Stream Team: The Dust Settles
With the dust settling from a relatively active trading deadline, it’s now time to switch things into high gear and get ready for the stretch run. The Monday MVP and Single offers 11 games on the schedule, with several juicy pitching matchups for our Stream Team.
Ace: Trevor Cahill, OAK at SEA ($7,400). Cahill bounced back from a terrible start in New York to shut the Rays out for 7.1 innings at home. Unfortunately, he’s still having a problem with walks. Fortunately, he’ll head to Seattle to face the underwhelming Blake Beaven. Cahill’s used to going seven innings as long as shelled — don’t expect the Mariners to shell him.
*Middle Man: Mike Pelfrey, NYM vs. FLA ($5,800). We’re going with two equally priced starters with our next two picks, but surprisingly, my preference today goes to Pelfrey. He’s excellent at home and coming off a complete game win against Cincinnati. He also has a much easier matchup than our next streamer.
Wild Card: Cory Luebke, SD vs. LAD ($5,800). Love him — 30 Ks in 30 IP. Five walks in five starts over that span. He’s gotten progressively worse in his starts though, culminating in three homers allowed in his last start, at home no less. The Dodgers haven’t been great offensively, and Luebke has dominated them in 10 career innings. Unfortunately, he faces Clayton Kershaw.
Roto Stream Team: 1. Mike Pelfrey (vs. FLA), 2. Cory Luebke (vs. LAD), Javier Vazquez (at NYM), 4. Bronson Arroyo (at HOU), 5. John Lackey (vs. CLE).
*Ace: Homer Bailey, CIN at HOU ($7,500). The Houston lineup has now been gutted, with Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn shipped off to the NL East. That makes them prime streaming targets. Bailey got rocked in his last start, but he did shut the Astros out in his last start in Houston. I’d expect nothing less this time around.
Middle Man: Chris Capuano, NYM vs. FLA ($5,400). Capuano has been merely average (or worse) lately, and that could be attributed to five of his last six starts coming on the road. He’s back in New York to face Florida for the third time in his last four starts. He allowed four runs in each of the previous two Marlins games,– I say he does better this time around.
Wild Card: Alfredo Simon, BAL at KC ($3,900). Simon isn’t a big name, but he’s been quite good in his last three starts, posting a 15:4 K:BB ratio in 18.2 innings. He gets a trip to the last-place Royals to face Bruce Chen, and as long as he can prevent Billy Butler bombs he should find himself with another solid start and a shot at a win.
Roto Stream Team: 1. Homer Bailey (at HOU), 2. Chris Capuano (vs. FLA), 3. Rich Harden (at SEA), 4. John Lannan (vs. ATL), 5. Alfredo Simon (at KC).
Ace: Tim Stauffer, SD vs. LAD ($6,600). After a few months of domination on the mound, Stauffer was lit up in Philadelphia before having just an average start at home against the Rockies. He should fare much better this time around, and Ted Lilly’s disappointing season could mean Stauffer could luck into a rare win as well.
*Middle Man: Matt Harrison, TEX at DET ($5,600). Harrison has pitched very well lately, bringing his ERA under 3.00 for the season in his 20 starts. He gets to face Doug Fister in his first start with Detroit, and he’s been awful in two starts at Comerica Park in his career. Harrison could wind up coasting to an easy win with a nice strikeout total.
Wild Card: Dontrelle Willis, CIN at HOU ($4,900). Willis gets his shot against the poor Houston lineup. He hasn’t been great, with 15 Ks and 10 BBs, but that shouldn’t matter much against the Astros. Expect him to improve both on his 3.52 ERA and 1.39 WHIP in this start.
Roto Stream Team: 1. Randy Wolf (vs. STL), 2. Dontrelle Willis (at HOU), 3. Jeremy Guthrie (at KC), 4. Carlos Villanueva (at TB), 5. Luke Hochevar (vs. BAL).
*Ace: Cliff Lee, PHI at SF ($8,000). With so few pitchers to choose from on Thursday, it’s essential we get one of the good ones. Lee, in San Francisco, should qualify. He’s been awesome against the Giants in three career starts, though none were recent. Lee has uncharacteristically been giving up runs lately, but I expect him to reverse course against the Giants.
Middle Man: Bartolo Colon, NYY at CWS ($6,500). It appears talks of his demise were premature, as Colon has rebounded from one awful start to have three productive outings. He was outstanding against the White Sox earlier this season — can he do it again? The price is solid enough to be worth the risk.
Wild Card: Jeff Francis, KC vs. BAL ($5,100). Such an odd name to be recommending, but he’s coming off a fantastic performance (eight shutout innings in Cleveland) and he doesn’t walk anyone. With only 26 free passes in 22 starts, he’s one of the stingiest in the league at putting BBs on the board. Throw in six Ks in three of his last four outings, and he’s a sneaky pick Thursday.
Roto Stream Team: Brett Cecil (at TB), James McDonald (vs. CHC), Jeff Francis (vs. BAL).