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April 4, 2014

Fantasy Starting Pitcher Planner

Week Two

by Wilson Karaman


Welcome to the Weekly Pitching Planner! Every Friday this season, I’ll be taking you through all of the two-start options for the coming week to help you decide who to start and who to sit. Outside of the elites, two-start pitchers are often as much or more trouble than they’re worth, as rare is the week in which the stars align to offer your starters not just one but two consecutive tasty matchups. As a result, you’ll notice that sometimes the better starters will find themselves in the “Consider” category, because they might have one good matchup, but a second tough one. And similarly, less-talented hurlers might just meander their way into “Start” territory on account of a plum schedule. The pitchers will be split by league, and then by categories:

Auto-Starts – These are your surefire fantasy aces. You paid a handsome sum for these guys, either with an early draft pick or high dollar auction bid. These are the top 20 or so starters in baseball, so you’re starting them anywhere, anytime. Guys can emerge onto or fall off of this list as the season evolves. There won’t be many—if any—notes associated with these groupings each week, unless a player has just moved up or is in imminent danger of moving down.

Starts – These are the guys I’m recommending you put into your lineup this week. Some will be obvious, but not quite auto-start excellent, while others will be waiver-wire fodder who find themselves with a pair of favorable outings that you can take advantage of in your league. There will be accompanying notes supporting the decisions.

Considers – As mentioned earlier, these guys will be on the fence and your league settings and position in the standings will really be the decider here. A pitcher in this category can be your number two starter with a tough week of matchups in Cincinnati and Colorado. Or conversely if the Minnesota Twins fifth starter is slated to face the Astros at home followed by an interleague trip to San Diego, he will appear on this list because the matchups are great even though he might not be. Your particular league settings will have a lot to say here; if you are in a 10-team mixed league you probably don’t need to take the risk, but a 10-team AL-only leaguer might see it as a nice opportunity to log some quality innings from a freely available resource.

Sits – These are the guys I’m staying away from this week. They will range in talent from solid to poor. With mixed leagues larger than 10 teams my default position for all two-start pitchers who rank outside of the top 60 or so is to sit them unless the matchups dictate otherwise. Additionally, mid-rotation starters who face a couple tough draws will find themselves in this category more often than not.

We begin with Week Two, which is, unfortunately, perhaps the toughest week of the entire season during which to find quality two-start options. For one thing, most of the elite arms in baseball just posted a two-start week in the season’s first scoring period. On top of that the second round of home-openers hits, with teams who opened on the road returning home. So there are a lot of wonky extra days off where teams are scheduled for two-game series with built-in rainout protections. It conspires for some frankly terrible two-start options in each league. Our top-rated option this week by ADP is Michael Wacha at 16, and there are just four total top-40 pitchers set to toe the rubber more than once.

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16 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

jcutiger

Max Scherzer?

Apr 04, 2014 09:24 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Wilson Karaman
BP staff

Yeah, the one hazard of running this article in advance of the week is that probable match-ups are subject to change. The Tigers probable rotation updated this morning to bump Scherzer into two-start status after yesterday's rainout. He obviously slots into the "Auto-start" bucket, with a tough matchup in LA followed by the reward of a trip to Petco.

Apr 04, 2014 09:41 AM
 
Nojsztat

Does anyone really need to be told to start Max Scherzer in a fantasy league?

Apr 04, 2014 10:47 AM
rating: 7
 
jcutiger
Other readers have rated this comment below the viewing threshold. Click here to view anyway.

It's a list of 2-start pitchers and he's missing. But I do need someone to tell me to start Scherzer, geez. Moron.

Apr 04, 2014 21:49 PM
rating: -8
 
caminante1

Does the week you are considering begin Monday and end the following Sunday?

Apr 04, 2014 09:28 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Wilson Karaman
BP staff

Correct, standard Monday-Sunday scoring/roster setting period for weekly leagues.

Apr 04, 2014 09:42 AM
 
misterjohnny
(925)

This really old school Tues-Mon league owner is sad.

Apr 04, 2014 11:00 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Wilson Karaman
BP staff

Lol, sorry sir. You have to do your own dirty work, unfortunately.

Apr 04, 2014 11:25 AM
 
jimcal

I felt very differently about Cosart. So I will be the lab rat experiment for y'all doubt the sit section.

Apr 04, 2014 10:16 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Wilson Karaman
BP staff

Good luck! I love me a good underdog story, I'll be pulling for you.

Apr 04, 2014 11:25 AM
 
russell

Is Martin Perez still scheduled for two starts?

Apr 05, 2014 09:52 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Wilson Karaman
BP staff

No, Perez will start Tuesday, and then their off day on Thursday pushes his next start to the following Monday. So he should be set up for two starts in Week Three. Scheppers, however, is a late add. He'll go Monday at Boston and Sunday at home against Houston. I'd probably put him in the "Consider" category given the one strong play and one very week one. Better option for AL-onlies.

Apr 05, 2014 10:12 AM
 
drdhr5y

Robbie Erlin is now a two-start pitcher. He has away against CLE and then home against DET. Perhaps pitching at home will offset some of the potency of the DET lineup? I see it as a risky start. Thoughts?

Apr 06, 2014 13:15 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Wilson Karaman
BP staff

Yeah I'd probably leave Erlin on the bench this week. I actually like him a bit as an intriguing upside option for the back of an NL-only rotation, but that's a pair of tough matchups.

Apr 06, 2014 14:23 PM
 
dtothew

No Ubaldo commentary?

Apr 06, 2014 19:57 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Wilson Karaman
BP staff

Oversight, but he's very much a product of his matchups this week. The Bronx is always a tough draw and Toronto's largely returning intact the lineup that hit the 4th most homers in baseball last year. He's a danger to your WHIP and very possibly - if not probably - your ERA this week, but he's a play to consider if you're in the market for strikeouts.

Apr 06, 2014 20:09 PM
 
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