Mike Leake (vs. PHI, @CHC)
Leake was outstanding on Wednesday night against the Phillies. However, few of his fantasy owners benefited since the Reds righty had been benched after entering the tilt with a 12.86 ERA and a 2.50 WHIP from May 16-27 (three-start span). So, is it safe to trust Leake again? I'll admit that my overall confidence in him is still shaky, but in a two-start week and with these matchups, I'd go for it. The Phillies have scored the fewest runs in the Majors by a wide margin this season and, as mentioned, Leake is coming off a gem against Philadelphia. The "at Cubs" matchup is a bit troubling since it's on the road in a hitters park vs. a young and talented lineup. But the reality is that Chicago, as of Thursday morning, ranks in the bottom third in the Majors in both runs and batting average. Its lineup, despite tremendous upside, is rather undisciplined at this time. Need evidence? It ranks second in the Majors in strikeouts.
Mike Bolsinger (vs. ARI, @SD)
Bolsinger struggled during his first stint in the big leagues last season, but his sophomore campaign has been a different story. Through six starts, the 27-year-old righty sports a 1.98 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP. And though his last outing was shaky (four earned runs across five innings), I'm willing to give him a pass since it was at Coors Field. The D-backs have produced at a high level this season, leading the National League in runs scored. But they rank only sixth in the Senior Circuit in runs scored on the road. Pitching Bolsinger against a quality Padres lineup is far from a no-brainer, but at least that start will come on the road in arguably the most extreme pitchers park in baseball.
DEEPER MIXED LEAGUES
Mike Foltynewicz (vs. SD, @NYM)
Allowing more than a hit per inning and having recorded only three quality starts in seven tries, Foltynewicz hasn't been quite as consistent as fellow sophomore Bolsinger. For that reason, I'd lean toward considering him only in deeper mixed leagues. That said, Foltynewicz strikes out more hitters than Bolsinger, and I do slightly prefer this pair of matchups, with the Mets fresh off a month of May in which they ranked 14th in the NL in runs scored and 13th in batting average. In short, think of Folty as a high-end waiver-wire addition in deep mixed leagues but more of a last resort in standard 12-team formats.
Rubby De La Rosa (@LAD, @SF)
De La Rosa has turned in a number of strong performances this year, but he's been erratic of late. And let's not forget that his most recent outing (5 IP, 9 H, 7 ER) was his worst one to date in 2015. However, it's nice to see that the 26-year-old De La Rosa has significantly improved his strikeout rate from 6.6 K/9 in 2014 to 8.7 K/9 this season. I'm a believer in De La Rosa going forward, meaning he's a reasonable two-start option in a deep mixed league thanks in large to his strikeout potential. But in standard-sized mixed leagues, the "at Dodgers" matchup would scare me off.
Chad Bettis (vs. STL, @MIA)
Initially, the thought of pitching Bettis at Coors Field against the Cardinals was a frightening one. Then, I checked the stats and realized that the St. Louis offense has vastly underachieved this season. Pitching in Colorado hasn't been an issue for Bettis so far, as he boasts a 2.66 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP through three home starts. As for "at Marlins" matchup, Miami is no better than a mid-tier offense. Bettis has yet to enjoy a prolonged period of success since making his big league debut back in 2013, which is why I'd consider him only in NL-only formats for now. But with four quality starts in five tries this season, he certainly has the potential to surface on the mixed-league radar in the near future.