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June 13, 2014

Fantasy Starting Pitcher Planner

Week 12

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

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BPKevin

For this week, Brandon Cumpton (CIN, @CHC) or Hector Santiago (@CLE, TEX)?

Jun 13, 2014 04:46 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Wilson Karaman
BP staff

I really liked what I saw out of Santiago in his return to the rotation against Oakland last start. He really got eaten alive by porous defense and general bad luck in his first couple months. The Tribe has been a hot offense lately, and they're a strong club at home. But they've struggled to hit lefties all year. The Rangers for their part are a tough squad against southpaws, and they've hit significantly better outside of Arlington this season for whatever reason. Match-ups are definitely tougher on balance for Santiago, but I think I like his strikeout and win potential more than I trust the likelihood of Cumpton posting a better ERA/WHIP combo.

Jun 13, 2014 12:33 PM
 
DanDaMan

Wilson, can you give me a few thoughts on Niece this week? I have to decide between 2 road starts for him or 1 home for Ian Kennedy. Thanks

Jun 13, 2014 05:01 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Wilson Karaman
BP staff

That's a tough one because I do like Kennedy, but Niese probably gets the nod. He's really been quite good all year and was really a borderline start/consider for me. The Cardinals just haven't handled lefties this year, at all. They don't get on base against them, they don't slug against them, and Niese already handled them much once. The start @MIA is more of an eyebrow-raiser, but even there the Fish offense has finally colled off a bit over the past couple weeks. I think Niese has probably done enough at this point to earn the two-start play.

Jun 13, 2014 13:01 PM
 
jessemumm

Cueto isn't auto-start??? What's a guy gotta do?

Jun 13, 2014 07:43 AM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Wilson Karaman
BP staff

That was a mistake, yeah. He's been the best pitcher in fantasy baseball this season.

Jun 13, 2014 12:17 PM
 
timjrohr

Is Mark Buehrle a two-starter next week? Is Kevin Gausman?

Jun 13, 2014 18:17 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Wilson Karaman
BP staff

Baltimore only has six games, and Chen is the scheduled Monday starter. The O's actually haven't named a starter for Gausman's ostensible slot yet, but if he does continue on the MLB squad his turn woul be in line for two starts the following week. And then similar situation for Buehrle: he's scheduled to start Wednesday this week, leaving him on pace to go twice the following week. Stroman's the two-start option out of Toronto this week, and I like him a good amount.

Jun 13, 2014 18:26 PM
 
BP staff member Mike Gianella
BP staff

For me, Tyson Ross in Seattle against that putrid offense and home is an auto start.

Jun 14, 2014 06:12 AM
 
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Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Str... (06/13)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Fantasy Starting Pitch... (06/06)
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