2015 Fantasy Baseball: Starting Pitcher Notes
Is this the time where Clayton Kershaw owners can officially let out a big sigh of relief? Kershaw has not been good so far in 2015, but he dominated the Braves in an 8-0 win this week, going seven innings, striking out 10 batters, and giving up zero runs. Kershaw picked up his third win of the season and dropped his ERA to 3.86. This could likely be the start that Kershaw needed to get back to 2014 form. His next start will come Monday in Colorado to take on the Rockies.
The opposing pitcher against Kershaw was Julio Teheran, who was coming off a brilliant outing against the Brewers in Atlanta. Teheran started strong as well against the Dodgers but ran into trouble in the fourth inning where the Dodgers exploded for six runs. Adrian Gonzalez added a two-run home run in the fifth and that was all for Teheran, who finished the game after 4.1 innings pitched, 10 hits, eight earned and just one strike out. Teheran has been a roller coaster this season after a terrific 2014 campaign, as his ERA now sits at 4.91 on the year.
David Price and Jesse Chavez went back and forth in a tight game Tuesday, where Price ended up as the winning pitcher; however, Chavez had the slightly better pitching line. Price was struggling with strikeouts this season before his starts on May 16th and May 21st where he struck out nine and 12, respectively, and he was back down to three against the A’s. He still has 57 total strikeouts this season in 66.2 innings pitched, which isn’t bad, but it’s not what we are used to from Price standards. He struck out 271 batters in 2014 in 248.1 innings, putting him well above one strikeout per inning, but he has yet to get there so far into 2015. He will likely get back to form striking batters out, but it could be a concern and could hurt his value going forward if he floats somewhere between 4-6 strikeouts per game instead of 7-9.
Chavez, on the other hand, went eight innings, didn’t allow an earned run and struck out four batters for the A’s but was the tough luck loser in this game. It was an impressive outing for Chavez, as shutting down the Tigers is very tough to do.
Matt Shoemaker versus Odrisamer Despaigne in LA was a very good pitching matchup Tuesday as well, as they both received a no decision, but neither of them allowed a run. Despaigne went six innings and struck out five, and Shoemaker went seven innings and struck out six. Shoemaker has not been very good so far in 2015, but has had two fantastic outings in his last three. He did allow seven runs agains the Blue Jays sandwiched in between those two outings in six innings, as his ERA still sits at 5.44 on the year. He had a great year in 2014 and was a candidate to break out in 2015 but has yet to do so. He could still turn things around and does have a great chance to earn plenty of wins because of the run support he will likely get from the Angels hitters, as he had 16 wins on just 11 quality starts the previous year.
Jacob deGrom pitched very well against the Phillies as well on Tuesday, as he went 7.1 innings and struck out nine batters. He was pulled in the eighth inning after allowing two batters to reach, and the bullpen allowed those two batters to score. It was tough luck for deGrom, as he got his first no decision of the season in a game where he pitched very well.
Starters to Monitor
Williams Perez: The Braves gave Perez the nod as a starter on May 20th where he pitched well after running into a bit of trouble in the beginning of the game. He followed that up with another great outing on Monday against the Dodgers, but again, he got into a bit of trouble but was able to escape once again. It’s not good news that he has been in trouble in both of his starts to this point, however, it is good news that he was able to escape both times with little damage. His first appearance this season he allowed four earned runs in just 1/3 of an inning against the Nationals, so that could show that things could get ugly quick if he isn’t able to get out of trouble.
Jesse Hahn: Hahn was spectacular on Monday against the Tigers, pitching a complete game, striking out five, and he didn’t allow a run in his second win of the season. The Tigers did not have Miguel Cabrera in the lineup, but it’s a great pitching line nonetheless. This marks his third quality start in a row for the A’s, and he has been consistently striking out between four and six batters every appearance. Look to see if he can build off of this momentum and turn into a viable option for the back end of your fantasy rotation.
Kyle Hendricks: The only reason I do not have Hendrick’s as someone to pick up right now is because I’m still not sure what I’m going to get from him when he takes the mound. He has just three quality starts this season for Chicago, but he has a respectable 3.76 ERA. The problem with Hendricks so far is that he has not been able to pitch a full six innings of work. He had five outings in a row where he was pulled either after five innings or sometime in the sixth inning of work. If he is able to last just a few more outs in each outing, I see him being a comparison to Scott Feldman of the Astros. Hendricks was great against Washington his last time out and will look to continue that against the Marlins on Monday.
Starters to Add
Roenis Elias: Elias has been great for the Mariners this season, as he is now 2-1 on the year with an impressive 2.56 ERA. He has won his last two outings, which have been his best two starts so far in 2015. His WHIP currently is sitting at 1.29 for the season, which is a little too high for comfort, but his ERA hasn’t taken a hit by it so far this year. He’ll look to keep things going on Saturday at home against the Indians.
Kyle Gibson: Gibson has been great for the surging Twins so far in 2015, as he now has four wins and a 2.72 ERA after his win on Sunday. Gibson only has 27 strikeouts in 2015, but 16 of the 27 have come in the last three starts alone.