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May 23, 2014

Fantasy Starting Pitcher Planner

Week Nine

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

BP Comment Quick Links

jj0501

One change needed as McAlister hit the DL on Thursday PM. A
very readable article and the Wes Helms comment made me laugh. Kendrick provides glimpses of something better but
he just can't sustain it though he tries his best. There is an every man quality there which reminds us, once again, these guys are human.

May 23, 2014 05:10 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Wilson Karaman
BP staff

Thanks. Yeah, unclear as yet who's going to end up with two-start status for the Clevelanders next week, though as of right now it appears it'll be Tomlin. I like him, but the match-ups @CHW and home vs. COL make for a no-go IMO for anyone outside of a top 30 starter, give or take depending on your league depth.

May 23, 2014 07:51 AM
 
Tombote123

How do you feel about cumpton/Locke v mets and dodgers on the road?

May 23, 2014 07:14 AM
rating: 1
 
leites

Bradon Cumpton also will get two starts, I think?

May 23, 2014 07:29 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Wilson Karaman
BP staff

Yeah, I was bummed when they DFA'ed Wandy yesterday, I really thought I'd nailed my "sit" blurb for him. But yes, it sure seems like the Pirates are leaning towards Cumpton over Locke, which I approve marginally from a fantasy standpoint. Not a huge fan of either option as anything more than a streaming option, though Cumppton's produced some excellent results all year at both AAA and in Pittsburgh. He's not going to strike guys out, but he's worth a monitor to see if something's clicked this year. For now I'd sit either, at least 'til we get a couple more looks.

May 23, 2014 07:46 AM
 
brianwilliams42

Do you still fear the Rockies on the road, even vs a lefty like Hamels? They're good on the road this year (.710 OPS) but nothing like the gods they are at home (.950).

May 23, 2014 09:00 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Wilson Karaman
BP staff

Yeah, I mean it's a best case scenario to face them on the road. They're still a scary crew in anycontext. Hamels probably gets the nod for that start.

May 23, 2014 09:03 AM
 
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Baseball ProGUESTus: F... (05/23)

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