Cumulative Starters' Stats - 240 Innings Pitched - 195 Strikeouts - 7.31 K/9 - 15 Wins in 39 Starts - 3.56 ERA - 1.16 WHIP
Cumulative Starter Spreadsheet Viewable Here
On the first day of week five, Bartolo gave us seven very workable innings. The 3.86 ERA isn't great, but it's coverable, and you have to be excited to pick up seven strikeouts and a solid seven innings of 1.00 WHIP. Bartolo is going to eat a lot of innings for the Yankees this year with stats very similar to this, except with a good chance at plenty of wins. As a note for the starters today, Kyle McClellan and Anibal Sanchez are both under the 50% owned line as i write this on Monday night, but will both likely elevate over the 50% line by Tuesday proper. As such I'm not ranking either of them...Both should be owned but I'm not really excited about starting either of them If you want the guy I am excited about, Tuesday's spot starter is coming up...
R.A. Dickey - New York Mets vs San Francisco Giants - 7:10 PM EST - 6.2% Owned in ESPN Standard Leagues
It's a day where there are a bunch of available starting pitcher choices, but not too many good options. Dickey is one of the few solid options. He's recovered from his torn fingernail, and looked good last time out against the Nationals. Now he draws the ice cold San Francisco Giants. The Giants are twenty-sixth in the majors in runs scored and have scored just twelve runs in their last seven games...Series against the Nationals and the Pirates. Dickey is great at home at Citi Field and has the stuff to hold down the Giants, especially without Pablo Sandoval. Count on at least seven innings and three runs at worst with a handful of strikeouts and a chance at a win.
Quick note, be sure to check out my week five pickups and player thoughts column here. As always, the rest of the players are ranked in the order I would start them if the players above them are unavailable. ESPN Ownership percentages are listed in parenthesis.
Fausto Carmona (8.0%) - Cleveland at Oakland - Carmona is a very solid second option to R.A Dickey here. He's got about the same strikeout potential as Dickey and was just as solid his last time out. The only difference between them is their match-up. The As are a similarly poor hitting team to the Giants, but have scored as many runs in the last two days as the Giants have in the last week. Carmona might have a better chance to pick up a win though with the Cleveland offense backing him up, so if you're chasing wins early, this might be the better direction.
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.
Edwin Jackson (29.4%) - Chicago White Sox vs Minnesota - Jackson's control has been off over his last three starts, but the match-up is too juicy here against Minnesota if he has his control here on Tuesday. He has the best strikeout potential of anyone today, it's just the control issues holding me back. He could have the best start of the day or the worst, but the potential makes him still over the line here today.
Jeff Karstens (0.3%) - Pittsburgh at San Diego - Karstens has been solid since entering the rotation this year, posting a 3.57 ERA and 7.15 K/9. He's not going to keep it up forever, but should have no problem getting the job done in Petco Park against the Padres. The win is a bit of a long shot, but the ERA, WHIP and some strikeouts are all a solid possibility.
This is the ten team mixed league line.... Anyone below here is only being recommended as a starter in deep or AL/NL-Only leagues. If you are in a standard league, there will be better pickings tomorrow.
Jeff Francis (2.4%) - Kansas City vs Baltimore - Francis gave up five runs in each of this last two starts, but that was against Cleveland and Texas. He was solid the four starts before that, and the Orioles offense isn't one you have to avoid. Francis is playing here in your AL-Only leagues, and you should have a shot at picking up a win.
Decent Pitchers...Bad Match-ups
Livan Hernandez (4.9%) - Washington at Philadelphia
Erik Bedard (1.9%) - Seattle vs Texas
Tyson Ross (0.1%) - Oakland vs Cleveland
All three of these players are going to be recommended above the line at some point, but aren't recommended for standard leagues here. You are still going to be playing all three in your AL/NL-Only leagues though. Keep an eye on Ross if he's unowned in your AL league. He's got solid strikeout potential as long as he can keep his walks down.
Marco Estrada (1.7%) - Milwaukee at Atlanta - Estrada was a high strikeout guy in the minors as a starter and was unlucky in a major league stint as a reliever last year. He's been good in two of his three spot starts this year for Milwaukee and would be above the line today if he wasn't playing Atlanta, who roughed him up in his first start this year. The strikeout potential still makes him a go for me in NL-Only leagues.
Ryan Vogelsong (1.4%) - San Francisco at NY Mets - Vogelsong looked good in his first start in place of Barry Zito. He gave up just two runs and struck out eight over 5.2 innings against the Pirates. This time out he draws the better Mets lineup, but he should still be serviceable in NL-Only leagues. The win isn't likely to happen, but the strikeouts should be there along with solid ERA and WHIP.
Bad Pitchers...Bad Match-ups
J.A Happ (2.7%) - Houston at Cincinnati
Joe Saunders (0.1%) - Arizona vs Colorado
Jo-Jo Reyes (0.0%) - Toronto at Tampa Bay
Brad Bergesen (0.0%) - Baltimore at Kansas City
All four of these guys are bad pitchers who should only be spot starting even in deep leagues, and all four of them have drawn poor match-ups today. Avoid them in any and all leagues.
The +9.00 ERA Club
Ryan Dempster (35.0%) - Chicago Cubs at LA Dodgers - Dempster has the tools to help your fantasy team at some point this year, but he's not doing anything for you right now. He shouldn't be owned in any mixed leagues, and is cuttable if you need the roster space in NL-Only leagues. Pick him up when he strings to or three good starts together, but for now do not start him.