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Draftster MLB: Standout Performances and Weekly Picks

Christopher Olson

Christopher Olson

Christopher Olson covers the Angels for RotoWire and writes the weekly Draftster MLB and Dominate Your Duel daily games articles for RotoWire.

Mike Fiers was responsible for turning more than a few heads last week, as he tallied 14 strikeouts in a six-inning performance against the Cubs on Thursday. He has pitched exceedingly well since being called up by the Brewers on Aug. 9, allowing just one run in 14 innings (two starts) after seeing time with the big club for a brief period in June. Fiers absolutely dominated the competition in 102.1 innings for Triple-A Nashville this season, striking out 129 batters while walking just 17 and sustaining a 2.55 ERA. Though he has had mixed results as a big league starter in the past, anyone who can tally numbers like that in the hitter-friendly environment of the Pacific Coast League deserves consideration, particularly since his current price tag is set at just $6,500.

Sunday's Recommendations

Pitcher

Collin McHugh ($7,500)

McHugh has flown under the radar for most of the season, as it seems fantasy folks simply haven't bought into a breakout campaign from a 27-year-old who had never thrown more than 26 innings in a year at the major league level prior to 2014. He will certainly be worth a look Sunday, however, as he will take a 3.08 ERA and 118 strikeouts in 108 innings into a start against the Red Sox, who are among the worst teams in the league against right-handed pitching this season according to wRC+.

Batters

The Mets had to do something to fill the void created when Jacob deGrom landed on the disabled list, but I'm not sure Rafael Montero is quite ready for prime time. After taking a drubbing from the Nationals in his last start Tuesday, Montero has given up a total of five home runs to left-handed hitters in just 13.1 innings pitched, while walking seven batters over that span. The sample may be small, but it's worth noting that Montero had problems with his walk rate in the minors this year as well, issuing 32 free passes in 74 innings at Triple-A Las Vegas. He will face the Cubs on Sunday, who will likely feature a few lefties worth considering.

Anthony Rizzo (1B) ($6,000)
Chris Coghlan (OF) ($3,000)

Scott Carroll has good days and bad days, but when your strikeout rate against left-handed hitters doesn't break 10 percent, it's only a matter of time before you end up allowing some hard hit balls. The Blue Jays have hitters who make life tough on righties, which could mean a very short outing for the 29-year-old Carroll on Sunday.

Adam Lind (1B) ($3,000)
Melky Cabrera (Of) ($8,500)
Jose Reyes (SS) ($7,600)

I've broken stride here by offering up two first basemen in the same article, but I simply couldn't help myself given their respective competition. It's hard to imagine going wrong with either selection, but the more sample-size conscious among you may want to roll with Lind, who will likely continue to see regular at-bats against righties after returning from the disabled list Tuesday.

Hector Santiago will likely finish the season in the Halos' rotation in place of Tyler Skaggs, who underwent successful Tommy John surgery Wednesday. While the 26-year-old's results to this point have been decent, a trip to Globe Life Park may be just the thing to help actualize his 4.97 xFIP against right-handed hitters.

Adrian Beltre (3B) ($6,800)

On the other side of that contest, Nick Tepesch suffers from a significantly below-average strikeout rate. He also has allowed six home runs to right-handers in just 30 innings pitched this season. The Angels have an all-world righty (see below) whose tame performances of late will allow us the chance to select him without killing our bankroll.

Mike Trout (Of) ($4,900)

Mike Minor hasn't pitched as poorly as his surface numbers would suggest, but he has allowed 16 homers in 84.2 innings against right-handers, which makes him a fine target against the slew of righty bats the A's will line up Sunday.

Derek Norris (C) ($3,300)

Kevin Gausman may be a future top-of-the-rotation starter, but he has yet to find his strikeout pitch in 2014. This is particularly true against lefties, as he has fanned just 25 southpaws in 39 innings. He will attempt to navigate through a sea of left-handed bats when he faces the Indians at Progressive Field on Sunday.

Jason Kipnis (2B) ($4,100)

The Week at A Glance

Vidal Nuno has allowed 16 home runs in 88.1 innings against right-handed hitters this season, which could present a problem for the 27-year-old when he faces the collection of lefty-mashers that the Nationals will trot out Monday.

A.J. Burnett will attempt to fade his 5.06 xFIP against left-handers when he faces the Mariners at home Tuesday. Given that the Seattle lineup contains at least two very talented southpaws, I'm not sure I like his chances.

Michael Pineda had a reasonably strong showing in his first start since April 23 against the Baltimore Orioles last week, allowing just one earned run while striking out four over five innings. He should be able to give a bit more length when he faces the Astros on Wednesday, whose 23.1 percent strikeout rate against right-handers is the second-highest mark in the league.

Zack Greinke is coming off his third consecutive shaky outing against the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday, having allowed five walks through five innings. This will keep his price relatively cheap for his start against the Padres on Thursday.

Nick Martinez will be a familiar name to those who read this column on a weekly basis. His xFIP of 5.78 against southpaws this season presents yet another stacking opportunity Friday against the Royals, who have more than a few capable lefty bats.

Wily Peralta has tallied a .477 slugging percentage against lefties this season, which could result in some damage when he faces the Pirates at home Saturday.