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 Eight.
Scott Baker – Despite recently touting Baker as an acquisition target, I think he is someone to keep on the bench this week if at all possible. Baker’s struggles are partly due to a high BABIP and this week he faces the Yankees and the Rangers, two of the three best average-hitting teams in the league. I expect regression to take place eventually, just not this week.
Clay Buchholz – He has won four of his past five decisions. Buchholz is outpitching his peripherals, mainly due to a 4.5 HR/FB rate. He squares off this week against the Rays and the Royals, two teams that are below average in the AL in HR. So, ride the hot hand in Buchholz and make sure he is active this week.
Aaron Harang – After getting off to an 0-3 start with an 8.31 ERA, Harang has pitched much better in his past five games. In that time span he has 5 BB and 30 Ks in 30.2 IP. But his ERA is 4.40, due to 4 HR and a .311 average-against. This week Harang faces the Pirates and Astros, who are the bottom two teams in both AVG and HR. Look for Harang to put up Quality Starts and make sure he is in your lineup.
Livan Hernandez – Dave Cameron called him the luckiest man alive earlier this week but the clock is ready to strike midnight for Hernandez. He allowed 11 hits and 8 line drives in his past 12.1 IP, compared to 20 H and 12 LD in his previous 27.1 IP. While he faces two teams that will not be confused for offensive powerhouses in San Francisco and San Diego, Hernandez has to make both of them on the road. We all know the crash is coming and I say it happens this week. Sell him if you can, bench him if you cannot.
Mike Leake – Like Harang, Leake gets home starts against PIT and HOU this week. He has hurled five straight Quality Starts and has gotten his BB trouble from earlier in the season under control. After allowing 12 BB in his first 13.2 IP, Leake has given up just 9 BB in his last 39 IP. He has outpitched his peripherals this year, but if Leake can keep the ball in the park, he has a good shot to keep his QS streak intact.
Other scheduled two-start pitchers in Week Eight are listed below. Please remember that these are projected pitchers and changes can and will happen between now and next week.
Lester, Danks, Peavy, Shields, Burnett, J. Garcia, Braden, I. Kennedy, Wolf, Davis, Garland, Saunders, A. Sanchez, Chacin, Cecil, Moyer, Gorzelanny, Masterson, Guthrie, Maholm, Meche, Wellemeyer, Paulino, Kawakami, Ortiz, Burress, Dickey.
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 Six pitchers and how they fared.
Cook – Advised to sit. 3 Ks, 4.50 ERA, 1.667 WHIP (1 start)
LeBlanc – Advised to sit. 7 Ks, 2.31 ERA, 1.286 WHIP (2)
Maine – Advised to start. 10 Ks, 6.55 ERA, 2.091 WHIP (2)
Olsen – Advised to start. 5 Ks, 2.25 ERA, 1.333 WHIP (2)
Westbrook – Advised to start. 2 W, 1.20 ERA, 10 Ks, 1.133 WHIP (2)