby.
Yankees vs. Bud Norris — I wonder what Orioles fans feel when Norris (1-3, 9.75 ERA) takes the mound? Whatever it is, it probably feels even worse against a lineup like NYY, with its handful of lefties and switch-hitters.
Other hitters to consider: C Russell Martin, SS Troy Tulowitzki, 1B Adrian Gonzalez, 3B Chase Headley, 1B David Ortiz, 2B Brain Dozier, OF Giancarlo Stanton, 2B/SS Stephen Drew, 1B/3B Todd Frazier, OF Ryan Braun, OF Carlos Peguero, 2B/3B Justin Turner, OF Joc Pederson, C/1B Steven Vogt, SS/OF Eduardo Escobar, 1B Ryan Howard, 2B Jason Kipnis, 1B Freddie Freeman, OF Carlos Beltran
Good luck today and every day.