Sunday's Recommended Starter Two's Stats - Kyle McClellan - 8.0 Innings Pitched - 3 Strikeouts - Win - 1.13 ERA - 0.88 WHIP
Week Five Starters' Stats - 55.1 Innings Pitched - 39 Strikeouts - 6.34 K/9 - 2 Win in 9 Starts - 4.39 ERA - 1.28 WHIP
Cumulative Starters' Stats - 288.1 Innings Pitched - 227 Strikeouts - 7.09 K/9 - 17 Wins in 47 Starts - 3.71 ERA - 1.19 WHIP
Bedard and McClellan both came through with great starts here to save my week five numbers. First Bedard gave us five innings of one earned run ball with nine strikeouts...almost two per inning. Then, McClellan pitched eight innings of great ball and picked up a win, which had been hard to come by so far this week. Week five closes looking good, and week six is going to bring a change to the format of this column.
When I started this column, it was a good way to make myself write every day, but I spend so much time working on this column at this point, that it is making it hard for me two write anything else. In order to get time to write more fantasy baseball stuff and continue working on other endeavors, I'm no longer going to rank all of the starters every day. I'm still going to offer daily recommendations, but I'm just going to give the recommendation and an alternate owned in less than fifty percent of leagues, along with a recommendation owned in less than five percent of leagues for deeper players. And don't worry, I'm still going to offer extra recommendations for head to head players on weekend. This new format debuts right now...
Standard League Recommendation - Travis Wood - Cincinnati Reds at Houston Astros - 8:05 PM ET - 35.9% Owned in ESPN Leagues
Wood was a sleeper pick coming into the year, but he was blown up for most of the first month of the season in the ERA and WHIP departments, and was subsequently dropped in most leagues. However, a look at his advanced numbers shows he's been pretty unlucky to start the year. His BABIP still stands at an unlucky .365 and his FIP is a solid 3.20, which makes his 6.21 ERA look like it's destined to come down to earth. Wood looked solid his last start, which was against Houston, and I expect more of the same here. He's the easy choice on a weak day with just 18 teams playing. He'll give you strikeouts and solid stats and with the Red's offense behind him is always a strong shot at a win.
Alternate - Ervin Santana - Los Angeles Angels vs Chicago White Sox - 10:05 PM ET - 31.3% Owned in ESPN Leagues
Santana was cruising until a two and a half hour rain delay derailed his no-hitter against Boston his last time out. He has been striking guys out at a solid rate on the year, and has had his control down pat so far. He has been pitching better than his ERA just like Wood, but my guy just says to go with Wood here for the win potential. Ervin is still a solid choice though, if thats the direction you want to take or if Wood is unavailable.
Deep League Starter - Jeff Karstens - Pittsburgh vs LA Dodgers - 7:05 PM ET - 0.3% Owned in ESPN Leagues
Karstens has been up and down so far this year, but of the guys available in less than five percent of leagues, he is the only one who has a good solid match-up. The Dodgers offense has been pretty bad this year outside of Ethier and Kemp, so Karstens should be able to take advantage of it. You're probably not going to catch a win here with the Pirates, but Karstens should give you solid stats and a decent number of strikeouts.