Deep League Points Pitchers- May
As a reader of dynasty baseball articles and websites, one of the least-talked about formats is Head to Head Points. H2H Points is still very popular among the redraft, cash league crowds, and there are many keeper and dynasty leagues that use the scoring as well. The strategy may be lacking in points leagues; they are definitely on the beginner side of the fantasy baseball spectrum. The game is very straight forward: outscore your opponent, categories do not apply. There is no worrying about making sure you have stolen bases covered at the draft. No need to chase saves; in fact, find a starting pitcher that has relief pitcher eligibility, and you’ve found gold.
Starting pitching is king in most points leagues, dynasty leagues included. This series hopes to help you try to be a week or two ahead of the rest of your league and stash some guys who may have value in the weeks ahead.
Erstwhile, on Deep Leauge Points Pitchers…
Since the last installment, one of the three pitchers has made his return to the majors and two are still waiting for their shot. Erik Swanson was the man who was promoted; he debuted by shutting down the Indians with six innings of two-hit ball, tossing in five strikeouts. The bad news is he still took the loss in that game and in points leagues, that hurts. He has followed up that game by taking two more losses and giving up ten earned runs in 9.2 innings. Home runs have been an issue; his spot in the rotation is definitely in jeopardy (although LeBlanc is still some ways away). Suarez has yet to debut, and Griffin Canning was called up to the big leagues, making the road a little more difficult for Suarez. He is expected back this week so it’s worth holding on to for now. Mengden is still waiting his turn in Las Vegas, Chris Bassitt got the call, but Aaron Brooks has struggled and maybe one more poor start away from being DFA’d. Edwin Jackson is also an option so it may not be Mengden’s turn yet.
This week we’ll take a look at the AL Central.
Lewis Thorpe, MIN
Lewis Thorpe is the standout from this division. Coming in at 8% owned on Fantrax, Thorpe had put together two excellent starts but has since regressed. His game log contains two 12 strikeout games as well as a 9 ER stinker to open the season and 5 ER on six hits while making it through just one inning on May 4th. I was much higher on Thorpe when I first put him on the list, not because I am worried about the stuff, but two back-to-back poor starts will surely push back his timeline.
Chih-Wei Hu, CLE
The Indians have suffered two significant losses and have turned to Jefry Rodriguez and Cody Anderson to fill the roles that Mike Clevinger (60 Day IL, back) and Corey Kluber (10 day IL, fractured throwing arm) have left open. Neither of those two are locks to stick in the rotation, and one interesting player to watch is Chih-Wei Hu. The Rays had Hu in their bullpen for the end of 2017, and the then-23-year-old from Taiwan held his own. The Indians acquired him this winter and have stretched him back out as a starter. There are better ways to use your roster spots, even in a deep league, but if Rodriguez or Anderson struggle badly, Hu appears to be next in line for a shot.
Both the White Sox and the Tigers have suffered injuries to their rotations in the past week which has led to some promotions. Dylan Covey has joined the rotation in Chicago, and Ryan Carpenter appears to be the next man up in Detroit. Neither are worth adding, especially if negative points are used in your leagues. Beau Burrows and Kyle Funkhouser are names that dynasty owners will recognize in Triple-A for Detroit, but that are both struggling badly there, and neither of them is on the 40-man roster. I’d expect to see Dylan Cease soon in Chicago, and Casey Mize has been getting a lot of promotion buzz after his performance this season.