ESPN Week 16 Starter Stats - 20.1 Innings Pitched - 19 Strikeouts - 8.41 K/9 - 2 Wins in 3 Starts - 2.21 ERA - 1.23 WHIP
Cumulative Starter Stats - 647.1 Innings Pitched - 465 Strikeouts - 6.46 K/9 - 43 Wins in 103 Starts - 3.39 ERA - 1.20 WHIP
Cumulative Starter Spreadsheet Viewable Online Here
I said yesterday that there was shutout potential on Friday night, and I was right. I had hoped it would have been a complete game, but 6.2 innings of shutout ball is nothing to sneeze at, especially when you throw in the eleven strikeouts and the win. It was an amazing all around start that cost you nothing but a free agent pick up to throw out there. Niemann should be held onto if you picked him up, as he's on a streak of five great starts.
It's Saturday, and that means two recommendations as we reach the end of head-to-head match-ups for the week. As always, all recommendations are available in more than 50% of ESPN leagues...
Saturday's Recommended Starter One - Alex Cobb - Tampa Bay Rays at Seattle Mariners - 4:10 PM ET - 6.2% Owned in ESPN Leagues
Well, that didn't last long. The Mariners have now lost 18 of their last 19 games, losing Friday after picking up a win against the Yanks on Wednesday. They also struck out eleven times against Niemann yesterday. This is a team that is mired in a funk. Cobb, on the other hand, has been been on fire since joining the Rays' rotation. He hasn't taken a loss in his seven starts in the big leagues, and hasn't given up more than two earned runs in any of his last five starts. He gets to play in Safeco Saturday night. All signs point to a great start here.
Saturday's Recommended Starter Two - Bartolo Colon - New York Yankees vs Baltimore Orioles - 1:05 PM ET - 43.5% Owned in ESPN Leagues
Big Fat Bartolo Colon rolls into Saturday night looking like he's all the way back from his short DL stint for his hamstring injury. He's delivered two starts in a row now, and shouldn't have too much of a problem continuing that on Saturday afternoon against the Orioles offense. Bartolo always is a good strikeout option, and is always a good bet for a win with the Yankee offense backing him up. He's clearly the second best option to Cobb here on Saturday, but he's still a very good option and has better strikeout potential.
Saturday's Alternate - Aaron Harang - San Diego Padres vs Colorado Rockies - 8:35 PM ET - 27.3% Owned in ESPN Leagues
If you are trailed big here Saturday, you could do worse than Harang. He's been strong at home all year for the Padres and his 6.21 K/9 on the season isn't bad at all. The Rockies offense is a bit tough, but Petco Park should sap some of their offensive ability. It's not the best start situation of all time, but it's still pretty strong.
That's it here. See you all tomorrow.
-Fred "Big Derf" Tobin