Monday, May 2, 2011

Fantasy Baseball Spot Starter Pickups For Monday 5/2/11

Sunday's Spot Starter Recommendation One - Jon Garland - 6.0 Innings Pitched - 8 Strikeouts - Loss - 4.50 ERA - 1.17 WHIP
Satruday's Spot Starter Recommendation Two - Bud Norris - 7.2 Innings Pitched - 11 Strikeouts - Win - 0.00 ERA - 0.78 WHIP
Week Four's Starters' Stats - 56.1 Innings Pitched - 48 Strikeouts - 7.67 K/9 - 3 Wins in 9 Starts - 3.99 ERA - 1.17 WHIP
Cumulative Starters' Stats - 233 Innings Pitched - 188 Strikeouts - 7.26 K/9 - 15 Wins in 38 Starts - 3.55 ERA - 1.16 WHIP
Spot Starter Spreadsheet Viewable Online Here

Great four starts this weekend to make the week four stats solid.  First Brandon Beachy and Tim Stauffer killed it on Saturday, and then we got 19 strikeouts and great ERA and WHIP from the Bud Norris and Jon Garland combo on Sunday.  That made the week four line solid.  Sub-4.00 ERA and 48 strikeouts is nothing to sneeze at.  As we head into week five, I'm looking to keep the mojo going.  Monday's starter recommendation coming up...

Bartolo Colon - New York Yankees at Detroit Tigers - 7:05 PM EDT - 19.4% Owned in ESPN Leagues

Colon isn't the sexy pickup because of his age and lack of recent success, bu Bartotlo has been great so far this season in his two starts and has been striking guys out at a high rate all year.  He has struck out a batter per inning on the year and has done a good job limiting his walks.  While the Tigers lineup is tough on paper, they have been cold over the teams current six game losing streak.  Look for Bartolo to pile it on while their down and pick up at least six strikeouts and strong ERA and WHIP on the way to picking up the win.

Before we get to the rest of the list, a link to my column for week five is right here.  As always, the rest of the players are listed in the order in which I would play them with ownership percentages in parenthesis.

Also just going to say that it is a very deep spot starter day today.  If you want to get a jump in your head to head match-up, it might be worth grabbing an extra starter or two on what'll be one of the better days this week.

Pick A Winner
Derek Holland (16.6%) - Texas at
Brandon McCarthy (19.3%) - Oakland 
Both of these players are equally strong plays today.  McCarthy has been hot all year save his last go against the Angels and is always a solid start at home...Even when facing a powerful lineup like Texas.  Holland on the other hand, has let up five runs ins each of his last three starts, but that was against much better lineups than what Oakland is going to trot out against him.  Both guys have high strikeout potential, and both are good second choices to Bartolo today.  Decide which team you think is going to win and play that pitcher, as the win is the only thing likely to really differentiate their stat lines tomorrow.

Mike Leake (13.3%) - Cincinnati vs Houston - Leake has been solid in most of his games so far, delivering quality starts in all but one, and giving you six strikeouts per start in each of the last three starts.  Houston's lineup isn't scaring me, especially without the injured Carlos Lee.  Leake will give you a decent strikeout total and will have a great shot at a win with Cincinnati's offense backing him up.  Start him here if you want some solid extra stats to jump the week early.

Madison Bumgarner (36.6%) - San Francisco at Washington - Bumgarner was so bad to start the season that he went from 100% owned down to 36 already, and It's only May second.  However, he was showing signs of life last time out, holding Pittsburgh to just one run over six with seven strikeouts.  He's a bit risky here because it was just one good start against the Pirates, but its just the Nationals here.  It shouldn't be too bad if it gets bad, and it has the potential to be very good.

Jeremy Guthrie (16.4%) - Baltimore at Chicago White Sox - You know what Guthrie is.  He's not going to give you too many strikeouts and has a poor lineup backing him up, but he's decent otherwise.  He's startable today because of how each of these teams are playing right now.  Baltimore has scored twenty-two runs over three games already this series, and the Sox lineup has been frozen cold for two weeks now.  He'll get the job done on Monday.

James McDonald (1.0%) - Pittsburgh at San Diego - McDonald started out the year very rocky but found his command in his last start against San Francisco.  McDonald was a minor sleeper candidate to start the year, and his strikeouts per nine are normally much higher than they've been so far this year.  The strikeouts are going to come up and the walks will come down at least a little bit.  The reason he gets my vote of confidence as the last player above the line Monday?  He's playing San Diego in Petco.  That's always always always a buy.

This is the ten-team mixed league line, anyone below this line is only recommended for deep or AL/NL-Only leagues only.  If you are in a standard mixed league here, wait till tomorrow if you are looking this low.

Mark Buehrle (9.6%) - Chicago White Sox vs Baltimore - As often happens, Buehrle is at his place just below the ten-team line.  He's got a decent match-up against the Orioles, but he's dropped three in a row and doesn't have great strikeout potential.  He's worth the play in your AL-Only leagues as always, but that's it today.

Tom Gorzelanny (0.1%) - Washington vs San Francisco - Gorzelanny hasn't gone too deep into games so far this year, but has been good at keeping down the runs and has a K/9 7.54.  The San Francisco lineup isn't that powerful, especially without Kung Fu Panda involved.  Washington probably wont give him the run support for a win, but he's worth riding in NL-Only leagues Monday.

Matchup Dodges
J.A. Happ (2.8%) - Houston at Cincinnati
Chris Volstad (0.1%) - Florida at St. Louis
Happ and Volstad are normally decent plays in your NL-Only leagues, but they have drawn the number two and one offenses in the majors right now.  Don't play them today.

The +8.00 ERA Club
James Russell (0.0%) - Chicago Cubs at LA Dodgers - Russell hasn't gone five innings in either spot start, and has been outright horrible ERA-wise on the year.  He's not owned in any leagues and shouldn't be playing for any reason in your league.

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