With the regular season ending on a Wednesday, many leagues are having a 10-day week to end the year. Check your league’s rules to see how you are accounting for the last week! This list will assume the 10-day week.
Trevor Cahill – In 2010, Cahill lived a charmed life with a .236 BABIP. Fortune smiled upon Cahill once again as he began this year 6-0 with a .257 BABIP. But since May 15th, Cahill is 5-13 with a 5.33 ERA and a .318 BABIP. For the season, Cahill now has a 4.32 ERA and a .299 BABIP. And the only reason his ERA is that low is because of his home park, where Cahill’s ERA is over two and a half runs lower than his road mark. Cahill has one home and one road start, but his home game is against TEX. After handling the Rangers twice during his 6-0 start, Cahill has allowed 10 ER in 20 IP in his last three starts against them. Give Cahill a spot on the bench this week.
Edwin Jackson – By both FIP and xFIP, Jackson has pitched worse since his trade to the Cardinals but his results have been better, as he sports a 5-2 record with a 3.24 ERA in the National League. Jackson has enjoyed Busch Stadium, where he is 3-0 with a 2.41 ERA in six starts. Overall, he has eight Quality Starts in 10 games for St. Louis, with only a poor outing in Milwaukee where he allowed 4 HR dragging down his numbers. This week he gets home starts against the Mets and Cubs. Get Jackson into your lineup this week.
Mat Latos – While he has not pitched as well as last year, a 3.62 xFIP is still a good number and should have resulted in more than 7 Wins in 29 starts. In his last nine games, Latos has a 3.00 ERA with 15 BB and 55 Ks in 60 IP yet is only 2-4 in that span. Some might be scared off from starting Latos due to the road start in Colorado, but he has been decent in two starts this year in Coors (11 IP, 5 ER, .729 OPS against). Ride the hot hand and hope Latos breaks into the win column in one of his two starts this week.
Michael Pineda – After struggling through a rough patch right around the All-Star break in which he had a 7.64 ERA with 8 HR in 33 IP, Pineda has rebounded with four straight Quality Starts, with just 2 HR in 26 IP. The matchups are favorable for Pineda, as he has a road start in MIN and a home start versus OAK. The Twins and Athletics are the two bottom teams in the AL in HR. If you jumped off the bandwagon after his poor stretch, it’s time to get Pineda back in the lineup.
Javier Vazquez – When Vazquez followed up last year’s 5.32 ERA with a 3-6, 7.09 ERA start to 2011, it looked like he was done as a useful fantasy player, and perhaps as an MLB pitcher, too. But from mid-June forward, he has been a strong pitcher. In that span, covering 16 games and 101.2 IP, Vazquez has 18 BB, 93 Ks and 9 HR. In his rough stretch to start the year, Vazquez had 31 BB and 11 HR in 66 IP. On his May 15th start, Vazquez averaged 88.4 with his fastball and had just 3 swinging strikes in 90 pitches thrown. In his last outing, he averaged 91.3 with his fastball and had 10 swinging strikes in 113 pitches.
He’s a different pitcher now than he was earlier in the season. Vazquez has two home starts this week and he has a 3.61 xFIP with a 9.25 K/9 at Sun Life Stadium. And the pitching matchups are favorable, too. It all adds up to having Vazquez in the starting lineup.
Other scheduled two-start pitchers in Week 25 are listed below. Please remember that these are projected pitchers and changes can and will happen between now and next week.
Lee, Sabathia, Halladay, Haren, Kershaw, Shields, Weaver, Lincecum, Wilson, Kennedy, Greinke, Lester, D. Hudson, T. Hudson, Marcum, Carpenter, Bumgarner, Jimenez, E. Santana, Worley, Scherzer, Romero, G. Gonzalez, Garza, Fister, Beckett, Hellickson, Oswalt, W. Rodriguez, A. Sanchez, Vogelsong, Lewis, Kuroda, J. Garcia, Holland, Lohse, Nova, Chacin, Buehrle, Lilly, Niemann, Nolasco, Floyd, Ogando, Collmenter, Stauffer, Dickey, Colon, Porcello, Morrow, McCarthy, Luebke, Norris, Lowe, Humber, Harden, Capuano, Burnett, Lackey, Minor, Hughes, Myers, Bailey, Davis, Carmona, Morton, Wells, Karstens, Arroyo, Britton, Westbrook, Vargas, Pavano, Cecil, Lannan, Guthrie, Alvarez, Surkamp, Narveson, Pelfrey, Pineiro, Volquez, Miley, Eveland, Williams, White, Penny, Paulino, Beavan, Huff, Hunter, Millwood, Sosa, Happ, Delgado, Volstad, Wang, LeBlanc, Simon, Lopez, Gomez, Furbush, Slowey, Ohlendorf, Milone, Cook, Swarzak, McGowan, Hendriks, Diamond, Coleman, Schwinden, Axelrod.
Check back Sunday night for an update of two-start pitchers.
Now I want to provide some accountability and check in and see how previous recommendations turned out. There needs to be a two-week lag, since last week’s pitchers have not completed their second start yet. So here are Week 23 pitchers and how they fared.
Collmenter – Advised to sit. 6 Ks, 6.10 ERA, 1.452 WHIP, 10.1 IP, 7 ER
Garcia – Advised to start. 4 Ks, 14.09 ERA, 2.478 WHIP, 7.2 IP, 12 ER
Harden – Advised to sit. 10 Ks, 7.20 ERA, 1.800 WHIP, 5 IP, 4 ER
Vazquez – Advised to start. 2 W, 14 Ks, 0.69 ERA, 0.846 WHIP, 14 IP, 3 ER
Willis – Advised to start. 8 Ks, 5.14 ERA, 1.571 WHIP, 7 IP, 4 ER
Here is the latest update to Week 24 two-start pitchers. Again this list is subject to change going forward.
Pitchers not listed on last update: Greinke, Lilly, Danks, Willis, Detwiler, Hand
Pitchers no longer scheduled for two starts: Cueto, Peavy, Eveland, Wang.
Let’s take a look at John Danks. On May 29th, Danks allowed 9 ER in 4 IP to send his ERA to 5.25 and his record to 0-8. Since then he’s 6-3 with a 3.09 ERA. Over those last 13 games, Danks has 76 Ks and 17 BB in 81.2 IP.
For the season, Danks has a 3.77 xFIP, which is the lowest mark he’s ever recorded. His ERA is now down to 4.09, higher than what it has been recently, but essentially equal to his lifetime 3.98 mark. It’s been a tremendous in-season turnaround.
Danks pitched okay the first month of the season, with four Quality Starts in six games with 36 Ks in 39 IP. It was May when Danks really hit the skids. In five starts that month, he had a 6.89 ERA with 14 BB, 10 Ks and 6 HR in 31.1 IP. In the first two months of the season, Danks allowed 11 HR in 70.1 IP. He gave up 84 fly balls in that span and had a 13.10 HR/FB rate.
In his last 13 games, Danks has surrendered 6 HR in 81.2 IP. He’s allowed 85 fly balls in that span for a 7.06 HR/FB rate. For the season Danks now has a 10.1 HR/FB rate, almost exactly equal to his career mark of 10.0.
We also see that Danks had trouble with his cutter early in the year. In 2009, Danks’ cutter was 19.1 runs above average while in 2010 it was 10.8 runs above average. In the month of May, Danks’ cutter had a -2.8 run value. Starting in June, Danks has had a positive run value with his cutter each month of the season.
Danks has a home game against Detroit and a road game against Kansas City this week. He has an ERA two runs higher on the road this year, with 76 IP both at home and on the road. But Danks’ road xFIP is 3.40, compared to a 4.13 home xFIP.
The White Sox lefty was knocked around in his last two outings, including a road game in Detroit, which has prompted fantasy owners to own him in just 51.8 percent of ESPN leagues and to start him in just 47 percent of CBS Sports leagues.
This year Danks is 1-2 with a 6.48 ERA against the Tigers in three games and 16.2 IP. Against the Royals he’s 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA in two games and 13 IP. Combined, he has 34 Ks in 29.2 IP against these teams.
Everyone is happy when one of their pitchers is scheduled for two starts in a week. But that is not always a good thing. Here are five pitchers you may be on the fence about (or should be on the fence) putting into your lineup for Week 24.
Brandon Beachy – After getting lit up in his first start after the All-Star break, Beachy has gone nine starts with a .267 ERA and a 1.019 WHIP. He continues to strike batters out at an impressive clip, with a 10.17 K/9 in that span. This week he gets two home starts and Beachy has done a very nice job keeping the ball in the park at Turner Field. In road games, he’s allowed 11 HR in 64 IP while at home it’s 5 HR in 62 IP. The matchups are favorable, as he goes up against FLA and NYM, so make sure Beachy is active.
Bruce Chen – While the matchups are favorable for Chen this week, with home starts against MIN and CHW, he has been beat up in his last two starts, as he’s allowed 10 ER in his last 11.1 IP. The common narrative is that after bouncing around for a number of years, Chen has finally learned how to pitch, evidenced by his 22-14 record the past two years for a poor KC team. But in those years, Chen has a 4.79 and 4.70 xFIP, right in line with his lifetime 4.71 xFIP. Put him on your bench.
Dillon Gee – At the end of June, Gee was 8-1 with a 3.32 ERA. Since then he’s gone 4-4 with a 5.89 ERA. He’s surrendered 12 HR in 62.2 IP in that span and has just a 1.53 K/BB ratio. Gee’s allowed 4 or more ER in 6 of his last 11 starts. Regression has caught up to Gee, who now has a 4.42 ERA and a 4.46 xFIP. Gee helped keep the Mets in the fringe of the Wild Card race the first three months of the season, but he’s not worth starting at this point of the season.
Aaron Harang – In his last four games, Harang has recorded fourth straight Quality Starts, doing a nice job of righting his season after he hit a mini-rough patch just after the All-Star break. In those four games, Harang has 24 Ks in 26 IP. He’s pitching well and has favorable matchups this week, as he squares off against Eric Surkamp and Joe Saunders, so make sure Harang is in your starting lineup.
Rick Porcello – With a 4.87 ERA, the tendency is to dismiss Porcello’s 13 Wins. But his xFIP is nearly a run lower at 4.03 and Porcello has done a nice job of improving his walk rate in the second half of the season, as he’s allowed just 9 BB in 59.1 IP. However, he’s been a bit unlucky in both his BABIP (.325) and HR rate (14.29) since the All-Star break. The other thing to keep in mind with Porcello is how he dominates RHB (.633 OPS) and struggles versus LHB (.881 OPS). He faces CHW and OAK this week, with neither team being a lefty-hitting powerhouse. Get Porcello in the lineup this week.
Other scheduled two-start pitchers in Week 24 are listed below. Please remember that these are projected pitchers and changes can and will happen between now and next week.
Verlander, F. Hernandez, Cain, Hamels, Price, Cueto, Masterson, G. Gonzalez, Oswalt, Billingsley, Dempster, Niemann, Lohse, Harrison, Peavy, Dickey, Saunders, Moscoso, Myers, Britton, Surkamp, Pineiro, Eveland, Wakefield, Lincoln, Wang, Rogers, Volstad, Lopez.
Now I want to provide some accountability and check in and see how previous recommendations turned out. There needs to be a two-week lag, since last week’s pitchers have not completed their second start yet. So here are Week 22 pitchers and how they fared.
Buehrle – Advised to start. W, 8 Ks, 5.73 ER, 1.636 WHIP, 11 IP, 7 ER
Cecil – Advised to sit. 7 Ks, 6.00 ERA, 1.333 WHIP, 12 IP, 8 ER
Davis – Advised to start. W, 8 Ks, 7.36 ERA, 1.909 WHIP, 11 IP, 9 ER
Fister – Advised to start. 6 Ks, 1.17 ERA, 0.522 WHIP, 7.2 IP, 1 ER
Kuroda – Advised to start. W, 3 Ks, 6.00 ERA, 1.500 WHIP, 6 IP, 4 ER
Here are five pitchers you may be on the fence about (or should be on the fence) putting into your lineup for Week 23.
Josh Collmenter – The rookie has done an excellent job of keeping the ball in the park this year, which has helped him to a 3.18 ERA compared to a 4.05 xFIP. The one team that has been able to hit the ball out of the park against Collmenter is the Rockies. He’s surrendered 4 HR in 19.1 IP versus Colorado this season. This week he has a start in Coors Field. Last time he went to Denver, Collmenter gave up 2 HR in 4.1 IP. Collmenter also starts against the Padres this week. San Diego is tied for fifth in the NL in runs scored since the All-Star break, meaning Collmenter has two potential rough outings this week. Give him a spot on your bench.
Freddy Garcia – Some thought that Garcia would fall apart down the stretch but he’s continued to produce solid outings for the Yankees here in the second half of the season. In his last five games, he’s 4-0 with a 2.01 ERA. He has a home game against the Orioles and in three previous starts against Baltimore this year, Garcia is 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA and he has 17 Ks in 18 IP. Keep Garcia active this week.
Rich Harden – With 72 Ks in 63.1 IP, Harden has given owners who picked him off the waiver wire a nice return. He’s generally been solid although he’s struggled against two teams this year – the Yankees and Rangers. Unfortunately, Harden faces the Rangers in one of his starts this week. In two games against Texas this year, Harden has allowed 9 ER in 9 IP and has a 2.222 WHIP. Put him on the bench this week.
Javier Vazquez – In his last 14 games, Vazquez has a 2.44 ERA with 16 BB and 79 Ks in 88.2 IP yet is just 5-5. This week he squares off against the Mets and Pirates. In his last two outings against New York, Vazquez has allowed just 1 ER in 14 IP. He’s yet to face Pittsburgh this year but the Pirates are reeling, having won just 17 out of 49 games since the All-Star break. Vazquez is pitching great and has favorable matchups so make sure he’s in your lineup this week.
Dontrelle Willis – How much money would you have wagered on Willis making it back to the majors in 2011 and being an effective pitcher? After 10 starts he has a 3.87 xFIP and he’s hurled a Quality Start in eight of his 10 games for the Reds. No longer the electric pitcher he was in Florida, Willis now throws his fastball under 60 percent of the time. He now throws a bunch of sliders while still mixing in a changeup. This week he has road starts in Chicago and Colorado and he’s been a slightly better pitcher on the road, where he has a 3.64 xFIP. Willis had his longest outing of the year the last time he faced COL, as he went 8 IP and had 10 Ks. He’s available in most leagues and is a nice streaming option.
Other scheduled two-start pitchers in Week 23 are listed below. Please remember that these are projected pitchers and changes can and will happen between now and next week.
Lee, Haren, Shields, Beckett, Gallardo, T. Hudson, Wilson, Jimenez, Bumgarner, Kuroda, Worley, Garza, Fister, Wolf, Stauffer, Lilly, Lowe, Capuano, Strasburg, Carmona, McDonald, Humber, Westbrook, Lannan, H. Alvarez, Miley, Sosa, Duffy, Paulino, L. Perez, LeBlanc, Stewart, Hunter, Swarzak, Batista, A. Vasquez, Diamond.
Now I want to provide some accountability and check in and see how previous recommendations turned out. There needs to be a two-week lag, since last week’s pitchers have not completed their second start yet. So here are Week 21 pitchers and how they fared.
Carmona – Advised to start. 8 Ks, 4.38 ERA, 1.297 WHIP, 12.1 IP, 6 ER
Colon – Advised to start. 9 Ks, 4.50 ERA, 1.071 WHIP, 14 IP, 7 ER
Dempster – Advised to sit. 11 Ks, 7.20 ERA, 1.800 WHIP, 10 IP, 8 ER
Nolasco – Advised to sit. 8 Ks, 5.40 ERA, 1.500 WHIP, 6.2 IP, 4 ER
Norris – Advised to sit. 16 Ks, 4.50 ERA, 1.167 WHIP, 12 IP, 6 ER
Here is the latest update to Week 22 two-start pitchers. There’s more changes than normal because of all of the rescheduling necessitated by Hurricane Irene. And there will undoubtedly be even more changes as the week progresses.
Pitchers not listed on last update: Halladay, Jurrjens, Vogelsong, Nolasco, A. Sanchez, Gee, McCarthy, F. Garcia, Simon
Pitchers no longer scheduled for two starts: Sabathia, J. Garcia, Worley, Tomlin, Harrison, Fister, Harden, Lowe, Vazquez, Pelfrey, Guthrie, Volstad.
Let’s take a look at Anibal Sanchez. From the second week in May until the end of June, Sanchez was a fantasy star, as he went 5-0 with a 2.17 ERA, a 0.920 WHIP and 75 Ks in 70.2 IP. He put up this impressive line with a .280 BABIP, so it seemed likely that he would continue to put up good numbers, even after this lights-out streak was over.
But in his last 10 starts, Sanchez is 1-5 with a 6.33 ERA. The strikeout numbers are still good, as he has 56 Ks in 54 IP. But the BABIP is ugly at .369 and he’s surrendered 11 HR in 54 IP. Sanchez has allowed 62 fly balls in those 10 starts and has a 17.74 HR/FB ratio. Lifetime, he has an 8.1 HR/FB mark, so clearly something is out of whack.
Sanchez is really struggling with his slider, typically his best pitch. In 2010, Sanchez had a 12.0 wSL, easily his most effective offering. This year it sits at a 3.8 wSL, still a good mark but very deceiving. Here’s how it breaks down by month:
After being on the first page of the leaderboard with results from his slider in each of the first three months of the season, Sanchez had the second-worst results of any qualified starter in July and is again below average with his slider so far in August.
Velocity has not been an issue for Sanchez, as he hit 94.6 in his last start and averaged 91.5 – right at his seasonal average. There’s been no talk about any injury but that’s always a possibility for someone who relies heavily on the slider.
For whatever reason, the results have not been there for Sanchez for two months now. He still has some value because of his strikeouts, but Sanchez is no longer a must-start fantasy pitcher. This week in his two starts, he has a matchup with the Phillies, who are third in the NL in HR since the All-Star break, not something that a pitcher who has allowed 11 HR in his last 54 IP should relish.
Everyone is happy when one of their pitchers is scheduled for two starts in a week. But that is not always a good thing. Here are five pitchers you may be on the fence about (or should be on the fence) putting into your lineup for Week 22.
Mark Buehrle – In his last 19 starts, Buehrle has gone 9-3 with a 2.62 ERA. Overall, his ERA is about 0.75 less than his FIP and nearly a full run worse than his xFIP. But Buehrle has out-performed both FIP numbers in seven of the previous nine seasons, so it’s not a huge surprise. The estimators have a tough time with Buehrle because his strikeout rate is so low. But he counters with an excellent walk rate and better than average HR and LOB rates. He has a home start against MIN and he has a 0.39 ERA in three starts against the Twins this year. He’s also got a game at DET and lifetime he has a 3.37 ERA and a 1.179 WHIP in 123 IP at Comerica Park. Keep Buehrle in the lineup this week.
Brett Cecil – The one weakness for Cecil is his gopher ball tendencies. He’s allowed 14 HR in 91.1 IP this year and all 14 HR have come against RHB. This week Cecil squares off against BAL and NYY, with both starts on the road. The Yankees lead the AL with 98 HR at home and the Orioles are tied for third with 82 HR. The Yankees have power up and down the lineup while the Orioles feature three RHB – Hardy, Jones and Reynolds – with over 20 HR apiece. Give Cecil the week off.
Wade Davis – The year started off miserably for Davis as he adopted more of a pitch-to-contact approach which resulted in an inflated ERA. After 18 starts he had a 4.47 ERA and a 4.13 K/9. But in his last five starts, Davis has fanned 28 in 36 IP for a 7.00 K/9 and he has a 3.75 ERA. The Rays are 5-0 in that stretch, although Davis has just one win to show for it. If he can keep up the solid pitching, the wins will come so make sure you have him active this week.
Doug Fister – Last year Fister was a low-end matchup guy, one you could put into the lineup when he had home starts. He had a strong 3.61 ERA and 1.139 WHIP at Safeco but a 5.06 ERA and a 1.551 WHIP in road games. This year he’s been good both at home and on the road. There was concern about how he would do after the trade to Detroit, but in four starts with the Tigers, Fister has produced two strong outings, both at home. This week he has two home starts, with games against the Royals and White Sox, two teams below .500 and who are just middle of the pack versus LH starters. Get Fister active this week.
Hiroki Kuroda – Since coming to this country in 2008, Kuroda has been a very reliable pitcher for both the Dodgers and fantasy owners. Despite strong overall numbers, he’s never been a big asset in Wins and this year was even worse than normal as he had a 6-13 record at the end of July despite a 3.11 ERA. But fortune has smiled upon Kuroda in August, as he has a 4-1 record this month. He has a normal .305 BABIP in August yet has a 2.16 ERA in 33.1 IP. This week he has a home start against SD and a road start in ATL. He has more wins against the Padres (7) than any team in the majors. His start against the Braves is a day game and Kuroda has a 2.58 ERA and a 1.148 WHIP with a 4.0 K/BB rate in day games this season. Make sure he is in the lineup this week.
Other scheduled two-start pitchers in Week 22 are listed below. Please remember that these are projected pitchers and changes can and will happen between now and next week.
Lincecum, Sabathia, Kershaw, Romero, Marcum, Hellickson, D.Hudson, Scherezer, J. Garcia, Worley, Latos, W. Rodriguez, Hamels, Tomlin, Harrison, Cahill, Lackey, Harden, Lowe, Morton, Vazquez, Bailey, Arroyo, Hochevar, Pelfrey, Guthrie, White, L. Hernandez, Beavan, Wells, Pineiro, Francis, Slowey, Huff, Williams, Ohlendorf, Volstad.
Now I want to provide some accountability and check in and see how previous recommendations turned out. There needs to be a two-week lag, since last week’s pitchers have not completed their second start yet. So here are Week 20 pitchers and how they fared.
Billingsley – Advised to sit. 12 Ks, 3.07 ERA, 0.955 WHIP, 14.2 IP, 5 ER
Burnett – Advised to start. W, 3 Ks, 12.27 ERA, 2.591 WHIP, 7.1 IP, 10 ER
Gonzalez – Advised to start. W, 13 Ks, 3.21 ERA, 0.857 WHIP, 14 IP, 5 ER
Leake – Advised to start. 10 Ks, 6.75 ERA, 1.167 WHIP, 12 IP, 9 ER
Luebke – Advised to start. W, 13 Ks, 1.50 ERA, 0.750 WHIP, 12 IP, 2 ER
Usually we have two columns on two-start pitchers but circumstances beyond my control made the Friday column impossible. So, this week there will be just the Sunday one. Here are five pitchers you may be on the fence about (or should be on the fence) putting into your lineup for Week 21.
Fausto Carmona – The overall numbers for Carmona are pretty uninspiring (6-12, 4.89) but in his last seven games he has pitched much better. Carmona’s ERA has dropped a full run in that span, as he has a 2.51 ERA over his last 43 IP. Carmona has had very good control this year and recently he’s kept his HR in check, too. He allowed 15 HR in 104.1 IP before the All-Star break and 4 in 41.0 IP here in the second half. This week he goes up against SEA and KC, two teams that are below average in hitting homers. Get Carmona into you lineup this week.
Bartolo Colon – After he was roughed up by the Blue Jays in his first start in the second half, many began to wonder if the clock had struck midnight on Colon’s surprising comeback season. But Colon bounced back with a 3.71 ERA over his last six starts, with 10 BB and 28 Ks in 34 IP. He’s got a fairly normal .314 BABIP in this span, too. He faces BAL and OAK this week, two teams that are a combined 31 games under .500 this season. He should be active this week.
Ryan Dempster – In his last four games, Dempster is 3-0 with a 2.77 ERA. But unlike Colon, he’s done that with a .242 BABIP. Batters have hit 27 fly balls in this span and have 2 HR. Prior to this stretch, Dempster allowed 14 HR on 124 fly balls. Dempster has a home game against the Braves, who have won 12 of their last 16 games, and then a road start in Milwaukee, where the Brewers are second in the NL with 78 HR at home and have a 47-16 mark at Miller Field. Give Dempster a spot on the bench this week.
Ricky Nolasco – It’s hard to imagine worse possible matchups for a starting pitcher in the NL, as Nolasco squares off against ERA leader Johnny Cueto in his first start and gets Wins leader Roy Halladay in his second outing. And in his last start, Nolasco allowed 11 H and 11 ER in 3 IP. For the clincher, Nolasco is not piling up strikeouts like he has in the past, as he has a pedestrian 20 Ks in his last 31.2 IP. Put him on your bench this week.
Bud Norris – In the first half of the season, Norris surrendered 11 HR in 112 IP. In the second half he’s given up 8 HR in 40 IP. Additionally, his K/9 has dropped from 9.1 to 7.2 in the same span. Norris has a start in COL this week, never a good thing for a pitcher struggling with the gopher ball and one who gives up more fly balls than grounders. If you have the depth, give Norris a week on the bench.
Other scheduled two-start pitchers in Week 21 are listed below. Please remember that these are projected pitchers and changes can and will happen between now and next week.
Verlander, Greinke, Cain, Carpenter, Kennedy, Cueto, Wilson, Price, Masterson, Morrow, Lewis, Chacin, Niemann, Jurrjens, Lohse, Zimmermann, Bedard, Niese, Kartends, Lackey, Saunders, Myers, Duensing, Vargas, Pavano, McCarthy, Eovaldi, Chen, Guthrie, Penny, Britton, Detwiler, Coleman.
Now I want to provide some accountability and check in and see how previous recommendations turned out. There needs to be a two-week lag, since last week’s pitchers have not completed their second start yet. So here are Week 19 pitchers and how they fared.
Cecil – Advised to start. 8 Ks, 4.50 ERA, 0.786 WHIP, 14 IP, 7 ER
Garza – Advised to start. 14 Ks, 4.09 ERA, 1.364 WHIP, 11 IP, 5 ER
Harrison – Advised to start. W, 12 Ks, 4.38 ERA, 1.135 WHIP, 12.1 IP, 6 ER
Hudson – Advised to start. W, 5 Ks, 4.91 ERA, 1.909 WHIP, 12 IP, 8 ER
Masterson – Advised to start. 6 Ks, 3.72 ERA, 1.138 WHIP, 9.2 IP, 4 ER
Here is the latest update to Week 20 two-start pitchers. Again this list is subject to change going forward.
Pitchers not listed on last update: Halladay, Shields, Millwood, Hensley, Wang.
Pitchers no longer scheduled for two starts: Lee, Hanson, Vazquez, Davis, Detwiler.
Let’s take a look at Chien-Ming Wang. He’s pitched just 137 innings between 2008-2010 as he has battled foot and shoulder problems. Some feared that his career was over but Wang has indeed made it back to the majors and has three starts under his belt this year. He has a respectable 3.60 ERA, but he has allowed six unearned runs so far and 12 runs in 15 IP.
But before we give up on Wang, let’s look at his three outings start by start:
7/29 – 4 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 4 FB, 7 GB, 6 LD
8/3 – 5 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 2 ER, 5 FB, 14 GB, 3 LD
8/9 — 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 FB, 11 GB, 1 LD
His 2.40 BB/9, 58.2 GB% and 7.7 HR/FB all match up quite well with his 2005-2008 heyday, when he won 19 games in the two years he made 30+ starts. He was always a pitcher who outperformed his xFIP and this year it’s even more dramatic due to his virtual complete lack of Ks (1.80 K/9).
However, Wang lives and dies not by his ability to strike batters out but by his penchant for getting batters to beat the ball in the ground. In his last two starts, he’s induced 25 GB and allowed 9 FB in 11 IP. Yes, these are very small sample sizes. But it is still very encouraging to see him doing what he did best when he was healthy.
With matchups against the Reds and Phillies this week, two of the bottom four teams in the NL in GB%, Wang may have his work cut out for him. But as a guy likely available on the waiver wire, he’s a much more interesting pick than either Kevin Millwood or Clay Hensley.
Everyone is happy when one of their pitchers is scheduled for two starts in a week. But that is not always a good thing. Here are five pitchers you may be on the fence about (or should be on the fence) putting into your lineup for Week 20.
Chad Billingsley – Consistency has been hard to come by for Billingsley in 2011. Yes, he’s had some stretches where he’s run off multiple wins in a row, but those times were not backed with strong pitching. And here recently it’s been hot and cold for the Dodger righty. The one constant seemingly for Billingsley has been poor results on the road. In his last seven road starts, he’s given up 4, 4, 6, 0, 3, 5 and 3 ER over 45 IP for a 5.00 ERA. For the season he has a 5.53 road ERA, so it’s not like these last seven are out of character for him. Billingsley has a 6.59 K/9 in road games and allows more HR on the road. This week he squares off at MIL and at COL, two really good HR parks. Give him the week off if you can.
A.J. Burnett – It has been over six weeks since Burnett notched his last win and he has not been particularly impressive in defeat, either, with a 6.00 ERA in his last seven starts. One of the big problems in that stretch is that he has allowed 8 HR in 42 IP. The good news for Burnett this week is that he squares off against KC and MIN, two of the worst teams in the league in hitting HR. He’s also struggled with his command recently and the Twins have the fewest walks of any AL team. Both of these starts are on the road, which likely works in his favor as the Bronx faithful are not overly fond of Burnett at the moment. Put him in your lineup this week.
Gio Gonzalez – In his last four starts, Gonzalez is 0-4 with an 8.44 ERA. In that span, he has a 2.109 WHIP. Gonzalez’ BB/9 has definitely been a problem (6.3) but no one is going to succeed with the .433 BABIP that Gonzalez has during that stretch. So, is there an injury or is it a slump? Gonzalez also has a 9.7 K/9 in that stretch and his 10.0 SwStr% is right at his 9.7 percent mark for the season. It does not seem like an injury and there is no discussion of any health problems. He has two home starts this week and Gonzalez is 7-2 with a 2.21 ERA at the Coliseum. Also his home FIP is 1.07 beneath his road FIP. Keep Gonzalez active this week despite his recent horrible pitching.
Mike Leake – A 3.0 K/BB ratio and five Quality Starts in his last five games have not translated into a great record for Leake, who is 2-3 in that span. He has a nifty 2.53 ERA in his last 32 IP and a normal .316 BABIP. This week he squares off against the slumping Pirates (3-13 in their last 16 games) and Nationals (7-11). Leake is pitching well and he has favorable matchups, so make sure he is active this week.
Cory Luebke – A high pitch count kept Luebke to five innings in his last outing but that was hardly a surprise, as he notched 4 BB and 8 Ks. The walks were out of character but the strikeouts are what fantasy owners have come to expect from the converted reliever. Since moving into the rotation on June 26th, Luebke has a 9.3 K/9. His 2.98 ERA as a SP exactly matches his xFIP. Luebke is stretched out as a SP and has thrown between 100-110 pitches in each of his last seven outings. He has struggled somewhat at home (3.42 xFIP) but he faces two teams from the East Coast and there’s no reason not to have him in your lineup this week.
Other scheduled two-start pitchers in Week 20 are listed below. Please remember that these are projected pitchers and changes can and will happen between now and next week.
Lee, Gallardo, Lester, T. Hudson, Ogando, Jimenez, Bumgarner, Hanson, Holland, A. Sanchez, Pineda, Harang, Liriano, Porcello, Wolf, J. Sanchez, Lilly, Dickey, Vazquez, Collmenter, McDonald, Westbrook, Davis, Blackburn, Alvarez, Moscoso, Hunter, Mills, Duffy, Chatwood, Paulino, G. Richards, Detwiler, Lopez, Sosa.
Now I want to provide some accountability and check in and see how previous recommendations turned out. There needs to be a two-week lag, since last week’s pitchers have not completed their second start yet. So here are Week 18 pitchers and how they fared.
Danks – Advised to start. 5 Ks, 6.00 ERA, 1.667 WHIP, 6 IP, 4 ER
Lackey – Advised to sit. W, 10 Ks, 5.68 ERA, 1.263 WHIP, 12.2 IP, 8 ER
Peavy – Advised to sit. W, 10 Ks, 1.80 ERA, 0.800 WHIP, 15 IP, 3 ER
E. Santana – Advised to start. 2 W, 14 Ks, 1.04 ERA, 1.039 WHIP, 17.1 IP, 2 ER
Vazquez – Advised to start. 8 Ks, 1.39 ERA, 1.000 WHIP, 13 IP, 2 ER
Here is the latest update to Week 19 two-start pitchers. Again this list is subject to change going forward.
Pitchers not listed on last update: Danks, Wakefield, Reyes, LeBlanc.
Pitchers no longer scheduled for two starts: Floyd, Humber, Britton.
Let’s take a look at Jo-Jo Reyes. The California native was a second-round pick of the Braves in 2003. He had some very strong seasons in the minor in the Atlanta organization and he seemed destined to be the next impact hurler for the club. But in 41 games for the Braves, he was 5-15 with a 6.40 ERA.
Sometimes a change of scenery is what the doctor calls for in these situations and the Braves included him in the Yunel Escobar deal last year. But nobody expects a struggling pitcher to put things together pitching in the AL East. This year with the Blue Jays, Reyes was 5-8 with a 5.40 ERA in 20 starts before he was waived.
The Orioles picked him up, which is a classic good news-bad news deal. On the plus side, Reyes gets to continue his pitching in the majors. On the flip side, he’s still competing in the AL East. Reyes’ first appearance for Baltimore came in a relief role but he moves back into the rotation to replace Zach Britton, who suffered a shoulder strain.
In 121 games in the minors, Reyes recorded an 8.3 SO/9 ratio. But in the majors that mark falls to 5.7 SO/9. And when you combine that with a 3.9 BB/9, it’s easy to see why Reyes has struggled so much in his time in the big leagues.
Reyes throws hard and he is primarily a fastball pitcher. The problem is that he is just not overpowering with the pitch and his secondary offerings are not enough to make up for that fact. He also throws a slider and a change. This year the slider has been a decent pitch for Reyes, but he only throws it 11.3% of the time.
He gets some swings outside of the zone (31.0 O-Swing%) but batters have a 76.9 O-Contact%, which would be one of the worst marks if he had enough innings to qualify. Furthermore, Reyes has just a 6.7 SwStr% this season, which matches his career average.
In his career, Reyes has done okay against LHB, with a lifetime .742 OPS allowed to lefties. Perhaps he can carve out a role as a LOOGY. But at this point, there’s little reason for optimism about Reyes turning into an effective starting pitcher.