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 Seven.
John Ely – After an impressive performance against the Brewers where he allowed 1 ER in 6.2 IP and had 0 BB and 7 Ks, the Dodgers opted to send Ely to the minors. But the gods intervened and Ely returned after Los Angeles placed Charlie Haeger on the disabled list. Ely then went out and hurled a Quality Start in Arizona to pick up his first win in the majors. He throws four pitches and while his fastball is below-average in velocity, it is a plus pitch in results, as are his slider, change and curve. Ely has 17 Ks and 3 BB in 18.2 IP in the majors this year. He is available on the waiver wire in most leagues and will make an excellent pickup for his two home starts against the Astros and the Tigers.
Hiroki Kuroda – After starting with two very solid seasons in the majors, Kuroda has been even better this year. His GB% is up to 58.6 and his K/9 has increased to 7.04. Kuroda’s O-Swing% is 34.9 and his Contact% is 78.8 percent. And he has won four of his five decisions. It is hard to imagine what else owners want to see from Kuroda before they make him a must-start, but he rides the pine in 37 percent of CBS Sports leagues. Get him into your lineup especially as he goes against two pitchers with ERAs above 5.00 for the year.
Daisuke Matsuzaka – Generally I am bullish on Matsuzaka for the remainder of the 2010 season but I think he should be on the bench this week. The positives are that he has a 2.67 K/BB ratio and a 32.7 O-Swing%, both career-bests. The big negative is that he has a 0.76 GB/FB ratio and is susceptible to the gopher ball. This week he has road starts in Yankee Stadium and Citizens Bank Park, two of the best HR parks in baseball. Do not be discouraged if he has a rough time this week, just be sure he does it on your bench.
Carl Pavano – Benjamin Franklin said that it takes many good deeds to build a reputation and only one bad one to lose it. Pavano lost any good reputation he may have built in his four injury-plagued years with the Yankees. Even after a 14-win season last year, fantasy owners are lukewarm at best towards Pavano. Last Player Picked has his work so far this season as worth $11 in a 12-team mixed league, good for a solid #3 SP. Yet Pavano is owned in less than half of ESPN leagues. It is not an easy week for him, but Pavano deserves to start in all formats.
Mike Pelfrey – After starting the season with four wins and a save in his first five appearances, Pelfrey has struggled in his last three games. In 17 IP, he has a 6.88 ERA and a 1.588 WHIP. Pelfrey has a tough week, with a game in Atlanta and then an Interleague matchup with the Yankees. Pelfrey is 3-5 lifetime against the Braves with a 5.58 ERA and he has a 5.40 ERA against the Yankees in two career appearances. Leave him inactive for this week if you can.
Other scheduled two-start pitchers in Week Seven are listed below. Please remember that these are projected pitchers and changes can and will happen between now and next week.
Carpenter, J. Johnson, Halladay, F. Hernandez, Greinke, J. Santana, Gallardo, Cain, Weaver, Price, Hughes, Danks, C. Wilson, J. Sanchez, Niemann, Slowey, Vazquez, Beckett, Marcum, Kazmir, Cueto, Carmona, Lowe, Sheets, W. Rodriguez, Wells, Chacin, Latos, G. Gonzalez, Porcello, E. Jackson, Holland, Millwood, Silva, Volstad, Richard, Bailey, Cook, Bonderman, Lohse, Eveland, Duke, Kendrick, Davies, Bergesen, Norris, Bush, Medlen, F. Garcia, Huff, Lannan, Rowland-Smith, Morton, Stammen, C. Valdez.
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 Five pitchers and how they fared.
Cecil – Advised to start. W, 13 Ks, 2.70 ERA, 0.975 WHIP (2 starts)
Correia – Advised to sit. 4 Ks, 4.50 ERA, 1.000 WHIP (1)
Floyd – Advised to start. 9 Ks, 7.82 ERA, 1.737 WHIP (2)
Garcia – Advised to sit. W, 13 Ks, 1.50 ERA, 1.333 WHIP (2)
Scherzer – Advised to start. 5 Ks, 14.46 ERA, 2.571 WHIP (2)