Archive for Strategy

Two-Start Pitchers 2014: July 21 – 27: Is This The Week To Take A Few Gambles?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

It’s the first full week after the All-Star Break, and that unfortunately doesn’t leave us with the best options to choose from (since the best starters generally throw in those first three games).  That doesn’t mean that there aren’t options worth using, however.  Let’s take a look at how this weeks two start pitchers shake out:


Tier 1 – The Elite

  • Chris Sale – Chicago White Sox – vs. KC, at Min
  • Adam Wainwright – St. Louis Cardinals – vs. TB, at CHC

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Two-Start Pitchers 2014: July 7 – 13: Is This The Week To Take A Few Gambles?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Next week is the final one prior to the All-Star Break, meaning fantasy owners in the middle of the pack are starting to run out of time.  Are you positioned to make a run towards the top?  Do you not really stand a chance?  It’s not always easy to make that decision, but this may be the time that you have to take a risk.  Lucky for owners, there are plenty of risks worth taking.

Let’s take a look at how this weeks two start pitchers shake out:


Tier 1 – The Elite

  • Masahiro Tanaka – New York Yankees – at Cle, at Bal
  • Johnny Cueto – Cincinnati Reds – vs. CHC, vs. Pit
  • Adam Wainwright – St. Louis Cardinals – vs. Pit, at Mil

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Two-Start Pitchers 2014: June 30 – July 6: Are There Gambles Worth Taking?

by Ray Kuhn

July is “the decision month” month for fantasy owners, as you will make your decision on if you will be a buyer or a seller and make a move.  There are some intriguing options this week, including the returning Alex Wood:

Wood is back from the minor leagues and if fantasy owners have not yet taken note, they certainly should. After starting the season off having success in the rotation and then being moved to the bullpen due to Atlanta’s surplus of starting pitchers, he is now back in the rotation after getting stretched out in the minors. In his most recent start on Wednesday the Braves were still cautious with their young starter and kept him on a pitch count. However, Wood was very efficient and was able to make it through seven innings with just 79 pitches for the win, striking out four batters and allowing just four base runners (three hits, one walk). At this point I think Wood and his 3.07 ERA are set in the rotation and you have to like his 67/16 ratio of strikeouts to walks in 67.1 innings. He is facing two struggling offenses, the Mets and Diamondbacks, both at home, and that makes him a top option.

Let’s take a look at all of the two start options this week to help you either make your climb to your fantasy title or hold your position atop the standings: Read more

Two-Start Pitchers 2014: June 23-29: Are There Gambles Worth Taking?

by Ray Kuhn

It is going to be hard for Clayton Kershaw to top his last start, but he gets two chances this week to try. He is part of a top heavy group of hurlers taking the mound twice this week, but there are plenty of other options as well, some of which are riskier than others.  For example:

  • Edinson Volquez is frustrating. He took a streak of five straight successful starts (29 innings, 8 earned runs, 25 strikeouts) into his last start and promptly imploded. If any fantasy owners were hoping to catch lightning in a bottle, they were quite disappointed. The right-hander lasted only 2.1 innings against the Reds allowing eight runs on six hits and three walks, inflating his ERA to 4.67 while also doing damage to your ratios. This week he faces two struggling offenses, Tampa Bay and the Mets, in an effort to rebound. While you are well within your rights to be scared off by him and want to avoid him, I would tend to take the opposite view. Volquez has generally pitched pretty well this season, even though he is not striking many batters out (55 in 81 innings).

How do all of the options stack up?  Let’s a take a look: Read more

Two-Start Pitchers 2014: June 16-22: Are There Gambles Worth Taking?

by Ray Kuhn

Options are plentiful this week for owner’s looking to gain an edge from pitchers making two starts. As always, avoiding risk is critical but a little bit of reward can’t be ignored.  Want an example?  Here’s one to consider:

Wei-Yin Chen is a starter who I feel should garner a little more respect. He is available in 51% of CBS leagues yet he brings an ERA of 3.76 and a 7-2 record into the week. The southpaw will be taking the mound twice, and both times are against offenses that have had their share of struggles in the Rays and Yankees. In fairness to those who have ignored Chen this season, he really hasn’t fully turned it on until recently. Chen had an ERA of 4.34 in April and a May ERA of 4.66 to go along with his 1.45 June ERA.  He is coming off a start against the Red Sox where he pitched seven shutout innings. Strikeouts are not plentiful, 57 in 76.2 innings, but he has only allowed 11 walks. If you are looking for two dynamic performances, Chen is likely not your guy, but he is a solid option if you want to chase two wins.

Let’s take a look at how the pitchers rank for the coming week: Read more

Two-Start Pitchers 2014: June 9-15: Are There Gambles Worth Taking?

by Ray Kuhn

Aside from a few top options, the list this week is not that exciting so owning more than one pitcher from the top 2 tiers could give you a nice advantage in weekly formats. That doesn’t mean there are risks worth taking, however.  Here’s just one example:

  • Even though he has a 4.32 ERA, John Danks is taking a hot streak into this week. In his last three starts the southpaw has pitched 22.1 innings while allowing just three runs with 17 base runners. Unfortunately his whole season has not been that successful, but a performance like that certainly gets your attention. He makes both starts at home, but his first start against the Tigers renders more of a threat than his second start against the Royals. The Tigers have a powerful offense and can throw a lot of right-handed bats against Danks, but so far this season his splits don’t suggest a huge disparity against right-handers compared to left-handers. What does work in hiss favor is his 3.03 home ERA compared to his road ERA of 5.70. There is some risk involved here, but Danks is one of the better streaming options for the week if you are so inclined.

Who else is worth considering?  Let’s take a look at how the pitchers rank as you look to maximize return and minimize risk: Read more