StrategyApril 18, 2009

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Double Dipper: National Debut

By R.J. White

Welcome back to Double Dipper, where we check out the upcoming week’s two-start pitchers and give weekly-league owners some strategic pickups to give you a little help in the pitching categories. Last week, we tabbed: Jesse Litsch, who struggled through a short outing and eventually landed on the DL, ruining the best two-start option in Week 2; Chris Volstad, who turned in a fantastic seven-inning outing against the Braves for a win and gets the slumping Nationals next; Dustin Moseley, who notched a win against Boston but couldn’t repeat that success Friday against the Twins; Glen Perkins, who had eight innings of two-run ball without a win against Toronto and faces the Angels next.

Let’s check out all the two-start options for next week that are owned in between 5% and 50% of Yahoo leagues. Then we’ll find a couple of good options that are worth rolling the dice in hopes of a quality double dipper.

PitcherStart 1Start 2% Owned
Bronson Arroyo (CIN)@ HOUvs ATL15%
Joe Blanton (PHI)vs MIL@ FLA6%
Jon Garland (ARI)vs COLvs SF6%
Kenshin Kawakami (ATL)@ WAS@ CIN27%
Jason Marquis (COL)@ ARIvs LAD6%
Justin Masterson (BOS)vs BALvs NYY9%
Jamie Moyer (PHI)vs SD@ FLA16%
Manny Parra (MIL)@ PHI@ HOU34%
Oliver Perez (NYM)@ STLvs WAS43%
Andy Sonnanstine (TB)@ SEA@ OAK8%
Jarrod Washburn (SEA)vs TB@ LAA19%
Jordan Zimmerman (WAS)vs ATL@ NYM12%

Mixed League Pick
Jordan Zimmerman (WAS)
Zimmerman had an excellent spring, leaving Nationals fans as well as fantasy owners hotly anticipating the major-league debut of Washington’s top prospect. The Nationals decided to make him the fifth starter, sending him down to the minors for the first two weeks until they needed him. That time has come, and Zimmerman is scheduled to make his debut on Monday against the Atlanta Braves. He’ll follow that with a trip to CitiField to take on the Mets.

Zimmerman is going to have a tough time finding wins pitching for Washington, but his ratios and strikeouts should give fantasy owners a big boost. He went 5.1 innings in his minor league start with a 0.94 WHIP and four strikeouts versus one walk. If you’re looking for a spot-starter that you might want to hold on to, I would definitely opt for Zimmerman.

Second Option
Kenshin Kawakami (ATL)
Kawakami has great strikeout numbers thus far, racking up 15 in 12 innings pitched. He’s on the road unfortunately, but Washington and Cincinnati are solid matchups for him. He had eight Ks and four BBs against Washington in his first start.

Deep Leage Pick (Owned < 10%)
Andy Sonnanstine (TB)
Sonnanstine usually exhibits impeccable control, so his first two starts are a little disconcerting. Nevertheless, he faces Seattle (who takes the least amount of walks in the AL) and Oakland (the worst slugging team in the league) this week. Last year, he actually performed better on the road, and he’ll be on the West Coast for both of these games. He dominated in Seattle in 2008 and put up the same 12/2 K/BB ratio in Oakland, albeit with much worse ratios.

He has a better shot at wins than Zimmerman, so if you’re looking to add to that category, pick Sonnanstine up instead. Sonnanstine will have to bounce back from two rough outings, but he definitely has a decent shot at a two-win week with great ratios.

Second Option
Mike Hampton (HOU)
Quick, use him before he gets hurt! Hampton has looked great thus far, and has staved off the injury bug for two starts. If he makes it through next week’s home games against Cincinnati and Milwaukee, he might actually set a personal record for longest stretch off the DL. That probably jinxed it, but deep leaguers should pick up the 4%-owned hurler and hope for two healthy quality starts.

Next up is perlick29 with his waiver wire spot starters for Sunday’s action. You can follow the action daily at Perlick’s Waiver Wire Spot Starters for 2009! Here’s Perlick with his picks for this Sunday.

Sunday April 19th

Ricky Romero TOR vs OAK (Dallas Braden)

There was a lot of hype surrounding Ricky Romero when his career first started. You may remember he was taken ahead of Troy Tulowitzki. It’s possible Tulo possesses a stronger arm. Even still, Romero has honed his craft, first struggling at Double-A for the better part of three years, but he finally showed signs of life in seven starts at Triple-A Syracuse. His heavy groundball tendencies play well wherever he goes and he seems to have had his curveball and changeup come along nicely, which complements his low 90s fastball. His struggles can be attributed to a common young pitcher problem: control.

In spring training he didn’t show much control walks-wise, giving out 11 free passes in his first 18 innings before a strong final spring start. Maybe he’s turned a corner, or maybe he’s just been lucky, but he’s only walked two batters in his first two starts combined. Sunday is the ultimate test, because we know how patient Oakland can be. If he gets by with another two walks or less, he might yet live up to a portion of his draft hype.

-Prediction- W, 7IP, 7H, 2ER, 2BB, 3K.

Rick Porcello DET @ SEA (Carlos Silva)

Funny but irrelevant story: My buddy at work is a huge Mariners fan. Two seasons ago, he couldn’t help but boast about the M’s new acquisition, Carlos Silva. He mentioned how good it would be to have another left-hander besides Erik Bedard and Jarrod Washburn. Of course the flaw was that not only does Carlos Silva stink, he’s also not left-handed. So I called him out on it, and he bet me any amount of money that he was right. I felt bad, so I made it only $5. But he insisted it be $20, so I won the bet and the money and now am obligated to mock him any time Carlos Silva, the Mariners, or baseball is mentioned. Of course, he calls me out for Patrick Ewing missing a finger roll lay-up that would have put the Knicks in the finals, so I guess we’re even.

Anyway, on to Rick Porcello. A lot of people think he needs more seasoning in the minors to work out his raw kinks. I agree, but Seattle is a good place to let a young pitcher do his thing. He’ll have ups and downs, and I can’t see him being an asset this season, but his future is bright. Keep in mind not too many 20-year -olds get to pitch in the big leagues. I’ll give him a win on Sunday just to keep on spiting Carlos Silva (and my buddy, of course).

-Prediction- W, 5IP, 7H, 3ER, 1BB, 4K.

Sunday’s Hail Mary List

1. Kyle Davies @ TEX
2. Zach Duke vs ATL (I believe he might be owned in several leagues)
3. Chan Ho Park vs SD

Good luck this week, everyone. In the meantime and in-between time, I’m Paul Erlick. Bye now.

Paul Erlick has been working on his waiver wire spot starters for the better part of four years. You can find him looking for the next flash in the pan around the cafe, where he is better known as perlick29.

R.J. White (or daullaz) has been actively involved in fantasy sports for over 14 years, making him an addict at this point. He loves writing, the Atlanta Braves, music, the Buffalo Bills, theatre, the Philadelphia Eagles, his family, and the number 42, though not in that order.
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