Everyone is happy when one of their pitchers is scheduled for two starts in a week. But that is not always a good thing. Here are five pitchers you may be on the fence about (or should be on the fence) putting into your lineup for Week 18
Scott Baker – Home runs have been the downfall of Baker this season. In his first 10 games of the season, Baker allowed 15 HR in 59.2 IP. But since then, Baker has permitted just 5 HR in his last 50.2 innings. He is 5-1 in that stretch with a 3.86 ERA. Make sure Baker is active for his two road starts this week. Away from the Metrodome, Baker’s ERA is a full run lower than his home mark.
Mat Latos – Despite some trouble with the gopher ball (4 HR in 16.2 IP), Latos has been very impressive in his first three starts. He has a 3.25 K/BB ratio and is averaging 7.02 K/9. Latos’ fastball averages 94.7 and he relies upon it heavily, throwing it over 72 percent of the time. Get him on your roster and active for his home starts this week against the Braves and Mets.
Charlie Morton – Six of his first eight starts for the Pirates have come on the road. This week the people of Pittsburgh will get to see their recent acquisition live two times. In his first two appearances at PNC, Morton has allowed just three runs in 14 IP. Morton has been solid overall for the Pirates, posting a FIP nearly identical to his ERA and averaging 6.52 K/9. Most likely still available on the waiver wire in your league, Morton is a potential keeper for the rest of the season and a nice play for his two home starts this week.
Brad Penny – In his last seven outings, Penny is 1-3 with a 5.31 ERA. He is not getting better with regular work and depending on what the Red Sox do later today, with the trade deadline looming, his rotation spot could disappear, too. So, do not expect two starts from Penny and if he does go twice, do not expect performances that will help your fantasy team.
Randy Wells – His last two full seasons in Triple-A, Wells allowed BABIPs of .345 and .325 with identical 69.5 percent strand rates each year. So, this year in the majors he has a .278 BABIP and an 80.6 percent strand rate. This seems like as good a week as any for the luck to run out, with road starts at the Great American Ball Park and at Coors Field. Put him on the bench.
Other scheduled two-start pitchers in Week 18 are listed below. Please remember that these are projected pitchers and changes can and will happen between now and next week.
J. Santana, Verlander, Greinke, Cain, J. Vazquez, Haren, J. Johnson, Lackey, Kershaw, Chamberlain, Duke, Kazmir, Harang, Kuroda, Feldman, B. Anderson, Hochevar, Bergesen, Parra, Moyer, Kawakami, Tillman, Hammel, Contreras, Rowland-Smith, Hampton, Stuaffer, G. Gonzalez, French, Holland, Laffey, Petit, Mock, Martin
Check back Sunday for an update of two-start pitchers.
Now, I would like to take a step back and provide some accountability for previous picks. There needs to be a two-week time lag because last week’s pitchers have yet to complete their second start. So here are my selections for Week 16 and how they did.
Blackburn – Advised to sit. 13.50 ERA, 0 K (!), 2.31 WHIP (2 starts)
Cecil – Advised to start. W, 0.64 ERA, 16 Ks, 1.29 WHIP (2)
Gaudin – Advised to start. 2.77 ERA, 7 Ks, 1.38 WHIP (2)
Lohse – Advised to sit. 4.91 ERA, 8 Ks, 1.27 WHIP (2)
E. Santana – Advised to start. W, 10.24 ERA, 11 Ks, 1.76 WHIP (2)