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 18
John Danks – After getting beat up in May, Danks was hitting his stride in June until he had to leave his last start of the month with a strained oblique. He came back after the All-Star break and picked up right where he left off. In his last two starts, Danks has allowed just 1 ER in 13 IP and he notched 16 Ks in that span. Because of his horrendous start (0-8, 5.25 ERA), Danks’ overall numbers still look poor. But he is pitching well and should be in your lineup, even with a start against the Yankees.
John Lackey – In his last eight starts, Lackey has alternated between good and bad each start, with four outings with a game score 41 or lower and four with a game score 55 or higher. If this pattern continues, he’s due for a good start his first outing against the Indians and due for a poor one against the Yankees. Regardless of pattern, Lackey has two home starts this week. His ERA in Fenway is 6.54, which should be enough to slide him over to the bench this week.
Jake Peavy – The fact that Peavy is pitching at all is a minor miracle after he suffered a complete tear of the latissimus dorsi muscle from his shoulder. It really should be no surprise that he’s just a shadow of his former self. His fastball velocity is down nearly two mph from his heyday with the Padres and he throws his heater just 51 percent of the time now. In his last five starts, Peavy is 0-3 with a 6.67 ERA. He should not be in your lineup and it’s questionable if he should even be on your roster at this point in time.
Ervin Santana – It’s not unusual for a pitcher to suffer a letdown after pitching a no-hitter but Santana has been pitching great over his last eight starts and he has favorable matchups this week. He has two home starts and up first is the Twins, who have scored the third-fewest away runs in the AL this season. Next up is the Mariners, who have scored the second-fewest road runs in the league. While Santana has not displayed any significant home/road split this year, he has had some trouble with the gopher ball in his home park and he faces two of the bottom three HR teams this week. Keep him active in your lineup.
Javier Vazquez – Last season was a year to forget for Vazquez and 2011 started off in much the same fashion. But in his last eight starts, Vazquez has recorded 4 W, a 2.40 ERA, a 1.233 WHIP and 39 Ks in 48.2 IP. He may only be a six-inning pitcher at this point in his career, but he’s giving the Marlins a chance to win each time out. And the Marlins lead the NL in runs scored since the All-Star break. Get him in your lineup this week.
Other scheduled two-start pitchers in Week 18 are listed below. Please remember that these are projected pitchers and changes can and will happen between now and next week.
Lincecum, Beckett, Hamels, Kershaw, Sabathia, J. Garcia, Carpenter, Jurrjens, Kennedy, Greinke, Cain, Romero, Lewis, Cahill, Chacin, Tomlin, Norris, Luebke, Zambrano, Correia, Maholm, Hughes, Arroyo, Duensing, Fister, Lannan, Pelfrey, L. Hernandez, Kendrick, Wells, Hand, Huff, Cook, Simon.
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 16 pitchers and how they fared.
Baker – Advised to start. W, 5 Ks, 0.00 ERA, 0.800 WHIP. 5 IP, 0 ER
Buehrle – Advised to start. W, 3 Ks, 2.57 ERA, 0.857 WHIP, 7 IP, 2 ER
Capuano – Advised to start. 11 Ks, 5.27 ERA, 1.317 WHIP, 13.2 IP, 8 ER
Hammel – Advised to start. 8 Ks, 10.13 ERA, 2.531 WHIP, 4.1 IP, 7 ER
Marquis – Advised to sit. W, 11 Ks, 3.21 ERA, 1.143 WHIP, 14 IP, 5 ER