Week Ahead: Back In Action

Nick Nelson
Dave Shovein takes a look at more dominance from Max Scherzer, Neil Walker's return to Pittsburgh & an impressive scoreless streak in Saturday's Dose

Dose: Take it to the Max

Dave Shovein takes a look at more dominance from Max Scherzer, Neil Walker's return to Pittsburgh & an impressive scoreless streak in Saturday's Dose

Fresh off starting for the American League in the All-Star Game, Max Scherzer will take the mound twice in coming week, leading a sizable group of two-start pitchers in a packed MLB schedule.

Scherzer, who finally took his first loss of the season in his final start before the break, is tied for the major-league lead with 13 wins, placing him three short of his previous career high of 16, set last year. His 10.6 K/9 rate ranks second only to Yu Darvish (who also goes twice this week) and he's one of only six pitchers with a WHIP below 1.00. Justin Verlander is the face of Detroit's rotation, but Scherzer has quietly surpassed him as a fantasy asset with his huge strikeout totals and outstanding overall production.

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A few other notes on The Week Ahead:

* The Reds, Mets and Nationals are all scheduled to play eight games thanks to double-headers, so make sure to load their players into your lineup.
* Not all teams have announced their second-half rotation plans beyond the weekend, so I had to take some educated guesses in a few cases (e.g., Sean O'Sullivan for the Padres, Jarred Cosart for the Astros, etc.) but we're talking about borderline fifth starters so obviously they're not recommended options.

* Matt Garza is expected to make starts in Arizona and San Francisco for the Cubs, but he could be traded seemingly at any time so keep a close eye on his status.

Going Twice…

American League

Strong Plays

Max Scherzer: @CWS (Sale), PHI (Lee)
Yu Darvish: NYY (Nova), @CLE (Masterson)
Alexi Ogando: NYY (Hughes), @CLE (Jimenez)
Matt Moore: @BOS (Dempster), @NYY (Nova)
Jarrod Parker: @HOU (Keuchel), LAA (Blanton)
Ivan Nova: @TEX (Darvish), TB (Moore)
Chris Sale: DET (Scherzer), KC (Davis)
Scott Feldman: @KC (Chen), BOS (Workman)

Decent Plays

Tommy Milone: @HOU (Cosart), LAA (Hanson)
Phil Hughes: @TEX (Ogando), TB (Hernandez)
Samuel Deduno: @LAA (Hanson), @SEA (Ramirez)
Bruce Chen: BAL (Feldman), @CWS (Axelrod)
Rick Porcello: @CWS (Axelrod), PHI (Pettibone)
Brandon Workman: TB (Hernandez), @BAL (Feldman)
Ubaldo Jimenez: @SEA (Harang), TEX (Ogando)
Ryan Dempster: TB (Moore), @BAL (Hammel)
Jason Hammel: @KC (Davis), BOS (Dempster)

At Your Own Risk

Todd Redmond: LAD (Capuano), HOU (Cosart)
Josh Johnson: LAD (Ryu), HOU (Keuchel)
Roberto Hernandez: @BOS (Workman), @NYY (Hughes)
Erasmo Ramirez: CLE, MIN (Deduno)
Aaron Harang: CLE (Jimenez), MIN (Gibson)
Kyle Gibson: @LAA (Blanton) @OAK (Parker)
Tommy Hanson: MIN (Deduno), @OAK (Milone)
Joe Blanton: MIN (Gibson), @OAK (Parker)
Wade Davis: BAL (Hammel), @CWS (Sale)
Dallas Keuchel: OAK (Parker), @TOR (Johnson)
Dylan Axelrod: DET (Porcello), KC (Chen)

National League

Strong Plays

Shelby Miller: PHI (Pettibone), @ATL (Teheran)
Tom Gorzelanny: SD (Cashner), @COL (Pomeranz)
Jose Fernandez: @COL (Chacin), PIT (Cole)
Hyun-Jin Ryu: @TOR (Johnson), CIN (Arroyo)
Tony Cingrani: @SF (Zito), @LAD (Capuano)
Travis Wood: @ARI (Corbin), @SF (Lincecum)
Matt Garza: @ARI (Skaggs), @SF (Bumgarner)
Julio Teheran: @NYM, STL (Miller)
Mike Minor: @NYM (Gee), STL (Wainwright)
Patrick Corbin: CHC (Wood), SD (O'Sullivan)

Decent Plays

Jhoulys Chacin: MIA (Fernandez), MIL (Hand)
Taylor Jordan: PIT (Cole), NYM (Torres)
Dan Haren: PIT (Morton), NYM (Gee)
Tim Lincecum: CIN (Arroyo), CHC (Wood)
Andrew Cashner: @MIL (Gorzelanny), @ARI (Skaggs)
Gerrit Cole: @WAS (Jordan), @MIA (Fernandez)
Charlie Morton: @WAS (Haren), @MIA (Koehler)
Jonathan Pettibone: @STL (Miller), @DET (Porcello)
Donovan Hand: SD (O'Sullivan), @COL (Chacin)
Bronson Arroyo: @SF (Lincecum), @LAD (Ryu)
Tyler Skaggs: CHC (Garza), SD (Cashner)

At Your Own Risk

Sean O'Sullivan: @MIL (Hand), @ARI (Corbin)
Carlos Torres: ATL (Teheran), @WAS (Jordan)
Dillon Gee: ATL (Minor), @WAS (Haren)
Tom Koehler: @COL (Pomeranz), PIT (Morton)
Chris Capuano: @TOR (Redmond), CIN (Cingrani)
Drew Pomeranz: MIA (Koehler), MIL (Gorzelanny)

Streamer City

The following pitchers are generally available in over 50 percent of fantasy leagues and have favorable match-ups this week:

American League

Wednesday, 7/24: Scott Kazmir @ SEA
With a 2.32 ERA over his past five starts, Kazmir has been in a groove. He draws a very favorable match-up against Seattle's struggling offense.

Wednesday, 7/24: A.J. Griffin @ HOU
Griffin is enjoying a very strong season, with eight wins and a 3.68 ERA. He's been effective both at home and on the road.

Thursday, 7/25: Dan Straily vs. LAA
The young right-hander allowed one run on three hits over 13 1/3 innings in his two starts before being sent to the minors during the All-Star break. He'll return as the A's fifth starter this weekend.

National League

Wednesday, 7/24: Jorge De La Rosa vs. MIA
De La Rosa is quietly having a very good season for the Rockies, with a 9-5 record, 3.21 ERA and 1.28 WHIP. His match-up against the lowly Marlins is quite attractive.

Thursday, 7/25: Zack Wheeler vs. ATL
The uber-talented rookie fired seven innings of one-run ball against the Giants in his last start and looks to be getting locked in.

Friday, 7/26: Randall Delgado vs. SD
The Padres limped into the All-Star break, dropping 14 of their last 16, and scored two or fewer runs 11 times during that span. Delgado has tallied four straight quality starts.

Total Games

American League

6: CLE

National League


Lefty/Righty Breakdowns

American League

BAL: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
BOS: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
CLE: 5 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
CWS: 6 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
DET: 3 vs. RHP, 4 vs. LHP
HOU: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
KC: 4 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
LAA: 6 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
MIN: 6 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
NYY: 4 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
OAK: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
SEA: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
TB: 4 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
TEX: 6 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
TOR: 4 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP

National League

ARI: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
ATL: 6 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
CHC: 3 vs. RHP, 4 vs. LHP
CIN: 4 vs. RHP, 4 vs. LHP
COL: 6 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
LAD: 6 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
MIA: 4 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
MIL: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
NYM: 5 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
PHI: 6 vs. RHP, 0 vs. LHP
PIT: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
SD: 4 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
SF: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
STL: 4 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
WAS: 6 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP

The Infirmary

You can get a full listing of injured players at Rotoworld's Injury Page but here's the latest on a few prominent players who have been out of action:

B.J. Upton: Out indefinitely (groin)
Ryan Hanigan: Out until late July (wrist)
Roy Oswalt: Out until early August (hamstring)
Matt Kemp: Out indefinitely (shoulder)
Aramis Ramirez: Out until late July (knee)
Shaun Marcum: Out for the season (hand)
Derek Jeter: Out indefinitely (quads)
Ben Revere: Out until late August (foot)
Alex Cobb: Out until early August (concussion)
Yu Darvish: Returning this week (neck)

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