Cheap Starters: Options for Daily Leagues in Week Three

Chris Capuano | Los Angeles Dodgers | Home to San Diego on Tuesday

One man’s folly is another man’s fortune, right? Well the bizarre and unfortunate injury to Zack Greinke after the altercation with Carlos Quentin and the Padres gives Capuano the fifth spot in the Dodgers rotation. Had I been making decisions in LA, he might have had that spot this season to begin with.

Capuano is coming off two straight seasons in which he topped 180 innings and had an xFIP under 4.00. He displayed some serious skill in 2011 with an above average strikeout rate (21%), an above average walk rate (6.6%), and a solid xFIP of 3.60. Unfortunately he was a little unlucky with balls in play (.311 BABIP), and he let a few too many fly out of the park (1.31 HR/9) which led to a 4.55 ERA. But the next year he was basically luck-neutral (.284 BABIP, 1.13 HR/9), and his ERA fell to 3.72. His strikeout skills weren’t the same but were still slightly above average (19.8%), and his walk rate was equally good.

Capuano can obviously pitch, and I am glad to see him get the chance to start again, even if I wish it had come via less unfortunate circumstances. He’s got a good matchup at home against the Padres on Tuesday. He’s currently owned in just 2% of ESPN leagues.

Bartolo Colon | Oakland Athletics | Home to Houston on Wednesday

Anytime a starter is facing the Astros, you have to consider starting them. And anytime the Athletics are playing at home you have to consider their starter. With that said, Colon is facing the Astros in Oakland so he’s worth considering.

If you’re in a roto league and your staff is light on strikeouts or if you’re in a H2H league and don’t think you have enough starts scheduled to win strikeouts, Colon isn’t your guy. But aside from that, Colon can potentially help you in the ratio categories and is a decent bet to pick up a win in this matchup.

Jake Arrieta | Baltimore Orioles | Home to Tampa Bay on Tuesday

Arrieta had a 6.20 ERA last year, and his ERA so far this year is currently a full run higher than that, so I’ll understand if you want to skip ahead to the next guy discussed. But I still believe in him somewhat. I can’t ignore the 3.65 xFIP and 14.9 K%-BB% he posted last year. And I can’t believe his strand rate will continue to be well below 60% as it has been over his last almost 125 innings. Again, I couldn’t blame you at all for not wanting to roll the dice on him, but I’ll be rolling him out on Tuesday in a 16-team mixed.

Tony Cingrani | Cincinnati Reds | Home to Miami on Friday

Cingrani’s ownership percentage was 0.3% as of the writing of this post on Sunday night. It will likely be much higher when you read this as it will shoot up when ESPN updates everything. But he’ll still likely be widely available in 10 and 12 team mixed, and he might be worth streaming this week if he does in fact take Johnny Cueto’s spot in the rotation. If he does, he’ll face the woeful Marlins lineup which probably will but may not necessarily have Giancarlo Stanton in it.

Cingrani has been impressive at each level of the minors. He dominated rookie ball with a 1.75 ERA and 38.8 K%-BB% in just over 50 innings in 2011. He started 2012 in high-A and had another dominant 50 innings with a 1.11 ERA and 26.4 K%-BB%. He finished up the year with just under 90 innings at AA where his ERA and strikeout numbers were again excellent but with shakier control (11.1% BB%). In 12.1 IP at AAA this year, Cingrani has yet to allow a run and has 21 strikeouts to two walks.

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11 Responses to “Cheap Starters: Options for Daily Leagues in Week Three”

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  1. chri521 says:

    Where would you recommend Travis Wood among these cheap options?

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    • Brett Talley says:

      I can’t recommend Wood. He’s basically a league average strikeout guy with below average control who has problems with home runs. Don’t like him in his home park with the HR issue and don’t like the matchup with Texas.

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  2. Euan Leith says:

    What about Felix Doubront as a two-start pitcher this week? @Cleveland and vs. Kansas City.

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    • Brett Talley says:

      Yeah, like it. I’m a big fan of his and love his matchups. I try not to include guys owned in more than 3% of ESPN leagues in this, so that’s the only reason he wasn’t listed.

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  3. @NickNaboz says:

    Great read Brett!These are definatly guys I’ll be considering this week. Who do you like today on FanDuel? Billingsly and Milone at $6800, Zimm at $7000, or Lynn at $6300? I have lineups made for all 3, just trying to decide how heavy to invest.

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    • Brett Talley says:

      Gotta be Zimm. He’s easily my favorite pitcher of that group, and he probably has one of the best matchups you can have today. I like that Lynn is quite a bit cheaper and would be fine with him if you just absolutely couldn’t save enough money elsewhere. But go Zimm if you can.

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      • @nicknaboz says:

        I hear ya. Zimm is the safest play but his lack of K potential scares me in daily where K’s are so valuable. I’m kinda leaning towards Lynn.

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  4. Dub says:

    Nice writeup. Would you drop Haren or Parker to grab Cingrani now?

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    • Brett Talley says:

      In shallow mixed leagues, some would argue that you should be streaming all non-aces. And Haren and Parker are clearly not aces. But I don’t think you should stream that much. I think you should only drop guys and use the spot to stream if you don’t think the guy will be snatched up when dropped. Because if that player won’t be available on the wire by the time it’s their turn to pitch again, you’re not so much streaming as you are just adding another guy. So if you think Haren and Parker will be added, I’d hold on to them. Especially Parker, I still believe in him. And I don’t think Cingrani stays in the rotation past Cueto’s injury, so I’m not wild about dropping anybody decent to get him.

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      • Dub says:

        thanks, bud. Our league doesn’t stream, so they would get picked up. I’ll stay put and be patient. Thanks again!

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  5. Paul says:

    Tony C is currently listed in ESPN as a “RP” and now on my bench :-)

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