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July 10, 2013 7:33 am

Sporer Report: Home-Cooking Starters


Paul Sporer

Paul looks at five starting pitchers that could help your fantasy squad if you deploy them only when they take the mound at their home yards.

A couple of weeks ago, I started to take a look at the 2014 first round, discussing what we’ve learned so far in 2013 and how it might impact the early part of drafts next March. I also mentioned a second part next time out. The “Sporer Report” was off last week for the holidays, and though it’s obviously back this week, I’m tabling part two for a little while to cover a topic a bit more useful for the here and now as you charge toward your 2013 league pennants.

There is nothing new about streaming pitchers as it relates to fantasy baseball. It’s a viable strategy with known pros and cons. It is often a matchup-based decision, but today we are going to look at some guys who are useful candidates for the other primary factor when deciding on streamers: venue. Depending on their team’s ballparks, some pitchers perform markedly better at home or on the road. I have 10 such pitchers, five for each side, whom you can maximize by deploying them only on their plus side. Let’s start with the homebodies.

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April 8, 2013 5:00 am

Painting the Black: Junk In His Trunk


R.J. Anderson

Eric Stults succeeds, surprisingly.

When the Padres claimed Eric Stults off waivers last May the expectations were low. The move, though documented in a Transactions Analysis column, received little-to-no thought at the time. Injuries had thinned San Diego's rotation to the point where Jeff Suppan made a few starts. A team in need of a warm body appeared to net a warm body and little else in Stults, who, in addition to a big-league ERA threatening 5.00, had career ERAs in Triple-A and Japan eclipsing the mark. Marrying pedestrian stuff with awful numbers is a set-up for a quick divorce.

Yet Stults' performance never prompted the Padres to consider an annulment. The journeyman southpaw compiled a 2.92 ERA and a 2.22 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 92 1/3 innings. Those are numbers not crafted only within the forgiving confines of Petco Park. In addition to pitching more innings on the road than at home, Stults also posted a better ERA, K/BB ratio, and batting average on balls in play while staying in hotels. Even a strained shoulder, which cost Stults close to two months of the season, did not stop him from posting a strong second half. Nor finishing with three consecutive quality starts to end the season—each consisting of exactly six innings and three earned runs.

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