To borrow a phrase from announcer Bruce Buffer, “It’s time!”
The MLB season kicks off this week. So owners who stream pitching in head-to-head matchups are hitting the waiver wire and, with injuries to guys such as Tim Hudson, some fantasy baseball owners may be scrambling for starters already.
With that in mind here are guys to pickup and some guys to avoid.
Kyle Lohse vs. Marlins, Reds – especially in H2H matchups as he’ll have two starts this week – one against the Miami Marlins on Opening Day and another against the Cincinnati Reds on April 10. Some folks feel that Lohse got lucky with a .269 BABIP against in 2011. But keep in mind that he set career bests in HR/9 and HR/FB while tying a career best 2.01 BB/9.
Matt Harrison vs. White Sox – a ground ball lefty, Harrison set a career best in HR/9, HR/BB, BB/9 and K/9 in 2011. He does walk a few too many hitters, but if he can keep the HRs in check and force double-play balls as often as he did last year there’s no reason to think he can’t repeat his 2011 numbers of 3.39 ERA and 1.28 WHIP.
Jamie Moyer vs. Astros – Moyer is back and looks to show all the young whipper-snappers that he’s still got it. His spring numbers look terrific (2.50 ERA in 18 IP) and he’ll get one of the league’s least-potent offenses on April 7 away from Coors Field.
John Danks vs. Rangers – Although he’s a bounce-back candidate this year, you’ll want no part of him against the 2011 A.L. Champion Texas Rangers in Arlington. He lowered his Fly Ball Percentage last year, but his Line Drive rate went up to 19.9 percent. Line drives can turn in to HRs easily at Arlington, and with a career WHIP of 1.30 (1.34 in 2011) that could lead to an extra run or two.
Ricky Nolasco vs. Reds – Although his peripheral stats suggest he may have been a bit unlucky in 2011, his Strikeout Rate dropped for the second straight year to 6.47 K/9 – the lowest since his 2006 Rookie campaign. Nolasco’s Line Drive Percentage spiked in 2011 as well to 23.8 percent – easily a career worst and highlighting the fact that more guys are teeing off on him. Avoid him on the road at the Reds this week.
Jair Jurrjens vs. Mets – Most of his sabermetrics from 2011 hint that Jurrjens was a luckier than average pitcher. This spring he is coming off of a knee injury and gave up eight runs over his last 13 innings with only 4 Ks in 7 IP against the lowly Astros in his most recent outing. Yes he is going up against the Mets on April 7, but I’d much rather wait and see him be successful in a few starts before adding him.
Follow Steve Hamby on Twitter @SteveOnSportsOK
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