No pressure this week, gamer. You pick wrong, you lose.
Cliff Lee — at NYM, vs. ATL
Jordan Zimmermann — vs. LAD, vs. MIL
R.A. Dickey — vs. PHI, vs. MIA
Dickey's dream season hasn't let up much. He's collected eight quality turns out of nine, and his second-half numbers are still useful (74 strikeouts, 3.07 ERA, 1.20 WHIP).
They Might Be Giants
Tim Lincecum — vs. COL, vs. SD
Kyle Lohse — vs. HOU, at CHC
Madison Bumgarner — vs. COL, vs. SD
Tim Hudson — at MIA, at PHI
Yovani Gallardo — at PIT, at WAS
Lincecum still has trouble getting deep into games, but he's allowed a reasonable 11 runs over his last five turns and the matchups are terrific here. Bumgarner's slump is a little more disconcerting, though he did work in some tough spots over his last four starts (Coors, Wrigley). At the end of it all, you want to exploit this schedule and these opponents. … Although Hudson is 7-2 in the second half, the profile becomes less impressive the more you look at it. The ERA has crept up to 3.79, the WHIP to 1.30, and he's posted a mediocre 39 whiffs against 22 walks. The homer rate has spiked as well.
Wheel of Fortune
A.J. Burnett — vs. MIL, at HOU
Homer Bailey — at CHC, vs. LAD
Ian Kennedy — vs. SD, at COL
Travis Wood — vs. PIT, vs. STL
Although Bailey has been a carnival act for most of his home starts this year, his last two efforts were excellent (13.3 IP, 3 R, 3 BB, 13 K). He'll be favored against Chicago, and the Dodgers have been in an offensive funk since the annexing of Boston's payroll. … Anyone feel lucky with the Wood revival? He's been useful over his last five efforts (2.43 ERA, six walks, 23 K), holding opponents to a .198 average.
Aaron Harang — at WAS, at CIN
Kevin Correia — at CHC, at HOU
Justin Germano — vs. CIN, vs. STL
Jhoulys Chacin — at SF, vs. ARI
Jeff Francis — at SF, vs. ARI
No one in Colorado's rotation means anything to us, but at least they leave the game quickly. Oh, those tricky Rockies.
Dial 'Em Up
Jered Weaver — vs. TEX, vs. CHW
Max Scherzer — vs. OAK, vs. MIN
Jeremy Hellickson — vs. BOS, vs. TOR
Weaver's shoulder soreness appears to have been short lived - he posted seven smooth bagels against Oakland last week (2 H, 1 BB, 9 K). He's always a dynamite play at home (2.66/1.06 for his career); the story isn't as much fun on the road (3.79/1.23).
Call Me, Maybe
Doug Fister — at CHW, vs. MIN
Ryan Dempster — at LAA, at SEA
A.J. Griffin — at DET, at NYY
Alex Cobb — vs. BOS, vs. TOR
Cobb's schedule (and Hellickson's, for that matter) would have been nasty two months ago, but the Red Sox all left early to beat the traffic and half of the Blue Jays are on the disabled list. And life is good for most pitchers under the catwalk; Cobb has a 3.34 ERA and 1.21 WHIP with the home cooking.
Straight To Voice Mail
Andy Pettitte — vs. TOR, vs. OAK
Gavin Floyd — vs. DET, at LAA
The Yanks would like to keep Pettitte under 70 pitches for his first start back, which is why he's in this category.
Felix Doubront — at TB, BAL
David Huff — MIN, at KC
Jose Quintana — at KC, at LAA
Ricky Romero — at NYY, at TB
P.J. Walters — at CLE, at DET
Aaron Cook — at TB, vs. BAL
Luke Hochevar — vs. CHW, vs. CLE
Someday, the Royals will give up and push Hochevar into the bullpen. Apparently 125 mediocre starts haven't been enough for the Royals.
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