Thursday is a travel day for many MLB teams, but there are still ten games in the afternoon and evening meaning there are starting pitchers you can find if you need a pitching boost from the wire. There’s a clear top-choice for today and some intriguing long-shot options as well. If he’s available, don’t let Ryan Vogelsong’s tough matchup scare you off, but if you want to go in another direction there are other options as well.
Whenever you’re on the hunt for pitching pickups, check out my daily post (archive here) for places to start. My results are available on the final slide of this post, so that you can see how my picks have fared over the past two weeks. As always, all of my choices are available in at least half of ESPN leagues, and their ownership percentage is included in parentheses. I also include a risk and reward ranking for each pick on a scale of 1-5 with five being the most risk and the most reward.
Here are the options to check for Thursday:
Ryan Vogelsong-San Francisco Giants (30.9%)
In his last start, Vogelong went 6.2 innings not allowing a run for his second straight outing as he improved to 3-2 with a win over the Twins. He had a few rough starts early this season, but has allowed zero or one run in five of his last six starts. In those five starts, he’s allowed a total of 20 hits and two runs in 34 innings pitched.
On Thursday, he and the Giants are in St. Louis to take on the Cardinals. His road ERA isn’t great, but that’s mostly since many of his road starts were in his rough stretch early this season. In his one start against the Cards last season, Vogelsong struggled, but he did have effective starts against them in the two years previous, so it’s not necessarily a recurring issue. While there is risk, Vogelsong is the best option widely available for today’s start.