Interesting Week 21 Two-Start Pitchers

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 21.

R.A. Dickey – It’s been a great season overall for the 35-year-old Dickey but he has been outstanding in Citi Field, where he has a 5-1 record with a 1.22 ERA. With two home starts this week, Dickey should be in everyone’s lineup.

Jason Hammel – Since July 16th, Hammel is 1-4 with a 4.89 ERA. But six of those seven starts have come on the road. In Coors Field this year, Hammel is 6-1 with a 3.36 ERA. With two home starts this week, look for Hammel to get back in the win column.

Hiroki Kuroda – The past two months, Kuroda is 1-6. Since coming to this country in 2008, Kuroda has posted lower-than-average HR/FB rates. But in his last few starts, he has allowed 3 HR in 25 IP. This week he has road starts in Milwaukee and Colorado, two of the three best HR parks in the National League. Put Kuroda on the bench this week.

Colby Lewis – In his last six starts, Lewis is 0-5 yet his ERA has dropped five points to 3.37 for the season. He gets two home starts this week, where he is 5-3 with a 2.95 ERA for the year. Look for Lewis to pick up at least one win this week and make sure he is in your lineup.

Clayton Richard – He has been piling up victories recently despite not pitching all that well. But his last four starts have all been on the road. Richard gets two home starts this week and the friendly confines of Petco should help out. Richard should be in your active roster.

Other scheduled two-start pitchers in Week 21 are listed below. Please remember that these are projected pitchers and changes can and will happen between now and next week.

Wainwright, J. Johnson, T. Hudson, Hamels, Cain, Liriano, Pavano, Floyd, Lackey, E. Santana, Myers, Morrow, Shields, Volquez, G. Gonzalez, Carmona, L. Hernandez, Kazmir, Blanton, Guthrie, Norris, Porcello, Bonderman, Fister, Harden, Moseley, Ohlendorf, Bush, Lannan, Chen, Rzepczynski, R. Lopez, Lohse, Coleman.

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 19 pitchers and how they fared.

Hughes – Advised to start. W, 3.75 ERA, 3 Ks, 1.417 WHIP (2 starts)
Leake – Advised to sit. W, 8.38 ERA, 8 Ks, 1.862 WHIP (2)
Mazzaro – Advised to start. 2.77 ERA, 8 Ks, 1.308 WHIP (2)
Padilla – Advised to start. W, 11.57 ERA, 4 Ks, 1.929 WHIP (2)
Pelfrey – Advised to sit. W, 1.93 ERA, 5 Ks, 0.857 WHIP (2)

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I think, generally, it’s not that wise to use single season splits as a major factor in determining whether to start an SP (or anyone else).

Take the case of Jason Hammel, recommended above because of his home starts this week and the fact that he has much a better ERA at home this year. But look at his splits last year – exactly the opposite. Great ERA on the road, terrible ERA at home.