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The Week Ahead

Week Ahead: Call for Phelps

by Nick Nelson
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

When David Phelps stepped in to replace an injured Henderson Alvarez in the Marlins rotation, I was very curious to see how he'd perform. The righty tended to pique my interest during his time in New York, where he averaged 8.0 K/9 over the past three years in a swingman role.

He didn't put up great numbers in 17 starts for the Yankees last year (4.28 ERA, 1.37 WHIP) but they also weren't terrible by any means, so I wondered what he might be capable of with the switch from the AL to NL.

So far, so good. In three starts since moving to the rotation, Phelps has allowed only three runs over 17 2/3 innings, holding the opposition to a meager .172/.232/.206 slash line. He is owned in only 2 percent of Yahoo! leagues and although he goes twice on the road, he's my favorite mid-tier option in The Week Ahead.

Read on for many more notes on stand-out two-start candidates this week, followed by a full list, streamers, injury updates and more.

* Aaron Harang is off to a ridiculously good start for the Phillies, with a 2.52 ERA, 0.96 WHIP and 27-to-K/BB ratio through five turns. He won't keep up at that rate, and run support will always be at premium for him, but he's got two decent match-ups ahead and he's available in about 50 percent of leagues.

* Many owners have bailed on Kyle Lohse after an ugly April that saw him post a 1-4 record and 7.28 ERA. His 4.22 xFIP (directly in line with his 4.37 career mark) suggests that he hasn't pitched THAT badly, and he has worked into the seventh inning in three of his five starts. With a pair of home match-ups on tap, this might be the right time to give him a go.

* Jesse Chavez is interesting. He took Kendall Graveman's place in the Oakland rotation after holding the Angels to one earned run on one hit over six innings in a spot start. Chavez has a 0.71 ERA and 0.79 WHIP in five appearances this year, and was quite effective in 21 starts last year. He draws favorable assignments against Minnesota and Seattle next week.

* If either Tampa Bay two-start pitcher for this week (Drew Smyly or Jake Odorizzi) is available in your league, grab him and plug him in.

* Carlos Martinez is technically the fifth starter in St. Louis, but he's been pitching a whole lot better than that, with a 1.73 ERA and 1.04 WHIP through five outings. He'll be facing off against a Cubs team that leads the NL in whiffs and a Pirates team that is third-to-last in OPS. He's still somehow available in over 25 percent of Yahoo! leagues.

* Mat Latos is iffy to make his next start after coming out with a leg injury in his last one. He's been much better since a trainwreck debut with Miami, but he has failed to pitch past the fifth inning in four of five turns and is looking ahead to two road match-ups even if he's healthy. I'd stay away.

Going Twice...

American League

Strong Plays

Jake Odorizzi: @BOS, TEX

Drew Smyly: @BOS, TEX

Felix Hernandez: @LAA, OAK

Michael Pineda: @TOR, BAL

Garrett Richards: SEA, HOU

Dallas Keuchel: TEX, @LAA

Decent Plays

R.A. Dickey: NYY, BOS

Jesse Chavez: @MIN, @SEA

Jesse Hahn: @MIN, @SEA

Chase Whitley: @TOR, BAL

Trevor May: OAK, @CLE

Phil Hughes: OAK, @CLE

Matt Shoemaker: SEA, HOU

Shane Greene: @CWS, KC

Danny Salazar: @KC, MIN

Scott Feldman: TEX, @LAA

Clay Buchholz: TB, @TOR

Jeff Samardzija: DET, CIN

At Your Own Risk

Wandy Rodriguez: @HOU, @TB

Ross Detwiler: @HOU, @TB

Bud Norris: @NYM, @NYY

National League

Strong Plays

Clayton Kershaw: @MIL, @COL

Zack Greinke: @MIL, @COL

Tyson Ross: @SF, @ARI

Andrew Cashner: @SF, @ARI

Madison Bumgarner: SD, MIA

Carlos Martinez: CHC, @PIT

Jordan Zimmermann: MIA, ATL

Decent Plays

Josh Collmenter: @COL, SD

Alex Wood: PHI, @WAS

Kyle Hendricks: @STL, @MIL

David Phelps: @WAS, @SF

Kyle Lohse: LAD, CHC

Matt Garza: LAD, CHC

Aaron Harang: @ATL, NYM

Jeff Locke: CIN, STL

Travis Wood: @STL, @MIL

At Your Own Risk

Michael Lorenzen: @PIT, @CWS

Kyle Kendrick: ARI, LAD

Mat Latos: @WAS, @SF

Ryan Vogelsong: SD, MIA

Streamer City

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

American League

Wednesday, May 6: Ubaldo Jimenez @ NYM

With his downward velocity trend continuing, we're still not sure yet whether we're buying into Jimenez's tremendous start (1.59 April ERA) but it's tough to bet against him right now.

Thursday, May 7: Hector Santiago vs. HOU

Santiago has quietly been very effective for the Halos, putting up a 2.28 ERA while averaging almost one strikeout per inning. The Astros lead the majors in strikeouts.

Friday, May 8: Roberto Hernandez @ LAA

He's been a ground ball machine as always, and owns a 14-to-3 K/BB ratio over his last three starts.

National League

Wednesday, May 6: Chris Heston vs. SD

The righty, filling in for Matt Cain in San Francisco's rotation, was knocked around for six runs on 11 hits in his last start, but that'll happen at Coors. Prior, he was 2-1 with a 0.87 ERA. He should find this home tilt against San Diego far more manageable.

Thursday, May 7: Brandon Morrow @ ARI

Morrow has acclimated well to the new digs, with a 2.67 ERA and 1.04 WHIP in his first month as a Padre. He hurled seven innings of two-run ball against the D-Backs a couple weeks ago.

Total Games

American League



National League



The Infirmary

You can get a full listing of injured players at Rotoworld's Injury Page but here's the latest on a few prominent players who have been out of action:

Archie Bradley: Out indefinitely (head)

Shane Victorino: Out until mid-May (hamstring)

Homer Bailey: Out indefinitely (elbow)

Adam Ottavino: Out indefinitely (triceps)

Jed Lowrie: Out indefinitely (thumb)

Brandon McCarthy: Out for the season (elbow)

Carl Crawford: Out indefinitely (ribs)

Yasiel Puig: Out until mid-May (hamstring)

Masahiro Tanaka: Out until late May (arm)

Ben Zobrist: Out until mid-June (knee)

Adam Wainwright: Out for the season (Achilles)

Mitch Moreland: Out until late May (elbow)

Jose Reyes: Out indefinitely (ribs)

Nick Nelson
Nick Nelson is a frequent contributor to Rotoworld's baseball coverage and regularly blogs about the Minnesota Twins at Twins Daily. Follow him on Twitter @NickNelsonMN.