StrategySeptember 5, 2009

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Double Dipper: Penny is Money

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. Yikes, last week’s pick, Derek Holland, was a massive disappointment in his first start as he gave up 10 runs in three innings (3 IP, 7 hits, 10 ER, 3 BB, 1 K). Hopefully nobody had playoff hopes crushed by that start. Anyone who decided to start Tim Hudson, however, would have enjoyed a pretty good debut that ended in a win (5.1 IP, 6 hits, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 Ks). Hopefully, Holland can bounce back a bit against the Orioles to lessen the hurt he put on anyone who started him for the week. Meanwhile, Hudson’s start against the lowly Reds should be a nice bonus to anyone who had the faith to get him in their rotation against the Marlins.

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
Scott Richmondvs MIN@DET16%
Clayton Richard*@SFvs COL6%
Brad Pennyvs SDvs LAD11%
Brian Bannistervs DET@CLE11%
Pedro Martinez@WASvs NYM31%
John Lannan*vs PHI@FLA9%
Ricky Romero*vs MIN@DET45%


Mixed League Pick
Brad Penny
So it’s a homer pick, but Penny definitely impressed in his debut with the Giants, throwing eight shutout innings against the best offense in the National League in their bandbox of a ballpark. One of the more important aspects of his outing was the velocity he showed, hitting 97 on the gun in the first inning and sitting in the 94-95 zone for most of the game. While he only struck out two batters in the outing, he managed to induce 13 groundballs, which let to two double plays and kept Penny out of trouble throughout the game.

Despite a poor season in the AL East, Penny still maintains some value to fantasy managers now that he’s back in the comfort of the NL West. With a BABIP of .336 and a LOB% of 65.5%, it seems like Penny ran into a bit of bad luck while pitching with the Red Sox. Those numbers should regress back toward his career .305 BABIP and 71% LOB%, which in turn should help Penny’s overall numbers. Moving to AT&T will most definitely help to prevent home runs and facing pitchers instead of designated hitters is a huge bonus and should increase his strikeout rate.

This week Penny begins by facing the weakest offense he can face in the Padres (since he obviously can’t face the Giants), followed by the Dodgers who have the 21st best OPS in baseball since the All-Star break at .744. Both starts will be at his new home in San Francisco where the Giants have a record of 44-21, the best in the National League. Penny has let it be known that he’s still got a chip on his shoulder against the Dodgers, and he should be on the top of his game when he faces them, as he feels like he has something to prove.

Second Option
Pedro Martinez
Despite Pedro’s last start being against the absolutely terrible Giants’ offense, he still impressed hitting 92 MPH and averaging in the 88-89 MPH range. He now has a 23/4 K/BB ratio over 23 innings this year and a solid 3.74 FIP. With two starts this week against the Nationals and injury-plagued Mets, Pedro is a good bet to put together a solid week. He could easily nail down a couple of wins with the Phillies lineup behind him, and decent ratios to go along with about a strikeout an inning are pretty likely given the match ups. It’s unlikely he stays unowned in many leagues after his outing against the Giants so pick him up while you still can and get him in your rotation for the playoffs.

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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