Some Thursdays can be a slow day in Major League Baseball since teams are sometimes in between series. Thankfully, this Thursday isn’t one of those days with 11 games on the schedule. It is an afternoon-heavy schedule so make sure you get your lineup set early. Of the 11 games on the slate, eight are starting before 3 PM ET. The only three on the schedule tonight are the Sox battle, the A’s-Yankees opener in Oakland, and the Astros-Padres series finale. Here’s the starting pitchers that are scheduled to go that are worth a look if you need help in the pitching department headed into the end of the first scoring period of the second-half.
Pickups to Ponder
Lucas Harrell – Hou: (0.5% owned in ESPN Leagues) Harrell has pitched well in three of his last four starts. He allowed a run in five innings his last time out in San Francisco. The reason he’s the top option is mainly his track record against the Padres who he faces Thursday night. On June 27, he threw a complete-game shutout and got his seventh win of the season while striking out seven and allowing six hits and four walks. He should come into Petco with plenty of confidence and help your fantasy team and the Astros with a solid outing.
Mike Leake – (8.6%) In his last five starts, Leake has allowed either two or one earned runs. He has 37 innings in those starts but only has a 1-1 record to show for it. He faces the D-backs in the series finale matching up against Joe Saunders in his return from the DL. Leake isn’t going to strike out a ton of batters and actually has a slightly lower ERA on the road, but I still think he’s a good pickup for Thursday.
Paul Maholm – Che: (1.0%) Maholm has allowed two runs total in his last three starts spanning 21.1 innings. In that time he’s fanned 16 while walking just three. He’ll look to continue his run of success Thursday afternoon at Wrigley as the Cubs host the Marlins. He has a tough matchup against Mark Buehrle who has been throwing well lately too, but Maholm can help your WHIP and ERA as he makes his second start of the second half.
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 Thursday. Editor’s Note: Quintana was originally scheduled for Wednesday but has been moved back as has this part of the post to Thursday since he still makes a good option.
The numbers are grisly. The carnage has been severe to start the second half. The spot starter selections have been getting shelled early and often. It’s time to turn these numbers around!
|Travis Wood||17-Jul||4 2/3||8||6||8||2||0||1|
|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|