Saturday, April 16, 2011

Fantasy Baseball Spot Starter Pickup For Saturday 4/16/11

Friday's Recomended Starter's Stats - Chris Narveson - 5.2 Innings Pitches - 5 Strikeouts - No Decision - 4.76 ERA - 1.59 WHIP
Week 2 Starter Stats - 30.2 Innings Pitched - 26 Strikeouts - 2 Wins in 5 Starts - 4.70 ERA - 1.37 WHIP - 7.63 K/9
Cumulative Starter Stats - 105 Innings Pitched - 91 Strikeouts - 9 Wins in 17 Starts - 3.43 ERA - 1.20 WHIP - 7.8 K/9
Starter Spreadsheet Online Here

Narveson didn't perform as well as expected against the Nationals.  He gave the strikeouts that were expected of him, but giving up three runs over 5.2 innings is too many when you are going up against the Washington lineup.  And it was all on Narveson too.  He loaded up the bases and then proceeded to issue two free passes, walking a pair of runs home.  The control was there in his previous start when he walked just one, but this time he walked four including three in the second.  The ERA is a little high, but we've still pitched few enough innings this week that we can bring it down over the weekend.  Spot starters for Saturday coming up...

Starter One - Gavin Floyd - Chicago White Sox vs Los Angeles Angels - 4:10 PM EST - Owned in 49.5% of ESPN Standard Leagues

First off, offering two starters today because there are twenty-three available choices today and it's almost the end of the head to head match-up week in most leagues, so if you are behind you could likely use the extra starter.  That said, Floyd would be the choice today on regular days.  He's owned in a lot of leagues, but falls below my 50% cut off line here so I've got to recommend him.  He pitched an eight inning gem his last time out on Sunday.  While that was against the Rays, the Angels offense hasn't been that impressive so far this year either.  Floyd has had control so far in his first two starts, and as long as he is not issuing free passes and keeps up his usual +7.00 K/9 rate, he'll keep having good starts.  I expect something in between his two prior starts, so I'd guess something like seven innings of one or two run ball and six or so strikeouts and a shot at a win with that White Sox lineup behind him.

Starter Two - Kyle McClellan - St. Louis Cardinals at Los Angeles Dodgers - 10:10 PM EST - Owned in 12.8% of ESPN Standard Leagues

Kyle McClellan would easily be my first choice if Floyd wasn't available, and is recommended as a strong second option here at the end of your head-to-head match-ups.  McClellan has looked good so far this year in his transition from reliever to starter. He's got a crisp 2.25 ERA and his K/9 rate is actually up from his time as a reliever in the two starts so far.  His strand rate is a little high right now, but so is the ridiculous .364 BABIP opponents are hitting against him.  Each will likely regress back towards league-wide averages, and that's actually good for fantasy players, as it means his WHIP has potential to fall some.  The Dodgers offense outside of two-week MVP Matt Kemp hasn't actually been hitting that well, so as long as McClellan doesn't get beat by Kemp (0-4 lifetime in an admittedly small sample size vs McClellan) McClellan should be fine.  The Cardinals offense has been producing lately, so even though Clayton Kershaw is going to be pitching for LA, i still like McClellan's chances for a win here.

Onto the rest of the rankings.  As always, guys are listed in the order I would play them and the percentages owned in ESPN standard leagues are in parenthesis.

Dallas Braden (7.8%) - Oakland vs Detroit - Braden had a much better second outing than first outing, recording seven strikeouts in six innings with just one earned run against the powerful White Sox offensive unit.  He has a better match-up this time out, heading home to the pitcher-friendly Oakland Coliseum.  He won't strike as many guys out, but a strong ERA and WHIP day is likely, and if his offense showed up he will have a shot at the win.

Scott Baker (4.8%) - Minnesota at Tampa Bay - Baker has had a pair of rough starts on your ERA, but I think he'll help bring it down here against the Rays.  Even though they've been picking it up lately, the Rays are still near the bottom of the league in every offensive category.  Baker so far this year has still been striking guys out, but he's been walking guys at nearly twice his career rate.  I expect him to bring the walk total down here and turn in a solid all around outing against Tampa here.  Only the Minnesota offense can cost him a shot at a win.

This is the ten-team mixed-league line.  Anyone below this line is being recommended as a starter for deeper leagues and AL/NL-only leagues.

Jair Jurrjens (49.0%) - Atlanta vs New York Mets - Citi Field is always nice for a pitcher, and the Mets have been looking like the "same old Mets" for the last week.  Jurrjens would catch a recommendation in regular leagues here, but isn't worth the risk coming off the DL with the oblique injury.  In NL-Only leagues though, Jurrjens should be in your lineup.

Jeff Niemann (0.5%) - Tampa Bay vs Minnesota - You can tell that it got ugly quick here when I'm recommending a pitcher who only went two and two thirds innings the last time out.  Luckily for him, since that game Tampa hasn't lost and Minnesota has fell behind Tampa into last in the league in runs scored.  He's playable in AL-Only leagues here.

The Good Guys With Bad Match-ups 
Derek Holland (12.9%) - Texas at New York Yankees
Jeremy Guthrie (41.6%) - Baltimore at Cleveland
Anibal Sanchez (47.9%) - Florida at Philadelphia
Holland, Guthrie, and Sanchez all fall in basically the same boat here.  They are all solid starting pitcher options who have bad match-ups on Saturday.  The Yankees,  Reds and Phillies are all top ten offenses on the year in terms of runs scored, and all of them have proven that they need to be avoided right now in standard leagues.  However, in deeper or AL/NL-Only leagues, you may not have any other options.  I listed them in the order I would play them....But these guys are startable here only if you absolutely have to.

Pick A Winner
Barry Zito (3.7%) - San Francisco at - Joe Saunders (0.2%) - Arizona
Zito is the guy with higher strike out potential, but neither of these guys has looked very good to start the season off.  The only value you're going to really see here is if one of these guys gets a win.  Decide which team you like better tomorrow

The Medicore Guys With Bad Matchups
Freddy Garcia (0.3%) - New York Yankees vs Texas
James McDonald (3.7%) - Pittsburgh at Cincinnati
Tyler Chatwood (0.1%) - Los Angeles Angels at Chicago White Sox
Garcia, McDonald and Chatwood also have match-ups against top ten offenses and are of a lower class of starting pitcher than the group above them.  I only recommend them in the deepest of leagues or in single league formats.

Pick Another Winner
Casey Coleman (0.1%) - Chicago Cubs at - Jason Hammel (0.7%) - Colorado
This is another game where the only value is going to come from whichever team gets the win, except here the starting pitchers are even worse and the game takes place at Coors Field.  You only want the winnner here, and don't want to play either unless in a deep NL-Only league.

Jo-Jo Reyes (0.1%) - Toronto at Boston - Jo-Jo was good his last time out, but has a record of failure so far in his career at the major league level.  Boston has been heating up and Beckett looked sharp in his last outing.  Not much outlook for Reyes here.  I don't recommend him.

Josh Tomlin (4.8%) - Cleveland vs Baltimore - Don't be fooled by the early season stats here.  Tomlin is not going to keep up the nice ERA and WHIP.  His strikeout rate is down, his walk rate is up, and opposing batters are hitting a ridiculously unlucky .139 BABIP.  And he let up three runs in his last outing even though he was playing in friendly Seattle.  He's going to get blown up soon, and the Baltimore offense is capable of doing it if they have a good day.  I don't really recommend him here.

The +10.00 ERA Club
Mike Pelfrey (2.9%) - New York Mets at Atlanta
Sean O'Sullivan (2.9%) - Kansas City vs Seattle
Nelson Figueroa (0.1%) - Houston vs San Diego
All three of these guys ERA is over 10 on the season, and until they get it down, I can't recommend them as a play in any leagues no matter how deep.

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