By Ian Kay
Here are a few widely-available starters whose matchups, recent performance and horoscope readings point to useful turns in the next couple days.
Because why use a roster spot on one pitcher when you can use it on three?
Brett Myers, Astros (available in 76 percent of Yahoo! leagues)
Start: Wednesday, July 21 at Cubs
Outlook: Why is Myers still a spot starter? Why is he available in so many leagues? Stop the madness! Myers has gone at least six innings in each of his 19 starts this season, has a 3.19 ERA since the beginning of May and won’t kill your WHIP. The Cubs have the fourth-worst offense in the NL and Myers already shut them down once this season (6 2/3 IP, 9 baserunners, 2 ER, 6 Ks and a win on June 6). Grab him and hold him until things go south — I’m begging you.
Jorge De La Rosa, Rockies (51 percent available)
Start: Thursday, July 22 vs. Marlins
Outlook: JDLR’s first couple turns after returning from a 10-week DL stint were pretty messy (7 2/3 IP, 10 H, 11 ER, 6/6 K/BB), but I say he rights the ship on Thursday. Ks have always been his calling card and only the D-backs have struck out more then the Marlins this year. Mike Stanton already has hat hair from the Golden Sombrero-to-be (just kidding — Dave <3’s Mike Stanton and so do I).
Marc Rzepczynski, Blue Jays (99 percent available)
Start: Wednesday, July 21 at Royals
Outlook: It’s uncertain how many starts Rzepczynski will make for Toronto, but he’s someone who should be on the AL-only radar. The left-hander posted a 3.67 ERA in 11 turns for the Blue Jays last season and he comes with definite whiff potential — 9.5 career Minor League K/9, 60 Ks in 61 1/3 big league innings last year and 10 more in 6 2/3 frames this season. The Royals have the AL’s highest batting average (that stat is guaranteed to win you money in a bar bet), but their lineup seriously lacks pop. Roll the dice with Rzepczynski. And for the record, it’s pronunced “zep-CHIN-ski”.
Alex Sanabia, Marlins (99 percent available)
Start: Friday, July 23 vs. Braves
Outlook: Summer, 2010: Lady Gaga’s hit song “Alejandro” surges into the top-5 on pop charts worldwide. Simultaneously, Alex Sanabia posts a 2.03 ERA and 65/16 K/BB ratio for Double-A Jacksonville. Alex’s real first name: Alejandro. Coincidence? I don’t think so either. Clearly, what we have here is a spurned right-hander trying to win back his pop icon ex-girlfriend by upping his strikeout rate and limiting walks in his first season in the high Minors. “Don’t call my name, don’t call my name, Alejandro.” It’s working, too. Sanabia held the Nationals scoreless and struck out five over 5 2/3 innings in his last start. “I’m not your babe, I’m not your babe, Alejandro.” The Braves have scored more than four runs just three times in July. If Sanabia pitches a no-hitter Friday while Gaga cheers him on wearing only her underwear and a Marlins jersey — well, he might just become mixed league relevant.