The 2012 season is already underway and has featured many quality starts so far. In the NL, Kyle Lohse, Tommy Hanson, Johan Santana, Roy Halladay, Erik Bedard, Stephen Strasburg, Ryan Dempster and Johnny Cueto have all given up one or less runs in their first starts.
For those of you in weekly or head-to-head leagues, decision time is looming for your starters for next week. Here’s a look at the two start pitchers and those with favorable matchups for week 2 for the NL.
Two Start Pitchers
Clayton Kershaw: 4/10 vs Pit; 4/15 vs SD
Cole Hamels: 4/9 vs Mia; 4/15 vs NYM
Shaun Marcum: 4/9 @ ChC; 4/14 @ Atl
Kershaw should be in your starting lineup at all times, but especially when facing the likes of Pittsburgh and San Diego. Hamels gets to square off against a rebuilding Mets team and a Marlins team that has started slowly out of the gate. Marcum gets to face the AAA Cubs and an Atlanta team that recently has not been known for its offense.
Not too shabby
Brandon Beachy: 4/9 @ Hou; 4/15 vs Mil
Trevor Cahill: 4/10 @ SD; 4/15 @ Col
Jhoulys Chacin: 4/9 vs SF; 4/15 vs Ari
Kevin Correia: 4/10 @ LAD; 4/15 @ SF
Edwin Jackson: 4/9 @ NYM; 4/14 vs Cin
Mike Leake: 4/10 vs Stl; 4/15 @ Was
Mike Pelfrey: 4/9 vs Was; 4/15 @ Phi
Anibal Sanchez: 4/9 @ Phi; 4/15 vs Hou
Jake Westbrook: 4/9 @ Cin; 4/14 vs Chi
All of these pitchers have at least one start against a shaky offense or have pitched well against their opponents in the past. I particularly like the matchups for Beachy and Chacin.
Shaky at best
Homer Bailey: 4/9 vs Stl; 4/14 @ Was
Ross Detwiler: 4/10 @ NYM; 4/15 vs Cin
J.A. Happ: 4/9 vs Atl; 4/15 @ Mia
Paul Maholm: 4/10 vs Mil; 4/15 @ Stl
Chris Narveson: 4/10 vs ChC; 4/15 @ Atl
Chris Volstad: 4/9 vs Mil; 4/14 @ Stl
Barry Zito: 4/9 @ Col; 4/14 vs Pit
Most of these guys are just not strong enough pitchers to take a chance on or are too inconsistent to rely on. Its best to avoid them or risk getting burned.
Other Favorable Matchups
Tommy Hanson: 4/11 @ Hou
Pretty much any pitcher against the Astros is a favorable matchup, but considering that Hanson has a career 0.97 ERA against them, its especially so.
Roy Halladay: 4/11 vs Mia
Halladay is a good start against practically everyone and with a career 2.51 ERA against the Marlins, there is no reason to sit him.
Ian Kennedy: 4/12 @ SD
Kennedy holds a career ERA of 2.01 against the Padres and benefits from pitching in Petco for this matchup.
Not only do Nolasco and Zambrano get to face the lowly Astros, but they get to do so in their home park, which is already getting a reputation as a pitchers’ park.
Coming up we’ll take a look at the AL pitchers’ matchups.