3 pitchers to start, 3 to ditch in fantasy
Looking to rack up points in your fantasy league? Want to gain some ground? Then consider the following hurlers, who are slated to start twice in Week 9.
Three to pitch
Kyle Hendricks (@MIA, @WAS)
Simply put, Hendricks isn't getting the attention he deserves, and maybe it's because he isn't pitching deep enough into games, which is the biggest reason why he's recorded only one win through his first nine starts. But the ERA and WHIP are solid and the walk rate is exceptional (1.9 BB/9). Also, his 7.0 K/9 is a huge improvement over the 5.3 K/9 he posted last season. The Nationals are the highest-scoring team in the National League, but the Washington lineup has done most of its damage on the road. At home, the Nats rank 11th in the Senior Circuit in runs scored. Oh, and Hendricks' last start happened to come against the Nationals, and he happened to pitch pretty well (7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER). As for the Marlins, they rank in the bottom third of the NL in both runs scored and home runs.
Alfredo Simon (vs. OAK, @CWS)
Simon doesn't have impressive peripheral stats -- he currently owns a 3.60 FIP -- but he's sporting a 2.67 ERA with a 1.20 WHIP through his first nine starts with the Tigers. He's gone 5-2 as a result, just one season after winning 15 games and making the NL All-Star team with the Reds. In Week 9, the 34-year-old is set to face two clubs that rank below the American League average in both runs per game and OPS. The right-hander will get the higher-scoring team of those two -- the A's -- at home, where he's notched a 0.94 ERA across four outings in 2015.
Josh Collmenter (vs. ATL, vs. NYM)
I own Collmenter in a few leagues this year, and I'll admit that he's tough to trust on a start-to-start basis. But these matchups are very enticing, and his 5.05 ERA is severely skewed by one very rough outing against the Nationals in which he gave up nine runs. The consistency just hasn't been there for Collmenter this year, which makes pitching him in a 12-team mixed league a risky move. But in deeper leagues, the control specialist warrants serious consideration.
Three to ditch
Colby Lewis (vs. CWS, @KC)
I had a feeling that a stat correction would be coming, but it hasn't so far. Combine Wednesday's tough outing with the fact that Lewis had allowed five earned runs in each of his previous two starts and the bottom line is that Colby is simply unplayable for the time being, even in a two-start week when he will be facing a White Sox team that ranks last in the AL in runs scored. The start vs. KC likely won't favor Lewis. Even in deeper mixed formats, you're better off leaving Lewis on your bench. He's strictly an AL-only option at this point.
Jaime Garcia (vs. MIL, @LAD)
I'm curious to see how Garcia fares in his third start back from the DL, and I wouldn't be surprised if he pitches well enough over the next few weeks to earn a stable roster spot in the majority of mixed leagues. But I still need to see a little more from him, and being that one of next week's matchups (Dodgers) is an especially tough one, I'd bench him this time and then re-evaluate the situation the following week.
Archie Bradley (vs. ATL, vs. NYM)
Bradley's rookie season started out on such a bright note, but he's hit a rough patch lately, and his most recent outing -- on the road against the Cardinals -- was his worst one to date. The upside is undeniable and these matchups are far from scary, but a 22-to-19 K/BB ratio across 30 2/3 innings isn't going to cut it in most leagues. Owners of Bradley in 12-team mixed leagues, even non-keeper formats, should remain patient and hang onto him unless an extra roster spot is absolutely needed. As for starting him next week, however, the reward isn't worth the risk.