Cheeseburgers, hotdogs, fireworks, baseball — these are a few of my favorite things.
The Week 14 pitching planner starts off with a bang as every team takes the field on the glorious holiday that is the Four of July.
With it being a holiday, each team has an extra game on tap this week which means we have plenty of two-start pitchers to choose from.
What’s better than having more baseball? Absolutely nothing, that’s right.
So let’s gear up for the big family BBQ, pile up all the fireworks money can buy, and turn on America’s pastime.
Pitching Planner (July 4-10)
Five to start
John Lackey, Chicago Cubs (vs. CIN/@ PIT)
John Lackey continues to defy Father Time and pitch like a man possessed in 2016.
Lackey will pitch against the visiting good-on-paper-bad-in-real-life Reds offense. The Cubbies and Lackey will then travel to ax extremely streaky Buccos O. Pitching for the Cubs has it’s perks due to their run scoring abilities, which leads to plenty of chances for wins for their pitchers like Lackey.
Carlos Martinez, St. Louis Cardinals (vs. PIT/@ MIL)
After a bumpy May, it seems that Carlos Martinez has regained his ace-like posture.
The Pittsburgh Pirates come into town which won’t be too tall of a task for CarMart. He and the Redbirds then travel to Milwaukee to take on the wobbly Brew Crew offense. Similar to pitching for the Cubs, it benefits pitching in St. Louis for the second highest scoring offense in the majors, as it leads to pitchers having room for error.
Gio Gonzalez, Washington Nationals (vs. MIL/@ NYM)
So, 2016 hasn’t been kind to Gio Gonzalez but Week 14 might be what the doctor ordered for Gio.
Gio and the high-powered Nats offense take on the Milwaukee Brewers at home to start off the week. As I mentioned before, and if you’ve been following baseball this year, you would know of the lack of the Brewers offense. Gio and the Nations go to Queens to face a Mets’ offense that has suddenly forgot how to hit a baseball.
Kenta Maeda, Los Angeles Dodgers (vs. BAL/vs. SD)
Kenta Maeda has pitched wonderfully in 2016 and doesn’t look to be slowing down any time soon.
A matchup against a homer-or-strikeout Baltimore Orioles starts off the week for Maeda. A very tasty high strikeout Padres offense is next at the pitcher’s haven Petco Park. Look for Maeda to keep rolling as long as he stays healthy, now, if only the Dodgers’ offense could just ignite a spark.
Taijuan Walker, Seattle Mariners (@ HOU/@ KC)
Taijuan Walker all in all has been a pretty good pitcher in 2016.
Walker pitches against a Houston Astros team who swings for the moon every time they’re at the dish. After pitching in Houston, the M’s visit the Royals who have stumbled as of late offensively — hell, they just lost two of three from the Philadelphia Phillies.
Five to sit
Tim Lincecum, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (@ TB/@ BAL)
Well, that was a fun story for a week. Good ol’ Timmy Jim comes back to the MLB, looks great in game one, and then looks like classic post Cy Young winning Lincecum afterwards.
It really doesn’t matter who he faces anymore, Lincecum isn’t fooling anyone anymore. With a dip in velocity, playing for a weak offenese, this will end up being a season to forget, not remember, for the Lincecum.
Matt Moore, Tampa Bay Rays (vs. LAA/@ BOS)
Matt Moore is that classic “he will be a great pitcher once he gets his command.” Problem is, it doesn’t seem that’ll be happening any time soon.
The Angels come into town who doesn’t pose much threat, but due to Moore’s lack of control, all it will take is Mike Trout to flex his muscles to get Moore out of there. A visit to Boston is next and we all know the damage that lineup can bring. What hurts Moore even more, is the fact he pitches in front of one of the worst defenses behind his as well as one of the weakest offenses.
James Taillon, Pittsburgh Pirates (@ STL/vs. CHC)
James Taillon has just been “eh” at best so far in his young career.
Week 14 will be more of a hurdle for Taillon and his mediocrity. Going to St. Louis and facing the second highest scoring offense will be tough for a guy that pitches in front of a middle of the pact offenese that’s being led by a down season Andrew McCuthchen. Then the all-mighty Cubbies come to town which is a scare for any pitcher.
James Shields, Chicago White Sox (vs. NYY/vs. ATL)
Hold the presses! James Shields pitched a good game last week … against the Minnesota Twins.
Sure, the New York Yankees and Atlanta Braves don’t have the most potent offenses, but, Shields will be pitching both games at U.S. Cellular Field. Being a flyball pitcher doesn’t bode well at home, which we’ve seen already since being acquired by the ChiSox and Week 14 isn’t going to be any easier.
R.A. Dickey, Toronto Blue Jays (vs. KC/vs. DET)
R.A. Dickey isn’t fooling anyone anymore, simply put.
Week 14 isn’t going to be kind to Dickey as he faces two potentially potent offenses at the hitter friendly Rogers Centre. At his age, and with no velocity behind any his pitches, Dickey’s knuckleball has to be perfect these days if he wants to start winning games again.
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