I still can't buy a win, but my Week 9 selections (Jaime Garcia, Ryan Vogelsong, Kyle Hendricks) picks weren't half bad. And the way my picks have turned out so far this year, I'll take it. Garcia tossed two quality starts against the Brewers and Dodgers, allowing three runs with 10 strikeouts and no walks in 14 innings. Still - no wins. In fact, he lost both starts. Go figure. Ryan Vogelsong also had a quality start in his first turn, holding the Pirates to three runs on five hits in six innings while striking out five. And guess what? Another L. Kyle Hendricks didn't have a quality start against the Marlins, giving up a four spot in six innings. He did strike out seven, but, again, he earned the loss. Sheesh. Vogelsong gets the Phillies today (can I get a win?), and Hendricks faces the Nationals.
My results so far
8-24 (47 starts, 20 quality starts)
Chris Sale: Mon-HOU (McCullers), Sun-@TB (Karns)
Max Scherzer: Tue-@NYY (Sabathia), Sun-@MIL (TBD)
Corey Kluber: Tue-SEA (Walker), Sun-@DET (Sanchez)
Sonny Gray: Tue-TEX (Martinez), Sun-@LAA (Santiago)
Cole Hamels: Mon-@CIN (Leake), Sun-@PIT (Burnett)
James Shields: Tue-@ATL (Foltynewicz), Sun-LAD (Bolsinger)
Jon Lester: Tue-@DET (Sanchez), Sun-CIN (DeSclafani)
Mike Foltynewicz: Tue-SD (Shields), Sun-@NYM (deGrom)
Jimmy Nelson: Mon-@PIT (Burnett), Sat-WSH (Zimmermann)
Taijuan Walker: Tue-@CLE (Kluber), Sun-@HOU (McCullers)
Anibal Sanchez: Tue-CHC (Lester), Sun-CLE (Kluber)
Mike Bolsinger: Mon-ARI (De La Rosa), Sun-@SD (Shields)
Rubby De La Rosa: Mon-@LAD (Bolsinger), Sun-@SF (Heston)
Anthony DeSclafani: Tue-PHI (Harang), Sun-@CHC (Lester)
Nathan Karns: Tue-LAA (Santiago), Sun-CWS (Sale)
Ian Kennedy: Mon-@ATL (Miller), Sat-LAD (Greinke)
Miguel Gonzalez: Tue-BOS (Porcello), Sun-NYY (Pineda)
Nick Martinez: Tue-@OAK (Gray), Sun-MIN (Hughes)
Mike Leake: Mon-PHI (Hamels), Sat-@CHC (Hendricks)
Dan Haren: Tue-@TOR (Buehrle), Sun-COL (Hale)
David Hale: Mon-STL (Lackey), Sun-@MIA (Haren)
Phil Hughes: Mon-KC (Vargas), Sun-@TEX (Martinez)
Not this week
My Week 10 Picks
Foltynewicz has gone five innings or more in all seven of his starts this season, which might not seem significant on the surface. But he's a rookie after all. The 23-year-old right-hander has struck out seven or more in five of seven and owns an impressive 23.4 percent strikeout rate (getting swings and misses on 34.9 percent of pitches outside of the strike zone), and a solid K/BB ratio of 43/15. He gets the Padres and Mets this week, a pair of offenses that rank in the bottom third in terms of wOBA against right-handed pitchers. In addition, each team strikes out more than 20 percent against RHP, making Foltynewicz an attractive option in Week 10.
Jimmy Nelson, Brewers (at Pirates, Nationals)
2015: 2-6, 4.41 ERA, 1.22 WHIP
There's a very good chance that Nelson was dropped in your league (he's available in 80 percent of ESPN leagues. He's allowed 10 total runs in his last two starts against the Diamondbacks and Cardinals. But, in those two starts, he struck out 13 and walked just two in 11 innings. Nelson is still a guy that gets you Ks (21.5 percent strikeout rate). His swinging strike rate is 11.9 percent, and his O-Swing% is 34.8 percent - both well over the league averages. The matchups aren't great on paper, but this is a case where you trust the talent of the pitcher. Plus, Nelson gives you the opportunity to pick up a double-digit strikeout game.
I'm surprised so many people jumped DeSclafani's ship, but they should reconsider him in Week 10 with a pair of favorable starts against the Phillies and Cubs. The 25-year-old right-hander started hot, hit the skids and has since pitched well again. In his last three starts, DeSclafani is 2-0 with a 3.15 ERA. The only problem is he's not getting any strikeouts - he has just one in his last two starts covering 13 innings, both victories. The good news: both the Phillies and Cubs tend to strike out - Chicago, especially (league high 25.4 percent strikeout rate; 26.1 percent against RHP. He's also faced the Cubs twice already, spinning 12 innings with one earned run. I'd like to recommend Taijuan Walker and/or Lance McCullers here instead of DeSclafani, but both are owned in more than 30 percent of ESPN leagues.
Stats from FanGraphs.com