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 20.
Bronson Arroyo – He has gotten a decision in his last 11 games. This week Arroyo has two road starts but he has pitched better this season away from Great American Ball Park. Arroyo is 7-3 with a 3.53 ERA and a 1.065 WHIP in road action. Put him in your lineup this week.
Dallas Braden – Since returning from an elbow injury that required a DL stint, Braden is 3-1 with a 2.83 ERA. His K rate is a tick better at 5.9 percent but where he has really excelled is in limiting the gopher ball. In 35 IP he has allowed 3 HR. This week he has two home starts against the Blue Jays and Rays. While Toronto leads the AL in HR, it has done most of that damage at home, where it has clubbed 103 HR in 1,852 AB. Make sure Braden is active.
Jonathon Niese – In his last nine games, Niese has thrown a Quality Start in seven of them. The only two times he did not were against the Diamondbacks. This year he has an 8.68 ERA against Arizona and a 3.09 ERA versus the rest of the league. Niese has two road starts this week, but is road ERA (3.57) is nearly identical to his mark in pitcher-friendly Citi Field. The Mets are no longer talking about skipping Niese in the rotation and neither should you.
Wandy Rodriguez – In the middle of June, Rodriguez was 3-10 with a 6.09 ERA. From that point on, he is 6-1 with a 1.79 ERA, which is one of the most dramatic turnarounds you will see. He has a 5.4 K/BB rate with 59 Ks in 60.1 IP. His first start this week against Niese should be a dandy. Keep Rodriguez active.
Barry Zito – He has stepped up his game since the All-Star break, with a 2.57 ERA in six second-half games and a 7.93 K/9. But Zito has struggled in road games this year, with a 2-4 record and a 4.30 ERA. With road matchups this week against Roy Oswalt and Adam Wainwright, it might be a good time to stash him on the bench.
Other scheduled two-start pitchers in Week 20 are listed below. Please remember that these are projected pitchers and changes can and will happen between now and next week.
Sabathia, Lee Wainwright, J. Santana, Weaver, Price, Verlander, Kershaw, Hanson, Nolasco, Danks, Oswalt, Garza, Buchholz, Billingsley, Scherzer, B. Anderson, Vazquez, Baker, Marcum, Garland, Hunter, D. Hudson, Minor, Wells, Gorzelanny, Correia, Francis, Fister, McDonald, Volstad, Millwood, Tomlin, Olsen, Bergesen, Duke, Figueroa.
Check back Sunday night for an update of two-start pitchers.
Now I want to provide some accountability and check in and see how previous recommendations turned out. There needs to be a two-week lag, since last week’s pitchers have not completed their second start yet. So here are Week 18 pitchers and how they fared.
Cahill – Advised to start. 2 W, 6 Ks, 0.00 ERA, 0.765 WHIP (2 starts)
L. Hernandez – Advised to sit. W, 7 Ks, 1.26 ERA, 0.977 WHIP (2)
D. Lowe – Advised to sit. W, 5 Ks, 2.38 ERA, 1.059 WHIP (2)
Myers – Advised to sit. 6 Ks, 4.50 ERA, 1.250 WHIP (2)
Vargas – Advised to start. 2 W, 5Ks, 2.25 ERA, 1.083 WHIP (2)