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 13.
Nick Blackburn – April was not kind to Blackburn and he had a 5.14 ERA at the end of the first month of the season. Since then, he is 5-1 with a 2.35 ERA in his last 10 games, with eight Quality Starts in that span. With a poor K rate, Blackburn is always walking a tightrope. But he’s keeping runners off base (2.51 BB/9, .276 BABIP) and his 1.11 HR/9 is a tick below his career average. This week he gets two home starts, where he has a 2.40 ERA this season. Get him into your lineup.
R.A. Dickey – There was a lot of skepticism around Dickey after his breakout year last season at age 35. Now he sits with a 3-7 record and an ERA nearly a run higher than a year ago and the skeptics seem right. However, if it wasn’t for bad luck, Dickey seemingly would have no luck at all. In his last seven starts, he has a 2.23 ERA with a 3.08 K/BB ratio and a 7.51 K/9 yet only has two wins in that stretch. He could have six wins in that time with better fortune. Dickey has been pitching well and while the matchups are not overly favorable (@ DET, NYY) he still makes an excellent streaming option this week.
Matt Garza – The switch to the National League agreed with Garza, who fanned 68 batters in 55.2 IP in his first nine games with the Cubs. But tightness in his elbow landed Garza on the DL and he has not been the same pitcher since his return. In four starts since being activated, Garza has 14 Ks in 21 IP, has allowed 4 HR and has a 5.14 ERA. He faces two good HR teams in COL and CHW and if the wind is blowing out in Wrigley it could get ugly. Give him a spot on the bench this week if you have the depth.
Kyle Lohse – Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. A veteran Cardinals pitcher trades a bunch of four-seam fastballs for two-seamers, improves his walk rate and turns in a fine season. This year it’s Lohse’s turn to play this role and the results have been impressive. His fastball, which has been a double-digit negative in linear weights the past four years, now checks in as a 2.0 wFB. And his BB/9, which was 3.40 last year, now sits at 1.63, the fifth-best mark in the majors.
But the league seems to be catching on to Lohse’s new act. After opening the year at 7-2, 2.14 ERA he is 0-2 with a 5.47 ERA in his last four starts. He’s also allowed 7 HR in 24.2 IP this month. Lohse has road starts in two AL parks this week. While he has pitched quite well on the road overall this year (5-1, 2.70 ERA), this still seems like a good time to give him the week off.
Ryan Vogelsong – Fantasy owners have been adding Vogelsong in droves over the past six weeks. And who can blame them, as he has a 5-1 record with a 1.86 ERA this season. Plus, his only loss of the year came in a game where he allowed 1 ER in 8 IP. Vogelsong has improved across the board in 2011. He’s added two-thirds of a strikeout to his lifetime K/9 rate and is closing in on cutting his BB/9 and HR/9 in half.
But he has a .260 BABIP and an 85.8 LOB% and a 5.1 HR/FB rate, which gives us a 3.40 xFIP. While that is a strong mark, it’s significantly above his 1.86 ERA. Also, Vogelsong has a big home/road split. At AT&T park (which has a 0.552 HR factor this year according to ESPN) he is 3-1 with a 1.01 ERA. On the road Vogelsong has a 3.21 ERA. With two road starts this week, give him the week off.
Other scheduled two-start pitchers in Week 13 are listed below. Please remember that these are projected pitchers and changes can and will happen between now and next week.
Lee, Beckett, Greinke, Kennedy, Wilson, Chacin, G. Gonzalez, Cueto, Scherzer, Bedard, Hellickson, Latos, Billingsley, E. Santana, Britton, Correia, Beachy, Porcello, Marquis, F. Garcia, Lannan, Hammel, Vazquez, Lyles, Francis, Reyes, Stewart, Talbot, Davis.
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 11 pitchers and how they fared.
Arroyo – Advised to sit. 2 W, 11 Ks, 2.87 ERA, 0.766 WHIP, 13.1 IP, 1 ER
Britton – Advised to sit. 4 Ks, 1.80 ERA, 1.400 WHIP, 5 IP, ER
Collmenter – Advised to start. 9 Ks, 6.00 ERA, 1.417 WHIP, 12 IP, 8 ER
Masterson – Advised to sit. 9 Ks, 3.18 ERA, 1.765 WHIP, 11.1 IP, 4 ER
Pavano – Advised to start. W, 5 Ks, 1.00 ERA, 1.000 WHIP, 9 IP, ER