StrategyAugust 22, 2009

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Double Dipper: Lost In Niemann’s Land

By Daniel Wilson

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. My name is AussieDodger, I’ll be your pilot today.

Last week my esteemed colleague GiantsFan14 stuck you with an expensive loss from Bud Norris, and poor Pedro had a promising outing cut short by rain after three innings. It should come right for you this weekend however, as Pedro and his Phillies should crush the hapless Mets, and Norris faces an Upton-less Arizona.

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
Gil Mechevs CLE@SEA31%
Clay Buchholzvs CWSvs TOR18%
Jeff Niemann@TOR@DET38%
Barry Zito@COLvs COL22%
Ian Snellvs OAKvs KC5%
Matt Latos@ATL@FLA21%
Justin Masterson@KC@BAL9%
Jose Contreras@BOS@NYY7%
Joe Blanton@PITvs ATL46%
Ross Ohlendorfvs PHI@MLW8%
Bronson Arroyo@MLWvs LAD22%
Brett Anderson@SEA@LAA26%

Mixed League Pick
Jeff Niemann
The gargantuan Jeff Niemann has pitched quite well for the Rays after winning the battle for his rotation spot this spring. Absurdly under-owned at 38%, he has been in the groove in the post All-Star period so far, with a terrific 34/6 K/BB.

Niemann faces (surprisingly) the fourth- and fifth-lowest scoring offenses since the All-Star break, Toronto and Detroit. This season Niemann hasn’t faced Detroit, and has faced Toronto twice, the first time holding them to one run through 7.1 innings for the W, while throwing six innings of five-run ball the second time. However, three of those runs came from a homer by Scott Rolen, who has since moved on to Cincinnati.

With a (hopefully) awakening giant of an offense behind him, the under-appreciated Niemann is your man next week.

Deep League Pick (Owned <10%)
Justin Masterson
Masterson has recently returned to starting after being traded to Cleveland, and after a few adventurous outings to stretch him out, he fired 6.1 innings of no-run ball against second-half offensive alpha-dogs, the Angels.

His first opponent next week, Kansas City has been woeful, tied for third-least runs scored in the bigs this season (they’re tied with the Giants, so that should tell you something). Also, they recently sent down former sexy prospect Alex Gordon to further help opposition pitchers.

His second opponent, Baltimore, has a pretty average offense. The Orioles’ downfall has been their pitching, which has leaked to the tune of an MLB-worst 5.07 ERA. Masterson will face rookie Brian Matusz, who is yet to register a quality start in four outings.

With the tasty combo of 50+% ground balls and 8+ K/9, Masterson should be a solid pick to put you over the top.

Daniel Wilson is a 27 year old New Zealand born, Australian living, Oakland fan. He is currently clock-watching for another 10 days, then he will be boarding a plane for the US of A.You can catch up with Daniel in the Cafe's forums where he posts under the name of AussieDodger.
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