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Week Six 2-Start Pitchers Update

Here is the latest update to Week Six 2-start pitchers. Again this list is subject to change going forward.

Pitchers not listed on last update

BOS – John Lackey
FLA – Ricky Nolasco
TEX – Colby Lewis
STL – Brad Penny
TOR – Brandon Morrow
ANA – Joel Pineiro
HOU – Brett Myers
DET – Rick Porcello
NYM – Jonathon Niese
KCR – Brian Bannister
LAD – Carlos Monasterios

After getting roughed up by the Rays, Lackey has gone seven innings in each of his last three starts, picking up two wins in the process. His GB/FB ratio is essentially where it’s been the past few years, but Lackey is striking out fewer batters and issuing more walks. His 1.50 K/BB ratio is the worst of his career. Lackey is surviving thanks to a lower LD% and a lower HR/FB rate. He has posted a lower than average HR/FB rate in six of his eight seasons in the majors and so far this year it checks in at 7.1 percent.

Six of the seven homers allowed by Nolasco this year have come in his home park, where he has pitched 16 innings. The rest of the Marlins’ staff has allowed 7 HR in 135 IP at Sun Life Stadium. The average velocity on Nolasco’s fastball is down 1.1 mph and his K/9 has fallen from 9.49 to 7.26. A 1.82 BB/9 has kept his FIP and xFIP right around his ERA of 4.08, which checks in slightly better than the NL average of a 4.20 ERA.

A wicked slider which he throws over 30 percent of the time has helped make Lewis’ second stint in the majors go significantly better than his first. That has led to a 31.4 O-Swing% and a 10.24 K/9 rate. Somewhere on the West Coast, Carson Cistulli cracks a smile over this.

Last year Penny had a 1.13 GB/FB rate but it is back up to 1.49 this year. Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan gets all of the credit for the turnaround yet Penny had a 1.63 GB/FB rate last year with the Giants. Penny is posting the lowest walk rate of his career (1.77 BB/9) and perhaps Duncan deserves credit for that. Still, Penny is pitching better than his peripherals, with an xFIP nearly two runs higher than his ERA.

In his last four outings, Morrow is 2-1 with a 2.96 ERA and has 34 Ks in 24.1 IP. The overall numbers still look bad because of the brutal first two starts but you should definitely check the waiver wire to see if he is still available in your league.

Pineiro still has tremendous GB and BB rates, so why is his ERA sitting at 5.30 or nearly two runs a game higher than last season? Check out that 15.6 HR/FB rate, over twice as high as last year’s mark. Pineiro has also been unlucky with a .351 BABIP. The bottom line is that his xFIP of 3.89 is just slightly higher than last year’s 3.68.

This week Myers has two road starts. He has a 2.57 ERA on the road this year and an 0-2 record.

The K/9 for Porcello has risen from 4.69 to 5.70 this season. Unfortunately his BABIP has risen from .281 to .396 and combine that with a 58.4 LOB% and you get a 7.50 ERA. Porcello’s FIP and xFIP are right in line with last year, when he posed a 3.96 ERA and 14 Wins.

Omar Minaya eschewed adding a free agent pitcher in the offseason, saying he liked his internal candidates as much as what was available after Lackey signed. Niese is trying his best to make Minaya look good and has a 3.60 ERA after six starts despite a .382 BABIP.

This season Bannister has made three starts during the day and three at night. He is 1-0 with a 2.41 ERA in the sunshine and 0-2 with an 8.22 ERA under the lights. In his career, Bannister is 18-8 with a 4.06 ERA in day games and 13-32 with a 5.26 ERA at night.

Monasterios was originally signed by the Yankees out of Venezuela. He was shipped to Philadelphia in the Bobby Abreu deal and was underwhelming in three-plus years in the Phillies’ farm system. This year he was selected by the Mets in the Rule 5 draft and then sold to the Dodgers. He has been effective in relief for Los Angeles and gets bumped into the rotation as Los Angeles looks everywhere for help for its rotation. However, his xFIP is two full runs higher than his ERA.