StrategyApril 16, 2011

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Double Dipper: Twin Killing

By R.J. White

Last week in the Double Dipper we picked Michael Pineda, the exciting Seattle rookie whose ownership numbers were lagging behind his ability. He did what was expected of him in his first start, limiting the Blue Jays to two runs (one earned) on five hits and two walks in 7.1 innings while striking out seven batters and picking up a win. He’s now owned in 47 percent of Yahoo leagues (a 15 percent jump since our endorsement), and that number should continue to rise after he faces the Royals on Sunday. We took Kyle McClellan as our second option, and he also secured a one-run victory, though with seven hits and four walks in six innings, it certainly wasn’t pretty. He faces the Dodgers next.

For our deep league picks, we liked Jeff Francis to continue his solid start, and while he matched his earned run total for the season to date in his start against Twins, that still only meant three runs allowed in seven innings of work in a no-decision. He’s up against the Mariners on Sunday. Our second deep-league pick was Esmil Rogers, who was lucky to pick up a win after matching McClellan with seven hits and four walks. Unfortunately his next start isn’t coming till Monday, so we’ll miss the benefit of a Double Dipper there. However, a win is a win.

Ready for next week’s Double Dippers?


Roy Halladay, PHI (vs MIL, @ SD)
Josh Johnson, FLA (vs PIT, vs COL)
Cliff Lee, PHI (vs MIL, @ SD)
Tim Lincecum, SF (@ COL, vs ATL)
David Price, TB (vs CWS, @ TOR)
Ubaldo Jimenez, COL (vs SF, @ FLA)
Brett Anderson, OAK (vs BOS, @ SEA)
Edwin Jackson, CWS (@TB, @ DET)
Shaun Marcum, MIL (@ PHI, vs HOU)
John Danks, CWS (@TB, @ DET)
Max Scherzer, DET (@ SEA, vs CWS)
Francisco Liriano, MIN (@ BAL, vs CLE)
Ricky Romero, TOR (@ BOS, vs TB)
Hiroki Kuroda, LAD (vs ATL, @ CHC)

Other Double Dippers

PitcherStart 1Start 2% Owned
Tim Hudson (ATL)@ LAD@ SF91%
Wandy Rodriguez (HOU)vs NYM@ MIL81%
Colby Lewis (TEX)@ LAAvs KC77%
Ted Lilly (LAD)vs ATL@ CHC77%
Ervin Santana (LAA)@ TEXvs BOS75%
James Shields (TB)vs CWS@ TOR64%
Carlos Zambrano (CHC)vs SD@ LAD63%
Carl Pavano (MIN)@ BALvs CLE51%
John Lackey (BOS)@ OAK@ LAA47%
Travis Wood (CIN)vs PIT@ STL46%
Tim Stauffer (SD)@ CHCvs PHI39%
Brandon Beachy (ATL)@ LAD@ SF19%
Fausto Carmona (CLE)@ KC@ MIN17%
Kevin Correia (PIT)@ CINvs WAS15%
Jon Niese (NYM)@ HOUvs ARI12%
Esmil Rogers (COL)vs SF@ FLA9%
Daisuke Matsuzaka (BOS)vs TOR@ LAA7%
Jason Vargas (SEA)vs DETvs OAK5%
Sam LeCure (CIN)vs PIT@ STL4%
Jake Westbrook (STL)vs WASvs CIN4%
Chris Tillman (BAL)vs MIN@ NYY4%
Carlos Carrasco (CLE)@ KC@ MIN2%
Doug Fister (SEA)vs DETvs OAK2%
Dustin Moseley (SD)@ CHCvs PHI2%
Jake Arrieta (BAL)vs MIN@ NYY2%
John Lannan (WAS)@ STL@ PIT1%
Paul Maholm (PIT)@ FLAvs WAS1%
Armando Galarraga (ARI)@ CIN@ NYM1%
James Russell (CHC)vs SDvs LAD0%
Kyle Davies (KC)vs CLE@ TEX0%
Matt Palmer (LAA)@ TEXvs BOS0%

Mixed League Pick
Travis Wood (CIN)
Wood was quietly fantastic in his rookie season, going 5-4 in 17 starts while posting a 3.51 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 86:26 K:BB ratio in 102.2 innings. He was still largely dismissed in fantasy leagues, leading him to be currently owned in less than 50 percent of Yahoo leagues. After three starts this season, it looks like Wood’s 2010 may not have been a fluke. Sure, he was bombed in his second start, giving up six runs in five innings in Arizona, but that dud was sandwiched between two brilliant efforts in which he pitched 13.2 total innings, allowed just two runs and three walks, struck out 12 batters and earned his one win of the season.

Wood gets a real treat in his first start of the week, as he’ll face the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pittsburgh offense is one of ups and downs, but the real intrigue to this matchup is that the Pirates have struck out more times than any team in baseball, with 114 Ks in 13 games. In addition, they’re the fourth-worst team in the majors at scoring runs. Since Wood has shown the ability to rack up strikeouts while limiting runs in the past, this seems like the perfect match for him, and a great pitching performance seems inevitable. Unfortunately for Wood, he’ll get the Cardinals in his next start of the week, and the St. Louis offense has been coming on strong in recent days. Still, he’s worth starting if only for the Pittsburgh matchup.

Second Option
Fausto Carmona (CLE)
Carmona has settled in nicely, and while a 6.11 ERA would suggest he’s having a terrible season, his line is still fighting the effects of a ten-run, three-inning effort in his first start. Over his last two games Carmona has given up just two runs, six hits and five walks in 14.2 innings, though he received no run support in either quality start. He faces a solid Royals offense and a terrible Twins team (more on that in a second), and his second start makes him a solid second option.

Deep League Pick
Carlos Carrasco (CLE)
Much like Carmona, Carrasco delivered an awful performance in his first start of the season, allowing seven runs in 6.2 innings. Also like Carmona, he’s managed to rebound nicely, posting quality starts in Seattle and Los Angeles while striking out 11 and walking five in 13 innings.

Carrasco proved last year that he can strike guys out at a very respectable rate, and while his two opponents (the Royals and Twins) this week rank low in the strikeouts category this year, he should manage to total double digits in Ks between the two starts. The real upside comes in the matchup against the Twins, who’ve lost Joe Mauer and have the lowest slugging percentage, OPS and runs scored in the league. In fact, the Twins are the only team to sport an OPS under .600. They’re also the only team to hit less than seven HRs this year, coming in at a pitiful three dingers over their first 13 games. Clearly they’re a team to target with your pitchers, so we’ve done so twice this week.

Second Option
Jason Vargas (SEA)
Despite being lit up by the Indians in his second start, Vargas has always been a guy worth using when he’s at home. Even after allowing seven runs in 3.1 innings in his second start, the Seattle pitcher has posted an excellent 14:2 K:BB ratio this season. In both his other starts in 2011, Vargas has went 6.2 innings while striking out at least six batters and allowing just one walk and one run. I see that trend continuing when he faces the Tigers and A’s at home this week. If Carrasco’s matchup against the Royals has you a little apprehensive with selecting him, feel safe rolling the dice with Vargas.

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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