StrategyAugust 8, 2009

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Double Dipper: Ride the Rockies

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 Sean Acey (smoovethug) filled in for me and his picks have had a pretty good outcome through their first starts of the week. Luke Hochevar was roughed of a bit in a no decision but still provided some help by striking out eight Mariners (5 IP, 7 hits, 4 ER, 2 BB, 8 Ks) and Mat Latos pitched well against the Braves in a win (W, 7 IP, 6 hits, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 Ks). With Hochevar starting against a Holliday-less Oakland team tomorrow and Latos facing the Mets’ line up that has the worst cost-to-suck ratio in history, both pitchers have an opportunity to provide that last boost you need to win the week.

Now on to next week — we’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
Dallas Braden*@BALvs CWS21%
Jeremy Guthrievs OAKvs LAA14%
Kyle Lohsevs CINvs SD24%
Jorge De La Rosa*vs CHC@FLA33%
Jonathan Sanchez*vs LAD@NYM39%
Doug Davis*vs NYMvs LAD14%
John Lannan*@ATL@CIN11%
Chris Volstadvs HOUvs COL44%
Rick Porcello@BOSvs KC30%
Braden Loopervs SDvs HOU8%
Aaron Cookvs PIT@FLA47%


Mixed League Pick
Jorge De La Rosa
While De La Rosa wasn’t too effective in his last start in Philadelphia, I think it’s fair to give him a pass as he was facing the league’s top offense in their bandbox of a home park. What many people seem to be overlooking is the great July that De La Rosa strung together. Over the course of the month he went 5-0 with a 2.50 ERA and 1.03 WHIP to go along with 30 strikeouts in 36 innings pitched. De La Rosa is your token hard-throwing lefty with good stuff and spotty control, and he managed to keep his walks down to a respectable level in July. If he can continue keeping the ball in the strike zone, he’ll provide a huge boost to fantasy owners down the stretch.

This week De La Rosa will be facing the Cubs in Colorado, followed by the Marlins in Florida. Both teams have below average numbers against southpaws which bodes well for De La Rosa’s success against them. Both teams also strikeout quite a bit against lefties which plays right into De La Rosa’s hands. I like De La Rosa quite a bit for the rest of the season and this is as good of a time as any to jump on the bandwagon and get him in your rotation. The pitchers he will face this week (Gorzelanny/VandenHurk) don’t inspire much fear in their opposition and should provide De La Rosa with ample opportunity to grab a win or two. It’s pretty reasonable to expect a decent number of strikeouts as well as he has struck out almost a batter an inning so far this season. I expect him to continue putting the ball in the strike zone which will keep his ratios down and turn him into a respectable starter who can give you a huge boost in the strikeout category. Grab him while you still can.

Second Option
Aaron Cook
My second spot-starter slot is taken up by another Colorado pitcher, though a very different type of pitcher than De La Rosa. Cook doesn’t have near the same strikeout ability as De La Rosa but has been able to be effective in Colorado by limiting free passes and getting a ton of groundballs. The one surefire way of preventing home runs in Coors Field is to keep the ball out of the air, and Cook does that as well as anyone.

This week, Cook will face the lowly Pirates in Colorado, followed by the Marlins in Florida. The Pirates traded almost anyone of value away at the deadline and will put out an offense among the worst in baseball. The Marlins haven’t been near as bad but still have a below average lineup, so they shouldn’t deter you from getting Cook in your lineup against the Pirates. With the Rockies right in the thick of the wild card race and playing good baseball, Cook could be in line to pick up a win or two this week and should post solid ratios. Any strikeouts he can toss in will be icing on the cake.

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!

Sunday August 9

1. Yusmeiro Petit, Ari – Road vs. Was (J.D. Martin)

Two starts ago I really liked what I saw against Philadelphia. Petit had great control and was getting swings and misses, and he had looked good before that against St. Louis. Even though he got roughed up by the Pirates, he maintained a good K:BB ratio, so starts like that stood less of a chance to repeat itself. Then came his last start. I liked what he was doing enough to recommend enough in a rematch in Pittsburgh, and sure enough Petit broke through. He turned in the best start of his career and now seems poised to keep the ball rolling against the Nats. A long time ago Petit was a prospect who’s stock seemed to drop as he moved up but he clearly shows he has talent, and against a weak team like Washington this is a good bet.

-Prediction- W, 6.2IP, 5H, 1ER, 2BB, 6K

2. Tim Stauffer, SD – Home vs. NYM (Johan Santana)

Over the last several weeks I’ve really bashed the Mets firepower, or lack thereof. The trend continues in this start. Let’s say you’re looking for a spot start and you’re wondering who you should roll the dice with. If it’s a start against the Mets and that man is unowned, that should be the guy. It doesn’t have to be a man. It could be Ethel Erlick (aka my grandmother) for example. Bottom line: while Stauffer is waiver wire fodder at best, and Johan Santana is on the mound, you can always do worse. Sorry Mets fans but the good news is… wait, what was that about Omir Santos I just heard?

-Prediction- L, 6IP, 6H, 2ER, 2BB, 3K

3. Jamie Moyer, Phi – Home vs. Fla (Josh Johnson)

I realize that Jamie Moyer has been really bad at home this year, so I’m just putting him in the number three spot this week even though he has been insanely good against the Marlins. Last start against the Fish was his one-hit, seven inning gem, and Moyer never goes seven innings. His career numbers against them are sparkling as well, so I think he’s better than a hail mary. The Phillies might struggle to give him support, but I really think he’s throwing a QS here.

-Prediction- ND, 6IP, 7H, 3ER, 2BB, 4K

Sunday’s Hail Mary

Brian Matusz at Toronto – I really like him for next year, but because he’s still trying to find it at the big league level, plus the Jays are a pretty good offense, and it’s Roy Halladay on the other side, I couldn’t bump him to the top section.

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

<i>Michael Marinakis is a 23-year-old unemployed fantasy addict. You can find him roaming the Cafe all day where he posts as</i> GiantsFan14 <i>and waits for Bruce Bochy to be fired for incompetency.</i>
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