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Let’s Play Two: Week Seven

Published May 20, 2012

The following is a list of all pitchers slated to make two starts in the following fantasy week (5/20-5/26). All home games are in CAPS.

Two Start Pitchers

American League

Tommy Hunter - RED SOX, ROYALS
Clay Buchholz - Orioles, RAYS
Gavin Floyd - TWINS, INDIANS
Ubaldo Jimenez - TIGERS, White Sox
Rick Porcello - Indians, Twins
Felipe Paulino - Yankees, Orioles
Jerome Williams - A's, Mariners
C.J. Wilson - A's, Mariners
P.J. Walters - White Sox, TIGERS
Hiroki Kuroda - ROYALS, A's
Tommy Milone - ANGELS, YANKEES
Felix Hernandez - RANGERS, ANGELS
Hector Noesi - RANGERS, ANGELS
Jeremy Hellickson - BLUE JAYS, Red Sox
Yu Darvish - Mariners, BLUE JAYS
Kyle Drabek - Rays, Rangers

Start of the Week: Yu Darvish

The selection of Darvish can tell you one of two things... It could mean that I really like him and the slate ahead (which, to be honest, I do) or it could tell you that there just isn't anyone that I really like out of the rest of the group. Darvish has actually faced both opponents on the schedule for him already this season. He didn't look so hot early in his big league debut against the Mariners, but settled down after a five run first to get the win. He dominated the Jays in Rogers Centre, striking out nine in seven innings of one-run ball. As for the option 1?

  • Felix's ERA hovers around 4.00 against the Angels and Rangers
  • Buchholz actually has some decent career numbers against the O's and Rays, but (and no... this isn't rude.  It's just fact [speaking as a fantasy owner]) he's been absolute garbage this season and may actually belong in the minors
  • Based on his career splits, C.J. Wilson has been fairly average against two of the weakest offenses in baseball, who are divisional rivals
  • Floyd has an ERA of 5.67 against the Twins in 15 career starts.  His ERA against the Indians (4.42) isn't so stellar either
  • Hellickson looked spectacular last time out against the Red Sox, but that hasn't been his M.O. so far in his career.  He's been decent against the Jays.  If both starts were at home......

So yeah... It's a little of each.  Darvish should be phenomenal this week, though.

Last Week's Selection: Dan Haren - 0-2, 12.2 IP, 7 R, 7 ER, 12 H, 5 BB, 10 K - Haren faced two of the lowest scoring teams in the majors and made them look like average offenses. He allowed four against the visiting A's on Monday in a 5-0 loss. While the Angels scored their first run in his past four starts Saturday, they didn't quite score enough for him. Haren left after allowing the game-winning run in the seventh inning of a 3-2 loss in San Diego.

On the Year: 4-4, 75.0 IP, 29 R, 26 ER, 70 H, 34 BB, 69 K, 3.12 ERA, 1.39 WHIP

National League

Patrick Corbin - DODGERS, BREWERS
Mike Minor - Reds, NATIONALS
Brandon Beachy - Reds, NATIONALS
Matt Garza - Astros, Pirates
Jamie Moyer - Marlins, Reds
Bud Norris - CUBS, Dodgers
Chris Capuano - Diamondbacks, ASTROS
Mark Buehrle - ROCKIES, GIANTS
Ricky Nolasco - ROCKIES, GIANTS
Randy Wolf - GIANTS, Diamondbacks
Johan Santana - Pirates, PADRES
R.A. Dickey - Pirates, PADRES
Kyle Kendrick - NATIONALS, Cardinals
Roy Halladay - NATIONALS, Cardinals
Erik Bedard - METS, CUBS
Adam Wainwright - PADRES, PHILLIES
Clayton Richard - Cardinals, Mets
Edinson Volquez - Cardinals, Mets
Madison Bumgarner - Brewers, Marlins
Matt Cain - Brewers, Marlins
Gio Gonzalez - Phillies, A's

Start of the Week: Bud Norris

Yeah... I really want to take the good doctor (Halladay is 11-1 lifetime with a 2.28 ERA and 0.99 WHIP against the Expos/Nats.  He's really good in a much smaller sample against the Redbirds, too...), but I'll hold by the promise that if there's a borderline waiver wire type available, I'll take him.  I actually picked up Norris in my two most shallow leagues this past week, so.......

Living in St. Louis, I hear the constant whining from Cardinals fans that Norris is an ace against them and a back end starter against the rest of the league.  It's just not true.  Is Bud Norris (7-2, 2.17 ERA, 1.15 WHIP lifetime against St. Louis... irrelevant this week) really good against the Cardinals?  Absolutely.  He also had a 3.77 season-long ERA in 2011 and is sitting at 3.58 so far in 2012, so he's not so bad against everyone else either.  The Dodgers (minus Matt Kemp) and the Cubs will prove that this week.  Norris is just 2-2 in his four career starts against the Cubs, but he does boast a 2.39 ERA and over a strikeout an inning against them (OK... the 1.44 WHIP is a bit high, but still).  In five lifetime starts against the Dodgers, Norris has yielded just a 2.67 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP while striking out 28 in 30 innings.

Oh.... And if he really is still sitting on the waiver wire in your league?  He shouldn't be!

Last Week's Selection: Ryan Vogelsong - 1-0, 14.0 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 H, 6 BB, 8 K - Vogelsong was typically stingy against the Rockies, allowing just one run in Monday's 3-2 win. Unfortunately, he didn't factor in the decision. He was incredible Saturday, allowing just one hit and one walk over seven innings in a 4-0 win over the A's.

On the Year: 4-2, 80 IP, 22 R, 19 ER, 63 H, 23 BB, 59 K, 2.14 ERA, 1.08 WHIP

Jim Meyerriecks

About , FIC Senior Editor

St. Louis, MO

The longest tenured member of our staff, Jim has been writing for FIC since 2002. He has also represented the site well in several Experts Leagues across the net over the years. An East Coast transplant, Jim has been living in St. Louis since 1989. This diehard Montreal Expos (now Washington Nationals) and New Jersey Devils fan cringes at the mention of the year 1994!
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  1. jonboy        Reply 5/22/12
    9:11 am

    At the beginning of the season my closers "destroyed my ERA" for me and have not been able to recover to move up in the standings.

    My question to you is : How do you go about reducing that inflated ERA ?

    My staff includes: Lohse, Wei-Yon-Chen, Lynn, Fister, Friedrich, Morrow, Chris Perez, Dave Robertson.

    Thanks , Jonboy

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    • Jim Meyerriecks

      Jim Meyerriecks        Reply 5/24/12
      11:55 am

      What does the waiver wire look like and how deep a league is it? Perez seems to have settled down an awful lot. He's allowed just three runs since the opening day debacle while converting all fifteen of his save chances.

      Among your starters, Lohse and Chen seem like sell high candidates. It's a matter of finding someone to buy low on. Lohse is outperforming anything we could have expected, and should turn into a pumpkin soon. It's harder to say with Chen, but I'd bet that the league does a better job against him the second time around. I think Lynn is going to be just fine. Morrow might come down to earth a little when he has to face more divisional opponents, but he's a stud. Depending upon your league size, I'd consider Friedrich as more of a streaming spot and pick up some starters that have favorable matchups.

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  2. Jonboy        Reply 5/26/12
    7:15 am

    This is a 5 X 5 with 10 teams. I don't understand the reasoning behind dropping a pitcher with a 12.46 ERA AND one with a 14.40 ERA . Mind you I just happened to pick them up when they both got shelled the first time they pitched for me.

    Friedrich 5 innings 8 earrned runs 14.40
    Wei-Yin-Chen 4 1/3 innings 6 runs 12.46

    And asking me how the waiver is is not going to help me unless you suggest some names for me to look at who is available!

    And when I told you my closers destroyed me they were Bell (12.00), Cishek (9.00). and yes I have already dropped both of them! my team ERA is att 4.48 in last and in WHIP. This is why I asked you for some help in reducing it!!!

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  3. Jim Meyerriecks

    Jim Meyerriecks        Reply 5/27/12
    1:08 am

    From a pure ERA/WHIP standpoint, go with guys who play a lot of their games in big parks. AL and NL West options (non-Rangers/Rockies/Diamondbacks) can be strong plays here. Jason Vargas is off to a fantastic start, has a 3.46 ERA and 1.19 WHIP lifetime at home in Safeco, and will make half his starts there. Hector Noesi is a little homer-prone on the road, but he's been terrific at home and should add some decent strikeout production.... just not necessarily a guy to play on the road. Noesi's available even in some deep leagues. Vargas is available in most shallow leagues, so he's probably there in a 10 teamer.

    In a 12 teamer, I recently saw someone drop Tim Hudson after a rough start against Washington the other day. Consistent solid ERA/WHIP guy even if he doesn't post big strikeout numbers. Erik Bedard and Ricky Nolasco haven't gotten off to great starts, but they're consistent WHIP guys with some strikeout production who have shown some bad luck tendencies with their ERA despite a lack of baserunners. You could always grab Kevin Millwood and see if he really is back to his 2005 self. He's due for some regression, but he's allowed 1 run in 22 innings against the Yankees, Rockies (in Coors), and Rangers in his past three starts.... there's another Mariners starter, even if two of those were on the road.

    You won't get a ton of wins or strikeouts out of any of these guys, but if you're looking for ERA/WHIP relief, particularly after Morrow's start in Texas the other day, they should be guys you can pick up for a start and probably drop for another one without fear of someone else picking them up.

    As for relievers, Ryan Cook is probably still available in a league of that size. He's not closing, but he hasn't allowed a run yet and has a 0.71 WHIP... also in an AL West park (Oakland). Fuentes and Balfour are both probably gone around the trade deadline, so he may get some save value as well as giving you some solid K/ERA/WHIP for now.

    Tim Collins is a nice little lefty in the Royals bullpen who strikes out a ton of hitters and has made a lot of strides in terms of his walk rate. He walked 48 in 67 innings last year... He's only walked 7 in 22 so far this year. The result has been an uptick in strikeouts and a significant drop with his WHIP. I don't think there's any chance he closes, but he could make up for a rough start from a pitcher.

    Craig Stammen has been a completely different pitcher out of the bullpen for the Nationals. Better velocity, more strikeouts, same great walk rate. He's holding the league to a .198 average and will keep the WHIP down.

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  4. Jonboy        Reply 5/30/12
    4:46 am

    Dear Jim:

    I took your advice and added Ryan Cook and the very first time he pitches for me:

    Oakland vrs Minnesota Monday May 28th

    1 inning 2 hits 2 walks 2 runs ERA = 18.00 !!!!! WHIP = 4.00

    And there went my ERA ballooning up again!!!!!! Thanks, Jim

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