This is a standard 12 team 5x5 H2H Yahoo! League. I've already clinched a playoff spot (and a first round Bye as well if I'm doing my math right), so I'm mostly concerned about who will help me most in weeks 23, 24, 25 and 26 (Honestly, I'm holding onto Strasburg since I have an open DL slot anyway, so if things pan out for him then I'll just as soon have him for the playoffs, I don't care about him missing 15-25 days). Here's the roster:
C - Buster Posey 1B - Joey Votto 2B - Brandon Phillips 3B - Ryan Zimmerman SS - Ben Zobrist OF - Ryan Braun, Carlos Gonzalez, Delmon Young Util - BJ Upton, Carlos Quentin BN - Mike Stanton, Omar Infante
SP - Jon Lester, Ubaldo Jimenez RP - Billy Wagner, Kevin Gregg P - Yovani Gallardo, Matt Latos, Francisco Liriano, Joel Hanrahan BN - Brett Anderson, Wandy Rodriguez, Jake Westbrook DL - Stephen Strasburg
I just picked up Westbrook, but he's more of a temporary placeholder for now since I haven't decided who to go with and he starts in Pittsburg tomorrow. I don't really need the wins this week so I might even drop him before the end of the day. The other option that are available on the wire right now are Travis Wood, Daniel Hudson, Jonathon Niese, Madison Bumgarner, Jordan Zimmermann, and Mike Minor. In a lot of ways, Zimmermann and Minor are the most appealing for their upsides, but they're also both almost assured of having limitations as the year winds down. Thoughts?
Leave a link and I WHIR, though I'm off to tonight's Mets game so it probably won't be until later tonight or tomorrow.
Yeah, I doubt he'll be grabbed up before his outing tomorrow. The league has been pretty active in keeping valuable position players off the wire but a bit lackadaisical when it comes to arms. In fact, my plan was to pick up Max Scherzer, who I was pleasantly surprised was still available earlier in the week, but he was just grabbed yesterday before Stras was put on the DL. My pitching staff is just so deep that I didn't feel the need to drop Strasburg just to make sure I got Scherzer. Ah well. The thing about Zimmermann is I've heard he'll be limited to 5 IP per start even when he does come back, which is a potential killer for his strikeout and wins abilities. It would be nice to see if Washington is actually going to adhere to that or not.
The problem now is I'm looking at mostly young pitchers, but the upside is all on non-contenders where the organizations are likely to be conservative with young, fragile arms. I doubt Zimmermann or Hudson are available to make deep starts by the last few weeks of the season. I'll probably rule Wood out with the rough outing today, he looks like the most likely for a real regression anyway with his fly-ball tendencies and low BABIP. The Braves are plenty deep enough at SP to skip Minor pretty frequently, and they're already showing they're inclined to do so, plus they're stretching Kawakami back out, probably to help keep Minor's innings down. Niese and Bumgarner both seem pretty low risk, but neither has the upside or potential deep category juice of Zimm, Hudson, or Minor.
Looking at it closely, Westbrook might actually be the best option. He's dominated since coming over to the NL with a surprisingly high strikeout rate and awesome command (26/4 K/BB, though its still just 25 innings, I've been him following closely since I managed to grab him on a waiver claim when he was traded in an NL-Only league and have really reaped the benefits there). Being the most established pitcher and playing for a contender, his combination of a high GB% and newfound strikeout ability might be the best bet. Either way, ground-ball pitchers under Dave Duncan are pretty safe plays for a decent ERA and wins, and I should have plenty of strikeouts from the rest of my staff. At the moment, I'm leaning towards sticking with him. He hasn't really faced a good offense yet, but looking at St. Louis's schedule, in Weeks 24-26 they have six games against the Pirates, six games against the Cubs, and four games against the Padres, who are ranked 16th, 12th, and 9th in runs scored in the NL this year, respectively. He should have nothing but positive matchups down the stretch, and with the Cards also carrying a pitcher they might skip a few times (Garcia), he may get some extra starts too.