StrategyMay 30, 2009

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Double Dipper: NL Central Pitchers

By R.J. White

Welcome back to Double Dipper, where we take a look at readily-available starting pitchers in your league that have two starts in the upcoming week. Last week, I pegged Doug Davis as the best such option for weekly leaguers looking for someone to stream. He pitched 7.1 innings in his game against San Diego, giving up just two earned runs and striking out six. He’ll take on the Braves today. My option for deep leaguers was Kris Medlen, who got rocked to the tune of four earned runs in 5.1 innings. He’ll face the Diamondbacks on Sunday in what will likely be his last shot to stick in the rotation.

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
Bronson Arroyo@STLvCHC20%
Aaron Cook@HOU@STL15%
Kyle Davies@TB@TOR9%
Gavin FloydvOAKvCLE43%
Rich Hill@SEA@OAK6%
Ubaldo Jimenez@HOU@STL44%
Kenshin KawakamivCHCvMIL14%
Kyle LohsevCINvCOL49%
Manny Parra@FLA@ATL26%
Rick PorcellovBOSvLAA40%
Ian SnellvNYM@HOU9%
Jarrod WashburnvBALvMIN40%
Todd WellemeyervCINvCOL7%
Randy Wells@ATL@CIN8%

Mixed League Pick
Kyle Lohse
Lohse barely passes our eligibility requirements, meaning he’s likely to be unavailable in many of your leagues. However, he’d be the first guy I’d try and add for a spot start this week. Lohse performs much better at home, with a 3.13 ERA and 1.02 WHIP in six homes starts this year and a 3.32 ERA and 1.14 WHIP in 18 home starts last year. His K/BB ratio in home starts is 24/7, with Lohse posting a 38/16 K/BB ratio overall. He’ll also get a couple enviable matchups.

First is Cincinnati, and Reds leadoff hitter Willy Taveras has been in a big slump, as his average has dropped 50 points in the last two weeks. The Reds have also had to battle injuries at multiple positions, with none being worse than the dizzyness that has Joey Votto, only their best hitter, in and out of the lineup without warning.

Lohse will then take on the Rockies, a team that is in turmoil after the firing of manager Clint Hurdle. Word around the clubhouse was that the players wanted him out, so it’s possible this might actually be a rallying point for the team. It will likely take more than a new manager to fix an offense this broken though. Brad Hawpe and Todd Helton are doing just fine, but normal catcher Chris Iannetta is on the DL, while Troy Tulowitzki and Garrett Atkins have been in a season-long slump. Add in the factor of the Rockies traveling away from Coors and this looks like a premier matchup for Lohse.

**UPDATE*** Lohse’s forearm troubles have him thinking he only has a 50-50 shot of pitching against the Reds (per Rotoworld). With that kind of uncertainty from the pitcher, you’d be much better served going with Gavin Floyd, who also pitches better at home, where he has both starts this week. Or, you could go with the readily-available pick listed below.

Second Option and Deep League Pick
Randy Wells
All of the 40%-owned guys are pretty good spots starts this week; however, I want to dig a little bit to help the guys in medium-sized leagues, as well as the deep leaguers. Randy Wells has been so good that he might actually turn out to be the best option of all. He didn’t allow a run in his first two starts of the season against Milwaukee and Houston. He followed that up with a pair of seven-inning efforts that resulted in two hard-luck losses. In each of those losses, he struck out seven batters while only walking one.

He takes his sub-2.00 ERA on the road this week, and the first opponent on tap is Atlanta. The Braves have had a tough time scoring runs this year, which is the result of not having many bats to fear in their offense. If you’re an opposing pitcher, you try to work around McCann and Chipper, taking your chances with the rest of the lineup. After that game, he’ll travel to Cincinnati.

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 31st

1. Paul Maholm, Pit – Home vs. Hou (Mike Hampton)

Maholm hasn’t exactly landed in a great situation. With some of the starts he’s come up with this year, he should have at least five wins instead of three. Take his seven innings of shutout ball against the Rockies as an example. Even his first start of the year was “win-worthy”: 6.2IP, 2ER, and no win. He’s found himself on the wire in most leagues because he doesn’t K many people, but he does have some solid ratios to offer. Most importantly, here’s his line at home this year:

4GS, 2-0, 27.1IP, 23H, 6ER, 1.98ERA, 1.06WHIP.

Bottom line: he’s been great at home, and I like him at home against the Astros.

-Prediction- W, 6.2IP, 6H, 2ER, 1BB, 3K

2. Jorge de la Rosa, Col – Home vs. SD (Chad Gaudin)

The pieces are all there, it’s just that they haven’t completed the puzzle yet. I’ve seen him added and dropped multiple times in my leagues, so I’m hoping he’s available in yours. We certainly know he has the ability to get guys out via the strikeout. He’s carrying a near 9.5 K/9 ratio, but as with many power pitchers, he can’t help but walk too many guys. That to me says he’s still rough around the edges. Perhaps a few lessons from his teammate Ubaldo Jimenez would help, as Jimenez has really cut down on the walks recently.

As for this start, San Diego has been on a real tear as of late, but the fact remains that they are 7-18 on the road, which gives de la Rosa a good shot at the win, especially with one of their weaker pitchers on the mound in Chad Gaudin. I like de la Rosa a lot, but it might be best to go one start at a time with him. This should be a good one though.

-Prediction- W, 6IP, 6H, 3ER, 3BB, 6K

Sunday’s Hail Mary

1. Kris Medlen Road vs. Arizona – I was going to profile him before I discovered he might not be worth it.

2. Eric Milton Road vs. The Cubs – I can’t believe I just typed that, but the Cubs offense is so bad right now.

Good luck on Sunday. In the meantime and in-between time, I’m Paul Erlick. Bye now.

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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