Happy Monday sports fans. Today I’ll be recommending several Starting Pitchers to grab off of the waiver wire from the under 40% ownership group, as well as our first segment of Game of the Week: Dueling Beers. GOTW: Dueling Beers is a new concept in which I’ll identify the week’s premiere pitching matchup, predict an outcome, and then review and recommend one beer from each of the two cities represented in the game of the week.
Let’s get down to it!
Mike Clevinger (CLE) – SP/RP – 7.8% owned
17 IP, 19 K’s, 1.56 ERA, 0.98 WHIP
I love this guy already. For starters, his name kinda sounds like Clevelander, which I’m pretty sure is the unofficial term for one who lives in Cleveland. I wonder if that’s why he signed with them? Either way, it’s been serendipitous for both Mike and the Indians, as he’s pitched to the tune of 1.56 ERA and a lean 0.98 WHIP since being called on to fill in a couple spot starts. His dual RP/SP eligibility is always a plus for crowded rosters, and his 19 K’s in 17 IP are a nice guarantee of return on your investment, even if his Cinderella story comes to an end; no matter what, he’ll get you K’s. Most impressive is his recent start against the deadly Astros offense: compiling 7 shutout innings and allowing only 4 baserunners. He projects to start against the Cincinnati Reds this week.
Ricky Nolasco (LAA) – SP – 8.1% owned
Last three starts: 19 IP, 18 K’s, 2.84 ERA, 1.11 WHIP
Nolasco has quietly spun three consecutive Quality Starts, including two against potent Met and Tiger offenses. He sports a 4.01 ERA and 1.28 WHIP on the season, but has shown consistency in finding the strikezone and keeping the ball in the park during his recent string of starts. He averages just under 1K/inning, and shouldn’t hurt you with his peripheral stats. He projects to face the Tampa Bay Rays in Tampa this week, and has shown poise this season on the road.
Two start pitcher: Alex Cobb (TB) – SP – 36.4% owned
3.67 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 38 K’s & 14 BB in 56 IP
Cobb is your best streaming option this week, as he projects to face the 18th ranked Angels offense and slumping Minnesota Twins (25th in MLB in runs scored) in a two-start week.
Over his last four games, Cobb has tossed 4 consecutive quality starts. These came against impressive hitting teams: Cleveland, Boston, Toronto, and Miami, proving that Cobb is no slouch or flash in the pan. He’s not Kershaw, but he’s earned a roster spot in any 12 team league, and is a great streamer for 10 team and unders. He won’t dazzle with big strikeout numbers, but his peripherals are good and he’s a control freak: he’ll keep that WHIP down for you.
Go grab him!
Game of the Week: Chicago Cubs at LA Dodgers, Kyle Hendricks vs. Clayton Kershaw
This Sunday in LA, Cubs standout Kyle Hendricks looks to prove that last year’s dominance wasn’t a fluke against the golden standard of dominant pitching in Clayton Kershaw. Hendricks has tossed 4 QS in his last 5 starts, and has not allowed more than 2 ER since mid-April, stifling potent Yankee, Red Sox, Colorado, and Cincinnati offenses along the way. He’s struck out nearly one batter per inning over the past two weeks, and has only walked 11 batters in that span. I won’t bother giving you Kershaw’s stats, because they’re just ridiculous, but suffice to say he’s pretty good. This is a classic pitcher’s duel that will probably be decided by the bullpen.
The prediction: Dodgers win 3-1. LA boasts the 4th best offense in all of baseball, and they play their best ball at home. They’ll ride home field advantage and the best pitcher in the league to a narrow victory. Don’t miss this one!
Dueling Beers: Los Angeles and Chicago
A premium pitching matchup between two masters of their craft calls for two equally excellent craft beers. I selected a craft brewery from each city that is (somewhat) widely available and that represents the excellence in the bottle that the pitchers do on the diamond. Batter up!
Chicago: Half Acre Beer Company’s Double Daisy Cutter (DIPA)
This dank double IPA clocks in at 8.5% ABV but drinks as smooth as anything I’ve ever tasted. It smells tropical, citrusy, and a bit floral on the nose. Pours clear and golden, with minimal haze and a nice thick head of foam. In the taste I get resin, hops (duh), citrus (maybe grapefruit), and some of the grassy/floral notes that I got in the nose. It’s subtly bitter, with an almost creamy smoothness that’s very rare in a pale ale. Overall I can’t recommend it enough!
LA: Firestone Walker Brewing’s Union Jack IPA
Hoppy hoppy hoppy! This IPA is a classic, and for good reason. It’s a clean 7% ABV and pours thick, heavy, and a dark amber color with a nice foamy head. I smell hops and citrus, with some notes of pine. The taste is classic IPA; very bitter, citrusy, and a thick (but not heavy) mouthfeel. It has some nice sweetness to it that helps balance the bitterness. It’s clean, crisp, and bold, one of the best I’ve ever had!
The Verdict CHC vs. LA
This was a hard one for me, to be honest. Both of these beers, like the pitchers they are representing, were big, bold, and strong. As much as I love Union Jack, I had to give the nod to the Double Daisy Cutter this week for the win. Half Acre’s sudsy goodness was on full display with a complex flavor profile and an absurdly smooth mouthfeel for a big DIPA, which gives it the slight edge over Union Jack’s (intentionally) simple IPA. You can’t go wrong with either beer though, and two is better than one!