Now that fantasy leagues are back on a 7-day week schedule, it’s time to take our first look at upcoming two-start pitchers. 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 2.
Mark Buehrle – After opening the season with two poor road outings, Buehrle has home starts this week against the A’s and Angels. From 2008-10, the veteran Buehrle has been 26-14 at home compared to 15-21 on the road. Earlier in his career, Buehrle was all over the map as far as performance. However, he has become a reliable hurler the past few years. While he may not strike out more batters for you than a middle reliever this week, he should post respectable ERA and WHIP numbers and has a chance to post two Wins. Make sure he is active in your lineup.
Kevin Correia – After posting a 5.40 ERA in 2010 while playing half his games in Petco Park, few had high hopes for Correia this year in Pittsburgh. But he starts the year off with Wins in his first two games and a nifty 1.38 ERA, putting him on the radar of fantasy players everywhere. But don’t be fooled. Correia has a 4.86 xFIP, much closer to his 4.45 career rate in the category. With games against the Brewers and Reds, look for Correia’s ERA to balloon and do not add or start him if you can help it.
Ryan Dempster – When you drafted Dempster you imagined him as a guy you put in the lineup each week and did not worry about his roster spot. And generally that’s true, although you might want to investigate alternatives this week. Dempster has road starts in Colorado and in Houston, two parks which are hitter-friendly and in which he has struggled recently. Lifetime Dempster is 3-7 in Minute Maid Park and he is 1-3 with an 11.35 ERA in Coors Field. Combined with his rough start to open the season, it looks like a good time to give him a week off if you can.
Kyle McClellan – After 202 appearances in the majors as a reliever, McClellan made his first start this year, as he moved into the rotation to take over for the injured Adam Wainwright. McClellan showed strong peripherals in his time in the bullpen and carried that over to his first start, as he allowed six hits in six innings while walking one and fanning seven. The matchups are not overly favorable to McClellan this week, with road starts in Arizona and Los Angeles. But both of those clubs have struggled some offensively out of the gate and are in the bottom half of the league in runs per game. He’s a good waiver pickup if he is available in your league and if he is already on your roster you should consider giving him a start this week.
Esmil Rogers – During his brief time in the majors, Rogers has put up some ugly ERAs but has gotten strikeouts and ground balls, two things which bode well for his future performance. He continued with that combination in his first outing of 2011, with 7 Ks and 11 ground balls in 7.1 IP. Rogers was hurt last year in the majors due to his .385 BABIP, a figure that should heavily regresses in 2011. Rogers has decent control and his high ground ball rates help keep his gopher ball totals low. Combined with the strikeouts that is a pretty nice package for a guy likely on the waiver wire. Go out and grab him and do not be afraid to start him this week.
Other scheduled two-start pitchers in Week 2 are listed below. Please remember that these are projected pitchers and changes can and will happen between now and next week.
Verlander, Kershaw, Carpenter, Haren, Hanson, Billingsley, Marcum, Volquez, Myers, Hellickson, Stauffer, Niese, Braden, Pelfrey, Latos, Blanton, Hammel, L. Hernandez, Volstad, Enright, Figueroa.
Check back Sunday night for an update of two-start pitchers.