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Two-Start Pitchers: Week 21

Usually we have two columns on two-start pitchers but circumstances beyond my control made the Friday column impossible. So, this week there will be just the Sunday one. Here are five pitchers you may be on the fence about (or should be on the fence) putting into your lineup for Week 21.

Fausto Carmona – The overall numbers for Carmona are pretty uninspiring (6-12, 4.89) but in his last seven games he has pitched much better. Carmona’s ERA has dropped a full run in that span, as he has a 2.51 ERA over his last 43 IP. Carmona has had very good control this year and recently he’s kept his HR in check, too. He allowed 15 HR in 104.1 IP before the All-Star break and 4 in 41.0 IP here in the second half. This week he goes up against SEA and KC, two teams that are below average in hitting homers. Get Carmona into you lineup this week.

Bartolo Colon – After he was roughed up by the Blue Jays in his first start in the second half, many began to wonder if the clock had struck midnight on Colon’s surprising comeback season. But Colon bounced back with a 3.71 ERA over his last six starts, with 10 BB and 28 Ks in 34 IP. He’s got a fairly normal .314 BABIP in this span, too. He faces BAL and OAK this week, two teams that are a combined 31 games under .500 this season. He should be active this week.

Ryan Dempster – In his last four games, Dempster is 3-0 with a 2.77 ERA. But unlike Colon, he’s done that with a .242 BABIP. Batters have hit 27 fly balls in this span and have 2 HR. Prior to this stretch, Dempster allowed 14 HR on 124 fly balls. Dempster has a home game against the Braves, who have won 12 of their last 16 games, and then a road start in Milwaukee, where the Brewers are second in the NL with 78 HR at home and have a 47-16 mark at Miller Field. Give Dempster a spot on the bench this week.

Ricky Nolasco – It’s hard to imagine worse possible matchups for a starting pitcher in the NL, as Nolasco squares off against ERA leader Johnny Cueto in his first start and gets Wins leader Roy Halladay in his second outing. And in his last start, Nolasco allowed 11 H and 11 ER in 3 IP. For the clincher, Nolasco is not piling up strikeouts like he has in the past, as he has a pedestrian 20 Ks in his last 31.2 IP. Put him on your bench this week.

Bud Norris – In the first half of the season, Norris surrendered 11 HR in 112 IP. In the second half he’s given up 8 HR in 40 IP. Additionally, his K/9 has dropped from 9.1 to 7.2 in the same span. Norris has a start in COL this week, never a good thing for a pitcher struggling with the gopher ball and one who gives up more fly balls than grounders. If you have the depth, give Norris a week on the bench.

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.

Verlander, Greinke, Cain, Carpenter, Kennedy, Cueto, Wilson, Price, Masterson, Morrow, Lewis, Chacin, Niemann, Jurrjens, Lohse, Zimmermann, Bedard, Niese, Kartends, Lackey, Saunders, Myers, Duensing, Vargas, Pavano, McCarthy, Eovaldi, Chen, Guthrie, Penny, Britton, Detwiler, Coleman.

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.

Cecil – Advised to start. 8 Ks, 4.50 ERA, 0.786 WHIP, 14 IP, 7 ER
Garza – Advised to start. 14 Ks, 4.09 ERA, 1.364 WHIP, 11 IP, 5 ER
Harrison – Advised to start. W, 12 Ks, 4.38 ERA, 1.135 WHIP, 12.1 IP, 6 ER
Hudson – Advised to start. W, 5 Ks, 4.91 ERA, 1.909 WHIP, 12 IP, 8 ER
Masterson – Advised to start. 6 Ks, 3.72 ERA, 1.138 WHIP, 9.2 IP, 4 ER