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 20.
Chad Billingsley – Consistency has been hard to come by for Billingsley in 2011. Yes, he’s had some stretches where he’s run off multiple wins in a row, but those times were not backed with strong pitching. And here recently it’s been hot and cold for the Dodger righty. The one constant seemingly for Billingsley has been poor results on the road. In his last seven road starts, he’s given up 4, 4, 6, 0, 3, 5 and 3 ER over 45 IP for a 5.00 ERA. For the season he has a 5.53 road ERA, so it’s not like these last seven are out of character for him. Billingsley has a 6.59 K/9 in road games and allows more HR on the road. This week he squares off at MIL and at COL, two really good HR parks. Give him the week off if you can.
A.J. Burnett – It has been over six weeks since Burnett notched his last win and he has not been particularly impressive in defeat, either, with a 6.00 ERA in his last seven starts. One of the big problems in that stretch is that he has allowed 8 HR in 42 IP. The good news for Burnett this week is that he squares off against KC and MIN, two of the worst teams in the league in hitting HR. He’s also struggled with his command recently and the Twins have the fewest walks of any AL team. Both of these starts are on the road, which likely works in his favor as the Bronx faithful are not overly fond of Burnett at the moment. Put him in your lineup this week.
Gio Gonzalez – In his last four starts, Gonzalez is 0-4 with an 8.44 ERA. In that span, he has a 2.109 WHIP. Gonzalez’ BB/9 has definitely been a problem (6.3) but no one is going to succeed with the .433 BABIP that Gonzalez has during that stretch. So, is there an injury or is it a slump? Gonzalez also has a 9.7 K/9 in that stretch and his 10.0 SwStr% is right at his 9.7 percent mark for the season. It does not seem like an injury and there is no discussion of any health problems. He has two home starts this week and Gonzalez is 7-2 with a 2.21 ERA at the Coliseum. Also his home FIP is 1.07 beneath his road FIP. Keep Gonzalez active this week despite his recent horrible pitching.
Mike Leake – A 3.0 K/BB ratio and five Quality Starts in his last five games have not translated into a great record for Leake, who is 2-3 in that span. He has a nifty 2.53 ERA in his last 32 IP and a normal .316 BABIP. This week he squares off against the slumping Pirates (3-13 in their last 16 games) and Nationals (7-11). Leake is pitching well and he has favorable matchups, so make sure he is active this week.
Cory Luebke – A high pitch count kept Luebke to five innings in his last outing but that was hardly a surprise, as he notched 4 BB and 8 Ks. The walks were out of character but the strikeouts are what fantasy owners have come to expect from the converted reliever. Since moving into the rotation on June 26th, Luebke has a 9.3 K/9. His 2.98 ERA as a SP exactly matches his xFIP. Luebke is stretched out as a SP and has thrown between 100-110 pitches in each of his last seven outings. He has struggled somewhat at home (3.42 xFIP) but he faces two teams from the East Coast and there’s no reason not to have him in your lineup this week.
Other scheduled two-start pitchers in Week 20 are listed below. Please remember that these are projected pitchers and changes can and will happen between now and next week.
Lee, Gallardo, Lester, T. Hudson, Ogando, Jimenez, Bumgarner, Hanson, Holland, A. Sanchez, Pineda, Harang, Liriano, Porcello, Wolf, J. Sanchez, Lilly, Dickey, Vazquez, Collmenter, McDonald, Westbrook, Davis, Blackburn, Alvarez, Moscoso, Hunter, Mills, Duffy, Chatwood, Paulino, G. Richards, Detwiler, Lopez, Sosa.
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 18 pitchers and how they fared.
Danks – Advised to start. 5 Ks, 6.00 ERA, 1.667 WHIP, 6 IP, 4 ER
Lackey – Advised to sit. W, 10 Ks, 5.68 ERA, 1.263 WHIP, 12.2 IP, 8 ER
Peavy – Advised to sit. W, 10 Ks, 1.80 ERA, 0.800 WHIP, 15 IP, 3 ER
E. Santana – Advised to start. 2 W, 14 Ks, 1.04 ERA, 1.039 WHIP, 17.1 IP, 2 ER
Vazquez – Advised to start. 8 Ks, 1.39 ERA, 1.000 WHIP, 13 IP, 2 ER
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