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NL Pitching Planner:  May 14 – May 20

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NL Pitching Planner: May 14 – May 20

Posted on 13 May 2012 by Mark Sherrard

Will a full slate of games for all NL teams, there is an abundance of two start pitchers to choose from this week.  So, let’s get right to it.  Here are your Week 7 two-start pitchers and favorable matchups:

Two-Start Pitchers

No-brainers

Clayton Kershaw: 5/14 vs ARI; 5/19 vs STL – he should never be on your bench, especially not when he has two starts.

Cliff Lee:  5/15 vs HOU; 5/20 vs BOS – pitched well in return from DL and facing the Astros should help

Zack Greinke:  5/15 @ NYM; 5/19 vs MIN – pitching even better than his 3.35 ERA would indicate

Stephen Strasburg:  5/15 vs SD; 5/20 vs BAL – one of the main reasons the Nats are in first place

Johnny Cueto:  5/15 @ ATL; 5/20 vs NYY – does not strike out a lot of batters, but doesn’t walk many either

No-brainer results

Week 5 – 6 GS, 6 QS, 1 W, 41.1 IP, 48 H+BB, 35 K’s, 13 ER, 2.83 ERA, 1.16 whip

YTD – 23 GS, 20 QS, 7 W, 148.0 IP, 166 H+BB, 143 K’s, 44 ER, 2.68 ERA, 1.12 whip

Not Too Shabby

Tim Lincecum:  5/15 vs COL; 5/20 vs OAK – no longer a no-brainer, but still a solid two-start option

Yovani Gallardo: 5/14 @ NYM; 5/19 vs MIN – a couple bad starts against STL, but has pitched well against everyone else

Ian Kennedy:  5/14 @ LAD; 5/19 @ KC – only really bad start was against STL (sound familiar?)

Josh Johnson: 5/15 vs PIT; 5/20 @ CLE – 4 QS in 7 GS, not exactly ace worthy, but not bad either

Anibal Sanchez: 5/14 vs PIT; 5/19 @ CLE – is he the real ace of the Marlins?

Ryan Dempster: 5/14 vs STL; 5/19 @ CHW – tough matchup against STL, but with a 1.02 ERA so far, I’ll take my chances

Erik Bedard: 5/14 @ MIA; 5/19 @ DET – may be questionable for his 5/14 start with sore back

Kyle Lohse: 5/15 vs CHC; 5/20 @ LAD – keeps getting the job done despite lack of overpowering stuff

Tim Hudson: 5/15 vs CIN; 5/20 @ TB – only poor start was at COL.  Can’t blame him for that.

Ryan Vogelsong: 5/14 vs COL; 5/19 vs OAK – COL doesn’t hit on the road and OAK just doesn’t hit

Jake Westbrook: 5/14 vs CHC; 5/19 @ LAD – has thrown quality starts in 5 of 6 outings so far

Paul Maholm: 5/15 @ STL; 5/20 vs CHW – has strung together 4 straight quality starts, but faces a tough STL lineup

Joe Blanton:  5/14 vs HOU; 5/19 vs BOS – pitching well but faces a resurgent Astros team and struggling Red Sox team

Kevin Correia: 5/15 @ MIA; 5/20 @ DET – won’t strike out many or win many, but won’t kill your ERA or whip

Ross Detwiler: 5/14 vs SD; 5/19 vs BAL – would the Nats really bump him for Chien-Ming Wang?

Anthony Bass: 5/15 @ WAS; 5/20 vs LAA – 2.37 ERA in 87.1 IP, including 2.45 ERA on the road

Wade Miley:  5/15 @ LAD; 5/20 @ KC – has impressed so far after replacing Josh Collmenter in the rotation

Christian Friedrich: 5/15 @ SF; 5/20 vs SEA – a couple nice matchups for the rookie

Not to shabby results

Week 5 – 25 GS, 15 QS, 10 W, 165.0 IP, 222 H+BB, 121 K’s, 78 ER, 4.25 ERA, 1.35 whip

YTD – 87 GS, 58 QS, 34 W, 547.2 IP, 665 H+BB, 414 K’s, 195 ER, 3.20 ERA, 1.21 whip

Risky at Best

Chad Billingsley: 5/15 vs ARI; 5/20 vs STL – has Mattingly lost confidence in him?  Pulled in 4th in last game behind only 3-2

Homer Bailey: 5/14 @ ATL, 5/19 @ NYY – consistently inconsistent

Dillon Gee: 5/15 vs MIL; 5/20 @ TOR – has not done enough to earn my trust yet

Randall Delgado:  5/14 vs CIN; 5/19 @ TB – has bounced back well from rough April, but I’m not convinced yet

Jeff Suppan: 5/14 @ WAS; 5/19 vs LAA – a couple nice starts, but let’s see what he does on the road

Miguel Batista: 5/14 vs MIL; 5/19 @ TOR – should have kept him in the bullpen

Alex White:  5/14 @ SF; 5/19 vs SEA – a couple nice matchups, but needs to prove himself after last year’s 8.42 ERA

Risky at best results

Week 5 – 6 GS, 2 QS, 1 W, 37.0 IP, 58 H+BB, 25 K’s, 24 ER, 5.84 ERA, 1.57 whip

YTD – 31 GS, 15 QS, 9 W, 188.3 IP, 251 H+BB, 127 K’s, 98 ER, 4.68 ERA, 1.33 whip

Other Favorable Matchups

Matt Garza: 5/16 vs PHI

The Cubs ace is 2-1 with an 0.96 ERA against the Phillies

Shaun Marcum: 5/17 @ HOU

Marcum is 2-0 with a 2.52 ERA against the Astros

Cole Hamels: 5/18 vs BOS

Hamels is 3-0 with a career ERA of 1.44 against the Red Sox

Other favorable matchups results

Week 5 – 3 GS, 2 QS, 2 W, 21.3 IP, 29 H+BB, 14 K’s, 12 ER, 5.06 ERA, 1.36 whip

YTD – 14 GS, 8 QS, 9 W, 87.3 IP, 111 H+BB, 74 K’s, 31 ER, 3.19 ERA, 1.27 whip

Up next is the AL.

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NL Pitching Planner:  April 9 – April 15

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NL Pitching Planner: April 9 – April 15

Posted on 07 April 2012 by Mark Sherrard

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

No-Brainers

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.

Ricky Nolasco: 4/13 vs Hou and Carlos Zambrano: 4/14 vs Hou

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.

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How To Get 200 Strikeouts

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How To Get 200 Strikeouts

Posted on 16 February 2012 by Jared Thatcher

Strikeouts are a scoring category in every fantasy baseball league I have ever participated in. Last year I ended up winning one of my ESPN fantasy leagues and one on of the reasons is that I finished first overall in strikeouts. Strikeouts are a hard thing project and sometimes some of the best pitchers in the league don’t even come close to 200 strikeouts in a season. In this article I will show you who struck out over 200 batters last year and who will do it again this year.

Although strikeouts are only one category out of the pitching side of fantasy baseball, it’s always a fun category to win and can greatly help your fantasy team. One little secret to getting lots of strikeouts is having National League pitchers on your staff. This year a few of the more deadly hitters (e.g. Pujols, Fielder) have left the NL and joined AL teams. A National League pitcher faces another pitcher who usually bats ninth in the lineup. These guys are not good at hitting! It’s much easier to strikeout a lineup that has 8 professional hitters and 1 professional pitcher than it is a lineup consisting of 9 professional hitters (one of whom is solely focused on hitting as the DH).

Only 14 pitchers had over 200 Ks last year. Here they are…

Justin Verlander – 250
Clayton Kershaw – 248
Cliff Lee – 238
CC Sabathia – 230
James Sheilds – 225
Felix Hernandez – 222
Roy Halladay – 220
Tim Lincecum – 220
David Price – 218
Yovani Gallardo – 207
C.J. Wilson – 206
Brandon Morrow – 203
Anibal Sanchez – 202
Zack Greinke – 201

Looking at the list it is split exactly in half with seven of the top 14 pitchers being the AL and seven pitching in the NL. The interesting thing is that as you go down the list the number of NL pitchers starts to take over, 10 out of top 20, 17 out of the top 30, and 22 out of the top 40. I realize that these difference are very small but when you get late into the draft, grab NL pitchers for strikeouts.

Now let’s look at who is going to get 200 or more strikeouts in 2012. Most of the guys in the above list will be on it again in 2012 but I do expect more out of Greinke and Sanchez. Morrow might fall under the 200 mark but still should have a ton of Ks. Here are some guys that just missed the list but that might crack 200 this year.

Matt Garza – He had 197 strikeouts in 2011 and should be able to put up even better numbers this year in the middle of his prime.

Jon Lester – 182 strikeouts in 2011 over 31 starts. He should start at least 31 games this year and look for him to get even better in 2012.

Brandon Beachy – He had 169 strikeouts in only 141 innings pitched. If he pitches 180-200 innings in 2012 who knows how many Ks he might throw up!

Tommy Hanson – 142 Ks in 130 innings pitched. If he can stay healthy and pitch 200 innings his numbers could be ridiculous.

Dan Haren – Had a great year in Anaheim but his stuff is much better than the 192 Ks he put up in 2011. With the hype in Anaheim I expect these number to go up.

Now for a couple of guys who are young but have strikeout potential written all over them -

Matt Moore – might be gone in the first round of your draft but he has swing-and-miss stuff and should pile on the Ks this year.

Cory Luebke – He plays in the pitcher friendly NL West and should have no problem racking up the Ks as a starter in 2012.

Filling up your rotation with a couple of these guys that might go lower in the draft will allow you to use the higher draft picks on positions that are super thin ( 3B, 2B/SS) and still have the strikeouts to be competitive in your league.

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