According to reports, Dan Haren was so unhappy with being traded from the Dodgers to the Marlins during the offseason that he considered retiring. Ultimately, the 34-year-old decided to stick it out and report to spring training.
That proved to be a good decision, for both him and Miami. The Fish have rebounded from an ugly 5-11 start and are now in third place, just three games below .500. Haren has been a big part in the turnaround, with a 4-2 record and 3.70 ERA through seven starts.
Those numbers looked a lot better before Haren ran into his former team this past week; the Dodgers scored six runs on 11 hits against the righty in LA, adding more than a full run onto his ERA, but a rocky road outing against one of game's elite offenses can be excused.
All things considered, Haren has been very good, and in the coming week he'll draw a pair of starts at home against Arizona and Baltimore. He's been absolutely brilliant when pitching in Marlins Park (2-0, 1.59 ERA), making him an extremely appealing option.
He is presently owned in only about 50 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
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* Jarred Cosart is also slated for two home starts, but he left his latest outing with tight hamstring so keep an eye on him. He's nothing special, but like Haren, he's been very effective at Miami's home park, with a 1.89 ERA in three starts.
* There is a shortage of outstanding two-start options in the American League this week. I found only six that fit into the "Strong Plays" category, and might not have even gotten to that number if not for reaffirming efforts from Corey Kluber, Anibal Sanchez and Jose Quintana in their most recent starts.
* In three starts away from Anaheim this year, C.J. Wilson has allowed three earned runs in 21 2/3 innings (1.25 ERA). He's lined up for two road starts.
* Aaron Sanchez, Toronto's electric yet erratic right-hander, has had an interesting season. He's been constantly flirting with disaster, notching more walks (29) than strikeouts (25) but up until his last start he hadn't allowed more than three runs in a game. With a couple favorable home match-ups on the slate, he's a high-risk/high-reward proposition.
* Granted, he hasn't pitched quite as well as his 2.49 ERA would indicate, but it still seems very strange to see Jon Niese available in 65 percent of Yahoo! leagues. Pick him up and plug him in against the Cards and Pirates.
* Rubby De La Rosa has flashed his enticing potential on several occasions with this year with Arizona, and in general has been performing quite well since a disappointing season debut. He's my favorite among the mid-tier NL two-start crop.
Chris Sale: CLE, MIN
C.J. Wilson: @TOR, @BOS
Anibal Sanchez: MIL, HOU
Jose Quintana: CLE, MIN
Corey Kluber: @CWS, CIN
Sonny Gray: @HOU, @TB
Aaron Sanchez: LAA, SEA
Yovani Gallardo: @BOS, @NYY
Nate Karns: @ATL, OAK
Drew Pomeranz: @HOU, @TB
Hector Santiago: @TOR, @BOS
Roberto Hernandez: OAK, @DET
Kyle Lobstein: MIL, HOU
Trevor Bauer: @CWS, CIN
Lance McCullers: OAK, @DET
At Your Own Risk
Drew Hutchison: LAA, SEA
Taijuan Walker: @BAL, @TOR
Wade Miley: TEX, LAA
Chris Tillman: SEA, @MIA
Michael Wacha: @NYM, @KC
John Lackey: @NYM, @KC
James Shields: CHC, @LAD
Jon Niese: STL, @PIT
Matt Harvey: STL, @PIT
Dan Haren: ARI, BAL
Jason Hammel: @SD, @ARI
Aaron Harang: @COL, @WAS
Cole Hamels: @COL, @WAS
Jimmy Nelson: @DET, @ATL
Mike Fiers: @DET, @ATL
Jarred Cosart: ARI, BAL
Carlos Frias: @SF, SD
Michael Foltynewicz: TB, MIL
Rubby De La Rosa: @MIA, CHC
At Your Own Risk
Tim Hudson: LAD, @COL
Jordan Lyles: PHI, SF
Chad Bettis: PHI, SF
Jeremy Hellickson: @MIA, CHC
The following pitchers are generally available in over 50 percent of fantasy leagues and have favorable match-ups this week:
Wednesday, May 20: Joe Kelly vs. TEX
A somewhat risky proposition, given how poorly Kelly has pitched over his last handful of starts, but he is averaging nearly a strikeout per inning this season and a home outing against the Rangers, who rank third-to-last in the AL in OPS, could be just what he needs to get on track.
Thursday, May 21: John Danks vs. CLE
Danks has a 3.32 ERA with three quality starts in three tries at home. The Indians are hitting .235 as a team on the road.
Thursday, May 21: Jesse Chavez @ TB
Although he has a 1-3 record since joining the A's rotation, Chavez also has a 3.24 ERA with 23 strikeouts and 17 hits allowed in 25 innings.
Wednesday, May 20: Chase Anderson @ MIA
Anderson is owned in only 12 percent of Yahoo! leagues despite holding a 2.97 ERA with quality starts in four of his last five turns. Perhaps he can pick up his first win in Miami.
Wednesday, May 20: Travis Wood @ SD
The Padres are slugging just .364 against lefties, so maybe the Cubs southpaw can keep the ball in the park. Outside of the nine homers he's allowed, Wood has pitched better than his 5.59 ERA would indicate.
Friday, May 22: Jeff Locke vs. NYM
Locke has pitched pretty well at home, and the Mets have really been struggling to score runs this month.
5: KC, MIN, NYY
6: BAL, BOS, SEA, TB, TEX
7: CLE, CWS, DET, HOU, LAA, OAK, TOR
5: CIN, PIT, WAS
6: ATL, CHC, COL, LAD, SF, SD,
7: ARI, MIA, MIL, NYM, PHI, STL
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:
Patrick Corbin: Out until early June (elbow)
Mike Minor: Out for the season (shoulder)
Justin Masterson: Out indefinitely (shoulder)
Adam Ottavino: Out for the season (elbow)
Alex Avila: Out indefinitely (knee)
Brett Oberholtzer: Out until early June (finger)
Jason Vargas: Out indefinitely (elbow)
Melvin Upton: Out until early June (foot)
Jon Jay: Out until late May (wrist)
Drew Smyly: Out for the season (shoulder)
Michael Saunders: Out indefinitely (knee)