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August 15, 2014

Fantasy Starting Pitcher Planner

Week 21

by Wilson Karaman


Welcome to the Weekly Pitching Planner! It’s a thin week for two-start options, particularly in the American League, where the A’s, Rangers, and Blue Jays only play five games apiece and offer no two-time starters. Additionally, the Orioles are set to activate Ubaldo Jimenez from the disabled list this weekend and currently list a six-man rotation for next week. Keep an eye on the situation, particularly if you’re a Bud Norris owner, as he’s slated for the Monday start and would presumably be in line for their Sunday start as well if they thin the heard to a standard five-man crew. Beyond the limited slate it is additionally just a tough week for mid-tier starter match-ups. Meanwhile the National League also features three teams (Rockies, Marlins, and Brewers) who will only suit up five times as well. Basically, if you’ve got yourself one of the handful of reliable options this week, consider yourself lucky.

On to the nuts and bolts: Outside of the elites, two-start pitchers are often as much or more trouble than they’re worth. Rare is the week in which the stars align to offer your starters not just one but two consecutive tasty matchups. As a result you’ll notice that sometimes the better starters will find themselves in the “consider” category, because they might have one good matchup but a second tough one. And similarly, less-talented hurlers might just meander their way into “start” territory on account of a plum schedule. The pitchers will be split by league, and then by categories:

Auto-Starts – These are your surefire fantasy aces. You paid a handsome sum for these guys, either with an early draft pick, high dollar auction bid, or significant haul of prospects. These are the top 20 or so starters in baseball, so you’re starting them anywhere, anytime. Guys can emerge onto or fall off of this list as the season evolves. There won’t be many—if any—notes associated with these groupings each week, unless a player has just moved up or is in imminent danger of moving down.

Starts – These are the guys I’m recommending you put into your lineup this week. Some will be obvious, but not quite auto-start excellent, while others will be waiver-wire fodder who find themselves with a pair of favorable outings that you can take advantage of in your league. There will be accompanying notes supporting the decisions.

Considers – As mentioned earlier, these guys will be on the fence and your league settings and position in the standings will really be the decider here. A pitcher in this category can be your number two starter with a tough week of matchups in Cincinnati and Colorado. Or conversely if the Minnesota Twins fifth starter is slated to face the Astros at home followed by an interleague trip to San Diego, he will appear on this list because the matchups are great even though he might not be. Your particular league settings will have a lot to say here; if you are in a 10-team mixed league you probably don’t need to take the risk, but a 10-team AL-only leaguer might see it as a nice opportunity to log some quality innings from a freely available resource.

Sits – These are the guys I’m staying away from this week. They will range in talent from solid to poor. With mixed leagues larger than 10 teams my default position for all two-start pitchers who rank outside of the top 60 or so is to sit them unless the matchups dictate otherwise. Additionally, mid-rotation starters who face a couple tough draws will find themselves in this category more often than not.

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6 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

edabbs44

I think people who start Homer and Ryu are going to be a little disappointed next week.

Aug 15, 2014 06:21 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Wilson Karaman
BP staff

Yes, as I note explicitly in the disclaimer above pitching match-ups are obviously subject to change. And this column has a Thursday deadline for the following week, so sometimes injury or re-shuffling news breaks to late to adjust. It looks like Alfredo Simon will slot into Bailey's turns, and he's a "Consider" who I'd be skeptical of. After defying the FIP gods for most of the season he's pitched pretty poorly in three straight starts, allowing almost two baserunners an inning and giving up 12 earned runs while failing to record an out in the sixth inning in any of them. Neither of his opponents generates a tremendous amount of fear, but I'm still skeptical of his performance right now. The Dodgers still haven't ruled Ryu out officially, despite all but acknowledging he's likely to miss at least his Tuesday start. That'd likely go to Kevin Correia, who I would not bother with if he does because a two-start pitcher in the even of a Ryu DL stint.

Aug 15, 2014 07:13 AM
 
leh1935

When are the A's going to go back to Jesse Chavez? Jason Hammel is not the guy but then he never was!

Aug 15, 2014 21:30 PM
rating: 0
 
jmoore

As of now, Baltimore doesn't have starters listed for next week against the Cubs but it appears that Bud Norris should get a start either Saturday or Sunday. If so, where do you place him with road starts against each of the Chicago teams?

Aug 16, 2014 09:26 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Wilson Karaman
BP staff

I'd slot him into the upper portion of the "consider" bin if indeed he does get the nod for both turns. The White Sox have been one of the best offenses in the 2nd half, though they've tapered off a bit of late. The Cubs are not good. Norris has been pitching like a perfectly competent mid-rotation starter in AL-only leagues of late, and given the general neutrality of the match-ups he's certainly someone to take a look at.

Aug 16, 2014 20:17 PM
 
jmoore

Reading fail on my part. You mentioned Norris in the opening which I would have known if I didn't skip to the lists. But I guess the question wasn't really answered there so do you see him as the lone AL start or a consider? Thanks.

Aug 16, 2014 09:29 AM
rating: 0
 
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Premium Article What You Need to Know:... (08/15)
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