CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

Premium and Super Premium Subscribers Get a 20% Discount at MLB.tv!

<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article Value Picks: Starting ... (07/13)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Weekly Planner: Week 1... (06/29)
Next Column >>
Weekly Planner: Week 1... (07/20)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Overthinking It: The R... (07/13)

July 13, 2012

Weekly Planner

Week 15

by Paul Sporer

the archives are now free.

All Baseball Prospectus Premium and Fantasy articles more than a year old are now free as a thank you to the entire Internet for making our work possible.

Not a subscriber? Get exclusive content like this delivered hot to your inbox every weekday. Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get instant access to the best baseball content on the web.

Subscribe for $4.95 per month
Recurring subscription - cancel anytime.


a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Purchase a $39.95 gift subscription
a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

This week’s Weekly Planner, more than ever, is rife with uncertainty as teams still haven’t put their rotations in stone, so this is definitely subject to change. I did my best cobbling a few sources together as well as my own leg/guess work.

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Auto-Starts: CC Sabathia and Jon Lester

There is a wide chasm between these two, obviously, but Lester isn’t killing you like some would-be aces (I’m looking at you, Timmy), so you have to keep him in there despite sub-optimal performance. He actually is sporting a three-year high in strikeout-to-walk ratio at 3.1 thanks to a career-best 2.4 BB/9, so even though it has felt like a completely awful season from him, it hasn’t been one.

Start
Phil Hughes (vs. TOR; @ OAK)
Matt Moore (vs. CLE; vs. SEA)
Jason Vargas (@ KC; @ TB)
Roy Oswalt (@ OAK; @ LAA)
Drew Smyly (vs. LAA; vs. CWS)
Gavin Floyd (@ BOS; @ DET)
Bartolo Colon (vs. TEX; vs. NYY)

Plenty of names I like here, but many are facing less than ideal matchups.

Hughes has been really good since that four-homer shelling against Atlanta back on June 20, and he was quiet excellent for a stretch before that too. Despite a tough lineup coming to the homer haven that is Yankee Stadium, I think he is a clear start for the week.

Moore has inexplicably been wretched against lefties this year, yet I can’t help but think this is something the Rays can help him figure out. Jason Collette and I discuss this seemingly weekly and did so again on the July 13 episode with Cory Schwartz (which may be out by the time you read this), and Jason posits that it is Moore’s position on the third base side of the rubber that contributes to the woes. Cleveland, terrible against lefties on their own, ripped Moore the last time, but I’m still betting on the odds; the Indians and Mariners rate 24th and 29th, respectively, against lefties in terms of OPS this year.

A quick look at the splits suggests Vargas is purely a home/road play in the vein of Tommy Milone, but further investigation tells a bit of a different story. Yes, he is an auto-start at home, where that stadium plays perfect to his (and really any pitcher’s) style, but his road numbers are inflated by a couple of rough outings away from Safeco (aptly named for pitchers). One in particular was a 10-earned-run smashing at the hands of the Diamondbacks. He’s not a star on the road, but the Royals and Rays check in at 22nd and 23rd on those OPS vs. lefties rankings, so I like him even in their venues.

I look at Floyd’s skills and wonder how he has a 4.54 ERA. He is posting a career-high strikeout rate (8.0 K/9) and a 2.7 BB/9 that is better than his 2.9 career mark, yet the home run woes from his early days have crept up to bite him again with a 1.5 HR/9. I’m quite bullish on him going forward but am a little skittish this week with a trip to Fenway and a faceoff against the hot-hitting Tigers. He showed for three straight years that he can quell the gopheritis (1.0 or lower HR/9), so I’m betting on this year’s rate trickling down as the season wears on.

Consider
Travis Blackley (vs. TEX; vs. NYY)
Alex Cobb (vs. CLE; vs. SEA)

Blackley has been nothing short of excellent this year, and his Ryan Vogelsong-esque story is great, but we made Vogelsong prove it for a while before buying in, so Blackley gets the same treatment. I love the venue, but those are a couple of beastly matchups. This is an incredible test, and if he passes it, then I will be more apt to trust him going forward. Your mileage may vary.

Sit
Ervin Santana (@ DET; vs. TEX)
Philip Humber (@ BOS; @ DET)
Rick Porcello (vs. LAA; vs. CWS)
Aaron Cook (vs. CWS; vs. TOR)
Henderson Alvarez (@ NYY; @ BOS)
Miguel Gonzalez (@ MIN; @ CLE)

Pitching machines set on level one have yielded fewer home runs than Santana and Humber this year. A pair of outings in Detroit, a trip to Fenway, and the Texas lineup is on their slate this week. No thanks.

Our own Ben Lindbergh gave some insight into why Mr. 0.8, aka Aaron Cook, should probably be avoided on the fantasy landscape.

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Auto-Starts: Anibal Sanchez

Sanchez has been rollercoastery of late, so hopefully the time off did him some good and allowed him to get his head in order and find out what is causing his inconsistency. The average ERA (yes, that essentially says average earned run average) aside, his skills have been nearly equal to last year’s sharp marks. He gave back some strikeouts but also shaved the walk rate, a trade I’ll make if you are still fanning eight per game.

There is a chance Roy Halladay will get a two-start week, which would obviously qualify him for this arena as well, but at press time nothing concrete was available.

Start
Jon Niese (@ WAS; vs. LAD)
Chris Capuano (vs. PHI; @ NYM)
Edwin Jackson (@ MIA; vs. ATL)
Kyle Lohse (@ MIL; vs. CHC)
Wade Miley (@ CIN; vs. HOU)
Trevor Bauer (@ CIN; vs. HOU)

Niese has auto-start potential, but he is still a bit away from that ceiling thanks to a home run issue that has crept up and inflated his ERA this year. At least he finally has the sub-4.00 ERA he has seemingly deserved each of the last two seasons, though.

Those of you waiting for/expecting Capuano to fall off will likely be disappointed. He may not track with a sub-3.00 ERA all year long, but he is definitely a sub-3.50 guy, and he continues to miss bats at a better-than-eight-per-game clip, making him a real fantasy asset across all formats.

Bauer finally had his coming out party, but it was against the neutered Dodgers lineup, so it is hard to fully count it. I still want to see something against a more formidable lineup. Even the Dodgers lineup with Matt Kemp would be enough for me, but not the current lineup that Tim Lincecum even worked over recently. Until then, I have to lean on the more trustworthy assets like Jackson, Lohse, and even teammate Miley. No doubt they all carry less upside, but part of two-start weeks is not getting smashed either.

Consider
Homer Bailey (vs. ARI; vs. MIL)
Bronson Arroyo (vs. ARI; vs. MIL)
J.A. Happ (@ SD; @ ARI)
Ross Detwiler (vs. NYM; vs. ATL)

I like both Reds, but they have home run issues that scare me, especially with a date against the Brewers on the docket. The Brew Crew rip righties with the second-most homers in baseball at 81. The D’Backs don’t fare quite as well power-wise, but they are smack dab in the middle for OPS against righties, and Cincy’s ballpark can turn well-struck balls into homers in a hurry.

Sit
Jeff Karstens (@ COL; vs. MIA)
Christian Friedrich (vs. PIT; @ SD)
Jordan Lyles (@ SD; @ ARI)
Carlos Zambrano (vs. WAS; @ PIT)
Jeff Francis (vs. PIT; @ SD)

Karstens is pitching pretty well this year, but a trip to Coors nixes him. Meanwhile, Friedrich might have had a shot this week had he been facing the early-season Pirates, even in Coors, but the new and improved Pirates are mashing the hell outta the ball, so even a trip to Petco can’t sway me. If you can make daily moves, then I would use both Karstens and Friedrich in their non-Coors starts.

COMPOSITE RANKINGS
Auto-Starts
Sabathia, Sanchez, Lester

Starts
Niese, Capuano, Moore, Vargas, Oswalt, Smyly, E-Jax, Miley, Lohse, Floyd, Bauer, Colon

Considers
Blackley, Cobb, Bailey, Arroyo, Happ, Detwiler       

Sits
Karstens, Friedrich, Santana, Humber, Porcello, Cook, Alvarez, Lyles, Zambrano, Gonzalez, Francis

Paul Sporer is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Paul's other articles. You can contact Paul by clicking here

Related Content:  Jeff Karstens

14 comments have been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article Value Picks: Starting ... (07/13)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Weekly Planner: Week 1... (06/29)
Next Column >>
Weekly Planner: Week 1... (07/20)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Overthinking It: The R... (07/13)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Premium Article What You Need to Know: September 2, 2014
Premium Article The Call-Up: Daniel Norris
Premium Article The Call-Up: Maikel Franco
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Bo Gone
The Future
Premium Article The Call-Up: Joc Pederson
Premium Article Monday Morning Ten Pack: September 2, 2014

MORE FROM JULY 13, 2012
The Stats Go Marching In: Catching Up with C...
Premium Article Pebble Hunting: Making the Most of Mike Fier...
Premium Article Overthinking It: The Rapid Aging of A-Rod
Fantasy Article Value Picks: Starting Pitching for 7/13/12
Premium Article Collateral Damage Daily: Friday, July 13
What You Need to Know: Friday, July 13
The BP Wayback Machine: A Good Deal... but N...

MORE BY PAUL SPORER
2012-07-26 - Fantasy Article Value Picks: Starting Pitchers for 7/26/12
2012-07-20 - Weekly Planner: Week 17
2012-07-20 - Value Picks: Starting Pitchers for 7/19/12
2012-07-13 - Fantasy Article Weekly Planner: Week 15
2012-07-13 - Fantasy Article Value Picks: Starting Pitching for 7/13/12
2012-07-13 - BP Fantasy Podcast: Episode 12: The Triumvir...
2012-07-12 - Premium Article Antidote to an Off-Day
More...

MORE WEEKLY PLANNER
2012-08-03 - Fantasy Article Weekly Planner: Week 19
2012-07-27 - Fantasy Article Weekly Planner: Week 18
2012-07-20 - Weekly Planner: Week 17
2012-07-13 - Fantasy Article Weekly Planner: Week 15
2012-06-29 - Fantasy Article Weekly Planner: Week 14
2012-06-22 - Fantasy Article Weekly Planner: Week 13
2012-06-15 - Fantasy Article Weekly Planner: Week 12
More...