Here are five pitchers you may be on the fence about (or should be on the fence) putting into your lineup for Week 23.
Josh Collmenter – The rookie has done an excellent job of keeping the ball in the park this year, which has helped him to a 3.18 ERA compared to a 4.05 xFIP. The one team that has been able to hit the ball out of the park against Collmenter is the Rockies. He’s surrendered 4 HR in 19.1 IP versus Colorado this season. This week he has a start in Coors Field. Last time he went to Denver, Collmenter gave up 2 HR in 4.1 IP. Collmenter also starts against the Padres this week. San Diego is tied for fifth in the NL in runs scored since the All-Star break, meaning Collmenter has two potential rough outings this week. Give him a spot on your bench.
Freddy Garcia – Some thought that Garcia would fall apart down the stretch but he’s continued to produce solid outings for the Yankees here in the second half of the season. In his last five games, he’s 4-0 with a 2.01 ERA. He has a home game against the Orioles and in three previous starts against Baltimore this year, Garcia is 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA and he has 17 Ks in 18 IP. Keep Garcia active this week.
Rich Harden – With 72 Ks in 63.1 IP, Harden has given owners who picked him off the waiver wire a nice return. He’s generally been solid although he’s struggled against two teams this year – the Yankees and Rangers. Unfortunately, Harden faces the Rangers in one of his starts this week. In two games against Texas this year, Harden has allowed 9 ER in 9 IP and has a 2.222 WHIP. Put him on the bench this week.
Javier Vazquez – In his last 14 games, Vazquez has a 2.44 ERA with 16 BB and 79 Ks in 88.2 IP yet is just 5-5. This week he squares off against the Mets and Pirates. In his last two outings against New York, Vazquez has allowed just 1 ER in 14 IP. He’s yet to face Pittsburgh this year but the Pirates are reeling, having won just 17 out of 49 games since the All-Star break. Vazquez is pitching great and has favorable matchups so make sure he’s in your lineup this week.
Dontrelle Willis – How much money would you have wagered on Willis making it back to the majors in 2011 and being an effective pitcher? After 10 starts he has a 3.87 xFIP and he’s hurled a Quality Start in eight of his 10 games for the Reds. No longer the electric pitcher he was in Florida, Willis now throws his fastball under 60 percent of the time. He now throws a bunch of sliders while still mixing in a changeup. This week he has road starts in Chicago and Colorado and he’s been a slightly better pitcher on the road, where he has a 3.64 xFIP. Willis had his longest outing of the year the last time he faced COL, as he went 8 IP and had 10 Ks. He’s available in most leagues and is a nice streaming option.
Other scheduled two-start pitchers in Week 23 are listed below. Please remember that these are projected pitchers and changes can and will happen between now and next week.
Lee, Haren, Shields, Beckett, Gallardo, T. Hudson, Wilson, Jimenez, Bumgarner, Kuroda, Worley, Garza, Fister, Wolf, Stauffer, Lilly, Lowe, Capuano, Strasburg, Carmona, McDonald, Humber, Westbrook, Lannan, H. Alvarez, Miley, Sosa, Duffy, Paulino, L. Perez, LeBlanc, Stewart, Hunter, Swarzak, Batista, A. Vasquez, Diamond.
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 21 pitchers and how they fared.
Carmona – Advised to start. 8 Ks, 4.38 ERA, 1.297 WHIP, 12.1 IP, 6 ER
Colon – Advised to start. 9 Ks, 4.50 ERA, 1.071 WHIP, 14 IP, 7 ER
Dempster – Advised to sit. 11 Ks, 7.20 ERA, 1.800 WHIP, 10 IP, 8 ER
Nolasco – Advised to sit. 8 Ks, 5.40 ERA, 1.500 WHIP, 6.2 IP, 4 ER
Norris – Advised to sit. 16 Ks, 4.50 ERA, 1.167 WHIP, 12 IP, 6 ER