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The Week Ahead

Week Ahead: NL Sleepers

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

In a week where the two-start list for the National League includes such household names as Max Scherzer, Clayton Kershaw, Madison Bumgarner and Johnny Cueto, we're a little more intrigued by the mid-tier sleeper options who may actually be available in your league. For instance...

* The Brewers have been struggling, but Jimmy Nelson hasn't. The 25-year-old righty has posted a 1.35 ERA through three starts with only 10 hits allowed in 20 innings. He's in line for two starts on the road, but merits a look nonetheless.

* Starting in an official game for the first time since undergoing elbow surgery last September, Homer Bailey looked shaky against the Cardinals last weekend, coughing up five runs on nine hits and three walks with zero strikeouts. He showed some improvement in his next turn at Milwaukee, and he'll draw those same Brewers at home in the first of two starts this week.

* Jason Hammel has a 5.19 ERA through three starts, but his outstanding 16-to-1 K/BB ratio suggests that rapid improvement is in store. He draws a pair of favorable match-ups at home and is available in about 50 percent of leagues.

* He was very solid as a rookie last year and is off to an excellent start this year, but still Chase Anderson is owned in only 2 percent of Yahoo! leagues. He starts off with a home outing against the Rockies then follows with a tougher assignment at Los Angeles.

* My favorite mid-tier options on the AL side: Joe Kelly, J.A. Happ, Roberto Hernandez, Ubaldo Jimenez.

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Going Twice...

American League

Strong Plays

Sonny Gray: LAA, @TEX

Collin McHugh: @SD, SEA

Corey Kluber: KC, TOR

Jeff Samardzija: @BAL, @MIN

Chris Sale: @BAL, @MIN

David Price: @MIN, @KC

Anibal Sanchez: @MIN, @KC

Carlos Carrasco: KC, TOR

Decent Plays

Nick Martinez: SEA, OAK

J.A. Happ: @TEX, @HOU

Tommy Milone: DET, CWS

Jered Weaver: @OAK, @SF

Roberto Hernandez: @SD, SEA

Joe Kelly: TOR, NYY

Ubaldo Jimenez: CWS, TB

Yordano Ventura: @CLE, DET

At Your Own Risk

Drew Hutchison: @BOS, @CLE

Aaron Sanchez: @BOS, @CLE

Nate Karns: @NYY, @BAL

Taijuan Walker: @TEX, @HOU

Mike Pelfrey: DET, CWS

Adam Warren: TB, @BOS

Jeremy Guthrie: @CLE, DET

National League

Strong Plays

Doug Fister: @STL, @NYM

Max Scherzer: @ATL, @NYM

John Lackey: PHI, PIT

Michael Wacha: PHI, PIT

James Shields: HOU, COL

Madison Bumgarner: @LAD, LAA

Cole Hamels: @STL, @MIA

Clayton Kershaw: SF, ARI

Johnny Cueto: MIL, @ATL

Julio Teheran: WAS, CIN

Decent Plays

Vance Worley: @CHC, @STL

Dillon Gee: @MIA, WAS

Jimmy Nelson: @CIN, @CHC

Jarred Cosart: NYM, PHI

Jason Hammel: PIT, MIL

Chase Anderson: COL, @LAD

Homer Bailey: MIL, @ATL

At Your Own Risk

Dustin McGowan: @STL, @MIA

Kyle Kendrick: @ARI, @SD

Eric Stults: WAS, CIN

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, April 29: Trevor May vs. CWS

May offers the potential for strikeouts and overall good results at home against a White Sox offense that hasn't done much early on.

Tuesday, April 28: Yovani Gallardo vs. SEA

Gallardo has a 21-to-5 K/BB ratio through his first 20 2/3 innings of work. The Mariners are averaging only 3.8 runs per game.


Friday, May 1: Wei-Yin Chen vs. TB

The usually steady Chen has a 3.07 ERA thus far and looked sharp in his only start at home against the Yankees.

National League

Tuesday, April 28: Kyle Hendricks vs. PIT

Hendricks has 13 strikeouts and one walk through his first three starts. The Pirates have the third-worst team OPS in the National League.

Wednesday, April 29: Josh Collmenter vs. COL

Coming off his first career shutout in San Francisco, Collmenter returns home to face a Rockies team that has unsurprisingly hit significantly worse away from Coors.

Friday, May 1: Tom Koehler vs. PHI

Outside of one horrible inning against the Mets, Koehler has pitched pretty well this year. Give him a try at home against the woeful Phillies.

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:

Jake Lamb: Out indefinitely (foot)

Jonathan Schoop: Out indefinitely (knee)

Mike Olt: Out until June (wrist)

Jacob Turner: Out until June (elbow)

LaTroy Hawkins: Out indefinitely (biceps)

Joe Nathan: Out for the season (elbow)

Greg Holland: Out until early May (pecs)

Cory Rasmus: Out indefinitely (abdomen)

Scooter Gennett: Out until early May (hand)

Sean O'Sullivan: Out indefinitely (knee)

Jake Peavy: Out until mid-May (back)

Dioner Navarro: Out until mid-May (hamstring)

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.