Saturday, April 23, 2011

Fantasy Baseball Spot Starter Pickups For Saturday 4/23/11

Friday's Recommended Starter's Stats -  Tyson Ross  - 4.1 Innings Pitched - 0 Strikeouts - Loss - 6.24 ERA - 1.85 WHIP
Week 3 Starters' Stats - 32.1 Innings Pitched - 29 Strikeouts - 8.07 K/9- 1 Win in 5 Starts - 1.95 ERA - 0.99 WHIP
Cumulative Starters' Stats - 156.2 Innings Pitched - 126 Strikeouts - 7.24 K/9 - 11 Wins in 25 Starts - 3.27 ERA - 1.15 WHIP
Starter Spreadsheet Online Here

Due to a postponement in Minnesota, instead of my original choice for Friday, I'm defaulting to my second recommendation, Tyson Ross.  I warned that Ross was a risky second option yesterday, and it showed.  He pitched just 4.1 innings and let up four hits and four walks without giving a strikeout.  It would have been decent despite the strikeouts, but he was pulled with two men on base, and the reliever Jerry Blevins proceeded to walk the bases loaded, then walk a run home credited to Ross, and let up a two run single which one run of was credited to Ross, before they pulled Blevins.  Anyways, Ross had strikeout potential, but wasn't showing it as a starter on Friday night.  Still have fin numbers on the week though.  Because we are getting to the last two days of the weekly match-ups, I'm offering up a pair of spot starter recommendations for those attempting to catch up....

Saturday's Starter Recommendation One - Fausto Carmona - Cleveland Indians at Minnesota Twins - 1:10 PM EST - 19.7% Owned in ESPN Standard Leagues

Carmona was my recommendation on Friday, but a rainout pushed his start back a day.  He's still the best choice against Saturday's pool of starters. Carmona's ERA is an ugly 4.74, but that number is being inflated by a horrible three inning ten run outing on opening day against the White Sox.  Other than that, he's been averaging seven innings and five strikeouts per start, and let up just three earned runs over the three games.  Now he draws the worst offense in the league at Target Field, one of the best pitcher match-ups available in the game right now.  Enjoy five or six strikeouts over seven plus with maybe one or two earned runs.  With the Cleveland Offense backing him up, he should be in line for a win even if he somehow gets blown up.

Saturday's Starter Recommendation Two - Dillon Gee - New York Mets vs Arizona Diamondbacks - 1:10 PM EST - 0.1% Owned in ESPN Standard Leagues

He doesn't have a long track record yet, but Gee has been solid in all five of his starts in the majors going back to last year. 2.09 ERA and 1.22 WHIP is nothing to sneeze about, and Citi is a great place to pitch.  Gee had a 9.20 K/9 rate at AAA last year, and is projected to carry that over to a 6.71 K/9 in the majors.  He has just looked good out there for the Mets so far in his career.  Obviously, because he's a Met, something is going to go horribly wrong with his career at some point soon, but I'm riding him until that happens.  He'll keep the ERA and WHIP low and give you a handful of strikeouts.  A solid second choice here on Saturday.

The rest of the pitchers are listed in the order that I would play them here.  ESPN ownership percentages are listed in parenthesis.

Jason Vargas (0.8%) - Seattle vs Oakland - Vargas has been solid this year outside of pitching a bad game against Cleveland, and has already pitched 6.2 innings of one run ball with six strikeouts against Oakland on April 2nd.  He is solid, and Oakland is a good match-up especially given the prior solid start.  I think he'll go a little longer this start, maybe seven plus innings of at worst three runs with five or six Ks. The win is always a worry with Seattle backing him, but he's a safe start if you need him or one of the above guys is rained out.

Tim Stauffer (2.9%) - San Diego vs Philadelphia - If you read me you know I hate going up against strong lineups like the Phillies, but with Stauffer playing at home at Petco, he's an intriguing spot start here.  Stauffer looked good in his last start at Wrigley against the Cubs and claimed it was because he has reworked back to his correct release point for his fast ball.  As long as he's getting the ball down, he'll keep the runs down.  The run support is a worry for the win, but enjoy the good stats here.

Livan Hernandez (7.7%) - Washington at Pittsburgh - Livan is Livan, but like I said before his start was rained out yesterday, he's looked good so far when he's pitched this year.  A start against the Pirates offense isn't going to hurt you.  He's a good fifth option if the other guys aren't available to you.  He'll get some stats for you in a mixed league.

This is the ten-team mixed league line, anyone below this line is only recommended for deeper or AL/NL-Only leagues.

Joe Blanton (1.3%) - Philadelphia at San Diego - Blanton has only had one good start so far, but playing at Petco against the Padres is always good.  I'm not playing him in mixed leagues here, but he's a go in your NL-Only leagues.  Even if he gives up three or four runs, he's still got a shot at a win with Philly behind him.

Ervin Santana (48.9%) - LA Angels vs Boston - You shouldn't still own Santana in standard mixed leagues.  He has proved himself unreliable already this year.  He's had some bad match-ups early I'll admit, but hasn't had a really good start yet.  Going up against a Boston lineup that has been heating up as of late, he's an avoid here for me unless you are in an AL-Only league and need the stats.

Pick A Winner
Esmil Rogers (2.5%) - Colorado at 
Javier Vazquez (5.4%) - Florida
Neither pitcher has been great to start the year, each on opposite sides of their careers.  Rogers is just twenty-five with potential but might just need some more time in the minors, while Vasquez is thirty-four and not showing any ability to strike guys out like he did earlier in his career.  I'm not a fan of either even in NL-Only leagues, but if you need the stats, figure out who you think will win and play them.

Daisuke Matsuzaka (2.6%) - Boston at LA Angels - Don't be fooled here.  Just because he had a good start Tuesday against the Blue Jays doesn't mean he is remotely worth playing.  Maybe if he strings together two or three good starts I'll recommend him, but for now just keep away.

Jeff Karstens (0.1%) - Pittsburgh vs Washington - Karstens got blown up in his first start this year against the Reds, but we don't know if he's not going to be a good start this year, or if it's just because he was playing the Reds.  Washington is a better match-up to judge him on here on a day after a rainout.  Don't play him yet, but keep an eye on the results here.

Barry Enright (0.0%) - Arizona at NY Mets - Enright has let up four runs in every start this year, but isn't worth starting unless you are chasing stats in a deep NL-Only league.  He just gets ranked a little higher than the next two guys because he gets the Mets at Citi.

Bad Pitchers Bad Matchups
Kyle Davies (0.0%) - Kansas City at Texas
Brad Penny (0.2%) - Detroit vs Chicago White Sox
Brad Bergesen (0.0%) - Baltimore vs NY Yankees 
You shouldn't own any of these guys anyways, and you definitely shouldn't be playing them here against the horrible match-ups they have, even in the deepest leagues. You're better off not using the start, than using it on one of these guys.

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