StrategyApril 25, 2009

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Double Dipper: Dodger Dipper

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: Jordan Zimmermann, who picked up a win in his debut after pitching six quality innings and will face the Mets on Sunday; Kenshin Kawakami, who allowed two runs in five innings and took the loss in that same game and has a start against Cincinnati scheduled for Sunday; Andy Sonnanstine, who had a quality start against Seattle, adding seven strikeouts versus one walk, and will face a bad Oakland offense on Sunday; Mike Hampton, who also had a quality start against Cincinnati and will face Milwaukee today.

First, we look at the two-start pitchers that are available in 50-95% of Yahoo leagues. Then, we analyze the best options in this list and those that are owned in even less leagues. If you like streaming in your weekly-lineup league, check out our suggestions below.

PitcherStart 1Start 2% Owned
Joe Blanton (PHI)vs WASvs NYM5%
Jeremy Guthrie (BAL)vs TEX@ TOR32%
Braden Looper (MIL)vs PITvs ARI6%
John Maine (NYM)vs FLA@ PHI50%
Brad Penny (BOS)@ CLE@ TB14%
David Purcey (TOR)@ KCvs BAL5%
Anibal Sanchez (FLA)@ NYM@ CHC11%
Jonathan Sanchez (SF)vs LADvs COL40%
Tim Wakefield (BOS)@ CLE@ TB19%
Chien-Ming Wang@ DETvs LAA40%
Randy Wolf (LAD)@ SFvs SD20%

Mixed League Pick
Randy Wolf (LAD)
Out of the above options, Wolf is pitching the best at this point. He’s got 23 strikeouts versus only eight walks in his four games started thus far. This low walk rate has led to a very good 1.11 WHIP through Wolf’s first 25.1 innings pitched.

This week, Wolf will face the Giants in San Francisco and the Padres in Los Angeles. The Giants have scored the lowest number of runs in the league this season, 46 through 14 games. The 20%-owned Wolf looks like a near lock for a quality start in his first game this week. San Diego has struggled to score runs over the last few years. They’ve actually done a decent job of scoring on the road this year and knocked Wolf around in his first start of the season. Regardless, I feel Wolf is the guy to roll with if you’re looking for a two-start spot-starter.

Second Option
Dave Bush (MIL)
Bush took a no-hitter into the eighth inning against the Phillies, ultimately going 7.2 innings and landing the win. He’s notched a quality start in each of his first three starts. He’s maintained great WHIPs against his two opponents this week.

Bush gets the benefit of two games at home this week. He’ll take on the mediocre Pittsburgh offense, which has been doing better lately but lacks consistency. It’ll take the Pirates putting a few consecutive high-scoring games together on the road before I consider them legit. Next, Bush faces the Diamondbacks, the owners of the league’s worst team average (.226 through Thursday). The 4%-owned Bush should be able to come out of this week with one or two quality starts, and he has the potential to throw six or seven shutout innings in one of these games.

Deep Leage Pick (Owned < 10%)
Scott Richmond (TOR)
A sleeper coming into this season thanks to a 20/2 K/BB ratio in five starts in 2008, Richmond has been solid so far, and especially good in his last two starts. In fact, he did a great job of limiting the powerful Rangers offense to two runs on solo HRs through six innings on Thursday, while striking out eight batters.

He’ll take the mound first against Kansas City, a team in the bottom third of runs scored this season. Then, he gets a good Baltimore offense at home. In his only start against Baltimore last year, Richmond went six innings and allowed no runs and no walks while striking out three. It also must be said that with Toronto leading the league in runs scored through Thursday, Richmond has a great shot at getting the win each time he starts. If Bush isn’t around in your league, Richmond should do just fine.

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 26th

Aaron Laffey CLE vs MIN (Glen Perkins)

We’ve learned critical information about Aaron Laffey over his first two starts. He can beat the Royals. He’s walking too many batters (three each in the first two starts), but Minnesota can be beaten by a lefty that usually has good command of his “soft” stuff. Laffey will never be a guy you can count on for gaudy strikeout numbers, but when he was healthy last year he was effective. He had nine quality starts in 11 tries, which is exactly what we need when picking out spot starters, a high QS% guy. I’d look for a quality start here for sure.

-Prediction- ND, 6.1IP, 6H, 2ER, 3BB, 4K.

Andy Sonnanstine TB @ OAK (Dana Eveland)

I’ve always really liked Andy Sonnanstine. He’s not necessarily a great fantasy asset, but there’s something to him that just makes you think any average Joe can play in the big leagues. The guy is listed at 185 pounds at 6′3″, but if you’ve ever seen him pitch you know that 185 looks like a stretch, since he is rail-thin. He’s stingy when it comes to allowing walks, something any pitcher with much more talent could learn a thing or two from (Ubaldo Jimenez or Oliver Perez anyone?). I’d wipe out that first start against the Orioles. One walk per game is the real Sonnanstine, and even against Oakland he shouldn’t be rattled and repeat a four walk performance. He’s overall just someone cool to root for.

-Prediction- W, 6IP, 7H, 3ER, 1BB, 3K.

Sunday’s Hail Mary

1. Ross Ohlendorf @ SD – Need to see one more start, but he’s the highest recommendation in this section.
2. Jordan Zimmermann @ NYM – He’s here mostly because he’s owned in too many leagues.
3. Kenshin Kawakami @ CIN – Not as efficient as I’d hoped, he’s been downgraded a bit.

That’s all for this week. Good luck 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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