Marquis @ F. Garcia
Axelrod @ Pelfrey
Gallardo @ Wandy – going on the working assumption that Gallardo actually pitches better at some point
Lester @ Price
Marcum @ S. Miller
Kluber @ Hamels
Ogando @ Straily – Straily hasn’t earned the trust to face tough offenses
Iwakuma @ Hughes
Leake @ Sanabia – Leake on the road, vs. the Marlins? Have to go for it
W. Davis @ Enright – the Angels are struggling so bad right now, take a shot on Davis
Keuchel @ Scherzer – over/under on Scherzer K’s? 14?
T. Hudson @ Kennedy
Vogelsong @ R. Ortiz – Morrow pushed back to Saturday
Garland @ Samardzija
Detwiler @ Greinke – Detwiler regressing a little but Dodgers are soooo bad
Kazmir @ Pettibone – time to start taking Kazmir seriously…
King Felix @ Sabathia
Lackey @ Moore – Lackey looking very good so far…
Peavy @ Correia
Guthrie @ Vargas – Vargas worth a look in deeper leagues, for the home start
Lohse @ Locke – tough matchup for Locke and K/BB says play it safe
Zito @ Dickey – don’t trust Zito on the road but like Dickey vs. Giants
Bailey @ Nolasco
Gee @ Gast
Holland @ Colon – Colon still worth a look at home though.
Cashner @ Tillman - could be a lot of K’s here
Harrell @ Fister
Francis @ Villanueva – Villanueva fading as Garza nears return
Teheran @ Corbin
Haren @ Kershaw
Buehrle @ Buchholz
Smith @ Hellickson
Jimenez @ Verlander – keep an eye on Ubaldo… velocity is back up and pitching well lately
J. Williams @ Quintana
Pettitte @ Shields
S. Johnson @ Worley
Darvish @ Bedard
Parker @ Maurer – last chance for Parker to save his rotation spot?
Liriano @ Niese
J. Chacin @ Wainwright
Jackson @ Strasburg
Maholm @ Bumgarner
Burgos @ Latos – Burgos will start in place of Estrada, who is pushed to Monday
Lee @ Cahill
Slowey @ Ryu – ride the Slowey train!
McAllister @ Porcello – tough matchup for McAllister but I’m a fan
Morrow @ Dempster – bench but don’t cut Morrow, especially coming off stiff neck
Stults @ R. Hernandez
Kuroda @ Big Erv – have to roll Big Erv, right?
W. Chen @ Diamond
Tepesch @ Lyles – favorable matchup for Tepesch
Milone @ Saunders – check the home/away splits on both of these guys… seriously
Wilson @ Sale
W. Peralta @ Arroyo – bench but don’t cut talented but inconsistent Peralta
Gomez @ Harvey
Feldman @ G. Gonzalez – Feldman is rolling, have to go with it
De La Rosa @ J. Garcia
Medlen @ Lincecum
LeBlanc @ Capuano
Kendrick @ McCarthy – tough matchup for McCarthy but he’s this close to getting it together
Phelps @ Masterson (Gm 1 of doubleheader) – still don’t trust Masterson vs. any team with good lefties
Nuno @ Bauer (Gm 2 of doubleheader)
Norris @ An. Sanchez – Anibal might strike out 20 vs. whiff-tastic Astros
Santiago @ P. Hernandez
Mendoza @ Blanton
Grimm @ Griffin
Hefner @ Lynn
Estrada @ Burnett – Estrada pushed back from Friday; hang with ‘em
Nicasio @ Wood
Minor @ Miley
Zimmermann @ Beckett – what reason is there to start Beckett, really?
***ZACH SAYS “Cory’s loyalty to McCarthy is truly admirable but I need to see more before I can trust him. He’s coming off just his first quality start of the season and the Phillies’ lineup isn’t exactly one to pick on.”
Here’s this week’s installment of my two-start pitcher notes. Not a whole lot of appealing options for next week so don’t bench a clearly superior pitcher who will be making only one start in favor of one of these guys. There will be plenty of time to chase strikeouts and wins later. But as for this group, Hector Santiago is the one pitcher who I would make sure to grab.
And of course, be sure to listen to today’s podcast as we’ll have the usual two-start pitcher segment.
Barry Zito (@TOR, @COL)
Zito has been a pleasant surprise this season, both for the Giants and for his fantasy owners. Yeah, he’s had a couple of blowup starts, but in five of his seven outings, he’s allowed either one or zero runs and has pitched at least seven innings in four of those games. Still, I just have a bad feeling about next week. One would think that a stat correction is inevitable, and in five career starts at Rogers Centre, Zito is 1-3 with a 4.91 ERA and 1.43 WHIP. His career numbers at Coors Field are actually very good (3-1, 3.25 ERA, 1.22 WHIP) but pitching any low-strikeout guy in Colorado is playing with fire. On last Friday’s podcast, Ron Shandler explained that he takes a conservative approach with two-start pitchers as one poor performance can ruin the entire week, and I think that the chances of Zito struggling in at least one of these starts are pretty high. Ditch.
Josh Beckett (vs. WAS, @ATL)
Like Zito, Beckett faces two tough matchups, and despite some strong performances, he’s been far from consistent thus far, allowing the opposition to bat .294 against him while allowing eight homers in seven starts. In a deep mixed league, maybe it will pay off to throw him out there for the strikeout upside. But in a 12-teamer, I’m passing.
Jake Westbrook (vs. NYM, vs. MIL)
Westbrook is the type of pitcher who can throw a gem in one start and then get pounded in the next. If his sinker isn’t working right, it can get very ugly very fast. Despite the sparkling 1.62 ERA, I’m not liking the 1.46 WHIP, and Jake has always been a pitch to contact guy, so he doesn’t really have the ability to work himself out of jams via the strikeout. And of course, one of the main reasons to pick up two-start pitchers is to gain ground in strikeouts. To me, the downside here outweighs the upside. Ditch.
Justin Grimm (@OAK, vs. DET)
The stat correction finally came for Grimm in his latest start and while the strikeouts are nice, the vs. DET matchup isn’t so nice. Oh yeah, and the A’s actually rank 3rd in the AL in runs scored at home. The bottom line is that Grimm is too unproven to trust in a two-start week unless both matchups are favorable. If you’re chasing strikeouts and aren’t concerned about ERA and WHIP, maybe he’s worth a try, but I’m holding off in a 12-team mixed until I see a little more. Keep an eye on Grimm going forward though.
Bud Norris (@DET, @PIT)
Norris’ strikeout ability and solid 3.40 ERA surely makes him a must-start for next week, right? Not really. The key here is that Bud will be on the road for both of these starts, and the road has not been too kind to him. Last season, Norris pitched to a 6.94 ERA away from Minute Maid Park. This season, his road ERA is 5.93 through three starts. Plus, there it is, that dreaded @DET matchup. Sorry for being such a downer, but I’m ditching on Norris as well.
Jeff Locke (vs. MIL, vs. HOU)
That’s now four straight starts with 3 ER or less for Locke, whose spot in the Pirates’ rotation appears secure for the foreseeable future. This is a little risky, but I’ll say pitch, albeit with some trepidation. Despite their surprisingly decent start to the season, the Astros’ lineup is still worth picking on and the Brewers’ offense has struggled to score on the road. Let’s just hope that Locke can ride this hot streak for a little while longer!
Hector Santiago (@MIN, @LAA)
Here’s a guy who I’m pitching with confidence next week. This year, Santiago has maintained his high strikeout rate while displaying much improved control. Thanks to Gavin Floyd’s injury, he now gets the opportunity to prove that his stellar pitching out of the bullpen can translate to the starting rotation. And I think he’s up for the task. Fresh off a dominant performance vs. the Mets and a decent outing on the road against the Rangers, Santiago gets two matchups that aren’t too scary. Both the Twins and Angels rank in the bottom half in the AL in runs scored at home and the Angels’ lineup has had a tough time vs. left-handed pitching. I like Santiago a lot for next week.
Chris Tillman (vs. SD, vs. TB)
Although we’re still seeing some inconsistency from Tillman and you would like the strikeout rate to be a little higher, the young righty has now posted four straight quality starts. These matchups aren’t great and Tillman has pitched a lot better on the road than at home this season, but I’ve been very impressed by him of late and there’s a point where recent performance trumps split stats. With Tillman, I think we’re at that point. I’ll roll the dice and pitch.
Kluber @ Scherzer
R. Ortiz @ Lester – Morrow scratched from this start
Volquez @ Cobb
Hanson @ Axelrod – White Sox are 28th in MLB in OPS vs. righties, go for it
Hughes @ W. Davis
Hammel @ Pelfrey
Ogando @ Keuchel
Straily @ Iwakuma – not trusting Straily right now, gaudy minor league numbers or not
Samardzija @ Detwiler – Detwiler cooling, but home start vs. weak Cubs beckons
Gallardo @ Cingrani
Wandy @ Marcum – not much conviction on either recommendation though
Garland @ S. Miller
Cloyd @ Kennedy
J. Fernandez @ Magill – Dodgers are 28th in MLB in OPS vs. righties!
T. Hudson @ Cain
Minor @ Leake
King Felix @ Burnett
Westbrook @ Villanueva – Westbrook still hot but Villanueva cooling
Nolasco @ Marquis
Pettibone @ Zito – risk/reward on Zito, but he’s at home sooo…
Fister @ Haren
Mendoza @ Tillman
Griffin @ Masterson – not trusting Masterson vs. A’s lefty power
Peavy @ Hefner
P. Hernandez @ TBD (BOS) – Doubront demoted to bullpen
Romero @ Moore
Blanton @ Norris – Norris at home vs. scuffling Angels…
Holland @ Lohse
Phelps @ Nicasio
Miley @ Kershaw
An. Sanchez @ Zimmermann
Big Erv @ W. Chen – BIG ERV!!
Milone @ McAllister – tough matchup but I’m a fan
Harang @ McDonald – McDonald MUCH tougher at home
Medlen @ Bailey
Sale @ Harvey
Diamond @ Dempster
Happ @ R. Hernandez – Happ a blue plate special for deeper leagues
Lynn @ Wood – Wood’s been getting it done, but scary matchup
Wilson @ Lyles
Grimm @ W. Peralta – bench but don’t cut scuffling Peralta
Kuroda @ De La Rosa
McCarthy @ Beckett – McCarthy’s indicators suggest improvement is coming
Sanabia @ Stults – at home vs. Marlins? YEP!
Kendrick @ Lincecum
Correia @ Kazmir – Correia’s getting it done, but regression is a cruel mistress
Colon @ Hughes – do you trust Hughes at home vs. the #1 scoring offense in MLB?
Iwakuma @ Dickey
F. Garcia @ Hanson – tough call on Hanson but I’ll play it safe vs. O’s
Quintana @ W. Davis
Scherzer @ Harrell
Lackey @ Ogando
Cingrani @ Samardzija
Wainwright @ Gallardo
Strasburg @ Locke – have to go for it w/ Locke vs. struggling Nats
J. Fernandez @ Hamels
Niese @ Teheran – risky start for Niese on the road, but I’ll take the shot
Price @ Garland
Corbin @ Richard – sticking with Richard at home
Lilly @ Vogelsong – assuming Lilly starts, I’m going for it
Pelfrey @ Kluber
Straily @ Pettitte
Saunders @ Morrow – hang with ‘em on Morrow
Peavy @ Shields
Lester @ Darvish
Hammel @ Richards
Verlander @ Humber
Harvey @ Hudson
G. Gonzalez @ Wandy
J. Garcia @ Estrada – Garcia better at home, but he’s rolling
Latos @ Jackson – Jackson is DTM
Slowey @ Halladay – Slowey worth a gamble in deeper leagues
Kennedy @ Volquez
Cobb @ Chatwood
Ryu @ Cain
Parker @ Jimenez – I like Parker better at home but appears to be turning the corner
Worley @ Buchholz
Buehrle @ Hellickson
Maholm @ Arroyo – not risking Maholm in GABP
Tepesch @ Feldman – blue plate special!
Cahill @ Capuano
LeBlanc @ Cashner
Lee @ Bumgarner