StrategyJuly 18, 2009

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Double Dipper: The Yankee Dipper

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. After a week off due to the all-star break we’re back in the game this week. I’ll take a 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
Andy Pettitte*vs BALvs OAK41%
Jonathan Sanchez*@ATL@COL28%
Gil Mechevs LAAvs TEX41%
Kyle Lohse@HOU@PHI27%
Doug Davis*@COLvs PIT16%
Jorge De La Rosa*vs ARZvs SF10%
Nick Blackburn@OAK@LAA47%
Ryan Sadowski@ATL@MIL6%
Jeff Niemann@CHW@TOR11%
Todd Wellemeyer@HOU@PHI6%
Armando Galarragavs SEAvs CWS17%
John Lannan*vs NYMvs SD7%
Jamie Moyer*vs CHCvs STL9%
Dallas Braden*vs MIN@NYY27%
Chad Gaudinvs FLA@WAS7%


Mixed League Pick
Andy Pettitte
Despite a couple rough outings in a row, Pettitte is as solid an option to spot start this week as any. When choosing a spot start, I tend to aim for pitchers with high potential for wins and strikeouts — helpful ratios are just icing on the cake. This week, Pettitte is facing the Orioles and A’s, both weak opponents who should give Pettitte a very real chance at grabbing you a couple of wins. Both teams have been abysmal against left-handed pitching this year, with the Orioles putting up an OPS of .691 and the A’s OPS-ing just .640 against southpaws. Combine that with one of the leagues worst pitching staffs in Baltimore and you have a recipe for wins.

Pettitte doesn’t really get the strikeouts you look for in a spot start, but with the offenses he’s facing he should be able to keep his ratios down, and the possible win or two he can grab you is well worth getting him in that open roster spot.

Deep League pick (Owned <10%)
Chad Gaudin
Gaudin is kind of an opposite of the Pettitte pick in the sense that he has been racking up the strikeouts and plays in front of one of the worst offenses in baseball, putting him at a disadvantage to earn a win. He has been overlooked for the most part in fantasy circles but it’s time to keep an eye on him. So far this season he has racked up 93 strikeouts in 87.1 IP (9.58 K/9). He also has combined a solid ground ball rate (46.4%) with the spacious park in San Diego, which has kept him from giving up many home runs. Right now his Achilles’ heel is his control, which has led to a ghastly 4.95 BB/9. Despite that, his FIP sits at 3.64, a huge difference from his 4.84 ERA. We can also expect some regression in his 63.9% LOB%, which should end up closer to the league average of 73%.

This week Gaudin will be facing two pretty average offenses in the Marlins and Nationals. Both games will be played in cavernous ballparks (Marlins in San Diego, Nationals in Washington), and the game against the Nationals should give Gaudin a decent shot at a win. If you’re looking to pad your strikeout total this week, Gaudin is your man, and he could end up as a decent second-half sleeper despite the control problems.

Honorable Mention
Jorge de la Rosa
I usually only look at two pitchers but I though de la Rosa deserved an honorable mention this week with starts against Arizona (.736 OPS vs LHP) and San Francisco (.697 OPS vs LHP). De la Rosa is very much like Gaudin in that he racks up the strikeouts in combination with giving out way too many free passes. The red flag here is that both starts will be in Colorado, where de la Rosa has a 6.44 ERA and 1.47 WHIP. If you’re desperate for strikeouts, he may be worth a start and with the Rockies offense hitting well, he could easily grab a win or two if he can keep the run scoring to a respectable level.

Here 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!

1. Brett Anderson, Oak – Home vs. LAA (John Lackey)

It’s pretty rare that you find a guy with ace-level talent just sitting on the waiver wire, but Brett Anderson certainly has the stuff to become an ace one day. Here’s some background:

Anderson came over to the A’s in the deal that sent away Dan Haren to Arizona. He grew up as a son of a pitching coach, and even though he’s performed extremely well at every level, his conditioning left something to be desired, so his status on prospect lists was a bit lower than it should have been. Then he lost 30 pounds and (surprise!) he was on everyone’s radar. His low 90’s fastball has excellent movement and location, and he shows very good secondary offerings. As usual, the A’s have found themselves a steal. Thanks to Baseball Prospectus for some of that fine information.

OK, so there’s the good. Now for the — not bad, but let’s call it less good. As a rookie, he’s had plenty of ups and downs. It’s guys like him, Clayton Kershaw, Jordan Zimmermann, and Tommy Hanson that you have to make an investment with and be patient so they can pay off long-term. All these guys have incredible stuff and the future is bright, but most of these young guys struggle with control. Anderson’s control is actually pretty good, issuing 25 free passes this season, but a few too many balls have found holes, and he hasn’t missed quite enough bats, so he’s still struggling.

The Angels put the ball in play and avoid striking out as good as any team in the league so Anderson will really have to be sharp. I think he’s up to the challenge; after all, his last three opponents were Detroit, Boston, and Tampa, so he knows how to face tough competition. I think he’ll post a good start in this one.

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

Sunday’s Hail Mary

1. Aaron Laffey, Cle – Home vs. Mariners
2. Kevin Hart, ChN – Road vs. Nationals
3. Derek Holland, Tex – Home vs. Twins

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

Michael Marinakis is a 24-year-old unemployed fantasy addict. You can find him roaming the Cafe all day where he posts as GiantsFan14 and waits for Bruce Bochy to be fired for incompetency.
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