Sunday, May 8, 2011

Fantasy Baseball Spot Starter Pickups For Sunday 5/8/11

Saturday's Recommended Starter One's Stats - Chris Young - Start Scratched
Saturday's Recommended Starter Two's Stats - Doug Fister - 5.2 Innings Pitched - 1 Strikeout - Loss - 7.94 ERA - 2.47 WHIP
Week Five Starters' Stats - 42.1 Innings Pitched - 27 Strikeouts - 5.74 K/9 - 1 Win in 7 Starts - 5.31 ERA - 1.35 WHIP
Cumulative Starters' Stats - 275.1 Innings Pitched - 215 Strikeouts - 7.03 K/9 - 16 Wins in 45 Starts - 3.82 ERA - 1.19 WHIP
Starter Spreadsheet Viewable Online Here

Chris Young got scratched from the start, which hurt because Dillon Gee looked in his place.  If it was a single starter day I would take the number two starter on my list for stats, but since it was a two start day, all I have to show for it is this rough Fister outing.  My ERA is creeping up dangerously close to the 4.00 line, so hopefully tho starts today will help bring it down.  Lots of guys available on Sunday, so getting right into it with a pair of recommendations now...

Recommendation One - Erik Bedard - Seattle Mariners vs Chicago White Sox - 4:10 PM ET - 2.8% Owned in ESPN Leagues

I'm riding that Mariner train again.  Fister got blown up on me on Saturday night, but I like Bedard here against a White Sox offense I'm still confident to start against for right now.  He has picked it up in the last two starts against the Texas and Detroit and seems to have found his control here.  If he picks the strikeout rate up a little to where you'd expect from Bedard, he might be startable regularly.  For now, play him here Sunday afternoon. 

Recommendation Two - Kyle McClellan - St. Louis Cardinals vs Milwaukee Brewers - 2:15 PM ET - 37.2% Owned in ESPN Leagues

McClellan was a hot pickup for a few weeks early, but has been been dropped back down below the line over the last week and a half.  However, that's because his last three starts were against the Red, Marlins, and Astros, all top ten offenses right now.  He gets the Brewers here on Sunday afternoon, and I like him as a good bounce back play here.  He should be striking out more guys than he has been, and the Brewers had lost seven in a row before yesterdays win.  The stats should be at least decent, and McClellan has a great shot to pick up a win.

The rest of the starters are listed in the order that I would play them with ownership percentages in parenthesis.  Gonna be coming fast and furious today on a day with over 20 players below the fifty percent owned mark.

Fausto Carmona (12.9%) - Cleveland at LA Angels - Carmona is a great third choice here on a Sunday where you might need streaming starter options.  He's been good of five of his seven starts on the year, going seven innings or more in each game.  He also has already pitched in LA, going 7.2 innings with six strikeouts and just two earned runs.  He has strong strikeout and win potential, and just has a slightly worse matchup than the players recommended ahead of him.

Mark Buehrle (8.4%) - Chicago White Sox at Seattle - You know what you are going to be getting when it comes to Buehrle, and normally I'm not a fan.  But here against the one of the worst offenses in the league playing at Safeco Field, he's worth a look.

Anibal Sanchez (41.8%) - Florida vs Washington - Sanchez pitched a complete game gem against Colorado, but that was probably too much work for him, as he's been bad in his last two starts.  He's had the time to recover now and is catching a bad Nationals team.  Sanchez is probably your best bet of anyone if you are scrambling for strikeouts here, but he is a risk.

Johnny Cueto (43.1%) - Cincinnati at Chicago Cubs - Cueto is coming off the DL, which is all that is keeping him from being higher on this list.  He has good strikeout potential, a strong offense backing him up and a good matchup against the Cubs.  If you trust him off the injury, he's probably the best option here, but he's risky here.

R.A. Dickey (4.8%) - NY Mets vs LA Dodgers - I'm a fan of Dickey, and will be recommending him again at some point, and he makes a decent start here against LA.  The Dodgers have been bad recently, and Dickey is good at home.  I'd start him here in mixed if I was really chasing.

Aaron Harang (45.0%) - San Diego vs Arizona - Harang was another player who was hot to start the year, but then he laid a pair of eggs at home.  Harang as a flyball pitcher should be benefiting from pitching at Petco, but it hasn't been working out for him lately.  He's still worth the start in a mixed league if you like him to bounce back, but I don't think he's worth playing over any of the above guys here.

This is the ten-team mixed league line.  Anyone below this line is only being recommended as a starter in deeper or AL/NL-Only leagues.  You are only going to risk too much ERA and WHIP damage in your standard league at this point.

Joe Saunders (0.0%) - Arizona at San Diego - Saunders isn't a very good pitcher, but I have to recommend him for those in deep leagues with his game coming up at Petco Park against the Padres.  I don't trust him enough for mixed leagues, but he has enough potential for you NL-Only players.

Jeff Francis (1.4%) - Kansas City vs Oakland - Francis has been pretty ugly in all of his starts so far this year, but a start against Oakland tends to be a good remedy for that.  With Francis that stats will probably be ugly, but he's one of the best shots at a win left at this point.

Brad Penny (0.6%) - Detroit at Toronto - Penny has been pretty good in two of his last three starts, with strong showing against the White Sox and Yankees.  Penny is in a good spot against Toronto, and I'll take him here in AL-Only leagues Sunday.

Decent Starters...Bad Matchups
Chris Narveson (12.3%) - Milwaukee at St. Louis
Livan Hernandez (4.3%) - Washington at Florida
James McDonald (1.8%) - Pittsburgh vs Houston
Tyson Ross (1.0%) - Oakland at Kansas City
As there is every day, there is a group of players who'd make decent spot starting choices on other days, but aren't worth starting today because they are running up against top ten offenses.  This is that group of players today.  Don't play them in your mixed leagues, but they are worth playing if you own them in AL/NL-Only leagues.

Ryan Dempster (34.0%) - Chicago Cubs vs Cincinnati - Dempster is going to be coming around and is worth owning in standard leagues, but I don't trust him enough to play him against Cincinnati in a mixed league.  NL-Only players are going to play him for the strikeout potential, but I'm staying away otherwise.

Ryan Vogelsong (2.7%) - San Francisco vs Colorado - Vogelsong had a good first start coming out against Pittsburgh, but wasn't as good in his follow-up game against the Mets.  He draws the Rockies on Sunday, which is only a below average matchup, and his strikeout potential makes it worth the shot here.

J.A. Happ (2.7%) - Houston at Pittsburgh - Happ isn't a great pitcher, but the matchup against Pittsburgh is juicy enough to make him playable in your NL-Only league on Sunday.

Pick A Winner
Carl Pavano (10.3%) - Minnesota at
Daisuke Matsuzaka (13.7%) - Boston
Both of these guys are ugly choices, but one of them is going to have a good shot at a win Sunday.  I personally don't want to start either of them in any league, but if you can catch a win in an AL-Only league, you always want to.

Unowned For a Reason
Jo-Jo Reyes (0.0) - Toronto vs Detroit
Brad Bergesen (0.0) - Baltimore vs Tampa Bay
Reyes hasn't won a major league start since 2008 and Bergesen has been decent to start the year, but we've seen enough of his near five ERA the last two years to know to stay away.

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