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 22.
Mark Buehrle – In his last 19 starts, Buehrle has gone 9-3 with a 2.62 ERA. Overall, his ERA is about 0.75 less than his FIP and nearly a full run worse than his xFIP. But Buehrle has out-performed both FIP numbers in seven of the previous nine seasons, so it’s not a huge surprise. The estimators have a tough time with Buehrle because his strikeout rate is so low. But he counters with an excellent walk rate and better than average HR and LOB rates. He has a home start against MIN and he has a 0.39 ERA in three starts against the Twins this year. He’s also got a game at DET and lifetime he has a 3.37 ERA and a 1.179 WHIP in 123 IP at Comerica Park. Keep Buehrle in the lineup this week.
Brett Cecil – The one weakness for Cecil is his gopher ball tendencies. He’s allowed 14 HR in 91.1 IP this year and all 14 HR have come against RHB. This week Cecil squares off against BAL and NYY, with both starts on the road. The Yankees lead the AL with 98 HR at home and the Orioles are tied for third with 82 HR. The Yankees have power up and down the lineup while the Orioles feature three RHB – Hardy, Jones and Reynolds – with over 20 HR apiece. Give Cecil the week off.
Wade Davis – The year started off miserably for Davis as he adopted more of a pitch-to-contact approach which resulted in an inflated ERA. After 18 starts he had a 4.47 ERA and a 4.13 K/9. But in his last five starts, Davis has fanned 28 in 36 IP for a 7.00 K/9 and he has a 3.75 ERA. The Rays are 5-0 in that stretch, although Davis has just one win to show for it. If he can keep up the solid pitching, the wins will come so make sure you have him active this week.
Doug Fister – Last year Fister was a low-end matchup guy, one you could put into the lineup when he had home starts. He had a strong 3.61 ERA and 1.139 WHIP at Safeco but a 5.06 ERA and a 1.551 WHIP in road games. This year he’s been good both at home and on the road. There was concern about how he would do after the trade to Detroit, but in four starts with the Tigers, Fister has produced two strong outings, both at home. This week he has two home starts, with games against the Royals and White Sox, two teams below .500 and who are just middle of the pack versus LH starters. Get Fister active this week.
Hiroki Kuroda – Since coming to this country in 2008, Kuroda has been a very reliable pitcher for both the Dodgers and fantasy owners. Despite strong overall numbers, he’s never been a big asset in Wins and this year was even worse than normal as he had a 6-13 record at the end of July despite a 3.11 ERA. But fortune has smiled upon Kuroda in August, as he has a 4-1 record this month. He has a normal .305 BABIP in August yet has a 2.16 ERA in 33.1 IP. This week he has a home start against SD and a road start in ATL. He has more wins against the Padres (7) than any team in the majors. His start against the Braves is a day game and Kuroda has a 2.58 ERA and a 1.148 WHIP with a 4.0 K/BB rate in day games this season. Make sure he is in the lineup this week.
Other scheduled two-start pitchers in Week 22 are listed below. Please remember that these are projected pitchers and changes can and will happen between now and next week.
Lincecum, Sabathia, Kershaw, Romero, Marcum, Hellickson, D.Hudson, Scherezer, J. Garcia, Worley, Latos, W. Rodriguez, Hamels, Tomlin, Harrison, Cahill, Lackey, Harden, Lowe, Morton, Vazquez, Bailey, Arroyo, Hochevar, Pelfrey, Guthrie, White, L. Hernandez, Beavan, Wells, Pineiro, Francis, Slowey, Huff, Williams, Ohlendorf, Volstad.
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 20 pitchers and how they fared.
Billingsley – Advised to sit. 12 Ks, 3.07 ERA, 0.955 WHIP, 14.2 IP, 5 ER
Burnett – Advised to start. W, 3 Ks, 12.27 ERA, 2.591 WHIP, 7.1 IP, 10 ER
Gonzalez – Advised to start. W, 13 Ks, 3.21 ERA, 0.857 WHIP, 14 IP, 5 ER
Leake – Advised to start. 10 Ks, 6.75 ERA, 1.167 WHIP, 12 IP, 9 ER
Luebke – Advised to start. W, 13 Ks, 1.50 ERA, 0.750 WHIP, 12 IP, 2 ER