Available Two Start Starters (Sept. 24-30)

This week’s entry marks the conclusion of the two-start pieces for the 2012 season. While baseball will continue on into October, the week of regular season baseball doesn’t amount to enough time for anyone to start twice. So with that, thanks for a good year, and hope to see you all back here next season.

This week’s starters include a pair of guys I’ve mentioned already this season, and since a third option was tough to come by, a trio of very low ownership types that could be worth a look.

LHP Andy Pettitte (19.8 percent ESPN/25 percent Yahoo!) – @MIN (.316), @TOR (.308)

This week the legendary lefty gets a pair of teams who have packed it in for the season, as Pettitte looks to pitch the Yankees into the postseason with a strong late-season finish. Pettitte is no doubt pitching for a shot in the postseason rotation, but likely also to prove to himself that he ought to come back for at least another season. It’d be hard to argue against it at this point, as Pettitte’s come back with a vengeance this season, inducing grounders and strikeouts at career-best rates (58.1 percent/24.3 percent respectively). It’s obviously a small sample size in play here — Pettitte’s only thrown 63.2 innings — but he’s doing all of this at a pace of 4.7 WAR if he were to throw 200 innings. There’s no reason for him to not come back next season — at least not performance-wise — and there’s no reason you shouldn’t give him a whirl next week considering he’s also backed by one of the best offenses in the game.

RHP Marco Estrada (27.0 percent ESPN/30 percent Yahoo!) – @WAS (.321), v. HOU (.302)

This is the fourth time in the second half alone that I’ve mentioned Estrada, but I can’t get past how great his peripherals are. Virtually nothing is out of whack, as evidenced by his 3.56/3.43/3.50 pitching slash. Essentially, with a tip of the cap to Denny Green, he is who we think he is: a righty who generates a ton of whiffs, walks almost nobody, keeps the ball in the yard despite low ground ball rates, and has a perfectly reasonable strand rate and BABIP. For a while there, Estrada had a chance to post more WAR than actual wins, but he’s finally started racking up the Ws that actually benefit you as the fantasy player (he’s up to four now!). The Nationals are the tougher of the two clubs Estrada tangles with this week, but they’ve also clinched a playoff spot so the pedal may not be as hard to the metal as it was before. Regardless, the matchup with the Astros is the one you’re salivating over anyway.

Deep League Considerations

LHP Tyler Skaggs (1.4 percent ESPN/6 percent Yahoo!) – @SF (.309), v. CHC (.280)

Skaggs has lagged behind his prospect brothers — the now-A’s righty Jarrod Parker and Trevor Bauer — thus far in their burgeoning big league careers, but this week Skaggs can put himself on the radar in what’s likely to be a hard-fought race for rotation spots come next spring with the Diamondbacks. The Giants have been hot of late, but the Cubs are such a good matchup for any pitcher — especially a lefty — that it makes pretty good sense to gamble on the former to get the latter. One thing to note, however, is that Skaggs’ velocity has been down.

RHP Jenrry Mejia (0.1 percent ESPN/0 percent Yahoo!) – v. PIT, @ATL

There isn’t a ton to see here. The righty fireballer is available in pretty much all leagues, and gets the collapsing Pirates and the likely-to-have-clinched Braves next week. The Mets will be getting a look at their potential future here — and to be sure, he’s struggled thus far in a couple cups of coffee — so you may as well too (if you’re desperate in a deep league).

LHP Jorge de la Rosa (0.4 percent ESPN/1 percent Yahoo!) – v. CHC (.280), @LAD (.290)

In what can only be categorized as a cataclysmic year for his club, de la Rosa can’t be held responsible for any of it, really. He’s missed the entire season — save for a disastrous debut start Thursday night — and only figures to make two more starts down the stretch in an effort to hopefully help gauge his value as he’s a free agent to-be this offseason (as he’s sure to be bought out). With such a paucity of capable options this week, de la Rosa only really gets a look due to his career track record — which is actually only good, but not especially great — and the fact that he gets the Cubs once this week. The Dodgers are no great shakes against southpaws this season either (fourth-worst wOBA v. LHP in MLB).

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In addition to Rotographs, Warne is a Minnesota Twins beat reporter for 105 The Ticket's Cold Omaha website as well as a sportswriter for Sportradar U.S. in downtown Minneapolis. Follow him on Twitter @Brandon_Warne, or feel free to email him to do podcasts or for any old reason at brandon.r.warne@gmail-dot-com

5 Responses to “Available Two Start Starters (Sept. 24-30)”

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  1. jon says:

    Hey Brandon – wondering if you could help me with a question.

    As it stands, I have only 9 Games Started Left and 13 starts to choose from with my six SPs. I think I’m taking the two each from Lee, Verlander, Price which makes 6. Then I’ve gotta pick 3 from all that Bumgarner, Zimmerman & Niese have to offer.

    Most important factor by far is QS, though W also important. ERA and WHIP don’t really matter at this point.

    Cliff Lee: ATL, @MIA

    Verlander: KC, @MIN

    Price: @BOS, BAL

    Bumgarner: SD, @SD, @LAD

    J. Zimmerman: MIL, @STL

    Niese: PIT, @MIA

    Which Nine starts should I choose?

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  2. Cliff says:

    I think you gotta go Verlander and Lee for 4 total. I’m taking Price at home to Baltimore, Bumgarner at home to SD twice, Niese home to Pit, and Price at Boston prolly. I stay away from Zimm. They have no reason to throw him more than 5 innings. Plus he got 2 tough matchups. Despite Bums struggles of late and SD scoring more runs, I gotta roll with the kid at home. He’s been better at home, and I’m nt buying the SD Padres. Sorry. There SO many AWFUL SP in the NL right now….Chatwood, Francis, Casey Kelly, Werner, Germano, Breken, the entire Astros staff minus bud norris at home, Jeff lock, McPherson, Turner, Meija…a lot of these guys might have bright futures but they got no business being in the show either…and that’s just off the top of my head…I love Niese…think he’s THE most underrated SP this year. But I still wouldn’t pass up a Price start at a now weak Boston team.

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  3. ImKeithHernandez says:

    I keep seeing Lee listed as a two start pitcher for next week. Is this true? He pitched today, and he’s not on pace to pitch more than once. If the Phillies are still in the hunt, I can see him and Halladay pitching on short rest, but is there any other reason to think he’ll pitch twice?

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