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NL Pitching Planner: May 28 – June 3

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NL Pitching Planner: May 28 – June 3

Posted on 29 May 2012 by Mark Sherrard

We’re heading into Week 9 of the season, one third of the way home and the NL two-fers feature some quality youngsters, some lefties and at least one veteran having a comeback year.

So let’s get right to it, here are the NL two-start pitchers and favorable matchups for Week 9:

Two-Start Pitchers

No-Brainers

Tommy Hanson:  5/28 vs STL; 6/3 @ WAS – he has fared well against STL (2.25 ERA) and the Nats (3.48 ERA)

Cole Hamels: 5/28 @ NYM; 6/3 vs MIA – 7-1 with a 2.17 ERA, what more do you need?

Jordan Zimmermann: 5/28 @ MIA; 6/3 vs ATL – for the Nats, pitching is not a problem

James McDonald: 5/28 vs CIN; 6/3 @ MIL – he has made a believer out of me.  Can the Pirates score any runs though?

Results

Week 6 – 10 GS, 6 QS, 6 W, 64.2 IP, 75 H+BB, 59 K’s, 19 ER, 2.64 ERA, 1.16 whip

YTD – 39 GS, 30 QS, 14 W, 263.2 IP, 281 H+BB, 242 K’s, 75 ER, 2.66 ERA, 1.11 whip

Not Too Shabby

Lance Lynn: 5/28 @ ATL; 6/3 @ NYM -  3 straight starts giving up 3 runs or more

Wandy Rodriguez: 5/28 @ COL; 6/2 vs CIN – Coors has not been kind to pitchers this year

Trevor Cahill: 5/28 @ SF; 6/3 @ SD – Cahill owns the Giants (2.16 career ERA) and the Padres can’t hit

Shaun Marcum: 5/28 @ LAD; 6/2 vs PIT – the Pirates are the only team worse than the Padres

Jonathon Niese: 5/28 vs PHI; 6/3 vs STL – has fared well against the Phillies (3.58 ERA) and Cards (2.63 ERA)

Carlos Zambrano: 5/28 vs WAS; 6/3 @ PHI – comeback kid had first poor start of season against Rockies last time out

Juan Nicasio: 5/28 vs HOU; 6/2 vs LAD – strikeout rate is up, but so is hit rate and walk rate

Aaron Harang: 5/28 vs MIL; 6/2 @ COL – Coors makes me nervous, so tread carefully

Bronson Arroyo: 5/28 @ PIT; 6/3 @ HOU – a couple favorable matchups for the Reds righty

Results

Week 6 – 33 GS, 17 QS, 7 W, 200.0 IP, 278 H+BB, 151 K’s, 102 ER, 4.59 ERA, 1.39 whip

YTD – 136 GS, 83 QS, 48 W, 844.1 IP, 1062 H+BB, 647 K’s, 337 ER, 3.59 ERA, 1.26 whip

Risky at Best

Barry Zito: 5/28 vs ARI; 6/3 vs CHC – after strong April, the wheels are starting to fall off

Jeff Suppan: 5/28 @ CHC; 6/3 vs ARI – you have to be really desperate to consider using this guy

Travis Wood: 5/28 vs SD; 6/3 @ SF – Chris Volstad‘s replacement is only marginally better

Results

Week 6 – 12 GS, 7 QS, 3 W, 66.2 IP, 96 H+BB, 50 K’s, 31 ER, 4.18 ERA, 1.44 whip

YTD – 49 GS, 27 QS, 13 @, 293.2 IP, 396 H+BB, 205 K’s, 147 ER, 4.51 ERA, 1.35 whip

Other Favorable Matchups

Going forward, I will be focusing here on pitchers who are less than 50% owned in CBS leagues (and therefore likely available on your waiver wire).

Homer Bailey (25% owned): 5/29 @ PIT

He owns a 5-0 record and 1.94 career ERA against the Pirates

Lucas Harrell (8% owned): 5/30 @ COL

Risky, I know, but Harrell shut out the Rockies over 7 innings in his first start of the year

Jeremy Guthrie (10% owned): 5/31 vs HOU

1-0 with a 2.40 ERA against Astros in his career, albeit in a small sample size (15.0 IP)

Paul Maholm (15% owned): 6/1 @ SF

2-1 with a 3.10 ERA against the Giants in his career (52.1 IP)

Results

Week 6 – 2 GS, 1 QS, 1 W, 12.0 IP, 17 H+BB, 14 K’s, 6 ER, 4.50 ERA, 1.42 whip

YTD – 20 GS, 13 QS, 12 W, 126.1 IP, 152 H+BB, 124 K’s, 42 ER, 2.99 ERA, 1.20 whip

AL is up next.

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NL Pitching Planner: April 30 – May 6

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NL Pitching Planner: April 30 – May 6

Posted on 30 April 2012 by Mark Sherrard

Pitchers are a fickle breed. One week they can dominate, the next they get shelled. Our jobs as fantasy players (and writers) is to guess which weeks they will be good. Its an educated guess, but its still just a guess.

Starting this week, I will be posting the prior results for each category of pitchers listed below, for the most recently completed week(s) and year-to-date, so you (and I) can see my track record.

Here are the two-start pitchers and those with favorable matchups for week 5 in the NL:

Two-Start Pitchers

No-Brainers

Matt Cain:  5/1 vs MIA; 5/6 vs MIL – Cain is living up to his big contract so far

Cole Hamels: 5/1 @ ATL; 5/6 @ WAS – only 3 walks in 4 starts this year

Jordan Zimmermann: 5/1 vs ARI; 5/6 vs PHI – the Nats other ace has a sparkling 1.33 ERA so far

No-Brainers results

Week 2 – 6 GS, 4 QS, 2 W, 35.1 IP, 32 H+BB, 41 K’s, 11 ER, 2.80 ERA, 0.91 whip

Week 3 – 10 GS, 9 QS, 4 W, 65 IP, 79 H+BB, 60 K’s, 17 ER, 2.35 ERA, 1.22 whip

YTD – 16 GS, 13 QS, 6 W, 100.1 IP, 111 H+BB, 101 K’s, 28 ER, 2.51 ERA, 1.11 whip

Not too shabby

Bronson Arroyo:  5/1 vs CHC; 5/6 @ PIT – has pitched well and gets to face lowly Cubs and Pirates

Brandon Beachy:  5/1 vs PHI; 5/6 @ COL – only concern is his start at Coors (11.57 ERA in only start)

Mark Buehrle:  4/30 vs ARI; 5/5 @ SD – still looking for some run support

Trevor Cahill: 5/1 @ WAS; 5/6 @ NYM – has been shaky in his last two starts (4 ER apiece)

R.A. Dickey:  4/30 @ HOU; 5/6 vs ARI – solid in his last start and gets to face the punchless Astros.

James McDonald:  4/30 @ ATL; 5/5 vs CIN – flying under the radar (18% owned in CBS) despite good start (2.79 ERA)

Mike Minor:  4/30 vs PIT; 5/5 @ COL – again, beware of Coors, but has pitched well so far

Charlie Morton:  5/1 @ STL; 5/6 vs CIN – has pitched well, but two difficult matchups

Juan Nicasio:  4/30 vs LAD; 5/6 vs ATL – beware of Matt Kemp

Ricky Nolasco:  5/1 @ SF; 5/6 @ SD – below average pitcher against weak hitting teams

Jeff Samardzija: 4/30 @ PHI; 5/5 vs LAD – may finally have learned to harness his stuff (only 8 walks in 4 starts)

Joe Wieland:  4/30 vs MIL; 5/6 vs MIA – has bounced back well after rough rookie debut

Randy Wolf:  4/30 @ SD; 5/5 @ SF – favorable matchups for the veteran lefty

Vance Worley:  4/30 vs CHC; 5/5 @ WAS – last year’s surprise rookie continues to impress

Not too shabby results

Week 2 – 18 GS, 12 QS, 7 W, 109.2 IP, 125 H+BB, 78 K’s, 31 ER, 2.55 ERA, 1.14 whip

Week 3 – 22 GS, 15 QS, 8 W, 140 IP, 158 H+BB, 110 K’s, 45 ER, 2.89 ERA, 1.13 whip

YTD – 40 GS, 27 QS, 15 W, 249.2 IP, 283 H+BB, 188 K’s, 76 ER, 2.74 ERA, 1.13 whip

Risky at best

Josh Collmenter:  4/30 @ MIA; 5/5 @ NYM – may be sent to the pen

J.A. Happ:  4/30 vs NYM; 5/6 vs STL – 4.70 ERA on the season and has to face the Cardinals offense

Aaron Harang:  4/30 @ COL; 5/6 @ CHC – 5.16 ERA so far and has to go to Coors (6.08 career ERA)

Chris Volstad:  5/1 @ CIN; 5/6 vs LAD – 6.14 ERA screams stay away

Risky at best results

Week 2 – 14 GS, 6 QS, 4 W, 77.2 IP, 99 H+BB, 56 K’s, 40 ER, 4.63 ERA, 1.27 whip

Week 3 -8 GS, 5 QS, 3 W, 53.1 IP, 71 H+BB, 31 K’s, 27 ER, 4.56 ERA, 1.33 whip

YTD – 22 GS, 11 QS, 7 W, 131 IP, 170 H+BB, 87 K’s, 67 ER, 4.60 ERA, 1.30 whip

Other Favorable Matchups

Jonathon Niese:  5/1 @ HOU

Niese has pitched well so far this year and is 1-1 with a 1.80 ERA in his career against the Astros.

Roy Halladay: 5/2 @ ATL

Doc is 4-1 with a 1.78 ERA in his career against the Braves

Johnny Cueto: 5/4 @ PIT

Cueto is 10-3 with a 2.70 ERA against the Pirates

Johan Santana: 5/5 vs ARI

Santana owns the Diamondback to the tune of 2-0 with a minuscule 0.62 ERA against

Other favorable matchups results

Week 2 – 4 GS, 2 QS, 3 W, 23 IP, 28 H+BB, 23 K’s, 6 ER, 2.35 ERA, 1.22 whip

Week 3 – 5 GS, 3 QS, 3 W, 29.2 IP, 35 H+BB, 24 K’s, 8 ER, 2.43 ERA, 1.18 whip

YTD – 9 GS, 5 QS, 6 W, 52.2 IP, 63 H+BB, 47 K’s, 14 ER, 2.40 ERA, 1.20 whip

Up next, I’ll take a look at the AL matchups for week 5.

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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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Fantasy’s Biggest Winners And Losers Of The Offseason

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Fantasy’s Biggest Winners And Losers Of The Offseason

Posted on 07 February 2012 by Mark Sherrard

The Hot Stove is cooling down and fantasy baseball season is right around the corner.  With many fantasy owners starting to prepare for their drafts, here is a look at some of the biggest winners and losers of this offseason.

WINNERS

Yonder Alonso – Stuck behind Joey Votto in Cincinnati and incapable of playing left field, Alonso escaped his own personal purgatory when the Reds traded him to San Diego for Mat Latos.  After hitting .293/.370/.466 in 4 minor league seasons and .299/.354/.479 in 117 at bats in the majors, Alonso will finally get a chance to show what he can do.

Edinson Volquez – Another player whom the Reds sent over to the Padres as part of the Mat Latos trade, Volquez’ value immediately gets a boost as a result of pitching in Petco Park.  Volquez gave up 19 homeruns in just 108.2 innings pitched last year.  If Petco can help cut that total in half and he cuts down on his walks, he has a good chance to push his ERA under 4.00 for the first time since 2008.

Jarrod Parker/Brad Peacock/Tom Milone – Acquired by the A’s as part of the trades of Trevor Cahill and Gio Gonzalez, at least two of these 3 pitchers should step into the A’s rotation immediately.  With Dallas Braden and Matt Anderson injured, its possible all 3 will start the year in the rotation.  Parker and Peacock have the most upside of the 3 and all of them got a cup of coffee in the bigs last year.  Expect all of them to see significant time in the majors in 2012.

New Closers – Due to trades and free agency, Matt Thornton, Rafael Betancourt and one of Grant Balfour/Fautino De Los Santos/Joey Devine will be stepping into the closer role in 2012.

Thornton saved 3 games for the White Sox in 2011 and takes over for Sergio Santos, who was traded to the Blue Jays.

Betancourt filled in as closer for an injured Houston Street in 2011, saving 8 games.  With Street traded to San Diego, the closer job is Betancourt’s to lose.

Finally, with the trade of Andrew Bailey to Boston, either Balfour, De Los Santos or Devine will assume the role in 2012.

LOSERS

Ryan Braun – Although nothing has been decided yet, Braun’s value could take a serious hit if his 50 game suspension for the use of performance enhancing drugs is upheld.  Braun has appealed and maintains his innocence, but to date no player has ever won an appeal.

Carlos Quentin – Acquired by the Pares from the White Sox, Quentin moves from one of the better hitters’ parks to one of the worst.  After hitting .288 in 2008 with 36 homeruns for the White Sox, Quentin has hit only .245 with an average of about 24 homeruns the last 3 years.  Both numbers could drop even lower in 2012.

Aging Veterans – It appears that teams are starting to realize that they can get the same productivity out of some young rookies that they would get from an over 35 veteran.  As a result, players like Johnny Damon, Vlad Guerrero, Raul Ibanez and Hideki Matsui are still looking for work, while others, like J.D. Drew, Milton Bradley and David Eckstein are considering retirement.

Former Closers – Since there are winners in the closing shuffle, there has to be losers as well.  This year’s losers are Mark Melancon, Juan Carlos Oviedo (formerly Leo Nunez), Francisco Cordero and Francisco Rodriguez.

After saving 20 games for the Astros in 2011, Melancon was traded to the Red Sox and was considered a replacement for the departed Jonathan Papelbon up until the Red Sox acquired AnDrew Bailey.

Caught for identify fraud, Oviedo’s status for the beginning of 2012 is still up in the air.  However, one thing is for certain, with the Marlins signing Heath Bell this offseason, Oviedo is no longer the closer.

Cordero saved 37 games for the Reds last season, but struggled to find a job this winter.  He finally signed a 1-year deal with Toronto, where he will set up Sergio Santos.

After being traded to the Brewers mid-season, Rodriguez surprised them by accepting arbitration this winter.  Unlikely to receive more on the open market, Rodriguez accepted a setup role with the Brewers.  The Brewers avoided arbitration with Rodriguez by signing him to a 1-year, $8 million contract and could still try to trade him.

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