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July 3, 2014

Fantasy Starting Pitcher Planner

Week 15

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

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BPKevin

I have a tough call this week. Ian Kennedy or Tyler Skaggs in a league that counts IP, K, ERA, WHIP and W. Leaning towards Skaggs due to the COL start for Kennedy. Thoughts appreciated.

Jul 03, 2014 04:51 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Wilson Karaman
BP staff

That *is* a tough call. I think I'd agree with you though and lean Skaggs. As a moderate flyball pitcher whose success this season has in part been due to holding down his homerun rate to date below his career norms Kennedy's a really tough one to advocate in Coors. And the Dodger Stadium start is no picnic either - the Dodger offense knocked him around for 20 earned runs over his last five starts (27 2/3) since the start of last year. The K potential is greater with Kennedy, but so's the chance of a meltdown start. Skaggs it is.

Jul 03, 2014 07:09 AM
 
bhacking

I'm worried that Jesse Chavez is hitting a wall based on more innings pitches than he was prepared for if he was in the bullpen.

Jul 03, 2014 05:04 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Wilson Karaman
BP staff

It's a fair concern. And he's not a guy who was pitching deep into games during his stretch of goodness, either. I'd be trying to move him yesterday, as the future value's not that great for ROS.

Jul 03, 2014 07:13 AM
 
DanDaMan

I'm not feeling good about Shields next week as he's been very hittable over the past5 weeks or so. If he's an auto-start I guess that means you still have confidence in him? Any concerns going forward?

Jul 03, 2014 05:52 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Wilson Karaman
BP staff

Yeah, he's seriously teetering on the edge of auto-starting at this point, and probably should already have been downgraded. At the least I should've included comment above. His stuff has been progressively flattening out for a the past couple seasons now, and right now his cutter and curveball in particular are real problem pitches. The swinging strike rate is well off where he needs it to be, and the vast majority of the reason for that involves the lessened movement on pitches in the zone. I'd be exploring some trade options while he has the name value going for him, as the trend lines definitely aren't the most encouraging.

Jul 03, 2014 08:00 AM
 
Swingingbunts

How is Eovaldi 2 start pitcher if he's scheduled to start tomorrow?

Jul 03, 2014 06:01 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Wilson Karaman
BP staff

He's not anymore. With the short week on account of tomorrow's holiday I had to go off probable starter data almost a week out. Especially with it being the last week before the All Star break I have no doubt there will be more rotation shuffling, guys getting rested, etc. Definitely pay close attention to Twitter, etc. to keep tabs on your guys before setting your lineups.

Jul 03, 2014 08:16 AM
 
sldetckl16

I need to choose 4 of the following after starting Iwakuma: Peralta, Morton, or one starts from Bailey @ CHC (Samardzija), Porcello @ KC (Shields), Anibal Sanchez @ KC (Duffy). Not sure whether to run with both Peralta and Morton and then face benching either Sanchez, Bailey, or Porcello who are all pretty hot. Thanks for your consideration.

Jul 03, 2014 07:57 AM
rating: -1
 
BP staff member Wilson Karaman
BP staff

Yeah, I'd definitely run Sanchez for sure, and then Shrk and Porcello probably both make the cut, leaving you with one other two-start play between Peralta and Morton. I personally am a huge Morton fan given, as he's made significant adjustments this season that I discussed above, and they've really been paying off. He's struggled a bit away from home, so the road-road will be a challenge for him. Peralta's been a bit more hittable of late, with a 1.6 WHIP over his most recent three turns. Basically either's defensible, and they're very close IMO. I'd lean Morton myself, but ultimately your call.

Jul 03, 2014 08:24 AM
 
sldetckl16

Thank you, kind sir!

Jul 03, 2014 09:20 AM
rating: 1
 
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