Monday, April 25, 2011

Fantasy Baseball Spot Starter Pickups For Tuesday 4/26/11

Monday Recommended Starter's Stats - Dustin Moseley - 6.0 Innings Pitched - 2 Strikeouts - No Decision - 4.50 ERA - .67 WHIP
Cumulative Starter Stats - 182.2 Innings Pitched - 142 Strikeouts - 7.00 K/9 - 12 Wins in 30 Starts - 3.45 ERA - 1.14 WHIP
Starter Spreadsheet Online Here

Moseley's day wasn't great, but it wasn't an awful start.  The WHIP and the ERA don't match.  He only allowed four hits and didn't walk anyone, but those four hits happened to turn into three runs. Knew going into it that we weren't getting too many strikeouts, and the great WHIP offsets the subpar ERA on the day. Tuesday's starter coming up right now...

Brandon McCarthy - Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles Angels - 10:05 PM EST - 21.2% Owned in ESPN Standard Leagues

Looking over the available starters today, it quickly came down to between Brandon McCarthy and Wade Davis.  Both have been solid to start the year, but McCarthy has twice the strikeouts and less than half the walks.  He's more likely to keep up these numbers, even with Davis' match-up.  McCarthy switched from a four-seamer to a sinker in 2011 and his ground-ball rate is up with his HR/9 rate down.  The worry is with his offense's ability to score runs but luckily he didn't draw a match-up with Weaver or Haren and is getting to pitch against Chatwood in between them.  McCarthy is your best bet on strikeouts, ERA and WHIP Tuesday and is a go for a start in all formats.

Week Four has started, but there is still plenty of good info for you daily players in my week four pickup/trade column.  As always, the remaining starters are listed in the order that I would play them, and ownership percentages in ESPN standard leagues are in parenthesis.

Wade Davis (43.2.%) - Tampa Bay at Minnesota - Davis has had great ERA and WHIP stats so far this year, but hasn't had the strikeouts to back it up. Luckily he gets to run up against the still cold Twins in Target Field, which should allow him to keep up his low ERA and WHIP.  The strikeout total is going to come back up at some point too.  Tampa Bay has streaked itself up to second in the AL East lately, so the potential for Davis to grab a win is there too.  A good consolation starter if McCarthy is unavailable in your league.

Chris Young (7.3%) - NY Mets at Washington - Young looked good in his first two starts before going on the DL, but the quickness of his return means I still have some confidence in him here.  He had 12 strikeouts in 12.1 innings before going on the DL, including five in seven innings of one run ball against the Nationals in his last start.  He has a solid chance for a good amount of strikeouts and strong ERA and WHIP, but any time a pitcher is coming off the DL with anything arm related, you have to be slightly wary.

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

Tyler Chatwood (0.3%) - LA Angels vs Oakland - Chatwood had just one bad game the first time out against Cleveland, but had a pair of solid starts against the White and Red Sox after that.  He's not above the line because of his lack of strikeout potential, but going up against a week Oakland line-up makes him a good spot choice in deeper or AL-Only league.

Mike Leake (5.5%) - Cincinnati at Milwaukee - The match-up isn't great, but Leake has been giving solid contributions in two categories, and that gives him his value here.  He's been averaging 5 strikeouts per start (7.61 K/9) on the year and has three wins because of the number one offense in baseball backing him up.  It might not be pretty in ERA or WHIP, but if it is it'll go from an average spot start to a great start.

Gavin Floyd (34.6%) - Chicago White Sox at NY Yankees - Floyd has decent stats when you look at his full year, but a glance at the game log shows two strong starts against Tampa Bay and two weak starts elsewhere.  I can't recommend him here against the Yankees unless you're dying for help in your AL-Only league.

Charlie Morton (3.0%) - Pittsburgh vs San Francisco - Morton got beat up a little his last game out against the Marlins, but has also held the Cardinals and Reds to one earned run in starts this year.  He's not going to strike out too many, but there are no better options available today due to a run of bad match-ups.

Phil Coke (2.0%) - Detroit vs Seattle - Coke looked good in his first two turns as a starter, but got beat around his last time out when he was playing Seattle at Safeco.  I normally love a match-up with Seattle, but can't recommend Coke here after his last game out against them.

Decent Pitchers...Horrible Match-ups
Bud Norris (2.6%) - Houston vs St. Louis
Jesse Litsch (0.3%) - Toronto at Texas
Luke Hochevar (2.3%) - Kansas City at Cleveland
Marco Estrada (0.0%) - Milwaukee vs Cincinnati
All of four of these guys have enough strikeout potential to make them effective starts against the right opponents, but all four are facing top offenses on Tuesday.  Leave them on the bench in all of your leagues.

Chris Volstad (0.1%) - Florida vs LA Dodgers - Volstad has yet to put together a single solid start this year, and doesn't strikeout enough people to be fantasy relevant.

Ivan Nova (2.1%) - NY Yankees vs Chicago White Sox - People thought that Nova would have value this year because he would be picking up some wins because of the offense supporting him.  Unfortunately, Nova has been awful in every appearance so far this year, including a in relief his last time out.  If he turns it around, he'll have value because of the Yankee lineup, but don't play him right now.

James Russell (0.0) - Chicago Cubs vs Colorado Rockies - A relief pitcher making spot starts with an 8.00 ERA going up against the sixth best offense in the majors so far?  Avoid in any and all formats here.

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