The user’s guide to two-start pitchers, Week 11

If you're the sort of fantasy owner who uses velocity as a key indicator of a pitcher's potential, then there's a decent chance you've been dealing with a Max Scherzer problem this season.

Scherzer has never thrown harder at any point in his career as a starter (93.9 mph average fastball), and he's never struck out batters at a greater rate (11.2 K/9). And still, he's been absolute torture for fantasy owners. He's failed to complete five innings in four of 12 starts, his ERA is 5.88 and his WHIP is an obscene 1.59. The BABIP seems unreasonably high (.378), sure, but Scherzer has also given up plenty of hard contact (13 homers allowed, 22.7 line-drive rate).

Max has a friendly two-start week on deck — at Wrigley against the wretched Cubs, at home against the (possibly) Tulo-less Rockies — but it's a guessing game with this guy, every time he takes the hill. Scott just went over the grotty details on Thursday, and I can only echo his bottom line: "Stop the ride, I'd like to get off."

I've got no Scherzer shares this week, because...well, because I'm a coward. I accept the possibility that he may very well strike out 30 hitters over 14.0 innings in his next two starts, winning twice. But it's the flip side that gets me, his potential to allow 14 runs over four innings. For now (and maybe for good), I'm out. If you're still rolling with the heterochromatic hurler, let's hear about it in comments. (more...)

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