Some Good Spot Starters at Home

Tommy Milone

Being a pitcher who focuses heavily on command while limiting home runs, Milone is the near perfect pitcher for spot starting in Oakland. He only has 30 innings pitched in Oakland this year, but he has a very nice .179 wOBA against at home. In leagues with inning caps or where you can afford using a starter in only about half of his starts, Milone is the near optimal pitcher to use as a spot starter in home starts only.

Clayton Richard

Richard’s 4.28 FIP and 4.63 ERA are less than desirable for fantasy leagues, and he certainly does not strike out enough hitters to be extremely valuable in counting stats. Even so, with the vast park that is Petco Field, Richard presents a valuable home spot starter. Richard has allowed just a .230 wOBA against at home with only one home run allowed in 27.1 innings pitched. He had a nice start against he Cardinals while away from Petco, but do not get tempted to risk starting him in leagues where you can afford to use him sporadically.

Hector Noesi

Noesi has not been phenomenal at home, but he is still a solid spot starter in these situations and against the right offenses. Even though he has a pretty solid .309 wOBA against and 3.86 ERA at home, I would not start him against the Rangers or an AL East team at home, but rather against certain teams. This will likely limit the potential to use him as a home starter, but he can also be effective at Oakland or even at the Angels as they both have weaker offenses and bigger ballparks.

A.J. Burnett

Burnett has only made six starts, so there is certainly the potential for him to be a full time starter in fantasy leagues, but until his 4.78 ERA starts to drop and his home run rate along with it, using him in starts only at home is the recommended option. Burnett has allowed just one home run at home compared to three away from Pittsburgh in his six starts, and his wOBA against at home is a sparkling .206. He is a good player to buy low on and start only at home for the time being, but he can potentially be more down the road.

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Ben has been at RotoGraphs since 2012 and focuses most of his fantasy baseball attention toward dynasty and keeper leagues.

5 Responses to “Some Good Spot Starters at Home”

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  1. ndbrian says:

    While I’ve trusted Burnett one too many times in my fantasy life, your logic for not calling him a “permanent starter” is flawed. If you took away the one game against the best offense in baseball where he took one for the team and gave up 12 runs in 2.2 innings, you have a guy with an ERA of 2.06. Take away that disaster and he’s only allowed 1 road HR as well, so his HR rate is low. In fact, his ERA on the road absent the one disaster is only 3.00.

    There are plenty of reasons not to trust A.J. (notably his Jekyl and Hyde attributes), but his “current ERA” and “HR rate” aren’t one of them. I’d say judging only by this year (and knowing nothing of the past) A.J.’s a pitcher to start and hope he doesn’t have another anomally like the one against the best offense in baseball.

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    • mark says:

      I generally agree that taking away his horrid start allows for him to have some nice stats. But, to cherry pick and not take his performance is a) not great statistical analysis and b) pretty short sighted knowing what he is capable of. The article is merely highlighting that his likelihood of obtaining your, admittedly very good stats, are best when he is started at home.

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  2. KJ says:

    I like Milone a lot. Can’t wait for Peacock to make it up and start pitching in OAK, he’ll be another excellent home guy.

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  3. HollywoodMcMoon says:

    I was looking at this again and thinking about streaming Milone at home, but given the following factors, Milone is not going into my lineup except in AL only leagues (if at all):
    1. Home BABIP of .186 which I think we can agree is unsustainable.
    2. Home HR/9 of 0.2 and HR/FB of 2.1% which also appear unsustainable.
    3. Atrocious Home K/9 of 3.74.
    4. LOB% of 86.7% at the Coliseum.
    5. 45.2 IP at home as of July 4, 2012 (sample size).
    6. What appears to be a reverse platoon split (overall) wherein his FIP against lefties is 7.11 and his xFIP is 6.06. (this in spite of a .206 BABIP against lefties).
    7. His xFIP gets ugly as leverage increases.
    8. He appears to struggle from the stretch as his walk rate balloons and his strikeout rates plummet when men reach base. It also gets worse once they reach scoring position.

    Anyone else see statistical or scouting pluses that I might be missing other than his LOB % of 29.2 of men on base and 6.9% of RISP (because those numbers also seem due for regression) or that his HR/9 rate drops as runners reach base and drops further as they reach scoring position? See below also:

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