It’s a solid Wednesday of MLB action with six games starting in the afternoon and nine games to close out the night. There should be a game somewhere in the country from 1:05 PM ET to about 11:30 PM ET or so. With all that fantasy baseball goodness to enjoy, where can we find starting rotation help? If your team is in need of a mid-week pitching pick-me-up, here’s four options available in more than half of ESPN leagues that I think make good pickups for Wednesday’s games.
Francisco Liriano – Min: (26.8% owned in ESPN leagues) In his second start of the second half Liriano will face the Orioles at home in Target Field. He pitched eight innings last time out at home against Oakland allowing three earned runs on four hits and striking out a career-high 15. He took the loss to fall to 3-8 on the season but he’s been solid over the last two months and has allowed one run or fewer in five of his last nine starts. He has 97 strikeouts in his 91.1 innings pitched and is the rare pick-up that provides punch-outs.
Jeff Samardzija – ChC: (24.1%) Samardzija faces off with Josh Johnson and the Marlins on Wednesday. On the season, he’s 6-8 with a 4.71 ERA. He was great to start the year, horrible in June, and then has been solid so far in July. In two starts in the month he’s gone 14 innings allowing four runs on 11 hits and 3 walks (1.00 WHIP) while striking out 15. He could be solid the rest of the season as long as whatever happened in June stays in June.
Clayton Richard – SD: (14.0%) There’s an upside and a downside to every Padres pitcher. The upside is they get to play their games in spacious Petco Park where Richard and the Pads host the light-hitting Astros Wednesday. The downside is the Padres light-hitting lineup of their own. Despite a 3.83 ERA Richard is just 6-10 on the year. At home, he’s started eight games with a 3-4 record and a 3.61 ERA. He’s on a nice run pitching at least six innings in each of his last seven starts and allowing three runs or more only twice. He doesn’t get huge strikeout numbers and may not get any run support, but he should lower your WHIP and ERA against the Astros in the final game of the Houston-San Diego series.
Jose Quintana – ChW: (32.7%) Quintana faces the Red Sox in Fenway which can get ugly quickly. However, he does throw left-handed which presents a problem for Boston since most of the Sox top hitters are left-handed. On top of that, he may not have to deal with David Ortiz ,who has crushed lefties this year. He’s never faced Boston but in his first 11 games in the Major Leagues he has a stellar 1.07 WHIP and 2.60 ERA. Those numbers include starts against Texas, New York, St. Louis, Toronto, and Milwaukee. He doesn’t strike out a ton of batters (41 in 62.1 innings), but he tends to go deep into the game and may be able to hold down the Papi-less Red Sox Wednesday.
Monday’s results weren’t kind to our picks, but it could have been much worse if the runs on Chris Tillman were earned. As it currently stands, we need to get some work done on our ERA and WHIP to be sure. Here’s the results since Sunday and the picks for Tuesday:
|Kip Wells||16-Jul||4 1/3||2||2||3||5||0||1|
|Ricky Nolasco||15-Jul||5 1/3||4||2||6||2||0||1|