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Week 18 Two-Start Pitchers

Here is the last-minute look at the two-start pitchers for Week 18. First the starters who you may be on the fence about putting into your lineup:

Trevor Cahill – Yes, his peripherals do not match his ERA, thanks mainly to his league-leading .213 BABIP. But he has a 2.19 ERA in eight games at McAfee Coliseum this week and Cahill has two home starts this period, including one against the Royals. Continue to ride Cahill this week.

Livan Hernandez – No one figured Hernandez would be able to keep it up this late in the season. But thanks to his lowest BABIP (.282) in six years and his lowest HR/FB rate (5.4%) since we have the data in 2002, Hernandez has given the Nationals a chance to win each time he pitches. But the veteran has done much better at home this season, where he has an ERA a full run lower than his road mark. With Hernandez and the Nationals having two West Coast road games this week, bench Hernandez for this period.

Derek Lowe – In his last six starts, Lowe is 1-4 with a 5.03 ERA. Even more surprising is that Lowe is having trouble with the gopher ball, having allowed 6 HR in 34 IP in this stretch. While Lowe does have two home starts this week, his ERA at Turner Field is 4.15 for the season. Move him to the bench until he works his way out of his current funk.

Brett Myers – A pitcher with a lifetime 3.89 xFIP, Myers has a 3.78 mark in the category in 2010. However, his ERA is 68 points beneath that mark, which helped earn Myers a contract extension from the Astros. The veteran has really enjoyed pitching in Minute Maid Park this year, where he is 6-0 with a 2.29 ERA. With two road starts this week, give Myers a spot on the bench.

Jason Vargas – Poor run support has hurt Vargas all year long, but especially in his last nine starts. Only once in that span did the Mariners provide him with more than three runs. But the lefty has given Seattle a chance to win on a regular basis this year. And at Safeco Field he is 5-2 with a 2.23 ERA. Vargas has two home starts, so make sure to activate him 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 during the week.

Halladay, J. Santana, T. Hudson, Gallardo, Pavano, Latos, Lackey, Lewis, Burnett, Beckett, Lilly, J. Sanchez, Buehrle, Kuroda, Richard, Morrow, Wood, Carmona, Saunders, Wells, Westbrook, Duensing, Porcello, Hellickson, Guthrie, Olsen, Cook, Maholm, Lopez, Bannister, Ohlendorf, Bell, West.

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.

Dickey – Advised to start. 2.13 ERA, 9 Ks, 0.868 WHIP (2 starts)
Hunter – Advised to start. 2 W, 2.03 ERA, 4 Ks, 0.675 WHIP (2)
Jurrjens – Advised to start. W, 3.21 ERA, 13 Ks, 1.143 WHIP (2)
Pineiro – Advised to sit. 9.00 ERA, 5 Ks, 2.167 WHIP (1)
W. Rodriguez – Advised to start. 2 W, 3.46 ERA, 9 Ks, 0.923 WHIP (2)