Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 9/10

Hey everyone,

Time for our weekly look at two-start pitchers! Here are my thoughts on a bunch of non-obvious choices for next week. Make sure to listen to today’s podcast, as Mike and Cory will give their take on all of these guys.


                                                                                                                                                     Jaime Garcia  (@SD, @LAD)

Garcia has been a model of inconsistency through four starts since returning from the DL, tossing a combined 15 1/3 scoreless innings in two of those starts while allowing 10 runs over 11 1/3 innings in his other two starts. You might think that next week’s matchups are promising, but keep in mind that Garcia’s home/road splits are drastic. He’s 2-2 with a 2.63 ERA in seven home starts this year as opposed to 2-4 with a 5.80 ERA in eight starts away from Busch Stadium. I still like him at Petco but the Dodgers’ lineup is strong. This really comes down to whether or not you can sacrifice a little in ERA and WHIP for wins and K’s and if there are better two-start options either on your roster or on the wire. But believe it or not, I’d lean towards ditching Jaime in 12-team mixed leagues.

Justin Masterson  (@MIN, vs. DET)

I’ve been wrong on this guy in PoD just about every time, so your guess is as good as mine here. But I’m ditching. Masterson got roughed up @MIN back in late-July and his 6.21 road ERA dwarfs his 3.74 home mark. He’s had some success against the Tigers this year but they remain a very dangerous lineup. I just don’t see much upside in starting Masterson outside of AL-only leagues and very deep mixed formats.

Aaron Harang  (@ARI, vs. STL)

I’ve been extremely impressed with Harang in 2012 but these matchups really scare me. He’s pitched poorly against the D-Backs this year (9.42 ERA in three starts) and the Cardinals are the highest scoring team in the NL. Not to mention that Harang’s home ERA is more than a half run higher than his road ERA. I’d be very surprised if at least one of these starts doesn’t turn out to be ugly. Too much risk here. Ditch.

Alex Cobb  (@BAL, @NYY)

I don’t care how well Cobb pitched against the Yankees his last time out. These matchups are brutal. I don’t like his chances at all pitching in Yankee Stadium and the Orioles rank in the top half of the AL in both homers and runs scored since the All-Star break. Plus, there’s the home/road factor. In 10 starts at home this year, Cobb’s ERA is 3.34. In nine starts away from Tropicana Field, his ERA is 5.30. Ditch.

Kyle Kendrick  (vs. MIA, @HOU)

I’m not a huge Kendrick fan, but there’s no denying that he’s red-hot, having allowed a mere six runs combined over his last five starts, spanning 35 1/3 innings. Look, he’s due for a blowup. But I don’t see it happening next week. Kendrick has dominated the Marlins this year (1.46 ERA in two starts) and while he has yet to face the Astros, Houston ranks dead last in the NL in both runs scored and batting average. Pitch.

Marco Estrada  (vs. ATL, vs. NYM)

How about a 3.94 ERA and 64-to-14 K/BB ratio over 61 2/3 innings? These are Estrada’s stats through 11 starts since the All-Star break. The Braves are a slightly above-average offense while the Mets’ lineup is sub-par. That’s good enough for me. Pitch.

Miguel Gonzalez  (vs. TB, @OAK)

Gonzalez put up a mediocre stat line in his latest start @TOR, but his bullpen deserves at least some of the blame as Luis Ayala allowed all three inherited runners to score in the seventh inning. Prior to that outing, Gonzalez had allowed two runs or less in four of five starts. You’ve got to like the @OAK matchup and while Gonzalez got knocked around by the Rays in late-July, he blanked them over seven innings on August 5th. I’ll roll the dice and say pitch.

Eric Stults  (vs. STL, vs. COL)

Stults has done an outstanding job since moving to the rotation, allowing one run or less in five of his six starts. The vs. STL matchup is a challenging one, but the Cardinals’ offense isn’t quite as dangerous on the road than they are at home. And the Rockies are the lowest scoring road offense in baseball. In deeper mixed leagues (12 teams or larger), I’d give Stults a shot.

Carlos Villanueva  (vs. SEA, vs. BOS)

Yeah, he’s been a little erratic, but Villanueva’s overall stat line, especially the K rate, is still very solid. He’s 5-2 with a 3.05 ERA at home, and while these matchups aren’t ideal, they aren’t particularly scary either. I’ll say pitch, though a strong argument can be made to sit this one out.

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