Normally having Justin Verlander as the anchor of your pitching staff is a great thing in fantasy baseball, but not so much this week. If Verlander or other struggling starters have caused your numbers to head the wrong direction, there is still time to get things turned around before the end of the week. On Saturday, May 18 there is a full slate of 15 games across the Majors throughout the afternoon and evening meaning 30 different starters will take the mound. Here’s the options available in at least 50% of ESPN leagues that I like the most for Saturday:
Hector Santiago-Chicago White Sox: (11.3%) Santiago and the Sox are in Anaheim to take on the Angels. The White Sox lineup hasn’t been great but they’ll be facing Joe Blanton who comes in 0-7 with a 6.46 ERA. If they are ever going to get Santiago run support this would seem to be the start. Since joining the rotation, Santiago has made three starts with 20 strikeouts in 18 innings and a 2.00 ERA to go with a 2.15 BAA and a WHIP of 1.05. While the Angels lineup is potentially dangerous they’ve underwhelmed so far so aren’t a clear stay-away for Santiago.
Scott Feldman-Chicago Cubs: (25.2%) Feldman hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs since his first start of the season and has allowed just three total in his last three starts spanning 22 innings in which he’s picked up 21 strikeouts. His ERA is all the way down to 2.53 while he has a 1.15 WHIP. Feldman gets the Mets on Saturday afternoon who are second-to-last in the league in batting average and have slipped back to the bottom 10 in runs scored as well. Feldman is a solid grab, but a win is always an uncertainty with the Cubs bullpen and lineup involved. Just ask any Cubs fan and they’ll tell you all the things that could (and probably will) go wrong… just don’t mention goats and guys with walkmans.
Zach McAllister-Cleveland Indians: (16.9%) McAllister gets the start for the Sons of Francona as they host the Mariners who rank in the bottom five in the league in runs scored and batting average as they come to Cleveland. McAllister will hope to get his fourth win of the season and his third in his last four starts. He’s been extremely consistent allowing no more than three earned runs in any start this seasonand reaching the sixth inning in all but one of his seven starts. He enters Saturday’s start with a 2.68 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP. He should be able to put together another quality start, possibly get a win, and help your averages. His strikeouts numbers typically aren’t exceptional, but he’s still worth a look.
Brandon McCarthy-Arizona Diamondbacks: (18.4%) McCarthy finally looked to have snapped out of his early-season funk his last time out holding the Phillies scoreless for eight innings before the bullpen blew the win for him. In his eight scoreless, he allowed seven hits and didn’t walk anyone while striking out five. He couldn’t have a better matchup to continue that success as he and the Snakes are in Miami to face the light-hitting Marlins. He still has a 5.63 ERA and a WHIP over 1.5 so proceed with caution, but he’s in a great matchup so proceed if your team needs the help.
Jair Jurrjens-Baltimore Orioles: (0.0%) My long-shot pick of the day meaning he’s under 1.0% owned and won’t count against my overall numbers is Jurrjens who gets the call for the Baltimore Orioles Saturday against the visiting Rays. He’s very high-risk since it’s been a while since his MLB success, but in deep leagues it is worth knowing he’ll make his first start of the season.
We have a slightly new format and layout for our results table today. I’ve added in a Quality Start line (min 6 IP and max 3 ER) as well as a team column. The format allows for more flexibility and lets me highlight things as needed. I’ve also reversed it so that the newest results are on top. As always, the totals are at the bottom and the picks identified in posts as long-shots are not included whether successful or not. All pitchers selected were under 50% owned when the post naming them as possible pickups was written.
Here’s how our last week’s picks have done: