StrategyMay 16, 2009

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Double Dipper: Veteran Lefties

By Michael Marinakis

Welcome to the next installment of the Double Dipper series, where we check out the upcoming week’s two-start pitchers and give weekly-league owners some strategic pickups to give you a leg up over your opponents. Last week, I did quite well with my standard league picks but had my deep league pick get rocked. Manny Parra pitched well enough to get a win against the Marlins (6 IP, 6 hits, 3 ER, 2 BB, 8 Ks), Ubaldo Jimenez showed what he can do when he has good command in a win against the Astros (7 IP, 7 hits 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 Ks), and Andy Sonnanstine had a disastrous outing against the Tigers (2 IP, 9 hits, 7 ER, 1 BB, 1 K). All three will be making their second starts of the week on Sunday, after which we’ll be able to get a complete look at how my picks did.

First, let’s look at the two-start pitchers that are available in 50-95% of Yahoo leagues. Then, I’ll analyze the best options on this list and give you my thoughts on who is worth a spot start next week. If you like streaming in your weekly-lineup league or you’ve simply have an extra roster spot to burn, check out our suggestions below.

PitcherStart 1Start 2% Owned
Glen Perkins*@NYYvs MIL16%
Andy Pettitte*vs MINvs PHI48%
Jason Marquis@ATLvs TOR14%
Scott Richmondvs CHW@ATL42%
Ross Ohlendorf@WAS@CHW6%
Shairon Martisvs PITvs BAL6%
Matt Palmer@SEA@LAD10%
Randy Wolf*vs NYMvs LAA44%
Brian Bannistervs CLE@STL33%
Braden Looper@HOU@MIN8%
Mike Hampton*vs MILvs TEX5%
Jamie Moyer*@CIN@NYY12%
Joel Pineirovs CHCvs KC13%
Barry Zito*@SD@SEA16%


Mixed League Pick
Barry Zito
As weird as it is for me to say this, Barry Zito is really a must start in all leagues this week. He’s only owned in 16% of leagues, so as long as you have a bench spot to burn, grab him and prepare to reap the benefits.

After a disastrous 2008 with the Giants, Zito seems to have turned it around so far in 2009. His offseason training program allowed him to get his fastball back up to the 87 MPH range, about two MPH faster than the last couple years. The big effect of this increase is in the larger differential between his fastball and change up, which has allowed him to keep hitters more off balance and has been a big factor to his success. Another huge factor has been his ability to throw strikes. Last year Zito had a huge problem with control, which caused his walk rate to balloon to 5.10 BB/9. This year, however, Zito has kept the walks down, allowing an acceptable 3.23 BB/9. Both of these factors have combined to make Zito ownable again, and with two starts this week against two of the leagues worst offenses (San Deigo and Seattle), now is a great time to get him back in your lineup.

Second Option
Andy Pettitte
Pettitte is not as safe of a pick as Zito but still has some upside as a spot start. He’ll be facing the Twins first, followed by the Phillies, two teams that are pretty average offensively against lefties. Pettitte started off the year on a tear but hit a rough patch, including a game where he gave up four home runs to the Rays. While Pettitte may not be the pitcher he once was, he still has the ability to put up good outings, and with the potent Yankee offense behind him, all it takes is five innings for a possible win.

Deep League Pick
Shairon Martis
Honestly, I wouldn’t touch any of the guys that are owned in less than 10% of leagues this week. The pickings are slim and pretty much all these guys are more likely to hurt than to help. If you must start one, however, your best bet is probably Shairon Martis, who pitched well against the Giants in his last start (who doesn’t) and threw a complete game against the strong Cardinals lineup three games ago. He’ll be pitching both games in his home park, where he has a 2.11 ERA and 1.03 WHIP this year. His first start is the one to bank on, as he’ll be taking on a weak Pittsburgh line up. His second start is a bit worrisome, as he’ll be up against a Baltimore lineup that has shown it can score some runs.

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 May 17th

Luke Hochevar KC – Home vs. BAL (Koji Uehara)

Here’s what I wrote about Luke Hochevar earlier in the week:

“He can dominate Triple-A with ease. He’s been doing so in Omaha all year to this point. Last year, he was pretty doggone poor in Kansas City, so he didn’t start the year with the big club. I think his talent should allow him to succeed in the majors rather than be a Quad-A player, and the A’s are as good a team as any to start a new season against.”

Well the A’s ate him for lunch. That was about as bad a debut as one could possibly imagine. But on the bright side, I think that had to be rock bottom. The Orioles are a more potent offense than the A’s, but Hochevar is certainly better than he showed in his first start. I think he takes a step forward in his first start post-hype. Let’s not expect miracles here, but this particular Sunday is pretty bottom of the barrel as far as waiver starters, so he’ll have to do.

-Prediction- ND, 5.2IP, 6H, 3ER, 2BB, 3K

Sunday’s Hail Mary

1. Scott Feldman TEX – Home vs. LAA (Jered Weaver)

2. Bronson Arroyo CIN – Road vs. SD (Jake Peavy)

3. Either Chan Ho Park or Jordan Zimmermann – In WAS vs. PHI

Hopefully, next Sunday will light up a room with a bunch of bright selections. In the meantime and in-between time, I’m Paul Erlick, bye now.

Michael Marinakis is a 23-year-old fantasy addict. You can find him roaming the Cafe all day where he posts as GiantsFan14 and frets about how terrible a manager Bruce Bochy is.
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