2011 Fantasy Baseball Week 6: Sit Em Start Em & 2-Start Pitchers
Brandon Morrow, Toronto Blue Jays (100%) – Morrow has a good matchup in his first start of the week. Tiger’s hitters are only batting .206, along with a .263 WHIP against Morrow. This start also takes place at home for him where his stats are a night and day difference. At home Morrow has a career 2.97 ERA. On the road he has 5.31 ERA and 1.71 WHIP. Fortunately his road start this week comes in Minnesota, arguably one of the most pitcher-friendly fields in baseball. Along with the field, Minnesota hitters have struggled so far against righties. For the season, the Twins are hitting .227 against righties, good enough for 28th overall.
Jake Arrieta, Baltimore Orioles (5%) – Arrieta might be a good play if your staff has been decimated by injury or if you’re in a deep league. He faces Seattle at home and then Tampa Bay on the road this week. Much like Morrow, Arrieta will be facing one of the weaker right-handed-pitcher hitting teams with Seattle (their .220 BAA is 2nd weakest to only San Diego). Tampa Bay has hit a weak .233 with a .266 WHIP against Arrieta in the limited 30 at-bats against him.
Two-Start Pitchers To Avoid
Ervin Santana, Los Angeles Angels (31.3%) – Santana has only given up 1 run in his last 11 innings and was on his way to a gem last week when the weather shut him down. He faces two opponents this week that might make his hot-streak short-lived. Over the last 3 years against the White Sox, Santana has pitched mediocrely. In that time frame he has a 4.34 ERA and is 2-2 in 5 starts, while White Sox hitters are hitting .280 against him. The trouble gets worse as the week goes on for Santana. His next opponent is the Texas Rangers. The Rangers hitters have dominated Santana for his whole career. In 265 career at-bats against Santana the Rangers are hitting .309 with 14 home runs.
Kevin Correia, Pittsburgh Pirates (35.7%) – Correia has been surprisingly dominant to start the year, giving up more than 2 runs in a start only twice. Don’t buy into his streak just yet though. This career 4.47 ERA pitcher faces a huge wall this week. He faces his nemesis team, the Dodgers. They have belted Correia for 4 home runs in 97 career at-bats while keeping an average of .330 against him. The change of scenery in the week won’t bring any relief to Correia. His second start comes against the Brewers in Milwaukee. At Miller Park, Correia has a 4.97 ERA and a 1.66 WHIP in 25.1 innings pitched.
Jason Bay, New York Mets (87.3%) – This week Bay will benefit from hitting in two strong hitter’s parks and against a couple staffs that he has historically fared well against. Bay will benefit from the first series of the week in the home run manufacturing thin air of Coors Field. In 66 career at-bats at Coors Field, Bay has a .303 average and .912 OPS to match. The next series for him is even more favorable for Bay owners. In 109 career at-bats against the Astros, Bay has a .303 average and 1.005 OPS along with 10 home runs. Look for him to possibly get a boost in his power stroke this week.
Mike Napoli, Texas Rangers (86.4) – Starting Napoli’s week off is a matchup against 2 left-handed pitchers. Against lefties in his career, Napoli is hitting 50 points higher than righties and has an OPS 150 points higher. Fortunately Napoli gets to play the entire week at home in Texas. Napoli’s career at Texas consists of 10 home runs in 120 at-bats, hitting .292 with a .406 OBP. To top his week off, he’s got a chance at retribution against his old team.
Justin Smoak, Seattle Mariners (88.7%) – Smoak has shown a substantial amount of improvement over last year’s numbers, especially while playing in spacious Safeco Field. Most of his improved numbers are from his ability to crush left-handed pitchers this year. Against lefties Smoak is hitting 56 points higher. Ironically, at home Smoak is hitting 121 points higher with an OPS 344 points higher. This week all of Smoak’s games will be on the road and all but one will be against right-handed pitching. Look at your other options at first base.
Paul Konerko, Chicago White Sox (100%) – Not only is Konerko a player to be cautious about starting this week, but the entire right-handed hitting lineup for the White Sox should be scrutinized to start with caution. The White Sox go up against the 2nd and 3rd-best teams against right-handed bats this week; The Angels and the A’s. Both series take place on the road this week for Konerko, which should spell more trouble ahead. In exactly one-third of a season, 51 games at Angels Stadium, Konerko has only 6 home runs. Even worse, in 184 at-bats in Oakland, Konerko is hitting .196 with 4 home runs and .589 OPS. Take caution with Konerko and the rest of the right-handed hitters for the Sox this week.
Written by James Bryce exclusively for TheFantasyFix.com
(May 15, 2010 – Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images North America)