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 25.
Joe Blanton – In the second of back-to-back starts versus the Nationals, Blanton rebounded from allowing eight runs to pitch six shutout innings. This week he faces two teams he has not seen recently, with both starts coming on the road. While the gopher ball has been a problem this season for Blanton, he has allowed them in bunches both home and away. If you have the depth to sit Blanton, consider giving him this week off.
David Purcey – This season has been a rough go for Purcey so far, but he has favorable matchups this week. He has two home starts and does not go up against a top pitcher in either outing. First up is the Orioles, who have struggled this year versus southpaws. Next are the Mariners, making the cross-country trek. I like his chances to post a win this week and Purcey is someone to consider picking up from the waiver wire, as he is owned in only six percent of CBS Sports leagues.
Ryan Rowland-Smith – The strikeouts may be inconsistent, but Rowland-Smith has otherwise been a reliable pitcher lately. He has authored a Quality Start in each of his last five outings, with a 2.89 ERA and a 1.098 WHIP. Yet during this hot streak, Rowland-Smith has two losses and a no-decision. On top of that, he has two starts this week in the Eastern time zone. Expect one really bad outing and put him on the bench this week.
Joe Saunders – On June 24th, Saunders was 8-4 and on top of the world, continuing to confound the experts who predicted a collapse due to weak peripherals. And then it all came crashing down. In his next eight starts, Saunders went 1-3 with a 9.63 ERA and the experts just nodded their heads, welcoming the regression they spent nearly two years predicting. But in his last five games, Saunders is back to his winning ways. He is 4-0 with a 2.10 ERA since returning from a trip to the disabled list due to tightness in his shoulder. I do not care if it goes against all statistical common sense, I make sure Saunders is active for his two home starts this week. Maybe he is the exception that proves the rule.
Barry Zito has 12 consecutive starts in which he’s allowed three earned runs or fewer, with a 2.36 ERA in that span. He lowered his overall ERA from 5.01 to 3.94. Zito is also picking up a few more strikeouts lately. In his last outing he fanned nine in seven innings. Earlier in the season Zito was pitching much better at home but he has closed the gap considerably. Start him this week with one home and one road game.
Other scheduled two-start pitchers in Week 25 are listed below. Please remember that these are projected pitchers and changes can and will happen between now and next week.
Greinke, Beckett, J. Johnson, Cain, Marquis, Pineiro, Floyd, Pettitte, Lowe, de la Rosa, Kuroda, Blackburn, Looper, Laffey, Tillman, L. Hernandez, LeBlanc, Tallet, Nippert, McCutchen, Gorzelanny, Misch, Buckner, Mujica, E. Gonzalez, DiNardo.
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 23 and how they did.
Bailey – Advised to start. 3.27 ERA, 12 Ks, 1.91 WHIP (2 starts)
Mock – Advised to start. 7.20 ERA, 4 Ks, 1.80 WHIP (1)
Richard – Advised to start. 9.00 ERA, 11 Ks, 1.67 WHIP (2)
Romero – Advised to sit. W, 4.97 ERA, 8 Ks, 1.82 WHIP (2)
Sonnanstine – Advised to sit. 19.64 ERA, 2 Ks, 2.45 WHIP (1)