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May 2, 2014

Fantasy Starting Pitcher Planner

Week Six

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.

As always the standard disclaimer applies to these match-up previews that all start schedules are subject to change on account of rainouts, injuries, managers arbitrarily shuffling their rotations, etc.

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

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kraigy1973

Cosart's 5.52 ERA is exceptionally deceptive at this point. If you take out his one start where he went 1/3 ip and gave up 7 earned runs his ERA would be 3.52 with just 22 hits and 25 Ks in 30.1 innings against pretty good competition (Tex, Oak, LAA, NYY, Wash). That said he does have two tough matchups (too bad Houston pitches don't ever get to face their own team) so I can't disagree with the overall sentiment, but Cosart is definitely an early season case of needing to look beyond the one big bad ugly number that is his ERA.

May 02, 2014 10:10 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Wilson Karaman
BP staff

I continue to be intrigued by Cosart longer term, and it's a fine point re: performance to date. Will be curious to see if the league starts adjusting to the dramatic increase in cutters he's throwing thus far and what that means for his output. Certainly a name to monitor in mixed leagues over his next several starts.

May 02, 2014 11:50 AM
 
wilymo

"Some strong match-up options in the AL this week, highlighted by all four of the guys in this section."

*stops* *counts them again* there's five guys

May 03, 2014 21:53 PM
rating: 0
 
wilymo

also they put pelfrey on the DL with an "injury". blankets for everyone! deduno's in. obviously deduno's an auto-start

May 03, 2014 21:57 PM
rating: 0
 
Tuck
(667)

Jordan Zimmermann?

May 04, 2014 12:59 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Wilson Karaman
BP staff

Nats still haven't made it official, as they haven't named a Tuesday starter yet (Fister's return is gonna jumble things). But presumably with the Monday start he'll be on track to make a second start on Sunday regardless of how the week shakes out, so he'll have LAD and @OAK. Tough matchups, but he's an AUTO-START based on cost and performance to date.

May 04, 2014 14:18 PM
 
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<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article TTO Scoresheet Podcast... (05/02)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Fantasy Starting Pitch... (04/25)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Starting Pitch... (05/09)
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