Thursday, April 14, 2011

Fantasy Baseball Spot Starter Pickups For Thursday 4/14/11

Wednesday's Recommended Starter's Stats - Carlos Zambrano - 5.2 Innings Pitched - 4 Strikeouts - Win - 7.94 ERA - 1.73 WHIP
Cumulative Recommended Starters' Stats - 94 IP - 78 Strikeouts - 9 Wins in 15 Starts - 3.06 ERA - 1.13 WHIP - 7.47 K/9
Week Two Starts' Stats - 19.2 IP - 13 Strikeouts - 2 Wins in 3 Starts - 3.66 ERA - 1.12 WHIP - 5.95 K/9
Cumulative Starter Stats Spreadsheet Online Here

I have nothing to apologize for with Carlos Zambrano's stats here.  I can't believe the Cubs let them rack up 5 runs on him without taking him out in the sixth inning. Just go look at the play by play. He lets up a walk, a single, then gets a guy to ground out.  Then lets up two more RBI singles and a fielder's choice RBI.  He should have been pulled there, if you didn't get him out of there before that. Instead, he then let up a home run to Matt Downs, the number seven hitter.  They even let him give up a walk after that to further hurt his WHIP.  Big Z still managed to pick up the win because in the top of the sixth he jacked a solo home run.  Hopefully this doesn't happen again with todays starter....

Brandon Beachy - Atlanta Braves vs Florida Marlins - 7:10 EST - 10.1% Owned in ESPN Standard Leagues

Beachy had a great first outing against the Brewers but followed that up with a poor outing against the Phillies.  As a guy with just four career big league starts, it's easy to worry about the latest outing against the Phillies, but everyone does worse when they have to play the Phillies. The Marlins have scored two fewer runs than the Brewers, and both teams have scored over twenty fewer runs than the Phillies have.  I expect Beachy to bounce back with a much better outing against the Marlins. He's got great control and four solid pitches. He'll get the job done against a poor Marlins offense Thursday night.  I expect a low ERA and WHIP with at least six strikeouts and a strong chance at a win.

The rest of the guys are listed in the order I would play them.  It's another travel day with four teams off, so it's a little shallower than usual.  Only list players owned in less than 50% of standard leagues and list ownership percentages in parenthesis.

Carl Pavano (23.2%) - Minnesota at Tampa Bay - Pavano doesn't really excite me as a fantasy player.  I have the same opinion of Pavano that I do of Mark Buehrle...He shouldn't be owned in any fantasy league, because despite what he might do in ERA and WHIP, he doesn't strike anyone out.  If you aren't getting strikeouts, you are almost a waste of a start in any league that has starting pitcher limits.  However, when those types of pitcher have a solid matchup, they do make a good spot start.  Pavano is a pitch-to-contact guy, but Tampa Bay's offense hasn't shown the power yet this year to make that worry you.  Pavano had a bad start against the power Blue Jays, but was much better against the weaker A's lineup.  The Twins haven't been hitting yet either, but on paper their lineup is still much better than a Evan Longoria-less Rays offense.  Pavano should give you seven or more innings of solid ERA and WHIP ball and be in line for a win, though he won't perform in the strikeout column the same way as Brandon Beachy.

R.A. Dickey (20.8%) - New York Mets vs Colorado - Dickey got pushed back a day because of rain, but once again is a good spot starter on a weak day.  He had a poor outing last time out due to a split fingernail, but he pronounced himself good to go for this game.  The extra day of rest will only allow more time for his nail to get better.  The knuckleballer had a 1.99 ERA at home last year and I expect similar results this year.  He'll also get less strikeouts than Beachy, and the Colorado offense worries me more than the Tampa Bay offense does with Pavano but Dickey is still a better option than anyone else and will give you solid ERA and WHIP even if he misses the win.

Bruce Chen (0.4%) - Kansas City vs Seattle - Chen is normally a guy who gets a decent amount of strikeouts but lets up far too many fly balls and home runs.  However against the low wattage Seattle line-up, he makes a good spot start here on Thursday.  The Kansas City offense has shown up so far this year, so he should be good for around six or so strikeouts and a win, though his ERA and WHIP might not match the guys above him.

This is the 10-team mixed league line.  Anyone listed after here is only recommended as a spot start in other deeper or AL/NL-Only Leagues. You can find better start spots tomorrow in standard leagues.

Phil Coke (0.7%) - Detroit at Oakland - I don't trust Phil Coke, thats why he's not above the line today, but if you look at his last start, he looks like a decent play in the match-up against Oakland.  I don't believe he'll keep up his K/9 from his time as a reliever though, and don't trust him yet.  Good enough play in deeper leagues though.

Bud Norris (2.0%) - Houston vs San Diego - Norris has gotten beaten around a bit in his first two starts, but he struck people out in each one.  Now instead of Philly and Florida he'll be up against a weaker San Diego offense.  I can't recommend him for until he shows he can get the ERA down, but he might prove so today and keep up with the strikeouts. Playable in NL-Only.

Paul Maholm (0.9%) - Pittsburgh vs Milwaukee - Maholm is a poor mans Carl Pavano today.  Not that Milwakee is that bad, but Prince Fielder is just 3-42 against Maholm in his career, and Maholm has been good to start the year.  He has a decent shot at a win, along with good ERA and WHIP, but I'm not excited enough about him to recommend starting him in a 10 team mixed league.

Randy Wolf (14.9%) - Milwakee at Pittsburgh - Wolf is on the opposite side of Maholm today and they rank very similarly.  Wolf might up let more runs, but he has more strikeout potential.  I think Maholm has a better shot at a win, but isn't a huge favorite to pick it up over Wolf.

Doug Fister (0.3%) - Seattle at Kansas City - Fister did a good job shutting down Cleveland in his last start, but he's not going to strike anyone out and is going up against a good Kansas City offense.  His offensive support can't be counted on either, so he's not a good candidate here.

Dustin Moseley (0.4%) - San Diego at Houston - Moseley has pitched well so far this year, but hasn't struck anybody out yet. At Houston isn't a bad match-up, but you can't count on the run support even if he gives you the ERA and WHIP.

Chris Capuano (0.1%) - New York Mets vs Colorado - He racked up eight strikeouts in his first start against Washington, but let up four runs. The Rockies lineup is much better than the Washington lineup.  I'm avoiding Capuano here.

Jake Arrieta (0.9%) - Baltimore at New York Yankees -  Arrieta got beat up last time out against the Rangers, and he's going to get beat up here against the Yankees.  Another stay away here.

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