Archive for Strategy

Two-Start Pitchers 2014: September 1-7: Are There Any Gambles Worth Taking?

by Ray Kuhn

And it’s down the stretch we come!  It’s more important than ever to make smart decisions when streaming pitchers, as each start feels more important (and we are starting to face the risk of pitchers being shut down).  Who do we trust?  Which gamble should we take?

On pitcher who has made himself interesting has been Carlos Carrasco:

Carrasco has been inconsistent and disappointing so far in his career, but are the tides starting to turn for the 27 year old? It is hard to ignore a pitcher who consistently averages 93-plus miles per hour with his fastball and is now starting to see some real improvement in his control since returning from the minor leagues and the bullpen. In his last four starts, spanning 24.2 innings, Carrasco has struck 23 batters while allowing just two earned runs and three walks. That performance should not be ignored, especially as he takes the mound twice this week at home against the Tigers and White Sox.

Let’s take a look at all of the two-start options for the coming week: Read more

Two-Start Pitchers 2014: August 25-31: Are There Any Gambles Worth Taking?

by Ray Kuhn (aka The Rotoprofessor)

It feels like the season just started, doesn’t it?  Yet we have a mere few weeks left and it’s time for fantasy owners to either put up or shut up.  This week could yield ample opportunities to roll the dice, depending on your risk tolerance.  For instance:

Jake Peavy is not an exciting option, but he is a veteran who is owned in just 51% of CBS leagues who is making two starts this week under favorable conditions. Both of his starts come in his pitcher friendly home park against two offenses that do not provide much in the way of a threat. The Rockies are missing their two best hitters in Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki, plus they are away from Coors Field. While the Brewers do have some offensive firepower, Peavy should be able to tame them at home. Under other circumstances there might be too much risk involved, but Peavy is also coming off back to back starts of seven innings each, allowing three runs. Any owners in head to head or points leagues would certainly sign up for two starts just like that, and if you are looking to chase wins you can do worse. As head to head leagues begin their playoffs, the value of getting two starts from even just an average pitcher like Peavy cannot be overstated as volume without overwhelming risk is important.

Where else could there be value?  Let’s take a look at the rankings: Read more

Two-Start Pitchers 2014: August 18-24: Are There Any Gambles Worth Taking?

by Ray Kuhn

At this point in the season owners need to weigh if the risk of starting a streaming two-start pitcher is worth the reward.  While there aren’t a ton of options this week, there are plenty of young pitchers who have upside.  Are they worth it, though?  Here’s one example, where the risk likely outweighs the reward:

Allen Webster is a young pitcher who has struggled early in his major league career, but he looks closer to figuring it out. So far he is 3-1 in his four starts, and he showed improvement in his last two outings notching a quality start in each of them. So far in the small sample size Webster has a 4.79 ERA and 1.45 WHIP but you could see a progression. The strikeouts are not there yet, 10 against 16 walks, but I would expect to see those increase as Webster gets more comfortable. He gets the Angels and Mariners at home this week and, depending on your team and the standings, he might be worth the risk. It does appear that there may be another week or two of growing pains, so even though he has the minor league numbers Webster likely should be passed on for another week.

How do the rest of the rankings look?  Let’s take a look: Read more

Two-Start Pitchers 2014: August 11-17: Are There Any Gambles Worth Taking?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

For many fantasy owners the time has come, it’s now or never.  The end of the season is rapidly approaching so if we want to make a move now simply may be the time.  Are there any gambles that are worth taking?  There could be a few, so let’s take a look at the pitchers currently lined up to make a pair of starts:


Tier 1 – The Elite

  • Adam Wainwright – St. Louis Cardinals – at Mia, vs. SD
  • Felix Hernandez – Seattle Mariners – vs. Tor, at Det


Tier 2 – Note Quite Elite

  • Jon Lester – Oakland A’s – at KC, at Atl
  • Julio Teheran – Atlanta Braves – vs. LAD, vs. Oak
  • Sonny Gray – Oakland A’s – at KC, at Atl

Read more

Two-Start Pitchers 2014: August 4 – 10: Are There Any Gambles Worth Taking?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Rotations around the league needed a little bit of reshuffling, following one of the craziest trade deadline in recent memory.  While that has helped bolster an already impressive group of two-start pitchers (welcome David Price), this week is loaded with options.  While you could argue that it’s a bit of a top heavy group, there are amply risks and opportunities worth considering.  Time is quickly running short, so let’s take a look at how things shake out for the coming week and which risks are going to be worth taking:


Tier 1 – The Elite

  • Clayton Kershaw – Los Angeles Dodgers – vs. LAA, at Mil
  • Felix Hernandez – Seattle Mariners – vs. Atl, vs. CWS
  • Johnny Cueto – Cincinnati Reds – at Cle, vs. Mia

Read more

Two-Start Pitchers 2014: July 28 – August 4: Are There Any Gambles Worth Taking?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The baseball season feels like it is flying by, doesn’t it?  This week the trade deadline is upon us, meaning it’s time to make that big push towards the finish line.  While we don’t want to take any unnecessary risks, you may be willing to gamble on a pitcher that you ordinarily wouldn’t.

The deadline itself could wreak havoc, though, so you have to be careful.  Quite a few pitchers currently scheduled for two starts, like Bartolo Colon, Jorge De La Rosa and A.J. Burnett, have found their names in trade rumors.  If dealt, they could lose a start so keep that in mind.

With all that said, let’s take a look at how our rankings currently look:


Tier 1 – The Elite

  • Yu Darvish – Texas Rangers – vs. NYY, at Cle

Read more