It is week 2 in your Head to Head battles and hopefully, last weeks’ nuggets were taken with a little bit of BBQ sauce, because they were bland. I won’t claim to be clairvoyant, but with effort will come results! Let’s keep with the program and grind away. As with most H2H leagues, you could easily see that a 9-1 win in Week 1 manifests into a 1-9 Week 2. The key to coming out ahead is the small details. Hopefully, we look into the crystal ball and give each of you that edge that we all need. I have found that in any game, there are certain “codes” to obtaining desired results. When growing up, and even into “adulthood”, I have used 007-373-5963 as my code to success. If you have any clue about the code, please give me a shout in the comments or @natemarcum. Let’s get into “Getting Ahead in Head to Head”
- Favorable Team Schedules: Which teams/players are in line for the most or the fewest games of the week.
- SPARP of the Week: Starting Pitcher as Relief Pitcher- SP/RP eligibility (according to Yahoo)
- Right and Lefty Matchups to exploit
- SAGNOF: Both Stolen Bases and Saves to target.
7 Games (Assuming no makeup games)
SPARP(S) Of the Week!
Garrett Whitlock-RP (v.MIN/@TB) (54% rostered in Yahoo)- Just a shade over the 50% threshold, but I absolutely must include Whitlock in this post. He is the ideal candidate for the SPARP of the Week. For starters, he has been the FROOP (First Reliever Out Of Pen), which puts him in an excellent spot to pick up the W! Add in the fact that he has been absolutely electric in the 6 1/3 innings he has pitched on the season (1.42 ERA/.47 WHIP/6 K’s) and it’s a no doubt play of the week. In his most recent performance as of writing, he only needed 39 pitches, across 4 innings, to retire 12 of the 13 hitters he faced! Look for Whitlock to be the FROOP (or piggyback) once again on Monday vs Twins and Saturday on the road vs Tampa Bay.
Matt Brash-RP (v.KC) (43% rostered in Yahoo)- Brash entered his April 12th start against the White Sox with more helium than an 8th-graders birthday party. Despite the hype and the matchup, he absolutely held his own. By the time you read this (Hi Mom), he will have either faced or is preparing to face the Astros on Sunday. I am confident that the Mariners are not going to handle him with kid gloves, seeing as he got to 85 pitches and didn’t get pulled. (I’m looking at you, Dave Roberts!). The Royals are hitting .205 against RHP at Kauffman on the short season. If anything, start him and watch the game just to see that knuckle curve! It’s a thing of beauty (33% WHIFF rate)
R/L Matchups to Exploit
Jurickson Profar, 1B/2B/OF, SDP (29% rostered in Yahoo)- Gotta love the multi-position eligibility, but what is really exciting is the 5 lefties that the Padres are scheduled to face! Profar could see plenty of ABs this week, seeing as he typically only sits vs RHPs. Jurickson has reached base safely in every game played to start the season, and his 7 RBIs and 2 HRs both lead San Diego.
David Peralta, OF, ARI (5% rostered in Yahoo)- Not off to the hottest start to the season, but the much-talked-about swing changes that we saw in ST were legit. If there’s a good way to break out, it’s for Peralta to face 6 RHPs. Peralta has a career .297 BA vs RHP and 83 of his 99 HRs as well! Consistently hitting 3rd in the lineup and the fact that both Nationals Park and Chase Field play well for lefties is reason enough for me to keep Peralta
Jesus Sanchez, OF, MIA (22% rostered in Yahoo)- I try to avoid blasphemy as much as possible, but I do believe it is fitting that Easter is this Sunday and Jesús is going to rise in the OF rankings! Sánchez and the Marlins will get the pleasure of seeing 6 RHP out of 6 games this week. Sánchez has already put 2 balls over the fence, but I love the fact that he has cut his K% under 20%. Small sample size, I know. If you’re looking for OF power this week, let Jesús be your savior.
Daniel Bard, RP, COL (47% rostered in Yahoo)- Don’t let me fool you, having the closer in Colorado isn’t exactly the sexiest pick. That being said, the closer in Colorado is at least consistent. Bud Black has pretty much always used a single person in the 9th, with the exception of injury or being terrible. Sorry, Carlos Estévez. The bad news is that the Rockies get the Phillies at Coors. The good news is that despite Bard’s blown save this past Monday, Black went right back to him on Tuesday.
Tanner Rainey, RP, WSH (23% rostered in Yahoo)- I realize that Rainey was mentioned last week, but Rainey should 100% be rostered in leagues that reward SV. We have seen his % go from 3% all the way up to 27%, but that’s the power of RAZZBALL. While Rainey historically has been destroyed by command (career 16.5 BB%), he hasn’t allowed a walk yet in his 3 appearances of 2022. The Nationals play 7 this week against ARI and SF, so there could be some good opportunities for Rainey ahead.
Jhoan Duran, RP, MIN (23% rostered in Yahoo)- If you are reading this, there is a good chance that you already know about the filthiness of Duran. Baldelli said Duran could play any role. From multi-inning reliever to a high leverage role. I think this could lead to save ops by the middle of May. If you have the roster space to stash, I would recommend doing so now. Add in the fact that Jorge Alcala went on the IL after seeing a Velo decrease this year, there are fewer roadblocks on the path to the 9th.
Garrett Richards, RP, TEX (0% rostered in Yahoo)- This is your free speculative save square! Pay attention to how Woodward uses Richards going forward. Richards was just activated off the IL on Thursday, so I wouldn’t expect immediate returns, but it could be as soon as next week that we see his role defined.
SAGNOF (PART DEUX)
Jorge Mateo, 2B/SS/OF, BAL (11% rostered in Yahoo)- Many, including myself, weren’t sure if Mateo would see everyday ABs. I am happy to see the Orioles give Mateo plenty of ABs on the season. Would love to see the K% come down. Short season and all, but Mateo has been on base a lot. In reality, his OBP is at .364 due to the BB% of 18%. The O’s get the A’s and the Angels, two teams whose pitching staff rank at the bottom 3rd of the league in K/BB, so maybe we will see Mateo on the basepaths!
Kolten Wong, 2B, MIL (49% rostered in Yahoo)- The Brewers play 6 games this week, and 5 of them are against RHP. Wong will look to get a headstart on the week when Milwaukee hosts the Pirates. I love the matchups as a whole and feel like this is a good week to find a spot for Wong, especially since he has been hitting at the top of the order vs RHP. Don’t be shocked if the Slam ‘n Legs goes to Kolten in one of these games!
Thank You as always for reading along. If you ever need anything, please don’t hesitate to comment below, or reach out to me on Twitter @natemarcum