Well, it’s here baseball fans–the dreaded night where baseball hits a lull. The MLB only has five games on the slate for Thursday. The Cubs and Pirates play in the afternoon, and then there are four AL games at night. Obviously, the starting pitching pickup options are a little thin, but that doesn’t mean there’s none. In fact, there are three options worth considering who are scheduled to toe the rubber. As always, our pickup options are owned in less than half of ESPN leagues and are solid options although there’s always an element or risk. Here’s the two picks to check for Thursday:
Rick Porcello-Detroit Tigers: (4.4% owned in ESPN leagues) Porcello owners can be forgiven if they are still stinging from his 2/3 inning-9 run outing against the Angels in LA. However, in his four starts since then he is 2-0 with a 3.24 ERA. He’s made it at least 5 2/3 in every start since then and hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs. He also has picked up his strikeout numbers since that disaster striking out 24 in those four starts in 25 innings. On Thursday, he’ll face the offensively struggling Twins at Comerica Park. He should be able to help you through this day with limited options as the best widely available scheduled starter.
Jeanmar Gomez-Pittsburgh Pirates: (1.6%) Gomez has been effective as a starter for the Bucs even though he has been unable to pitch deep into games. In his four starts, the Pirates are 4-0 and Gomez is 1-0 with a 2.89 ER and has 12 strikeouts in 18 2/3 innings. He hasn’t been able to reach the sixth yet, but has a nice matchup against the Cubs at PNC Park on Thursday. He should be good for a solid start against Chicago and could even get the win if the Pirates provide him run support.
Kevin Gausman-Baltimore Orioles: (0.0%) Gausman gets the callup less than a year after the O’s drafted him out of LSU. He’ll start in Toronto against Brandon Morrow for his MLB debut. He’s ranked between 25-40 by both Baseball America and MLB.com in their prospect rankings and is expected to have success on the MLB level. Whether he’s ready is questionable and hard to predict, but he’s worth a flier as he tries to provide a jolt to the Orioles injury-riddled rotation.
Here’s how things have gone the last week: