Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 9/3

Hey everyone,

Here’s this week’s installment. And since there’s no podcast today, you won’t even get to hear what Mike and Cory have to say. So as the only official two-start pitcher voice of the 411, all I can say is that I hope I’m right.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Jason Vargas  (vs. BOS, vs. OAK)

Vargas has been awful over his last two starts (11.42 ERA, 2.08 WHIP) but he’s still 5-2 with a 3.53 ERA since the All-Star break and is on the whole having a very strong season. The Red Sox lineup is not the same without Adrian Gonzalez and you’ve got to like the A’s matchup. Oh yeah, Vargas’ ERA at home this year is 2.63. Pitch.

Shaun Marcum  (@MIA, @STL)

Who knows whether or not Marcum will make these starts, but if he remains a two-start pitcher, I’d throw him out there, despite the tough matchup @STL. The @MIA start more than makes up for it. The Marlins rank 14th in the NL in runs scored this season and 13th in the Senior Circuit in batting average. There is some injury-risk in pitching Marcum in a weekly league since he could suffer a setback either before or during the @STL start, but he’s still a grad, and too good to sit in any two-start week.

Mike Fiers  (@MIA, @STL)

Coming off a gem of a performance at Wrigley, Fiers gets the same two matchups as Marcum, and although he’s the less established pitcher, I’m starting him as well. Take out an August 13th shelling at Coors Field and he has yet to allow more than four runs in any one of his starts this year. Not to mention that he’s striking out more than a batter per inning. In a 12-team mixed league, I’d feel very comfortable pitching Fiers.

Jose Quintana  (vs. MIN, vs. KC)

Quintana will look to rebound from his brutal outing vs. the Orioles on Thursday and gets a pair of tasty matchups. The Twins and Royals both rank in the bottom half of the AL in runs scored and rank next to last and last respectively in homers. Throw in Quintana’s 2.64 home ERA and this is a pitch.

Ross Detwiler  (vs. CHC, vs. MIA)

It’s easy to be forgotten when you’re pitching in a rotation that includes Strasburg, Gio, E-Jax and Zimmermann. Anyone notice that Detwiler’s ERA since the All-Star break is 3.15? This is a guy who should not be on the wire in 12-team mixed leagues. If he is, grab him immediately. The Marlins and Cubs rank 14th and 15th respectively in the NL in runs scored, just ahead of the Astros.

Joe Blanton  (vs. SD, @SF)

There’s no way around it. Since joining the Dodgers, Blanton has been very hittable. He is coming off a surprisingly strong outing vs. the Rockies at Coors, but even there he gave up 10 hits. These matchups are fairly appealing but guess what? The Giants rank 1st in the NL in runs scored since the All-Star break. In NFBC style mixed leagues and NL-only formats, I might take a chance on Blanton. But in a 12-team mixed, I’d play it safe and ditch.

Ricky Nolasco  (vs. MIL, @WAS)

Yeah, he’s coming off a CG SHO, but if we’ve learned anything about Nolasco by now, it’s that he’s totally unreliable. He could very well give up eight runs his next time out. These are not favorable matchups, and I’m not ready to free him from Club DTM just yet. Ditch.

Barry Zito  (vs. ARI, vs. LAD)

So after dominating the Braves, what does Zito do for an encore? He gets shelled by the Astros of all teams. I’m sorry, but I’ve completely lost faith in this guy. He’s listed as PoD on our latest Pitch or Ditch chart, but to me he’s DTM. Ditch.

Patrick Corbin  (@SF, @SD)

Corbin gets the same two teams as Blanton, the one difference being that he’ll face the Padres at Petco. I prefer Corbin over Blanton, but I also have a feeling that he’s due for a blowup. If you’re in a tight ERA/WHIP race, I’d lean towards sitting him in mixed leagues. But if you’re simply chasing wins and strikeouts, he’s not a bad play.

Joe Kelly  (vs. NYM, vs. MIL)

Since going on that nice run from mid-June into the beginning of August, Kelly has been hit or miss. These matchups aren’t too scary, but the reality is that we just don’t know which Kelly will show up from one start to the next. NL-only leaguers can feel free to pitch him. But in a mixed league, I’m passing.

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