Welcome back to Double Dipper! We took a hiatus in 2010, but we’re back and (hopefully) better than ever for the 2011 season. In this column (posted every Saturday), we examine the best two-start pitching options in the upcoming week and make a few smart picks to give your fantasy team the edge.
Because of the new Thursday Opening Day format, many leagues are engaging in extra long Week 1 battles, and some aces will get the benefit of making three starts in the first “week” of competition. CC Sabathia owners rejoice! For our purposes, we’re only featuring pitchers that are scheduled to appear twice over the standard Monday-to-Sunday league week.
CC Sabathia, NYY (vs MIN, @ BOS)
Cole Hamels, PHI (vs NYM, @ ATL)
Yovani Gallardo, MIL (vs ATL, vs CHC)
Other Double Dippers
|Pitcher||Start 1||Start 2||% Owned|
|Josh Beckett (BOS)||@ CLE||vs NYY||89%|
|Derek Lowe (ATL)||@ MIL||vs PHI||50%|
|Gavin Floyd (CWS)||@ KC||vs TB||49%|
|Anibal Sanchez (FLA)||vs WAS||@ HOU||45%|
|Scott Baker (MIN)||@ NYY||vs OAK||29%|
|Erik Bedard (SEA)||@ TEX||vs CLE||29%|
|Brian Duensing (MIN)||@ NYY||vs OAK||22%|
|Dallas Braden (OAK)||@ TOR||@ MIN||21%|
|J.A. Happ (HOU)||@ CIN||vs FLA||18%|
|Chris Young (NYM)||@ PHI||vs WAS||17%|
|Derek Holland (TEX)||vs SEA||@ BAL||16%|
|Brandon Beachy (ATL)||@ MIL||vs PHI||13%|
|James McDonald (PIT)||@ STL||vs COL||11%|
|Ivan Nova (NYY)||vs MIN||@ BOS||11%|
|Jeff Niemann (TB)||vs LAA||@ CWS||10%|
|Rick Porcello (DET)||@ BAL||vs KC||7%|
|Aaron Harang (SD)||vs SF||vs LAD||5%|
|Randy Wells (CHC)||vs ARI||@ MIL||5%|
|Mike Leake (CIN)||vs HOU||@ ARI||3%|
|Chris Narveson (MIL)||vs ATL||vs CHC||3%|
|Kyle Lohse (STL)||vs PIT||@ SF||2%|
|Luke Hochevar (KC)||vs CWS||at DET||2%|
|Jason Hammel (COL)||vs LAD||at PIT||2%|
|Jake Arrieta (BAL)||vs DET||vs TEX||1%|
|Barry Enright (ARI)||@ CHC||vs CIN||1%|
|Josh Tomlin (CLE)||vs BOS||@ SEA||1%|
|Jason Marquis (WAS)||@ FLA||@ NYM||0%|
|Jo-Jo Reyes (TOR)||vs OAK||@ LAA||0%|
|Charlie Morton (PIT)||@ STL||vs COL||0%|
Mixed League Pick
Anibal Sanchez (FLA)
While Sanchez doesn’t bring the Cy Young potential of Josh Johnson or the fantasy upside of Ricky Nolasco to the table, he’s still proven to be quite the fantasy commodity. Last season the Marlins pitched enjoyed his first full season in the bigs after years marred with injury troubles, and his good health translated into 13 wins, a 3.55 ERA and 157 Ks in 195 innings.
Fantasy teams still aren’t completely sold that Sanchez can maintain his bill of good health, leaving him unowned in over half of Yahoo leagues. That’s a mistake that shouldn’t be made, at least for this first week of the season. Sanchez gets to face the Nationals and Astros in Week 1, two teams he’s absolutely dominated in his career. He’s 5-0 in 13 starts against Washington and the owner of a sparkling 2.28 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in 79 innings in those games. He’s fared even better against the Astros, with a 3-0 record in four starts as well as a 0.70 ERA and 1.01 WHIP in 25.2 innings. Pick Sanchez up this week and you have over 100 elite innings of history on your side.
Alexi Ogando (TEX)
The converted reliever gets a cake matchup against the Mariners in his first game before traveling to Baltimore to take on the Orioles. While I do worry about his IP count after dealing with a fluid role on the Rangers all spring, the plus matchup against Seattle is too nice to ignore.
Update: Ogando and Derek Holland have been flipped in the rotation, leaving Ogando with just one start. Holland makes for an excellent Double Dipper as well and is recommended for owners that can’t use Sanchez.
Deep League Pick
Aaron Harang (SD)
After posting back-to-back 16-win campaigns in 2006 and 2007 while striking out a combined 434 batters over those two years, Harang looked like a rock-solid fantasy option heading into 2008. He’s been anything but, notching just six wins per year over the last three seasons while racking up 38 losses. After his brutal 2010 campaign, in which he cobbled together a 5.32 ERA and 1.59 WHIP in 111.2 innings, Harang seemed safe to write off in fantasy leagues at this point in his career.
Then a funny thing happened: the Padres came calling, signing Harang to a contract, sticking him into the rotation and somehow managing to give him a little bit of fantasy value. He hasn’t looked very good in spring training, with the Brewers clobbering the veteran in his final spring start, but when Harang throws two games in Petco Park in a given week, fantasy owners must take notice. This week he’ll face a couple of solid offenses, but the huge home-park advantage is enough to use him anyway.
Kyle Lohse (STL)
Lohse was awful in 2010 for the Cardinals, but he managed to put together a good spring (minus his last start) and build a little momentum heading into the season. He has a very nice matchup against the Pirates at the beginning of the week before hitting the road to face San Francisco.
R.J. White is the head editor at the Cafe, writes for FanDuel and has previously written for FanHouse. Catch up with him in the forums under the name daullaz. Follow him on Twitter; don't follow him in real life.
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