Week 9 and Memorial Day is upon us!
As we salute our Vets, let’s also take time to thank the MLB for an extra game played in Week 9. With it being a wholesome American holiday, what better way then to celebrate it while watching America’s favorite pastime?!
As we gaze upon cookouts, time spent with family, and of course Week 9 pitching, we get a tasty outlook on plenty of two-start hurlers due to the extra game this week.
With so many games on deck, it can be difficult to gauge who to start and who to sit. There are 52 two-start pitchers going in Week 9, which is 10 more than the usual.
Let’s first remember those that gave their lives for this great country and then take a look at the Week 9 pitching planner!
Week 9 Pitching Planner
Five to start
Tanner Roark, Washington Nationals (@ PHI/@ CIN)
Tanner Roark has been a pleasant surprise for the Nationals.
He made a splash in the 2016 season by striking out 15 Twins on April 23 and hasn’t looked back. He’s had one blemish on May 14th against Miami where he gave up 7 ER in five innings, but outside of that he’s only had only one game with more than three earned runs (again, against the Marlins oddly enough).
Roark has two very tasty matchups this week. The first one coming at the strikeout-friendly Phillies and the other at the lowly Reds. With the Nats high-powered offense and the dominant ways of Roark, look for two easy wins in Week 9.
Aaron Nola, Philadelphia Phillies (vs. WASH/vs. MIL)
Nola has started off his first full season in the bigs very well.
His ERA stands at a very solid 2.86 ERA and a shinning 0.92 WHIP. His record is 4-3 right now for a very low scoring Phils team, so one game over 500 says a lot about his presence on the mound this year. His 70 Ks in 66 IP have also been a pleasant surprise.
He has a tough task at hand by pitching to the Nats in Philly, but his last outing against Washington went very well where he pitched seven innings, gave up no runs, and struck out seven batter on April 28th. Then he gets the pleasure of pitching to the strikeout-friendly Brewers, making this a tasty matchup to add to his K-rate.
Ian Kennedy, Kansas City Royals (vs. TB/@ CLE)
Ian Kennedy is pitching a very solid 2016 season.
Skeptics criticized the contract that the Royals gave Kennedy in the off season, but it looks as if the Royals knew what they were doing. As of May 29th, Kennedy has pitched 53.1 innings, struck out 53 batters, he has a solid 3.38 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP, with a 4-3 record for the defending World Series champs.
In Week 9 he’s facing an all or nothing Rays team at spacious Kauffman Stadium and will start at another pitcher-friendly ballpark in Cleveland. Kennedy is prone to the blowup via long ball, but he should be safe pitching in nice environments in Week 9.
Jason Hammel, Chicago Cubs (vs. LAD/vs. ARI)
Jason Hammel is pitching on an another level in 2016.
Currently pitching to the tune of a sterling 2.17 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP with 47 Ks in 54 IP. Starting for the homer-friendly Cubs has helped him to a 6-1 record so far in 2016. The 33-year-old righty will look to continue his dominate 2016 start in Week 9.
His first start is at home against a Dodgers offense that just can’t seem to get it going. His second outing is against a very productive D-backs O, but he’ll have the pleasure of playing them in the friendly confines of Wrigley Field and with an offense behind him that can easily out slug the opposition.
Drew Smyly, Tampa Bay Rays (@ KC/@ MIN)
Drew Smyly is doing Drew Smyly things in 2016.
He’s got a very nice 67 Ks in 62 IP: That’s the good Smyly. It’s the bloated 3.92 ERA and 11 home runs given up in those 62 innings that’s the bad Smyly.
Fortunately enough for Smyly he’s got two starts in very pitcher-friendly ballparks. His first start is at Kansas City against a so-so offense that just lost slugging third baseman Mike Moustakas for the year. His next stop in Week 9 is at Minnesota where he’ll pitch against one of the MLB’s worst offenses.
Five to sit
Ivan Nova, New York Yankees (@ TOR/@ BAL)
Ivan Nova seems to be having himself a bit of a resurgent year in 2016. He currently is sitting on a modest 3.65 ERA and 1.14 WHIP.
Only problem is, Week 9 looks to be a true test for Nova as he travels to two very hitter-friendly ballparks with two very homer-friendly teams. First stop is Toronto where the on-again off-again Jays O can do a lot of damage against a guy who isn’t known for his strikeouts. Again, at Baltimore, that lineup can straight crush, making Nova a no-go in Week 9 and to be honest, might make him waiver wire fodder — for a guy who was fringy in the first place — come week’s end.
Anibal Sanchez, Detroit Tigers (@ LAA/ vs. CHW)
It feels as if in the blink of an eye Anibal Sanchez went from possible ace pitcher to a complete dud.
Injuries have completely derailed Sanchez and his pitching mechanics, and in 2016 he looks completely lost on the mound. Unfortunately for the aging starter, Week 9 isn’t going to help his unsightly 6.04 ERA and 1.58 WHIP. First he gets a stab at an Angels offense that looks to be getting things in order as of late and then a similar situation against the White Sox. In all, Sanchez’s “best years” are behind him and, to be honest, looks droppable in this stage of his career.
Patrick Corbin, Arizona Diamondbacks (vs. HOU/@ CHC)
There was all sorts of hype going into 2016 for Patrick Corbin.He played the second half of last year and seemed to have gained back his 2013 form before getting Tommy John surgery in ’14, a year in which he missed all of. Unfortunately for him, he’s been a complete disaster.
Week 9 for Corbin starts off at home against a Houston O that could easily emerge at any moment. They are a swing-friendly team, but, Corbin is not a strikeout pitcher by any means. His second outing is against the all-mighty Cubbies who are, similar to the ‘Stros, likely to swing and miss a bunch, but they also have their fair share of dingers that counter balance the strikeouts. If Corbin’s Week 9 is as disastrous as it figures it will be, the D-backs may be faced with demoting him so he can get his confidence back up.
James Shields, San Diego Padres (@SEA/ vs. COL)
I’m going to break this down very fast for you: James Shields is a good pitcher, not a great one, on a horrible team, and I do mean horrible.
No matter who the Pads face, they’re always going to be facing an uphill battle every time because their O is practically nonexistent. So, unfortunately for Big Game James (one of the best nicknames in all of baseball), he practically has to pitch a perfect game just to stand a chance at a win.
Kevin Gausman, Baltimore Orioles (vs. Boston/vs. NYY)
Kevin Gausman. Another “can’t miss” pitching prospect to come out of the Orioles farm system. On paper he’s having a good season after missing the start of 2016 due to injury. With seven games under his belt, he has a 3.24 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, with 37 Ks in 41.2 IP — not bad at all. His record sits at 0-2 — not good. Although records don’t tell a pitcher’s story, it’s showing that, though the numbers are good, he’s not doing much for you.
Unfortunately for Gausman he pitches in the AL East and Week 9 will give him a taste of Boston and New York, both games being played at Camden Yards. Both offenses can liftoff with regularity which will more than likely be Gausman’s downfall in Week 9, making him a bad play. I feel that after this week, we’ll be looking at a high four ERA and a WHIP around 1.3.
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