Stream Police: A.J. Griffin, home sweet home

Roto Arcade

The Friday schedule is one of the better streaming slates of the week, at least on paper. Here's hoping gravity goes along with the plan. And please remember to script your plans in pencil: every scheduled pitcher must be treated as tentative this time of year. Go through your cross-checks before you commit to anything; some teams will likely make rotation adjustments over the next 35-40 hours. Just the nature of the game.

Dial Them Up
*Chris Tillman vs. BOS
A.J. Griffin vs. SEA
Homer Bailey at PIT
Jon Niese at ATL

Tillman will probably go Friday against Boston, though it's not locked in stone yet. He's handled himself nicely over the last five appearances (28.2 IP, 18 H, 7 ER, 8 BB, 22 K). The endgame Red Sox aren't anything to fear, nor is likely Boston starter Aaron Cook. … Griffin's road trips to New York and Detroit didn't go so well, but let's be careful not to overreact. He allowed three runs or less in each of his first 11 starts. Is that something you might be interested in? He's collected four strikeouts for every walk, and his ratios are superb at home (2.67/0.83). Score another win for Oakland's deep organizational pitching depth.

Text For Availability
Ryan Vogelsong at SD
Travis Wood at ARI

The Vogelsong story started to spiral out of control in early August, but I'm not afraid to use him here. Although the veteran righty carries a 7.16 ERA over the last 10 starts, that's tied to a solid strikeout/walk rate (52/17) and a sky-high BABIP (.384). The schedule also came into play: two visits to Coors Field, one start in Arizona, and one start (albeit a good one) in St. Louis. Vogelsong handled the Padres last week, and I'm expecting a quality start here. … Wood has to deal with the dangers of Chase Field, but his recent form (2.68/0.95 over last month) and strikeout potential (33 whiffs in 37 innings) put him in this bracket.

Leave A Note in Crayon
Mark Buehrle vs. PHI
Blake Beavan at OAK
Joe Blanton vs. COL
Gavin Floyd vs. TB
Andrew Werner vs. SF

Beavan's ratios have been steady over the last month (2.70/1.20), but it's been a pitch-to-contact story all the way. Look at the strikeout column over his last six turns: 2, 2, 1, 1, 2, 3. Just realize what you're getting here and what you're not getting here. … Buehrle carries a 5.20 ERA against a 1.05 WHIP this month, something that's very difficult to do. He's been very lucky on his hit rate over that span (.205), but a collapsed strand rate and a balky HR/RB clip are doing him in. He's up against Cliff Lee for Friday, who quietly has been terrific for about six weeks now (four wins, 1.56 ERA, four walks, 65 strikeouts). Sounds like a game the Phillies win, 4-1 or 5-2.

Break Off Talks
David Huff vs. KC
Will Smith at CLE
Chad Jenkins vs. NYY

Huff didn't have anything special going in Triple-A (4.97 ERA, 5.3 K/9), so I have no problem discounting his strong 16 innings with Cleveland thus far. If you have to gamble on Huff, at least he drew a home turn and a beatable opponent in Smith.

Burn After Reading
Scott Diamond vs. DET
Jeff Francis at LAD
Edgar Gonzalez at MIL
Aaron Cook at BAL

Gonzalez is a fun guy to root for, a nine-year minor-league journeyman who's seen more of the United State than Alistair Cooke. He's acquitted himself well in 16 innings with the Astros, too. Alas, Gonzalez strained a hamstring in his last turn (it's not clear if this will affect him Friday or squash the start entirely), and it's not the right time to go up against the surging Brew Crew, in Milwaukee no less (where they're very difficult to beat).

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