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May 17, 2013 posted by Matthew Dewoskin

Fantasy Baseball Singles Only: Week 7 Edition

Fantasy Baseball Singles Only: Week 7 Edition
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David Price is on the DL with triceps strain. Roy Halladay is out with a trifecta of bad in his right arm/shoulder. Jered Weaver is starting a rehab assignment, but was pitching like a guy on his way to the Long Island Ducks before the injury. Brett Anderson was seen shrugging his shoulders the last time he was asked when he would be returning.

Injuries to pitchers can cripple a fantasy season. Fantasy GMs tend to write in pencil when building their teams. The thought process is something along the lines of “Well, pencil this guy in for 200+ innings, 200+ K’s and an anchor for my ratios.” So what do you do when you have to turn the pencil over and use the eraser? What do you do when those 200+ innings wind up only being 100 innings or 50 innings?

It’s time to take a look at what happens when drafting pitchers goes wrong and how to recover in this week’s edition of Singles Only.

Going out and signing the guy replacing your injured ace is usually a terrible idea. Sure, the Reds replaced Johnny Cueto with Tony Cingrani. Cingrani has thrown surprisingly well in his first five big league starts. He’s rocking an 11.89 K/9 with a 2.89 ERA and 0.96 WHIP in 28 innings.

Cingrani is the exception. Rookie pitchers are to fantasy baseball what junk bonds are to stock. Sometimes investors get lucky, but rookies tend to kill ratios more often than not. There is usually a dozen Hiram Burgoses or Wily Peraltas for every Tony Cingrani. It’s best to steer clear unless you’re in a super deep league.

There’s a reason the replacement was in the minor leagues and it’s usually not because they were awesome at pitching. Brett Anderson was replaced by Dan Straily. Dan Straily currently owns an ERA over 7.00. The Angels have tried to fill holes in their rotation with Jerome Williams, Barry Enright and Garrett Richards. None of those guys should be owned in your standard 12-team mixed league. Halladay was replaced by John Lannan and Tyler Cloyd.

If you’re in a weekly league, one strategy is to work the wire and add a couple two-start pitchers. This is a gamble. It might look like a good idea to start Nick Tepesch against the Cubs on the road and then getting a second Tepesch start against the Astros, but the first half of that idea went terribly. Two-start guys available on the waiver wire need to be handled like bombs. It’s possible to luck into a Zach McAllister ( a win and a decent start against Oakland at home and Detroit on the road), but you could very well end up with a Straily (lit up in two starts last week).

Fantasy GMs need to keep one team in mind when hunting for K’s; the Houston Astros. No, it’s not a good idea to add guys like Lucas Harrell or Dallas Keuchel when hunting for K’s, but the Astros offense is averaging 10 K’s per game. That’s 10 strikeouts in an average game. Even Nick Tepesch went six innings with eight strikeouts against that bunch.

Looking for a quality start? Have you met the Miami Marlins? They have a .609 OPS as a team and their best hitter won’t be back until mid-June. They’re averaging less than three runs per game. The Los Angeles Angels have been insanely disappointing this year and they are able to average over four runs per game.

A case could be made to start just about anyone against the Astros or Marlins. These two teams are historically awful and fantasy GMs should take advantage. Especially fantasy GMs who might have an available roster spot.

It’s almost that time of year when pitchers whose arms blew up last year make their triumphant return to the major leagues. Matt Garza, Brandon Beachy, John Danks and Colby Lewis should be back in the big league level at some point in the next few weeks. Any of these recovering pitchers could string together a few useful starts while waiting for an injured guy to return to the lineup.

One other strategy worth mentioning is rolling with a reliever with a high strikeout percentage instead of tossing in a mediocre starting pitcher. A guy like Trevor Rosenthal will probably throw a few innings a week and strike out more than a batter per inning. Rosenthal is currently whiffing 32.6% of all the hitters he faces. He’ll probably give your more K’s in a week than a guy like Mark Buerhle will. Other relievers worth looking at are Steve Delabar, Jesse Crain and Sean Doolittle.

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