If you’re going to win your fantasy baseball league you’ve got to maximize pitching matchups – duck the rough ones and exploit the cake walks.
With the first ‘week’ of the season out of the way time to look for some yummy two-start pitching matchups. Here are some pitchers to watch for the week of April 9th.
- Anibal Sanchez, @ PHL (4/9) & v HOU (4/15) – Two teams that can, and should be picked on at every opportunity. Frankly I’m not sure which is the better matchup. This is solid gold, especially in head-to-head formats.
- Homer Bailey, v STL (4/9) & @ WAS (4/14) – I’m not thrilled with the St. Lois matchup or Bailey’s rough spring stat line. Over the past two seasons, when healthy, Bailey has been a solid pitcher and right now he’s healthy (we think). Start in 12 team or deeper.
- Tommy Milone, v KC (4/9) & @ SEA (4/15) – Milone walks no one and is a big-time sleeper candidate for 2012. Kansas City is much improved offensively but he’ll get them at The Coliseum. Anyone is worth starting in Seattle. A start in most formats and I’d even advise in 10 team formats if you want to be creative.
- Chris Volstad, v MIL (4/9) & @ STL (4/14) – There’s potential here, but I’m not willing to test it against these matchups. Donâ€™t get sucked in by the two starts.
- Brian Matusz, v NYY (4/9) & @ TOR (4/15) – Similar to Volstad, Matusz could prove to be a really useful fantasy pitcher this season. However, these matchups make for a classic sit for any fringe starters in the AL East.
- Mike Leake, v STL (4/10) & @ WAS (4/15) – I loved Mike Leake coming into this season and regrettably only own him on one team. He showed significant improvement in 2011 over his solid rookie campaign and is on his way to mastering a cutter. He’s more or less an automatic start in my book in any format and already has his ‘no-brainer card’ punched for two start weeks.
- Johan Santana, v WAS (4/11) – I sort of trust him again. One decent start does not a comeback make but for the most part he’s been solid all spring including Opening Day. He seemed to get fatigued early, which is common for any pitcher this time of year, but especially for someone that missed as much time as Santana. If you’re chasing wins remember that he won’t last long, but he’s a ratio helper and the matchup ‘aint bad. Start in all formats unless you have something equivalent with two starts.
- Kevin Millwood, @ TEX (4/11) – Bench everywhere! Goes without saying but I hate this guy so I thought it worth a few characters for a cheap shot.
- Mark Buehrle, @ PHL (4/12) – He’s a solid pitcher and I’m on record saying the Philadelphia O sucks – anyone check the box scores from the Pirates games this weekend? Pitch in all but the shallowest of leagues.
- Chris Capuano, v PIT (4/12) – Although improved I’m not a believer in the Pirates O. Having tangled with the Philly aces Capuano may be what the doctor ordered to get their bats going. I need to see it to believe so I think Cappy is a start in any relatively deep format and boarding on no-brainer in NL-only leagues.
- Jeff Samardzija, @ SLT (4/13) – I never for a second believed he’d be a solid starter – too many walks in relief. 8 Ks over 0 BB in 8.2 in his first start is impressive and has me eating my hat. He did display control in the spring so he may be in the process of putting it together a la C.J. Wilson. Handle with care but one to start in deeper leagues and add in all formats.
- Carlos Zambrano, v HOU (4/14) – I like Big Z for something of a comeback this year and am quite confident that Houston can’t hit. This is a nice start to cherry pick. May not be totally WHIP friendly but you’re in good shape in 3 other cats if you need the start. Worthy, if not a must, in all formats.
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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