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Cheap Starters: Options for Daily Leagues in Week Four

Posted By Brett Talley On April 22, 2013 @ 10:15 am In Starting Pitchers | 11 Comments

Felix Doubront | Boston Red Sox | Home to Oakland and home to Houston

Doubront is listed here simply because he’s widely available and gets two decent matchups next week. While it would be preferable if the starts were on the road (especially the one against Oakland), they are good enough that weekly players should give Doubront a look in H2H matchups, and daily players should give him a long look in the latter matchup.

Doubront has several problems; he issues too many walks (10% BB% in 2012), he gives up too many home runs (15.9% HR/FB), and he gives up a fair amount of hard contact (23.4% LD%). If reading that is sufficiently scary, feel free to skip to the next pitcher. But he does have the alluring ability to miss bats, and he has the ability to get strikeouts. Among pitchers with 160+ IP last year, Doubront ranked 28th in SwStr% and 17th in K%.

With the poor run prevention skills listed above, you wouldn’t be wrong to ignore Doubront. But if you’re in the market for a cheap option in daily cap leagues or desperate for a two-start option, you could do worse than Doubront with his strikeout skills and decent macthups.

Lucas Harrell | Houston Astros | Home to Seattle on Wednesday

Like Doubront, Harrell has some big problems. For starters, he walked 9.4% of the batters he faced last year, and he has walked 13.4% this year. Woof! And somehow he has stranded almost 84% of the runners he has allowed on base despite that atrocious walk rate and an ugly 2.08 HR/9. However, Harrell was able to post a sub-4.00 ERA last year despite below average strikeout and walk skills thanks to an ability to induce a lot of weak contact (he was top 15 in ISO allowed). He’s certainly going to continue to see a brutal ERA if he keeps walking people. But if he keeps the walks under control and batted balls on the ground, he may be alright. And Seattle is a decent matchup in which to stay alright.

Justin Grimm | Texas Rangers | @ Minnesota on Friday

Grimm only has four major league starts, so it’s hard to evaluate him properly based on those. But two of them have been good, and only one of them has been cringe-worthy. But in a larger sample in the minors, he displayed above average control and an ability to get strikeouts at times. As you can tell, I don’t feel great about recommending Grimm or either of the guys listed above, but given their matchups (Grimm’s matchup at Minny is a sweetheart), none of them strike me as too likely to completely blow up. And for the price they’ll cost in salary formats and the ownership percentage they have in other leagues, they have some decent upside and value potential.


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