Cumulative Recommended Starters' Stats Through Monday - 88.1 IP - 74 Strikeouts - 8 Wins in 14 Starts - 2.75 ERA - 1.09 WHIP - 7.54 K/9
Recommended Start Stats in Week 2 - 14 IP - 9 Strikeouts - 1 Wins in 2 Starts - 1.93 ERA - .86 WHIP - 5.79 K/9
Starter Spreadsheet Google Doc Here
Jeff Francis had a solid spot start Tuesday even though he didn't pick up the win. Five strikeouts in seven innings is always nice from a free agend, and his ERA and WHIP weren't offensive in anyway. If he had had more run support and gotten the win it would have been an all around fine start. Wednesday's spot starter recommendation coming up....
Carlos Zambrano - Chicago Cubs at Houston Astros - 8:05 PM EST - 46.7% Owned in ESPN Standard Leagues
Big Z makes his second and likely last appearance on this list, as after Wednesday he is going to be owned in more than 50% of leagues. On a Wednesday where most of the available pitchers have bad match-ups, Zambrano actually is walking into a pretty good match-up. The Astros have scored a decent amount of runs this year, but mostly in losses and have let up an average of six runs a game so far this year. Zambrano is on a nine win streak without a loss since last year and should put up his tenth win in a row here against the Astros and keep a decently low ERA with six plus strikeouts to go with it.
The rest of the guys here are listed in the order I would start them. As always, I'm only listing guys available in more than 50% of leagues and the ownership percentages are in parenthesis next to each players name.
Late Add - Esmil Rogers (1.8%) - Colorado at New York Mets - Rogers had a strong first outing and is pitching in Citi Field on Tuesday and as a projected +7.00 K/9, he'll get the strike outs. In a weaker day Wednesday after a rain out than his orginal Tuesday slated spot, I'll take Rogers here as your second best option with a decent shot at a win.
UPDATE- Looks like Jonathan Niese is going to go because of rain. As I say in the following paragraph, still like Niese as a third option in a weaker day Wednesday than Tuesday. R.A. Dickey (20.0%) - New York Mets vs Colorado - Dickey is a strong second choice if Zambrano is unavailable in your league. Dickey hurt his fingernail in his last start which really hurt his knuckleball ability, but still managed five innings of three run ball. His nail should be better this time around and Dickey's home ERA last year was just 1.99. Colorado has a strong offense, but knuckleballers are always their own beast. I like Dickey for numbers just slightly off Zambrano Wednesday, along with a win. Watch out though, with a rainout on Tuesday, I'm not sure if Dickey will start on Wednesday night. I would remove this paragraph but there are so few good available pitchers that Jonathon Niese is a decent fill in here if Dickey doesn't go.
Carlos Carrasco (0.5%) - Cleveland at Los Angeles Angels - Carrasco had a very poor first outing against the White Sox, but I expect his line here to be closer to what he did in his second start at Seattle. Carrasco is the better than the pitchers that will follow him here in terms of strikeout potential and with the red hot Cleveland line-up providing run support, should be able to grab a win here.
This is the 10-team mixed league line. Anyone below this line is a recommendation only for deeper or AL/NL-Only leagues. The line is high today because of a combination of ineffective pitchers and decent pitchers with poor match-ups.
Jason Vargas (1.2%) - Seattle vs Toronto - Vargas got beat up last time he was on the hill against Cleveland, but that was a bit of bad luck. His BABIP on the year, while it's early, is .100 above his career average. The team in Seattle is built around defense, and that BABIP will come back down to average. Toronto has been a little hot to start the year, but Vargas is still your best option if you can't get any of the above guys even though he's not a big strikeout.
Tim Stauffer (5.1%) - San Diego vs Cincinnati - Everything I just said about Vargas applies here to Stauffer. He's not a huge strikeout guy whose BABIP is also .100 above his average. I like Stauffer as a spot at times this year, but the Reds are one of the hottest teams in baseball so he's not recommended here.
Kyle Davies (0%) - Kansas City at Minnesota - Davies isn't owned in any mixed leagues and he shouldn't be, but if you are in some sort of really deep league, I might give Davies a look here. Minnesota is just outright bad so far this year on offense and Target Field is a solid pitchers park.
John Lannan (0.8%) - Washington vs Philadelphia - Lannan isn't a good strikeout pitcher... He plays for Washington....And is playing against Philadelphia. I'd explain more why he's not a good start here, but that's all that needs to be said.
Dave Bush (0%) - Texas at Detroit - He's got the great Texas lineup behind him, but that's all he's really got going in his favor. He's the "sixth starter" for Texas here because of a weekend doubleheader and will be lucky to make it to five innings. Avoid avoid avoid avoid avoid.
ERA over 10 guys - John Lackey and Jake Westbrook - Technically Westbrook's ERA is only 9.90, but that's close enough that I'm not starting him. Lackey and Westbrook are both going to contribute to fantasy teams at some point in the year, but I'm not playing either until they calm down.
Due to rainouts on Tuesday pitchers from the Baltimore Orioles, New York Yankees, Milwaukee Brewers, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Colorado Rockies aren't being considered here. New York Mets stayed listed only because I would rank both possible starters in the same spot here.