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June 6, 2014

Fantasy Starting Pitcher Planner

Week 11

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)

BP Comment Quick Links

JohnnyFive

There is absolutely no way that I'm touching AJ Burnett this week. No way. The only thing worse than one AJ Burnett start is two.

That being said, I'm kind of keeping the faith. Kind of.

Jun 06, 2014 07:44 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Wilson Karaman
BP staff

Ha, I understand the impulse. Had a little fun with A.J.'s write-up, but the moral of the story is if he's not going to help you this week he's probably not going to help you period, and it's time to allocate the roster spot more effectively. His control just hasn't been there, and per the usual assortment of under-the-hood metrics he's earned every bit of his struggles this year.

Jun 06, 2014 12:16 PM
 
timjrohr

Once again, Morton's anticipated two starts roll over. This time it's due to Cole's DL stint. Monday is v. CHI; next weekend is at MIA.

Jun 08, 2014 11:49 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Wilson Karaman
BP staff

If getting bumped out of two-start status were a baseline statistic Charlie Morton would be working on the '99 Pedro season.

Jun 08, 2014 20:13 PM
 
seanqueue

I went with J. A. Happ in a very deep league with few streaming options. He seems to have found a couple of extra miles per hour on his fastball, which is a good thing... except he's not missing any bats with it, with a contact rate near 90%, which is not a good thing. His match-ups seemed favorable as well; the Orioles offense has been mediocre at best at home, and the Twins are the Twins. How terrible a call was this if all I need is a couple of cheap Ws?

Jun 09, 2014 08:27 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Wilson Karaman
BP staff

It's a risky roll for sure. The O's may be cumulatively mediocre at home, and the Twins may cumulatively be the Twins, but both have been top-10 offenses over the past couple weeks. And while Happ has indeed added velocity and effectiveness with his fastball, his secondaries have been pretty rough cross the board so far this year and that's resulted in a crappy walk rate and even crappier HR rate. I probably would've avoided if possible, but same time if W's was a primary goal for you any time you can ride a Blue Jay tarter twice in a week at this point it's not a bad gamble.

Jun 09, 2014 13:13 PM
 
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<< Previous Article
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