Week 5 Pitching Planner: Stocking the Firewood
Welcome to the Week 5 Pitching Planner. The start to the season has been pretty challenging. In fact, it almost feels like this season has dragged on to this point.
A short time ago, 40-plus player were put on the 10-day DL over a seven day period.
Have you ever had to build up a fire in the woods? There is the arduous task of cutting and gathering the wood and then the fun part of actually starting the fire.
Hopefully, my Week 5 Pitching Planner takes all the prep work away from you and allows you to set your winning lineup.
Let’s dive into the Week 5 Pitching Planner.
Week 5 Pitching Planner
This article will be broken down by start’em/sit’em (two-start pitchers) and start’em/sit’em (one-start pitchers)
Hector Santiago, MIN (vs. OAK, vs. BOS) (LHP)
The Athletics have scored two runs or less in four of their last six games. However, the have also scored five runs or more in eight games this year. This week Santiago faces Boston, which will not end well. The Sox offense has been very underwhelming thus far. However, I still do not want a fringy SP like Santiago to face a potential World Series contender. If you remember, Santiago also started last year with a blazing April, only to flounder in May. I suggest dropping him for someone that can give you QS later into the year.
Matt Shoemaker, LAA (at SEA, vs. HOU) (RHP)
Shoemaker is playing two teams that strikeout often this week. The only problem with that is that Shoemaker himself is not having a good start to the year. Shoemaker has given up two or more runs in every game so far this year. Also, Shoemaker has given up one HR or more in every start besides his last one. The Angels offense is not great but can put up some runs with a few swings of the bat. The Astros are a great offense that can make any pitcher have a short night.
Jeremy Hellickson, PHI (at CHC, vs. WSH) (RHP)
Hellickson has had a great start to the year, but he should not be in your lineup this week. Hellickson has a date coming up against the World Champs, and a team that just put up 73 runs in a week. Let that sink in for a second. At best you get a QS.
First, “Hell Boy” has to go to Chicago and try to tame the Cubs. The Cubs have won seven out of 10 and scored four or more in eight of those games; this also a Cubs team that is patient as they are sixth in walks. Hellickson had faced the Nats twice this year and got out of both starts combined with only two runs. That was also before the Nats remembered that they could hit every single pitch while being third in walks. Hellickson has the stuff, but given that he is facing two juggernauts this week, I’ll have him on my bench.
Taijuan Walker, ARI (at WSH, at COL) (RHP)
I like Walker, but you can’t play him this week. Going to Washington and then Coors. Walker is a fly ball pitcher, and I’m not sure that is going to mix well with a Nats team who is third on fly balls this year. Facing a team in their home park that has a significant lead on the rest of the majors in RBI is not going to end well. Then, moving on to Coors Field, the same thing goes. A fly ball pitcher will not bold well in Coors field. Walker has only gone more than five innings twice this year and both of these starts could sink your team.
Dylan Bundy, BAL (at BOS, at CWS) (RHP)
Dylan Bundy has looked pretty impressive so far this year. If he keeps pitching like he has over his past five starts, he could thrust his name into the Cy Young conversation. Bundy has only given up six runs, two of which were HRs. With a WHIP still under one, and 23 SO, you better keep this kid on your trade chart.
In his two starts against Boston, their two duels so far this year, Bundy has allowed three ERs on 13 hits over 13.1 IP. But he only managed six strikeouts. On to the other Sox, the White Sox are not a good team. I would also use Bundy in DFS for this match up. As a team, the White Sox are batting .233 against him, and that is with Jose Abreu going 4-for-4 in their only matchup. Start Bundy with the utmost confidence this week.
Jose Quintana, CHW (at KC, at BAL) (LHP)
Jose seems to have gotten back after allowing 13 ERs over his first three starts, he has allowed only four ERs over his last two starts. In his last start against KC, he allowed two ERs on five hits and 10 Ks over 6.0 IP. He still has some ground to cover to get back to his old self, but he is headed down the right road.
This week he faces the Royals and the Orioles. As previously mentioned, he faced KC in his last start (April 26) and fared very well. While this game is away, outside of Lorenzo Cain and Salvador Perez, the rest of the Royals lineup is hitting under .200. I have little doubt that this will be another high SO, low scoring game. Moving to Baltimore, this game will be slightly harder than the KC matchup. With Baltimore’s boom or bust game at it again, as long as Q has his control intact, this should be another high SO game for him. Wins may be hard to come by given the White Sox offense is rough, but the counting stats should be there.
Lance McCullers, HOU (vs. TEX, at LAA) (RHP)
Lance is another one who’s been up and down this year. I still have faith that he’ll end this season as a top 10 SP, baring heath. However, at times he looks worse than Wade Miley has looked thus far.
McCullers has Texas and the Angles coming up this week. Usually, I’d advise against starting any pitcher these two teams. However, McCullers is building himself a ladder to the next tier of pitchers, and despite his early struggles, I do think that he’ll throw together two QS this week. As a team, Texas is hitting like crap at home thus far in the year, and the Rangers are in the top 12 in SO as well. That bolds well for a hard thrower like McCullers. The Angles are a pretty good match-up for him as well. LA is an in the top 10 as far as SO, and rank in the bottom 10 in R, HR, and AVG. Despite the start power in the line-ups, as a whole, McCullers should be just fine this week.
Sonny Gray, OAK (at MIN, vs. DET) (RHP)
Gray has two starts this week, against the Twins and the Tigers. The Twins look good on paper, but are they that good? The Twins have lost 10 of their last 16 games, and are in the bottom seven in runs scored. Don’t get me wrong, if Sano gets ahold of one, its going 450-plus. However, the Twins are the best in walks and are not taking SOs. In 51 ABs vs. the Tigers current starters, Gray has surrendered seven runs on 14 hits, eight walks, 13 SO, and a .275 BAA. Both of the starts are risky, but Gray could be the difference maker in your week!
Amir Garrett, CIN (vs. SF) (LHP)
There was a rumor that Garrett’s first game against the Pirates would be skipped. Either way, we are going to focus on the start against the Giants later in the week. In Garrett’s last start, he only lasted 3.1 innings and gave up nine earned runs and had one strikeout. It was earlier than expected for teams to figure out how to beat a pitcher who has only had four starts in the MLB, but it is baseball. The Giants are one of the smartest teams in the majors and will make use all the tape from the Brewers game to plan for Amir. I say play it safe here and sit him against the Giants.
Brett Anderson, CHC (vs. NYY) (LHP)
Anderson started the season pretty swell. The last two starts have been all but a disaster. Brett has given up 13 runs, and 13 hits in 9.2 innings of work. Add all of that up along with a matchup against the hot hitting Yankees at Wrigley and you have a recipe for disaster. If the wind is blowing out that day, all Judge needs to do is lift and it’s gone. Starling Castro, Aaron Judge, Matt Holliday, Didi Gregorius, and Ronald Torreyes are all hitting above .350 vs. LHP. Put him on your bench this week and pick him back up when Mr. Anderson is not playing a red hot swing team.
Jason Hammel, KC (at SEA) (LHP)
Jason Hammel has only gone 6.0 innings once this year. He is a monstrosity, and you do not want him starting for you this week. Seattle is getting things going as they have won four of their last seven. Hammel has only gone six innings in his last two starts COMBINED; while giving up eight runs in the in both of those games. On top of all of that, barely half of the pitches Jason has tossed this year have been strikes. I do not want to say that any one player is “done,” however, Jason Hammel is nothing more than an AL-Only option, and barely one at that.
Tyler Chatwood, COL (at SD) (RHP)
Chatwood has a terrible ERA at 4.88. Why on earth am I telling you to start someone with such a crap start to the year? Let’s start with the fact that it is against San Diego. The Padres are Top 3 in SOs, and bottom five in BA. Now back to Chatwood, who has only had two starts outside of Coors. One was the first start of the year, and most pitchers are not great in their first few starts of the year. The next start he went the distance and allowed zero ERs on only two hits. Chatwood is a pretty solid pitcher and one you can rely on for a solid start.
Jose Berrios, MIN (at BOS) (RHP)
It is not confirmed that Berrios is going to get the start, but I want to jump on the rumors and tell you to add Berrios and play him against the Boston Red Sox. Jose Berrios has looked epic in Triple-A. In 33 innings of work, Berrios has a 1.09 ERA and 35 SOs. Boston looked pretty good against the Cubs and seemed to get rolling here the last few days. However, they have underwhelmed thus far, and maybe this is the start the Berrios needs to get his MLB career going in the right direction.
Matt Moore, SF (at LAD) (LHP)
Continuing my man crush on Matt Moore when he faces the Dodgers (or any LHP facing the Dodgers). The last time Moore faced the Dodgers, he went seven innings and allowed one run on two hits and eight SO. The Dodgers rank in the bottom seven in almost all major offensive categories vs. LHP. I have zero reasons to expect anything less than that.
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