Cumulative Starter Recommendation Stats - 23.2 IP - 16 Strike Outs - 3 Wins - 3.04 ERA - 1.18 WHIP
As you can see, Zach Britton worked out wonderfully as a spot start yesterday and through four days worth of recommendations the total stats are very workable. Obviously could use a few more strike outs, but that total is being brought down by Mark Buehrle's 0 strike outs the other day. Going to be looking to grab more strikeouts in the future but not going to sacrifice ERA and WHIP in order to do it. Find out my recommendation for today right after you click through the jump...
Brandon Beachy - Atlanta Braves - at Milwaukee Brewers - 2:10 EST Monday 4/4/11 - 2.1% Ownership in ESPN Standard Leagues
Beachy is a former undrafted player who worked his way from the rookie league in 2008 to the Braves opening day roster here in 2011. Why? Because his numbers in the minors have been insane. In the minors in 2010 he had a ridiculous 11.2 K/9, a K/BB ratio of 5.29:1 and let up just .38 HR/9 innings. He has great control and a change up that causes a lot of swings and misses. He's going up against a solid Brewers lineup but has good enough stuff to get through the lineup without getting beat up too much and the Braves have a strong lineup of their own. He might let up three or four runs over six innings which would hurt your ERA a bit, but even if he does it'll be worth it as he should get you something like seven strikeouts and likely a win to go with it.
And the rest of the starters in the order I would take them. As always... ESPN standard ownership percentages are in parenthesis.
Rick Porcello (5.6%) - Detroit at Baltimore - Porcello won't pick you up a bunch of strike outs but he should get the job done for you in the rest of the categories. He's playing at Camden Yards which is of course a hitter's park, but Baltimore is a suspect 3-0 after sweeping a not as advertised Tampa Bay team and due for a bit of a reality check. Porcello will get run support and is my strongest candidate of anyone to catch a win.
Randy Wells (1.5%) Chicago Cubs vs Arizona - Wells is a young pitcher who strikes out enough guys and has been getting better with each season. The Cubs offense has improved from last year and should give Wells enough run support. Against an average Arizona offense, I like Wells to get a good amount of strike outs and a win here.
Kyle Lohse (0.9%) - St. Louis vs Pittsburgh - A quick glance at Lohse's 2010 6.55 ERA while likely scare you off, but spot starts are all about match ups and the Pirates are amongst the best match ups you'll find for any pitcher. St. Louis will give him the run support to get him a win, but there won't be a lot of strike outs and there is always a risk of it getting ugly.
Erik Bedard (8.0%) - Seattle at Texas - While Bedard missed all of 2010 after surgery to repair a torn labrum in August 2009 and surgery to remove bone spurs in the same shoulder in August 2010, his career 8.77 K/9 cannot be ignored. Because of his injury history, he went mostly undrafted but is a guy to watch throughout the year. If he had a better match-up he may have been my recommendation, but the Rangers have scored 26 runs already in just three games this year. I'd probably wait another start or two and see how he does before picking him up... But he's worth a look in deeper leagues.
Alexi Ogando (2.6%) - Texas vs Seattle - Ogando is the man who ended up in the Texas rotation after Tommy Hunter's injury when Texas sent Neftali Feliz back to the pen. Ogando is a big strike out pitcher that has a high powered fast ball and a good slider to go with it, but this isn't the spot to start him. He's much better than right handed hitters than lefties and while the Mariners lineup doesn't scare anyone, it's best hitters are all either lefty or switch. I'd avoid Ogando here.
Chris Narveson (0.8%) Milwaukee vs Atlanta - Narveson is only being listed here because of his career 7.83 K/9 in the majors. He would be in the bottom don't start group if not for his strikeout potential. I don't recommend starting him because I don't think he'll get a win and think he'll give up more runs than you'd want, but if for some crazy reason you are just looking for strikeouts and can take the ERA and WHIP hit Narveson can help you out.
Jake Arrieta, Barry Enright, Charlie Morton - No reason to be starting these guys in almost any league. If these are the only guys available just walk away and come back here tomorrow and see if someone available in your league will be listed here.
That's a wrap for the Monday pickup column. Monday links will be up later on today, hopefully around noon or one but maybe not until sometime after 9 pm.