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 17.
Rubby De La Rosa – Thought to be a potential closer earlier in the year, De La Rosa has instead found a home in the rotation for the Dodgers. A couple of rough outings have inflated his ERA while a couple of hard-luck losses leave his record at under .500 for the season. But in his last four games, De La Rosa has a 2.16 ERA with 7 BB and 22 Ks in 25 IP. Earlier in the year, walks were a big problem for him and he still holds a 4.09 BB/9. Even with that walk rate, De La Rosa’s FIP and xFIP are both below his ERA. He has two home starts this week. There’s a chance he’s still on the waiver wire in your league and if so he makes an excellent streaming option.
Freddy Garcia – After pitching on the road in five of his last six games, Garcia gets to make two home starts this week. The veteran has done quite well on the road this year and has been victimized somewhat by the gopher ball in new Yankee Stadium. Garcia squares off this week against SEA and BAL. The Mariners are one of the worst HR hitting teams in baseball, while the Orioles are middle of the pack, but hit one-third fewer HR on the road than they do in Camden Yards. They are have two of the worst records in the AL. Make sure Garcia is active this week.
Jeff Karstens – An 86.6 LOB% has helped Karstens to a shiny 2.28 ERA and eight wins. In the previous three years, Karstens was very consistent with his xFIP, posting rates of 4.77, 4.88 and 4.82 in that span. This year’s rate checks in at 4.40 – an improvement, perhaps, but still nowhere near his actual ERA. Karstens has kept runners off base and his 1.04 WHIP is the ninth-best mark in baseball. But he struggles with the long ball (1.33 HR/9) and has a poor 4.79 K/9. This week he has road starts against ATL and PHI, two of the top teams in the league and teams that are above average in hitting HRs in their own park. Give him the week off if you can.
Chris Narveson – Miller Park is a good hitter’s park but Narveson has performed much better this year at home (5-2, 3.81 ERA) than on the road (1-4, 4.97). Narveson allows fewer baserunners at home and has a better SO/BB ratio at Miller Park, but his main reason for success is that he’s only allowed 2 HR in 52 IP in his home park. This week he gets CHI and HOU, the two worst teams in the NL. Get Narveson in your lineup for these matchups.
Carl Pavano – In the first two months of the season, Pavano had HR/FB rates below seven. In June that number jumped to 8.8 percent and this month it sits at 12.5, as he’s allowed a HR in six consecutive starts. His first start this week is at TEX and the Rangers are second in the AL with 122 HR, with a league-leading 81 at home. Pavano gets a break with his second start at OAK, as the A’s are last in the AL with 26 HR at home. But Pavano has hardly been a road warrior this year, with a 5.07 ERA away from Target Field. Give Pavano a place on your bench this week if you have other options.
Other scheduled two-start pitchers in Week 17 are listed below. Please remember that these are projected pitchers and changes can and will happen between now and next week.
Verlander, Sabathia, Weaver, Lee, Lincecum, Haren, Wilson, Hudson, Cueto, Hellickson, Morrow, Nolasco, Zimmermann, Worley, Holland, Dempster, Niese, Harang, Vargas, Lester, Leake, Myers, McDonald, McClellan, Dickey, Arrieta, Blackburn, Miller, Carmona, McCarthy, Saunders, Nicasio, Westbrook, Moscoso, Moseley, Happ, Davies
Check back Sunday night for an update of two-start pitchers.
Week 15 was the All-Star break, so no update on previous picks.