StrategyAugust 29, 2009

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Double Dipper: Texas Rookie Rolling

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 I was away for the weekend and had AussieDodger fill in for me, a mistake a promise to never make again (I kid). Jeff Niemann had a rough start but managed to pull out a win (6.1 IP, 8 hits, 5 ERs, 3 BBs, 3 Ks), and Justin Masterson struggled against the Royals without much to redeem the start other than a few strikeouts (6 IP, 7 hits, 4 ERs, 2 BBs, 4 Ks). We’ll see if the two can turn it around in their second starts of 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
Tim Hudson@FLAvs CIN12%
Jeremy Guthrievs NYYvs TEX13%
Derek Holland*vs TOR@BAL24%
Joe Saunders*@SEA@KC16%
Doug Davis*@LAD@COL16%
Paul Maholm*@CINvs STL24%
Anibal Sanchezvs ATL@WAS5%
Jonathan Sanchez*@PHI@MIL49%
Tim Wakefield@TB@CWS30%
Mike Pelfrey@COLvs CHC30%
Trevor Cahillvs KCvs SEA4%


Mixed League Pick
Derek Holland
Coming into the season, Holland was a top-four prospect in one of the most talent filled farm systems in baseball. While he hasn’t exactly dominated since his major league debut, there is a lot to like about how Holland has pitched recently. Looking past his last start where he faced the powerhouse Yankees offense in New York, Holland had won his last three starts and four of his last five. Included in that five-game stretch is an 8.2-inning, 10-strikeout performance and a complete game shutout in which he struck out eight. In those five starts, Holland has a 1.85 ERA, 0.91 WHIP and 28 strikeouts to eight walks in 34 innings pitched. As a 22-year-old in his first major league season, it seems like Holland may finally be settling down and showing some of the potential he has shown in the minors.

Next week, Holland will be facing the Blue Jays in Texas followed by the Orioles in Baltimore. After a solid first half for the Toronto offense, they’ve slowed down quite a bit since the All-Star break and are tied for 20th in baseball with a .754 team OPS. Meanwhile, Baltimore has maintained a pretty average offense throughout the season, but have struggled quite a bit against lefties posting a .700 OPS against them. While it’s not a perfect scenario, the match ups seem to favor Holland and with the Rangers playing good ball right in the middle of the wild card race, Holland could easily snag a win or two. With a solid strikeout rate (7.10 K/9) and good command (2.89 BB/9), Holland already has begun to show the tools it takes to be a successful major league starter. Right now his tendency to give up the long ball is what plagues him, but as his 15% HR/FB regresses back to the normal 10%, the home run rate should go down and with it, his ERA.

Keep an Eye On
Tim Hudson
Next week, Tim Hudson makes his return to the majors after missing over a year after having elbow surgery. Hudson has arguably the easiest match ups of any two-start pitcher this week going up against a pretty average offense in Florida followed by the Reds, one of the league’s worst offenses, at home in Atlanta. I’d probably shy away from Hudson unless you’re really digging for help as it’s been quite awhile since he has faced major league batters. Still, he’s probably the best option of the remaining pitchers on that list, though that really isn’t saying much.

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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