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August 22, 2014

Fantasy Starting Pitcher Planner

Week 22

by Wilson Karaman


Welcome to the Weekly Pitching Planner!

A nice slate of options for the week, as only the Dodgers and Diamondbacks will be limited to five-game schedules. The American League is particularly stacked; while they lack an “auto-start” option from the top shelf of the league, there is a long and illustrious list of both “start” and strong “consider” options for fantasy managers to choose from. The Angels have still not announced a fill-in for Garrett Richards as of this writing. His gruesome injury is a huge blow for his real and fantasy teams alike. Whoever gets the nod will have a tough draw with the A’s on his card, and won’t be much more than an end-game “consider” at best.

On to the nuts and bolts: Outside of the elites, two-start pitchers are often as much or more trouble than they’re worth. 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, high dollar auction bid, or significant haul of prospects. 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.

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<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Inf... (08/21)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Fantasy Starting Pitch... (08/15)
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Fantasy Article Fantasy Starting Pitch... (08/29)
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Premium Article The Prospectus Hit Lis... (08/22)

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