StrategyJuly 4, 2009

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Double Dipper: Running Out the Rookies

By Tom Huffman

Welcome back to the 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 leg up over your opponents. Michael is out this week so I’ll be providing this week’s Double Dipper. Looking back at last week’s selections, Blanton had a mediocre start (5 IP, 3 ERs, 8 Hs, 3 Ks, and 3 BBs) and goes up against Johan Santana on Sunday. Mazzaro ended up starting Sunday instead of Monday missing out on the two start week. Don’t feel too bad — besides the eight Ks, his performance was pretty average (5 IP, 3 ERs, 5 Hs and 4 BBs). Mazzaro matches up against Pavano on Saturday and has a good chance to get a win against a struggling Indians team.

Let’s take a look at the two-start pitchers that are available in 50-95% of Yahoo leagues for next week. 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
Ricky Romero@NYY@BAL46%
Andy Pettittevs TOR@LAA35%
Randy Wellsvs ATLvs STL35%
Gil Meche@DET@BOS49%
Armando Galarragavs KCvs CLE17%
Jason Marquis@WAS@ATL41%
Jarrod Washburnvs BALvs TEX40%
Sean West@SF@ARZ6%
Jose Contrerasvs CLE@MIN17%
J.A. Happvs CINvs PIT37%
Mike Pelfreyvs LADvs CIN32%
Jordan Zimmermann@ COL@ HOU13%
Kevin Correia@ ARZ@ SF16%
Doug Davisvs SDvs FLA13%
Barry Zitovs FLAvs SD10%
Brad Bergesen@ SEAvs TOR16%

Mixed League Pick
Ricky Romero
Romero’s first start at Yankee Stadium isn’t too inviting, but sometimes you just have to go with a hot pitcher, no matter who they are facing. He hasn’t given up a run in his last two starts and received wins in his last three. Romero is averaging almost a K an inning in the last month (40 K in 42.1 IP). Add to that the 1.91 ERA and 1.04 WHIP over the same time and I’d start him against anyone. The Yankees haven’t seen Romero before, so that is one thing working in his favor.

Romero’s second start of the week looks to be a lot easier than the first. Baltimore OPS vs. LHP ranks 13th out of 14 teams in the AL. Another reason to be happy about facing Baltimore is that the Blue Jays get to hit against Rich Hill, who hasn’t gotten out of the fourth inning in his last two starts. Back in May, Toronto lit Hill up, scoring six ERs in 3.1 IP, so the chance of a win looks pretty good to me.

Second Option
Randy Wells
I can’t believe it — I’m suggesting a Cub pitcher, and one that has a start against the Cardinals no less. If that isn’t enough to open your eyes to Wells, then how about a 2.43 ERA and 1.08 WHIP this year. Wells has given up more than three ERs in only one start this year and has recorded a win in his last three starts. He gets two home starts this week, one against Atlanta and one against St. Louis.

Wells faces two pretty good pitchers in Jurrjens and Wainwright, but neither offense is anything to write home about. Atlanta was shut down by Wells earlier in the season when he had seven IP and only one earned run. He also managed to strike out four without allowing a walk and only giving up two hits. Atlanta ranks 11th in the NL in runs scored and OPS, so I would expect Wells to put up a quality start. After that Wells faces the Cardinals in the first game of the doubleheader Sunday. The Cardinal offense consists of Albert Pujols and not much else. Pujols put up awesome numbers in June, but his team went 12-17 and the rest of the hitters combined for a .295 OBP.

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 July 5

Joe Blanton, PHI – Home vs. NYM (Johan Santana)

I can’t remember the last time I recommended someone against the Mets. or more specifically against Johan Santana. At some point though you have to face the fact that the Mets lineup is as poor as any in Major League Baseball. That is, if you even want to call the lineup major-league worthy. Here’s what they trotted out in a loss in the first game of the series:

1) Alex Cora – Has a fractured finger. The only thing nice to say about him is, he’s pesky.
2) Daniel Murphy – Overhyped in NY, who cares.
3) David Wright – a legit star, but minimum chance of beating you with the long ball this season.
4) Gary Sheffield – Entering the “middle aged and crazy” years of his life.
5) Ryan Church – In my opinion, he’s a never was.
6) Fernando Tatis – Don’t call it a comeback if the guy stinks.
7) Nick Evans – Hitting .320 and I’ve never heard of him.
8) Brian Schneider – One of the worst hitting catchers in the league. He and Brad Ausmus should share stories.
9) The Pitcher – ‘Nuff said.

Then again, the Mets were facing the almighty Rodrigo Lopez on Friday night so they never stood a chance. And just so it doesn’t look like it’s all anti-Met, Blanton has sparkling career numbers against the team from Bayside. He’s 1-0 in three starts with a WHIP under 1 and an ERA of 2.14. You also have to take notice of his much improved K rate this year — 80 Ks in 88.2 innings is excellent. I’m so tempted to even give him a W, but against Johan I’ll play it safe.

-Prediction- ND, 6IP, 7H, 2ER, 1BB, 5K

Sunday’s Hail Mary

Clayton Richard – Road vs. Royals

So there you have it for another week. Now please by all means everyone enjoy your freedom this weekend. In the meantime. and in-between time, I’m Paul Erlick. Bye now.

Tom Huffman is one of a growing number of fantasy experts who write for the Cafe. You can catch up with Tom in the Cafe's forums where he posts under the name of Pogotheostrich.
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