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Fantasy Baseball 2013: Full List of This Week’s 2-Start Pitchers

Getting two starts out of a starting pitcher can make all the difference in a weekly fantasy league. While a one-start ace is still an ace, a two-start ace can single-handedly tip the scales. Additionally, two starts can make an otherwise mediocre spot starter into a difference-maker. This list is broken up by tiers, and rankings are based on skill as well as matchups.


The Aces

  • Yu Darvish @ARI, vs. KC
  • Adam Wainwright @KC, vs. SF
  • Justin Verlander vs. PIT, @BAL
  • Matt Harvey vs. NYY, @MIA
  • Chris Sale vs. CHC, @OAK
  • Cliff Lee @BOS, vs. MIL
  • Madison Bumgarner @OAK, @STL
  • James Shields vs. STL, @TEX
  • Gio Gonzalez vs. BAL, @ATL

You would be starting these pitchers regardless. If there is one among these who seems less safe than the rest, it’s James Shields. He faces two good teams in the Cardinals and Rangers (in Arlington, no less). With the Royals’ offensive underperformance, he may be at risk to lose both games, even with good starts. Meanwhile, Chris Sale’s schedule may be the most friendly of this group, but they should all be started without hesitation.


The Next Best Things

  • Jeff Samardzija @CWS, vs. ARI
  • Clay Buchholz vs. PHI, @NYY
  • Hiroki Kuroda @NYM, vs. BOS
  • Mat Latos vs. CLE, @PIT
  • Hyun-Jin Ryu vs. LAA, @COL

Unless your fantasy steam is stacked with elite starting pitching, there is no reason to bench these pitchers in any format. None of them have particularly treacherous schedules. The one pitcher on this list who would worry me is Hyun-Jin Ryu. While the Angels have fallen far short of expectations, they still have Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and (such as he is) Josh Hamilton. Ryu then goes to Coors Field to face the Rockies. If you have better options, or a favorable combination of two one-start pitchers, feel free to sit Ryu.


Acceptable, if Unexceptional

  • C.J. Wilson @LAD, vs. HOU
  • Jarrod Parker vs. SF, vs. CWS
  • Jose Fernandez @TB, vs. NYM
  • Zack Greinke vs. LAA, @COL
  • Jered Weaver @LAD, vs. HOU
  • Trevor Cahill vs. TEX, @CHC
  • Tim Hudson @TOR, vs. WSH
  • Brandon Morrow vs. ATL, @SD
  • Ervin Santana vs. STL, @TEX

This is a very intriguing group of pitchers. It includes C.J. Wilson, Zack Greinke and Jered Weaver, pitchers who would ordinarily be in one of the first two groups. Wilson has failed to live up to expectations since arriving in Los Angeles, but he gets to face the woeful Dodgers in their pitcher-friendly confines and then the dumpster fire that is the Houston Astros. Greinke and Weaver are returning from injuries and need to establish their health and comfort before returning to the top group.

The other subgroup of note in this list is that of Jarrod Parker and Jose Fernandez, young up-and-comers, each with their own causes for concern. Parker has struggled to follow up his 2012 breakout campaign. Fernandez has shown flashes of brilliance, but he pitches for Miami, making wins hard to come by, and he has seen his workload limited in recent starts, limiting his per-start upside.


Matchup Plays

  • Paul Maholm @TOR, vs. WSH
  • Francisco Liriano @DET, vs. CIN
  • Zach McAllister @CIN, vs. TB
  • Jorge De La Rosa @HOU, vs. LAD
  • Carlos Quintana vs. CHC, @OAK
  • Jeremy Hellickson vs. MIA, @CLE
  • Ian Kennedy vs. TEX, @CHC
  • Jonathon Niese  vs. NYY, @MIA
  • Jhoulys Chacin @HOU, vs. LAD

This list is full of pitchers who may have one favorable matchup (Jeremy Hellickson vs. Miami, Ian Kennedy @ Chicago). Feel free to spot start them as needed, but you should not feel obligated to start them blindly just because they have two starts. For instance, Liriano may be worth benching all week based on the expected matchups. If you must plug and play pitchers on this list, Jhoulys Chacin and Jorge De La Rosa possess the most favorable combination of starts, but Carlos Quintana should also produce a pair of useful outings.


Deep Leagues Only

  • Ryan Dempster vs. PHI, @NYY
  • Kevin Gausman @WSH, vs. DET
  • Phil Hughes @NYM, vs. BOS
  • Mark Buehrle vs. ATL, @SD
  • Tyler Cloyd @BOS, vs. MIL
  • Ross Detwiler vs. BAL, @ATL
  • Edwin Jackson @CWS, vs. ARI
  • Jake Odorizzi vs. MIA, @CLE
  • Mike Leake vs. CLE, @PIT
  • Dan Straily vs. SF, vs. CWS
  • Kevin Slowey @TB, vs. NYM
  • Tyler Lyons @KC, vs. SF
  • Edinson Volquez @SEA, vs. TOR
  • Ubaldo Jimenez @CIN, vs. TB

Most of these pitchers are available on the waiver wire and some of them are worth adding for one favorable matchup, but they are all combustible and should only be used under dire circumstances. Two pitchers in this group are particularly interesting for different reasons. Ubaldo Jimenez, before getting blasted by Detroit, had three consecutive starts with eight or more strikeouts and two or less runs allowed. His performances this week may prove if that streak was a flash in the pan or proof of some relevant upside.

Additionally, Kevin Gausman has two dangerous starts, but the Orioles top prospect has electric stuff, and if he impresses against the Nationals and Tigers, he may be worth consideration in a wider array of fantasy leagues going forward.


Others with Two Starts

  • Hiram Burgos vs. MIN, @PHI
  • Scott Diamond @MIL, vs. SEA
  • Jeanmar Gomez @DET, vs. CIN
  • Jason Hammel @WSH, vs. DET
  • Aaron Harang vs. SD, @MIN
  • Jordan Lyles vs. COL, @LAA
  • Brandon Maurer vs. SD, @MIN
  • Bud Norris vs. COL, @LAA
  • Mike Pelfrey @MIL, vs. SEA
  • Willy Peralta vs. MIN, @PHI
  • Rick Porcello vs. PIT, @BAL
  • Ross Wolf @ARI, vs. KC

Feel free to ignore this group for the most part. Brandon Maurer has a tempting pair of starts, but nothing thus far has made any of these players trustworthy in fantasy leagues.

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5 Big-Name Starting Pitchers in Danger of Losing Their Jobs

Most teams are paying their big-name starting pitchers a fortune to provide 200 innings this season. But for a few of those pitchers, their performance is crippling teams that hope to contend, and that brings their job security into question.

Some of these pitchers have long track records that afford them a longer leash. They may not lose their jobs based on a bad first month, but if the struggles continue into June, teams may begin looking for alternatives.

Some of these pitchers will turn it around and finish just fine, but others will either be demoted, traded or pushed to the bullpen.

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Dominant Would-Be Relievers Being Wasted in MLB Rotations

A team paying a pitcher $5 million for 180-200 innings gets more value for their money than one paying the same amount for 70 innings. So it stands to reason that so many teams are insisting pitchers stay in the rotation as long as their performance is tenable.

Unfortunately, this means many teams miss out on potential dominance from those pitchers over shorter stretches. For some, this is due to the restraint needed to stretch one’s effectiveness out over 100 pitches. While they may be dominant giving 100 percent, they can only give 80 percent to last that long.

For others, they have only two effective pitches, which is enough for one or two innings, but starters usually need three to turn over a lineup twice. These pitchers would be much better off used in the ‘pen, but of course, the value of raw innings pitched will keep them slaving away in the rotation.

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MLB: Key Dates to Know for Spring Training

Baseball season is finally back, and over the next two weeks, players will gather from across the country and begin the long journey with dreams of postseason glory.

While Spring Training may seem like a random hodge podge of exhibition games between players who will likely not see the major leagues, it is actually a carefully scripted preparation for the toils of a 162-game season.

As managers attempt to gauge their rosters, assessing young talent while allowing their veterans to adequately warm up, the next few slides will highlight dates every baseball fan should have marked on their calendars.

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Hanley Ramirez, Ben Zobrist and the 10 Best Utility Men in Baseball

Managers love players who can move around the diamond. Having such flexibility allows them to give tired or injured players days off, while keeping a productive bat in the lineup.

The ability to learn a new position opens up many opportunities for players as well. Aging shortstops may prolong their careers by moving to second or third base. A la Cal Ripken Jr. A team might also employ multiple impact players with the same natural position if one of them is able to learn a secondary spot, like when Alex Rodriguez moved to New York, where Derek Jeter was entrenched at shortstop.

These slides will not include players who only play outfield and have merely moved between outfield spots. Nor will they include catchers who play occasional games at first base to rest their knees.

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Boston Red Sox: Projecting the 2013 Rotation

The 2012 Boston Red Sox were a disaster. Four starters made over 20 starts for the team, and all four of them posted ERA over 4.50, WHIP over 1.320 and Clay Buchholz was the only one not to tally double-digit losses.

Fixing the rotation should be at the top of the priority list for an organization still boasting Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz and (for now) Jacoby Ellsbury. Coming off of 2012’s blockbuster salary dump, it seems unlikely the team will pursue any of the top free-agent starters.

It would not be a surprise to see Boston move Ellsbury in exchange for top pitching prospects or young major-league ready starters, however, it may simply trade one weakness for another, as Ellsbury would leave a gaping hole at the top of the order, as well as in center field.

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Boston Red Sox: 5 Changes to Team Culture Coming in 2013

In December 2010, the Red Sox acquired Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford. Shortly after, they signed Gonzalez to a seven-year, $154 million deal and Crawford to a seven-year, $142 million deal.

The following year, the Red Sox missed the playoffs, finishing third in their division after a September collapse, despite a 90-72 final record. Gonzalez played well, but Crawford batted just .255 with career lows in stolen bases and runs scored. They followed that up with a complete breakdown in 2012, and they shipped both players to Los Angeles.

There is cause for hope in Boston. They re-signed David Ortiz and still have Dustin Pedroia along with young starting pitching and talented prospects who could make an impact in the coming season. What will be different about the 2013 Red Sox? Read on to find out.

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Tim Lincecum and the 10 Players with Most on the Line in the Championship Series

Would you call 245 wins, a 3.86 ERA and a 1.352 WHIP a Hall of Fame resume?


How about an MLB-record 19 postseason wins, 42 starts and 263 innings, including one ALCS MVP award, three All-Star Games and five World Series titles?

Maybe it still isn’t enough, but Andy Pettitte’s October performances at least put him in the conversation.

Legacies can be made or lost after the 162-game season ends.

Alex Rodriguez may end his career with 700 home runs, 2,500 RBI and 350 stolen bases, yet Yankee fans will always go back to his repeated postseason failures when remembering the $250 million man.

Who should fans have their eyes on, and who has the most on the line in the next two weeks?

Read on to find out.

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David Lough and Four Other September Call-Ups Worth Adding to Your Fantasy Team

Most September call-ups will sit on major league benches for the last month of the season, called up to fill in as pinch runners, mop-up relievers or to give starters a day off.

However, a few youngsters have come up to find themselves in the lineup and making an impact. 

Most of these players are not worth starting. Most of them are not worth owning in standard leagues, but in deep leagues, every starter has value, and those making in the midst of hot streaks have the chance to earn even more at-bats. 

At the end of the day, during fantasy playoffs, luck favors the creative.

Here are five new big leaguers who could make a significant difference when it counts.

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Fantasy Baseball: Eric Hosmer and the Top 10 Buy Low Targets for June

Fantasy baseball leagues are not won on draft day. Granted, some of them can be lost, but in general, a league is won by the shrewd roster moves made by the owner who is furthest ahead of the curve. If you added Chris Sale or Jeff Samardzija in recent weeks, you know the feeling.

The trick to buying low on a player is two-fold. 1) The player you buy low on has to then perform to your expectations, thereby returning more value than you gave up. And 2) you have to pay current market value (which is below where you expect him to end up) without letting the current owner know that you expect him to end up there.

One notable omission from this list is Tim Lincecum. I didn’t forget about the Giants’ former ace (Matt Cain is now clearly their best starter). But I am no longer convinced the ERA or WHIP will correct themselves, at least not this year. I traded Lincecum in an 18-team keeper league for Curtis Granderson straight up, in case you doubt me. 

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