Joe Blanton v PIT (6/25) & @ MIA (6/30) – 7.32 K/9, 6.13 K/BB, and 26 to 2 K/BB over his last four starts. These are gaudy numbers yet somehow he continues to get hit hard. What’s the problem here? FIP and xFIP suggest he’ll get better. An immense breakout is coming or Blanton is morphing into the new Ricky Nolasco. With two starts, roll the dice in 15-team and deeper formats and keep Blanton on your radar in shallower leagues.
Chris Archer @ KC (6/25) & v DET (6/30) – There’s a decent chance Archer is the next big thing in the Rays’ long line of young pitchers. Control has always been Archer’s problem. He’ll benefit from his first time though the league but anything could happen here. With two starts and a solid K rate he’s probably worth the risk in 15-team or deeper leagues. Otherwise he’s a nice grab ‘n stash in keeper formats.
Erik Bedard @ PHL (6/25) & @ STL (6/30) – I don’t trust Bedard but I frantically seek justification for any halfway decent pitcher with two starts. I think we call this confirmation bias in the stats biz and in Bedard’s case it goes something like this; In the month of June the Pirates have scored the 5th most runs in baseball and Cards are a lowly 21st in the league over that same stretch. With two pretty good matchups he’s worth starting in 12-team and deeper leagues this week.
James McDonald @ PHL (6/26) & @ STL (7/1) – He’s got the same nice matchups as Bedard but, unlike Bedard, McDonald is really good. By the time it’s all said and done he might even be Cy Young good. McDonald should roll this week, start everywhere.
Daisuke Matsuzaka v TOR (6/26) & @ SEA (7/1) – His K rate has been solid and walks haven’t killed him but this call is more about you. Are you desperate, half crazy, prone to play too aggressively or a Sox fan? If you can answer ‘yes’ to any of these questions then start in 15-team or deeper formats. Otherwise stay far, far away from Daisuke.
Jordan Lyles v SD (6/26) & @ CHC (7/1) -Lyles is a work in progress and I’ve been on record for almost a year now that he will be very good, if not great one day. The Cubs and Padres are tied for 25th in runs scored for the month of June. Almost anyone is a good play here and it’s a solid growth opportunity for Lyles. Start in 15-team or deeper formats.
Dillon Gee @ CHC (6/26) & v LAD (7/1) – Gee is good and may be on his way to becoming great. 8.24 K/9, 3.32 K/BB, 52% GB%. That’s a tasty combo of stats right there. The Cubs are a layup and Dodgers have been one of the weakest scoring teams in June. Start him everywhere.
Jason Vargas v OAK (6/26) & v BOS (7/1) – Vargas is good at home, Oakland is nothing to worry about and the fact that Vargas is lefty diminishes Boston at least a smidge. If you already own him this is why so you know what to do. If he’s on your wire in 15-team or deeper league pick him up and get him in there.
Roy Oswalt v DET (6/27) – Oswalt will benefit greatly from fewer innings this season and the opportunity to work with the best pitching coach in baseball, Mike Maddux. This isn’t the easiest matchup but I’m betting that he’s a must start on a week-to-week basis in all but the shallowest formats.
Homer Bailey v MIL (6/27) – Bailey has been really tough to time. I feel like sitting him this week which almost ensures he’ll be great. You have to start him in NL-only leagues but there are a ton of interesting two start options this week so in shallower formats try to pick one of them up.
Jason Hammel v CLE (6/28) – This one is too obvious but what the hey. Hammel is somehow officially a stud and the Indians officially blow. Must start.
Paul Maholm v HOU (6/29) – Maholm has really limited the walks lately and Houston isn’t very good. He’s a must start in NL-only and worth a second look in super deep mixed leagues.
Edinson Volquez @ COL (6/29) – You have to be out of your mind. He gets Ks but creates his own problems with the walks. Coors Field is starting to look like vintages pre-humidor, steroid-fueled Coors field of the late 90s. I’d make every effort possible to bench him this week regardless of the format.