Lots of volatility this time of year. Hang in there, playing the matchups works over time.
- Joe Blanton, @ SF (4/17) & @ SD (4/22) – Stop laughing! Fact is he started throwing a cutter last year, which presumably rubbed off on him from the handful of Hall of Famers next to him in the dugout and generated a spike in GB%. He was solid his first time out in 2012 so the new skills seem real. With two starts, one at AT&T (ugh, San Fran) and PETCO, it’s the perfect time to test the theory in all but the shallowest of formats.
- Jake Arrieta, @ CHW (4/16) & @ LAA (4/21) – Don’t love the matchups. Fair warning, this could be a disaster, but I think he’s in the process of breaking out. In deep mixed or AL-only I say go for it, anything shallower it’s a gut check on your end.
- Joe Saunders, v PIT (4/16) & v ATL (4/21) – I don’t like Saunders – at all. Butâ€¦if you’re a two start whore like myself then the Pirates and Braves are a two start week worth a second look for any pitcher. Saunders is that pitcher. NL-only and really deep mixed he’s in, but don’t even think about it in shallower formats.
- Colby Lewis, @ BOS (4/17) & @ DET (4/22) – Colby Lewis may be a borderline stud. These matchups are tough but remember, good pitching beats good hitting. Don’t let the Sox or Tigers mess with your head, start in all formats.
- Jeff Karstens, @ AZ (4/17) – He’s been around forever and most are convinced he sucks. They may be right in the end. However, over the past two seasons he’s established a K/BB rate of nearly 3 to 1 and an improving GB%. The upside is limited but he’s better than you may think. A decent spot start in deeper formats and a start at least worth monitoring from a far in shallower ones.
- Kevin Millwood, v SD (4/17) & v CHW (4/22) – Oh god, you people can’t hold me to this one – I honestly didn’t even realize he was in Seattle. He has two home starts in Safeco and one is the Padres sans Carlos Quentin. You can start him in deeper formats by holding your nose while you hit “Set Lineup”. Calls like this make me wish I was into hockey.
- Jake Peavy, v BAL (4/18) – For the price, Peavy will do fine this year. He easily handled Detroit today and although we expect improvement from the O’s offense we are willing to be optimistic. A must start in deeper formats and a worthy solution in shallow leagues that need to be a little creative this week.
- Clayton Richard, @ COL (4/18) – He’s a sexy pickup but outside of Petco we are not interested, yet. Pass.
- Derek Lowe, @ SEA (4/18) – It’s been a long time since Lowe has been broadly relevant from a fantasy perspective. Every year it seems like a washed-up pitcher comes back for a last hurrah (see 2011 Bartolo Colon). I have no data, but a hunch nonetheless, that this year it’s Lowe. A start in Seattle could keep the momentum flowing. Start in deep leagues, pass on 12-team or less.
- Phil Hughes, v MIN (4/19) – Looks to be much improved and it is kind to say the Twins O is merely suspect. A must start in deeper leagues, a definite possibility of a maybe in 12 team or less.
- Yu Darvish, @ DET (4/20) – If you drafted him it’s likely you are starting him. He does have rock star stuff, but factually speaking for the moment, he also has serious control problems. Have fun watching him sort it out in Detroit.
- Edinson Volquez, v PHI (4/20) – Crap control with nice home ballpark and K rate meets old, injured offense. Opposite Hamels a ‘W’ is something less than a coin flip but this may be a rare occasion where the potential for WHIP damage is minimal. Start Volquez in any format this week.
- Mike Leake, @ CHC (4/21) – I love Leake this year, he should be OK at the Cubs. Must start in deep leagues, fine start in shallow formats if you need something at the back end.
Paul finished the 2011-2012 Fantasy Football season as the #1 Weekly Rankings & Projections winner of the 411Fantasy Expert Challenge. He also finished 2nd in the FantasyPros.com Expert Draft Accuracy Challenge in 2011. Top 10 Finisher in the FSWA Fantasy Football Draft Projections. Paul is also apart of baseballs elite as a member of Tout Wars. You can follow me on Twitter @PaulGreco
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