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 7.
Jon Garland – After getting roughed up in his first start of the season, Garland has hurled four straight Quality Starts. One thing especially interesting about Garland this year is his batted ball profile. Typically a ground ball pitcher, Garland set a career-high with a 51.9 GB% last year. After five games in 2011, he has a career-low 36.8 GB%. Yet his HR/9 of 1.13 is essentially his career average. He has a home start against the Brewers and then goes on the road for his first start in U.S. Cellular since leaving the White Sox after the 2007 season. The Brewers are less potent on the road (.609 OPS) than they are at home (.852 OPS) and the White Sox are a below-average offensive team this year, so see if Garland is available in your league to stream this week.
Matt Garza – The overall fantasy numbers (strikeouts excepted) are nothing special for Garza this year but he has been pitching much better than his record shows. His xFIP is two full runs lower than his ERA and his FIP is even better. In his last five games, Garza has four Quality Starts and a 2.90 ERA. The matchups are not overly favorable to Garza this week, with two road starts, including one in an AL park, but he has been pitching well so do not be afraid to put him in your lineup this week.
Ubaldo Jimenez – Fantasy leaguers still consider Jimenez a must-start after last year’s sterling performance. But the truth is that Jimenez has not been good so far in 2011. It looked like he might be finally turning the corner with his start against the Giants in the first week in May but then he failed to get out of the fourth inning last time out against the Mets. His K/9 is better than last season and his BABIP is virtually identical to 2010. But Jimenez has a 6.67 BB/9 and is being victimized by the long ball, with 4 HR in 29.2 IP. He needs a spot on your bench until he shows something more.
Rick Porcello – The beginning of 2011 looked ugly for Porcello, who allowed 10 ER in 10 IP, with 4 BB and 6 Ks. But since then he’s yet to allow more than 2 ER in a start and has a 3.0 K/BB ratio, with 21 Ks in 31.2 IP. His FIP and xFIP are both close to his actual ERA of 3.67. Porcello is throwing more changeups this year but otherwise appears the same pitcher he’s typically been. It’s just that the results are better. With one home start and an Interleague game in Pittsburgh, the matchups are decent enough for him this week, so get him in your lineup.
Edinson Volquez – First off, if you have not already read it, immediately check out Cistulli’s piece on Volquez, which helps explain why a guy with great stuff is getting horrible results. Unfortunately, while there may be some reason for optimism for Volquez, it’s hard to get excited about a guy with a walk rate that high. Combine it with an elevated HR rate and it adds up to a guy who should be on your bench at this point in time.
Other scheduled two-start pitchers in Week 7 are listed below. Please remember that these are projected pitchers and changes can and will happen between now and next week.
F. Hernandez, Lee, Hanson, Price, Johnson, J. Garcia, Cain, Shields, Marcum, Masterson, G. Gonzalez, Anderson, Burnett, Nolasco, J. Sanchez, D. Hudson, Kuroda, Britton, Lewis, W. Rodriguez, Jackson, Lowe, Baker, Myers, Bailey, Stauffer, Zimmermann, Wolf, Duensing, Drabek, Lackey, Pineiro, Oswalt, Nova, Harrison, Pelfrey, Richard, Matsuzaka, Morton, Niese, Vargas, Westbrook, Coke, Litsch, Chatwood, Maholm, Lannan, Carrasco, Tillman, Galarraga, O’Sullivan, Mazzaro, Coleman, Mortensen.
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 5 pitchers and how they fared.
Dickey – Advised to start. 4 Ks, 6.23 ERA, 1.539 WHIP, 13 IP, 9 ER
Hernandez – Advised to start. 5 Ks, 7.94 ERA, 2.118 WHIP, 11.1 IP, 10 ER
Jurrjens – Advised to start. 2 W, 6 Ks, 1.93 ERA, 1.143 WHIP, 14 IP, 3 ER
Leake – Advised to start. 5 Ks, 17.18 ERA, 2.182 WHIP, 3.2 IP, 7 ER
Tomlin – Advised to sit. 5 Ks, 2.35 ERA, 0.391 WHIP, 7.2 IP, 2 ER