Thursday, April 21, 2011

Fantasy Baseball Spot Starter Pickups For Thursday 4/21/11

Wednesday's Recommended Starter's Stats - Bud Norris - 6.0 Innings Pitched - 6 Strikeouts - No Decision - 4.50 ERA - 1.83 WHIP
Week 3 Starters' Stats - 20.0 Innings Pitched - 23 Strikeouts - 10.35 K/9- 1 Win in 3 Starts - 1.35 ERA - 0.95 WHIP
Cumulative Starters' Stats - 144.1 Innings Pitched - 120 Strikeouts - 7.48 K/9 - 11 Wins in 23 Starts - 3.30 ERA - 1.16 WHIP
Starter Spreadsheet Online Here

So Bud Norris didn't end up being quite the start that Beachy or Zambrano were, but it wasn't too offensive for a spot start.  The ERA and WHIP were bad, but with just six innings pitched, it will only take one solid start to bring it down to an acceptable level.  Balancing the ERA and WHIP are the six solid strikeouts.  I'll take six strikeouts from a guy who was owned in just 2.6% percent of standard leagues.  The week three stats are still great, and going to follow that up with my Thursday pick coming up....

Brandon McCarthy - Oakland Athletics at Seattle Mariners - 10:10 PM EST - 3.7% Owned In ESPN Standard Leagues

McCarthy has been solid in each of his last two starts, striking out twelve total guys over fourteen innings and let up just two earned runs.  He would be owned in closer to forty or fifty percent of leagues, because of his potential ERA and WHIP in the Oakland Coliseum and the passable 6.04 career K/9, but his upcoming schedule is fairly awful.  However, as with everyone, he's worth a pickup and play here playing against Seattle in Safeco.  Looking forward to great ERA and WHIP here along with at least five strikeouts and a shot at a win.

The rest of the pitchers are listed in the order that I would play them.  Ownership percentages in standard ten-team mixed leagues are in parenthesis.

Kyle Lohse (25.7%) - St. Louis vs Washington - Lohse is getting up there in years and has been just outside of fantasy relevant for a long time, but he's been great so far this year.  His ERA and WHIP are down and his strikeouts are up.  It's not going to last forever, we know what Lohse is at this point in his career, but it's worth riding him while he's hot.  The St. Louis offense has heated up and Washington is still Washington, so he'll have a shot at a win here.

Scott Baker (4.6%) - Minnesota at Baltimore - Baker looked pretty solid his last time out against Tampa Bay, and Baltimore's offense has been nearly as bad as the Rays have been thus far.  He's got good strikeout potential (Career 7.08 K/9) and has been a tolerable ERA and WHIP guy throughout his career.  Only problem is the Twins line-up is still last in the league in runs scored, which hurts his win potential.  He's a good third choice play here.

Gavin Floyd (46.7%) - Chicago White Sox at Tampa Bay - Floyd has gotten blown up in two of his three starts so far this year, but cruised for eight scoreless innings the first time out against Tampa Bay.  His prior success against them gets him above the line here, but be wary with this Tampa Bay team.  They were on their way to 1-8 as they lost to the Sox that day, but have been a streaking 8-1 since.  Start him if you need him in a ten-team mixed, but don't get overly excited.

This is the ten-team mixed league line.  Everyone below this league is only being recommended as a starter in deeper or AL/NL-Only leagues.

Jeremy Guthrie (29.2%) - Baltimore vs Minnesota - Guthrie has delivered the goods so far this year as usual in the ERA and WHIP departments, but as always the strikeouts aren't there.  Still needs to be started in AL-Only leagues, especially against the Twins, but mixed league players have options with more strikeout potential.

Pick A Winner
J.A. Happ (5.6%) Houston at Chris Capuano (0.1%) New York Mets - Capuano has been striking more guys out so far this year but has been hit around more than Happ this year.  Playing at Citi is always nice for a pitcher though, so figure out which team you think is going to win, and play that pitcher in your NL-Only leagues.

Josh Tomlin (18.9%) - Cleveland at Kansas City - I still think that Tomlin isn't as good as he's been performing thus far, and the match-up against the Royals' second best offense isn't the best place to be starting him.  Avoid here unless you need it in AL-Only leagues. 

Mike Leake (4.7%) - Cincinnati vs Arizona - Leake has had a pair of solid starts so far this year, but they were sandwiched around a horrible start against the Diamondbacks.  Going up against the Diamondbacks again makes him a no-go for me here except in deep NL-Only leagues.

Pick Another Winner 
James McDonald (2.5%) Pittsburgh at Chris Volstad (0.3%) Florida - I like McDonald's K/9 from the minors, but he hasn't looked good at all as a starter so far this year, not making it out of the fifth yet.  Volstad  has been poor this year and is less of a strikeout potential guy.  Pick your winner and pray in deep NL leagues.

Poor Pitchers Poor Matchups
Sean O'Sullivan (2.9%) - Kansas City vs Cleveland
Jeff Niemann (0.4%) - Tampa Bay vs Chicago White Sox
Tyler Chatwood (0.2%) - LA Angels vs Boston
Tom Gorzelanny (0.1%) Washington at St Louis
None of these guys has enough talent to warrant starting them here in these bad match-ups.  If you are scraping the barrel to this point, you are better off just passing until tomorrow.

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