1. From a splits perspective last year, Richard posted two months of 20-plus strikeouts and two months of a sub-2.50 ERA.
2. Richard (14-14, 3.99 ERA last year) had a 7-3 record in his final 10 decisions, highlighted by a red-hot August: 5-1, 2.42 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 15/8 K-BB ratio.
3. In five career outings against the Mets, Richard has a 2-1 record with a 2.84 ERA and 6.5 K/9 ratio.
4. For his 2012 debut, Richard didn't allow an earned run against the Dodgers over seven innings, surrendering only two hits. Digging a little deeper, Richard has a 2.70 ERA in his last three seasonal debuts (2010-12).
The Next Five For Wednesday
1. Alexi Ogando (Rangers) @ Astros — Fantasy optimists shouldn't expect 8 2/3 innings of perfect ball, a la Yu Darvish from Tuesday night. However, anyone facing a Houston lineup that's short on high-priced assets — and tangible power — must be taken seriously for at least one day.
In 133 MLB appearances (starting/relief), Ogando has a 19-9 record with a 3.27 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 231/76 K-BB ratio.
2. Wei-Yin Chen (Orioles) @ Rays — The safest choice of the bunch. Of his last 14 starts in 2012, Chen surrendered three or less runs eight times; and in that span, he also posted five or more strikeouts four times.
3. Edwin Jackson (Cubs) @ Pirates — Let's not overreact to his 5.25 ERA from Cactus League action. The ball travels well in Arizona ... and most established veterans use spring training to build up arm strength and experiment with pitches.
One more positive: Jackson has a career ERA of 3.10 at Pittsburgh's PNC Park.
4. Ubaldo Jimenez (Indians) @ Blue Jays — This Cleveland enigma has essentially vanquished his fantasy cred from three years ago. On the plus side, though, he's always a threat for eight or nine strikeouts against a free-swinging lineup.
5. Wily Peralta (Brewers) vs. Rockies — Milwaukee's high-risk, high-reward hurler has the tools to be an immediate fantasy force in strikeouts and wins — assuming the Brewers bring the lumber against porous pitching outfits, like the Rockies.