Seth Trachtman

The Week Ahead

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Week Ahead: Spring a Leake

Friday, June 8, 2018

Mike Leake issued one walk yesterday.


Why is that significant? It was the first time he’s allowed a walk since May 10, meaning he went four straight outings without issuing a free pass. Over the right-hander’s last six starts, he’s 3-0 with a 2.79 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, and 24/2 K/BB in 42 innings.


Four straight games without issuing a walk isn’t new territory for Leake. He actually went five starts without giving up a walk in 2016 with the Cardinals. That season was also the start of his truly elite run of control, when he finished with a 1.5 BB/9. After the recent streak, Leake carries a sub-2.0 BB/9 for the third straight season.


However, it’s not surprising nor unwarranted that Leake was dropped in many leagues following the first month of the season. He had a 6.48 ERA and 22/11 K/BB in 33.1 innings through his first six starts of the season, but for his purposes, has been nearly perfect since then.


We’ve also seen a slight velocity and groundball rate decrease from Leake this season, which is a concern and could partially explain why his HR/9 has spiked at 1.2 so far. Despite those concerns, there’s no doubt Leake is in a groove now.


He has a tough two-start week ahead vs. the Angels and Red Sox, but Leake’s control has been so good lately that he has a chance to overcome that tough schedule. At worst, he looks like a solid short-term addition to fantasy rosters while he’s hot.


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-Madison Bumgarner was effective in his first start off the DL, though his lack of velocity is worth keeping an eye on. The left-hander leaned on his changeup in his first start back against the Giants, and the velocity on his off-speed pitches was down significantly, about two mph across the board. He has an extremely favorable two-start week ahead at Miami and the Dodgers, and hopefully the velocity climbs as he warms up into 2018.


-Patrick Corbin’s velocity has also been down significantly since the start of May, but he’s still been very good overall with a 3.46 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, and 50/15 K/BB in 41.2 innings. The development of his outstanding slider has been able to offset the radar gun so far. While he hasn’t exactly been an ace over that period, Corbin still remains extremely and has a favorable two-start week ahead, including a Mets team that hasn’t touched lefties this season.


-The Jekyll and Hyde season of Dylan Bundy continues. He’s now made three consecutive quality starts, lowering his ERA to 4.04. His ERA peaked at 5.31 on May 8 after allowing seven earned runs and failing to record an out against the Royals, but he’s been on a roll since then. I’m still cautious about Bundy given his inability to keep the ball in the park, but he’s pitching well and one of his two starts next week is against the anemic Marlins offense.


-Knuckleballer Steven Wright is taking over for the injured Drew Pomeranz in the Red Sox rotation and looked excellent in his first start. Wright struggled in five starts last season while battling a knee issue but had a 3.33 ERA in 24 starts and made the AL All-Star team in 2016. In spite of terrible early control, the results have been more similar to his breakout 2016 season so far. He could be at least a viable streamer in the short term.


-It’s back on the road for the Rockies next week, with a full week of games away from Coors Field at Philadelphia and Texas. Obviously, that’s good news for the team’s starting pitchers, but the Rockies have just a .668 OPS on the road this season, seventh worst in MLB.


Going Twice…


Note: Probable pitchers as of Friday, June 8, and are subject to change.


American League


Strong Plays


Carlos Carrasco: @CHW, MIN

Lance McCullers: @OAK, @KC


Decent Plays


Eduardo Rodriguez: @BAL, @SEA

CC Sabathia: WAS, TB

Dylan Bundy: BOS, MIA

Mike Leake: LAA, BOS

Daniel Mengden: HOU, LAA

Jake Odorizzi: @DET, @CLE

Steven Wright: @BAL, @SEA

Matt Boyd: MIN, @CHW

Sam Gaviglio: @TB, WAS


At Your Own Risk


Ryan Yarbrough: TOR, @NYY

Wade LeBlanc: LAA, BOS

Adam Plutko: @CHW, MIN

Austin Pruitt: TOR, @NYY

James Shields: CLE, DET

Lucas Giolito: CLE, DET



National League


Strong Plays


Patrick Corbin: PIT, NYM

Madison Bumgarner: @MIA, @LAD


Decent Plays


Jack Flaherty: SD, CHC

Jose Quintana: @MIL, @STL

Junior Guerra: CHC, PHI

Tanner Roark: @NYY, @TOR

Jon Gray: @PHI, @TEX


At Your Own Risk


Chris Stratton: @MIA, @LAD

Jason Vargas: @ATL, @ARI

Jordan Lyles: @STL, @ATL

Trevor Williams: @ARI, CIN

Wei-Yin Chen: SF, @BAL

Trevor Richards: SF, @BAL



Streamer City


The following pitchers are generally available in over 50 percent of fantasy leagues and have favorable match-ups this week:


American League


Friday, June 15: Blaine Hardy @ CHW

Hardy is usually a poor bet, but he faces a White Sox lineup that is sixth worst in MLB vs. lefties (.688 OPS). He already dominated them on May 27, allowing one run on three hits in seven innings.


Friday, June 15: Doug Fister vs. COL

The Rockies have struggled on the road (.668 OPS) and vs. right-handers (.699 OPS), which is a good recipe to spot start Fister.


Saturday, June 16: Alex Cobb vs. MIA

Miami’s .648 OPS against right-handers is only better than Arizona. Cobb has been shaky this season, but he has a viable 4.20 ERA and 28/10 K/BB in 40.2 innings since the start of May.



National League


Wednesday, June 13: Andrew Suarez @ MIA

Miami is a good matchup for any pitcher, especially one with Suarez’s upside. The lefty has a mediocre 4.74 ERA, but his 5.25 K/BB ratio and 3.89 FIP shows that improvement should come.


Wednesday, June 13: Mike Montgomery @ MIL

Montgomery has looked very good in the Cubs rotation, and faces a Brewers lineup that has been the second worst in baseball vs. lefties (.667 OPS).


Wednesday, June 13: Tyler Anderson @ PHI

The Phils have the third worst OPS in baseball vs. lefties (.667 OPS), while Anderson has at least been adequate away from Coors Field this season (4.58 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 35/15 K/BB in 39.1 innings).


Total Games


American League


5: KC, TEX




National League






The Infirmary


Here’s some injuries to prominent players from the last week, and other players to watch for in the coming week. You can get a full listing of injured players at Rotoworld's Injury Page.


Chris Archer: Placed on DL (abdomen)

Brandon Belt: Could return next week (appendicitis)

Kole Calhoun: Placed on DL (oblique)

Carlos Correa: Day-to-day (side)

David Dahl: Out 6-8 weeks (foot)

Zach Davies: Placed on DL (shoulder)

Josh Donaldson: Could return this weekend (calf)

Jeurys Familia: Placed on DL (shoulder)

Daniel Gossett: Will miss several weeks (arm)

Jeremy Hellickson: Placed on DL (hamstring)

Matt Joyce: Placed on DL (back)

Brian McCann: Will return Friday

Devin Mesoraco: Day-to-day (hamstring)

Shohei Ohtani: Out indefinitely (elbow)

Dustin Pedroia: Placed on DL (knee)

Drew Pomeranz: Placed on DL (biceps)

Alex Reyes: Out for the season (lat)

Carlos Rodon: Will return on Saturday

Addison Russell: Day-to-day (finger)

Andrelton Simmons: Placed on DL (ankle)

Julio Teheran: Placed on DL (thumb)

Nick Williams: Day-to-day (wrist)

You can find Seth Trachtman on Twitter @sethroto.
Email :Seth Trachtman

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