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April 30, 2012 posted by Paul Greco

Pitching Matchups to Watch for the Week of April 30th

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Sorry Phil Humber owners, that encore was a pretty big let down. Consider your mean, regressed. Now let’s try and tip toe through this week’s mine field of starting pitchers.

Josh Collmenter, @ MIA (4/30) & @ NYM (5/5) – I’m betting he won’t have a spot in the rotation by the time his second start comes up. Deeper league owners watch from afar as his K rate is up and K/BB is 3/1. Remember, I said “watch”, don’t touch.

Mark Buehrle, v AZ 4/30 & @ SD (5/5) – We like anyone in San Diego, his first start is against a beat up Diamondbacks club and he’s been pitching great. The only thing to fear is some unlucky bounces so grab your rabbits foot and put him out there in all formats.

Jason Hammel, @ NYY (4/30), & @ BOS (5/6) – Just as Hammel starts his final ascent to the peak of Must Start Mountain, he draws these matchups in a two-start week. Neither team is as good as their reputation would have us believe so maybe he can get through it. Start in 12-team and deeper, thrill seekers in 10-team leagues be my guest.

Jeff Samardzija, @ PHL (4/30), & v LAD (5/5) – If the walks come back, and I believe they will, Samardzija will fall off a cliff. But for this week remember that the Phillies suck and he might walk Kemp four times (see walks can come in handy). A must start in anything deep but only a maybe in 12 teamers.

Randy Wolf, @ SD (4/30), & @ SF (5/6) – An average pitcher, against two crappy teams, in very pitcher friendly parks – only one way to bet this line. I probably sit this out in 10 team leagues however.

Phil Hughes, v BAL (5/1), & @ KC (5/6) – It’s impossible to endorse anyone who is about to lose their job to the corps of Andy Pettitte. I can’t blame owners in deeper formats for burning a roster spot but you’d be crazy to start him. Yes, I’m even talking to you AL-onlies.

Ricky Nolasco, @ SF (5/1), & v SD (5/6) – See the Randy Wolf commentary above and mix in a little skill by way of more Ks and fewer walks. I’m thinking he’s a start in any format.

Chris Schwinden, @ HOU (5/2) – In vintage Mets’ fashion as soon as Pelfrey gives us a smidge to believe in he blows his arm out. The Astros can’t hit, making his replacement, Chris Schwinden, something of a must start in NL-only formats. He has decent enough control and a decent enough K rate to be useful against weaker opponents. He has Philly next week too.

Lance Lynn, v PIT (5/2) – 4 to 1 K/BB rate, tons of groundballs, 92+ mph fastball, it’s all good. Except of course the .200 BABIP that will make a swift and brutal swing back toward the mean very shortly. The Pirates can’t hit so ride it for one more week in any format, but handle with care moving forward.

Joe Blanton, @ ATL (5/3) – I really thought I saw something there and with two sweet matchups last Blanton goes out and gets creamed. I start in NL-only and on the watch list for everyone else (because there still might be something hear).

Henderson Alvarez, @ LAA (5/4) – Alvarez is a pretty good pitcher, the Angels don’t scare me at all right now and Ervin Santana (projects to be the opposing pitcher) has been awful. It all adds up to a better matchup than one would think at first glance. I like this play in 12 team or deeper leagues.

Nick Blackburn*, @ SEA (5/5) – We absolutely love any pitcher in Seattle. It’s a great ballpark for pitchers and the Mariners can’t hit.

Kyle Drabek, @ LAA (5/6) – The Angles just aren’t scoring many runs and should be picked on. Drabek’s BB% and BABIP make me very nervous but he’s been getting it done with lots of groundball’s and a serviceable K per 9. Start in 15 team or deeper formats.

*Mr. and Mrs. Blackburn are undoubtedly proud of their son who, despite a severe lack of skills, has carved out a major league career and earned millions of dollars playing a child’s game. I’m also sure he is a wonderful human being who spends every waking moment of his free time volunteering in orphanages and rescuing baby seals. For fantasy baseball purposes however, Nick Blackburn should be considered sub-human, if not the anti-Christ, and should never be started under any circumstances regardless of format even if it’s a Twins-only fantasy league and he’s coming off of a string of three straight no hitters.

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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