2011 Fantasy Baseball Week 9: Sit Em, Start Em & Two-Start Pitchers
Mat Latos, San Diego Padres (97.1%) – Mat Latos has had an unusual season so far. The young ace had problems in spring training that led to him starting the season on the DL. Since then he has been inconsistent and trying to return to form. Hopefully his last start (W. 8 IP 1 ER 7 K’s 0.75 WHIP) against a good Cardinals team is indication that he’s regaining his command.
Luck is a part of baseball and Latos is running into some good luck in his first start this week. Latos gets the Braves without two players that have owned him. Nate McLouth and Jason Heyward are both hitting .400 against the Padres ace but will miss the game because of DL stints. Combine that with excellent career numbers (2.28 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 5.7 K/9) against the Braves and hope for run support to get Latos the victory.
In his second start Latos is set to face the Houston Astros. The Astros are one of the worst teams in the bigs and their lineup is a big reason why. Latos has already had a start against the Astros this season (L. 6.1 IP, 5 ER, 6 K, .947 WHIP) and had the bullpen been able to strand runners his numbers would have been good. Latos career numbers against the Astros are very good. In three starts (including the start this season) Latos has compiled a 2-1 record with a 2.01 ERA, a K/9 ratio of 8.9 and a WHIP of 0.537. Of the Astros regulars only Carlos Lee is hitting over .250. I feel like this is the week Latos gets back on track.C.J. Wilson, Texas Rangers (100%) – Considering that I have been a big doubter in Wilson, this pick is a surprise to me. In only his second season as a starter Wilson has improved his numbers while being the ace of the rotation. Looking up career numbers for Wilson can be misleading because of his previous work in the bullpen but I sifted through all his number to come up with this suggestion.
In his first scheduled start, Wilson has a matchup against the Tampa Bay Rays. Wilson has one regular season start against the Rays in his career. In that start Wilson gave up three earned runs in five innings. Those numbers are not special by any means but here is where the suggestion comes from. The big bats for the Rays have awful numbers against Wilson. Evan Longoria, B.J. Upton and Ben Zobrist are a combined 2-25 against him. Also the Rays hottest bat, Matt Joyce, has never faced Wilson and I always give the advantage to the pitcher when it’s the first encounter.
For his weekend series start, Wilson has a matchup against the Indians. The Indians have a lot of left handed batters so the southpaw sees his first advantage there. If history is any indication of success Wilson has had one career start against the Tribe and went 6.0 IP giving up one earned run, striking out four and generating a WHIP of .667. When Austin Kerns is the player with the best numbers against you it’s a safe bet.Sit ‘Em
Fausto Carmona, Cleveland Indians (9.7%) – In his first start of the week Carmona will be matched up against the hard-hitting Blue Jays lineup. In his five former starts against the Jays, Carmona has a career record of 3-0 with a 3.21 ERA 1.46 WHIP and a K/9 of 4.
Although Carmona has good career numbers against the Jays, those numbers can be misleading. Of the current Blue Jay regulars, only two (Aaron Hill and Rajai Davis) have more than 10 at-bats against Carmona. Hill and Rajai Davis are hitting a combined (.321) and having base runners for Jose Bautista and potentially Adam Lind coming off the DL could be disastrous for the Tribe.
In his second start of the week, Carmona will have the tough task of facing the newly healthy Rangers lineup. With a career 2-6 record and an ERA of 5.40 against the Rangers, this was an easy call. The biggest problem for Carmona is that both John Hamilton and Nelson Cruz are a combined 10-24 (.417) with two home runs and six RBI against Carmona. Elvis Andrus is also a pest to Carmona hitting .600 in his career against the Indians hurler. With runners on base for the big bats, the Rangers can really do damage to Carmona’s fantasy prospects.Wade Davis, Tampa Bay Rays (38%) – Wade Davis has been very good for the Rays and is a big reason they were able to overcome their dreadful start to the season. The most glaring fantasy flaw that Davis has is his low strikeout totals. This week Davis gets the hard hitting Rangers and the not so hard hitting Mariners.
Davis’s career start against the Rangers is reason enough not to start him this week. In his career, Davis possesses a putrid 21.60 ERA against the Rangers. The Rangers have six players hitting .333 or better against the Rays righty. The only good news for Davis is that the start is at home and not in Arlington.
In his second scheduled start Davis has much better prospects. The Mariners are not the best hitting team in the league by any means but have had some success against Davis. Ichiro and Michael Saunders are hitting .500 against Davis and Justin Smoak is 2-2 with a home run. Davis is 0-1 in two starts against the M’s but has a decent 3.86 ERA and 6.2 K/9. I wouldn’t sleep on the M’s as they have the potential to put some runs on the board and with Franklin Gutierrez back patrolling center field, take some away.
Written by JJ Omar exclusively for TheFantasyFix.com
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(February 22, 2011 – Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images North America)
Maicer Izturis, Los Angeles Angels (95.8%) – Izturis should be able to start the week off strong playing away from Angels Stadium and playing at Kaufman.
In away game this year Izturis is hitting .354, third-best in all of baseball. For his career at Kaufmann Stadium, Izturis is hitting .291, but even more exciting is the five home runs he’s hit in only 20 games played there. He has a 15.8AB/HR ratio at Kaufman, yet 68.3AB/HR for his career. 16.7% of Izturis’ career home runs have been hit in only 20 games (3.3% of his career games played) at Kaufman Stadium.
Izturis will finish up the week with a three-game series against the Yankees at Angel Stadium. In 105 career at-bats against the Yankees, Izturis is hitting .324 with an OBP of .377. He’s also hitting .500 through 10 at-bats against the Yankees ace, C.C. Sabathia.Yunel Escobar, Toronto Blue Jays (81.2%) – Escobar has been heating up over the last two weeks. In the last 15 games he’s hitting .320 with .926 OPS. He should also get a nice boost from starting the week off with the home field advantage that he’s been hitting with this year.
While at home, Escobar’s OPS is 173 points higher when compared to his road hitting.
His second opponent of the week, the Orioles, haven’t presented much of a challenge historically. In 34 at-bats at Camden Yards, Escobar is hitting .382 with two home runs and nine RBI's in nine games. In 33 career at-bats against Baltimore pitchers he’s hitting .303.
The next stop for Werth presents a different challenge. It’s not the pitchers that he faces as much as it’s the park that he’ll be hitting in. In 22 games at Chase Field, Werth is hitting .243, 27 points lower than his career average. He’s also hitting .231 on the road this year, 59 points below his home average.Nelson Cruz, Texas Rangers (100%) – The Rangers will be playing all seven of their games this week on the road. This spells bad news for Cruz.
Away from the Ballpark in Arlington, Cruz is only hitting .160 with a .246 OBP. Even more discouraging, Cruz will be facing six right-handed starting pitchers this week. Cruz has the second-worst batting average against right-handed pitchers this season (.154 AVG).
Written by James Bryce exclusively for TheFantasyFix.com
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(May 19, 2011 – Photo by Harry How/Getty Images North America)
ALL OWNERSHIP PERCENTAGES FROM ESPN.COM