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May 30, 2014

Fantasy Starting Pitcher Planner

Week 10

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

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winder

Wilson,

You`re recommending I start Garza? Please convince me.I`m not being a smartass I just want to know your thoughts.

May 30, 2014 03:36 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Wilson Karaman
BP staff

I left out a Garza comment partially due to space, but also to see how quickly before one of his frustrated owners asked about him. Garza's topline numbers haven't been great lately, but with a 3.72 FIP he's theoretically pitching about a run better than his ERA right now. The biggest cause of his struggles appears tied to a 60% strand rate that is the second-worst of any qualified starter. Garza's never been exceptional at pitching out of the stretch, but this a whole new level. Beyond that, there isn't a whole lot that sticks out in his profile as outlying from his normal under-the-hood peripherals. His velocity's down slightly but not enough to warrant panic. He's not struggling to generate swings and misses, and he's actually getting hitters to chase out of the zone about 3.5% more often than usual. Basically, the match-ups are neutral and I'm not convinced I need to give up on him yet. It's a softer "start" recommendation than most, but I'm still comfortable rolling with him in a two-start week for the time being.

May 30, 2014 07:16 AM
 
DanDaMan

Gerrit Cole is a 2 start "start" next week right? And would you start Kuroda over any of these 1 start guys- Hamels @ CIN, Kluber vs BOS or Fister vs PHI? Thanks Wilson

May 30, 2014 03:58 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Wilson Karaman
BP staff

I don't think he is? The Pirates only play six games next week and Morton's lined up for the Monday-Sunday tilts. Cole should be in line for a two-start against the Cubs and Miami the following week. And I don't think I'd run Kuroda over any of those guys, though it's more about my like of those three than anything against Hideki. He's another one that's pitched better than his numbers show. But Kluber's a must-start at this point, Hamels gets a really weak Cincy lineup, and Fister's looked very good off the DL.

May 30, 2014 07:28 AM
 
Old School

Cobb is now going on Sunday against the Red Sox and loses his 2 starts next week.

May 30, 2014 06:55 AM
rating: 0
 
braves95

Why are Morton and Stults "starts", while Wheeler is a "consider". Seems Wheeler is the better option of the three.

May 31, 2014 20:54 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Wilson Karaman
BP staff

Well, I wrote up Stults above, though he had his last start bumped up to Sunday so is no longer a 2-start guy this week. I still like him as a streaming option against the Nats later in the week, incidentally. I liked Morton a ton for this week based on his perfectly solid (if Win deprived) performance to date, and so far so good for him after his gem against the Padres last night. Wheeler's absolutely getting there. I watched most of his last start and his mechanics were much cleaner than the last start of his I caught. Certainly showed in the results. I like him tonight against the Cubbies, less sold later in the week against a sneaky Giant lineup. Would certainly have leaned strongly towards starting him this week, but I can also see being hesitant given how he looked for a stretch in the first half of May.

Jun 03, 2014 12:46 PM
 
DigBaseball

"1927 Blue Jays" is a nice turn of phrase :)

Jun 02, 2014 16:09 PM
rating: 0
 
Kevinboth

What about Drew Hutchinson 2 starts @DET & STL?

Jun 03, 2014 09:35 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Wilson Karaman
BP staff

Like Hutch a lot, but it's a tough slate for him this week, especially given he's coming off such an ugly clunker in his last start against a relatively benign offense. Both the Cardinals and Tigers have struggled with their offensive efficiency over the past week, but both have been strong enough against right-handed pitching this yer that I'd probably lean towards sitting him in most mixed leagues.

Jun 03, 2014 12:37 PM
 
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<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article Free Agent Watch: Week... (05/30)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Fantasy Starting Pitch... (05/23)
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Fantasy Article Fantasy Starting Pitch... (06/06)
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Premium Article Minor League Update: G... (05/30)

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