Week 2 Pitching Planner: Working The Fireplace
Welcome to the Week 2 Pitching Planner.
Fire is so unpredictable at times. If you poke it, it will die or resurge.
I feel like pitching is strangely identical to fire. Too much and that can lead to a very bad thing, and too little can leave you needing more.
None of these will be players like Clayton Kershaw or Madison Bumgarner, as they should always start.
Here we go. Let’s dive into the Week 2 Pitching Planner. Brace yourself, and prepare. You don’t want to get burned.
Week 2 Pitching Planner
*This article will be broken down by start’em/sit’em (one-start pitchers) and start’em/sit’em (two-start pitchers)
Brett Anderson, CHC vs. LAD (LHP)
Brett Anderson will be great this week. The Dodgers whiff a lot when facing left-handed pitching, as they sit outside of the Top 20 vs. lefties. Anderson is a pitcher who has spent more time on the DL than on the field. If you have an extra spot or want to take an excellent risk, Brett Anderson is your guy this week.
Lance McCullers Jr., at OAK (RHP)
Lance McCullers is one of my favorite guys this year. Lance has everything one would need for a Cy Young run. McCullers has great strikeout ability evidenced by his 11 K/9 last year. McCullers will get good run support and should go deep against a middling Oakland offense. Also, look for double-digit strikeouts.
Gerrit Cole, PIT at CHC (RHP)
If you drafted Gerrit Cole, you are a brave soul! Hey, those are the types of risks that will win you championships! However, Mr. Cole is going to face the Chicago Cubs this week. Their starting pitching has been strong (.197 BAA) and they have the second best WHIP (1.13) and tied for second in fewest ERs allowed (19). Therefore, run support could be lacking. Let’s not forget that the Cubs’ bats seem to be picking up as of late as they have scored 18 runs over their past two games.
Zack Greinke, ARI vs. LAD (RHP)
I’m sitting Greinke all day in this matchup with the Dodgers. Zack has looked pretty good so far this year, posting a 2.31 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP. However, with this game being in a hitter friendly park, and with Cory Seager, Yasiel Puig and Justin Turner starting the season off strong, I think this will be a very short night for the former Cy Young winner.
All San Diego Pitchers at COL
Look, do I need to dive into this? Either way, I will… The Padres are a bad team. They might squeeze one from the four-game set because of the whole mile high factor, but I would not take the risk. It will not be worth it!
Ian Kennedy, KC vs. OAK/LAA (RHP)
We’re going to start this one off with a fun fact of the day. Back in 2011, Ian Kennedy finished fourth in Cy Young voting. Ian finished ahead of both Madison Bumgarner and Cole Hamels. What does this have to do with the upcoming week? Well, I think Mr. Kennedy will channel his 2011 self and have two great starts.
Believe it or not, Oakland batters have an excellent history against Kennedy. As a team, they are batting .355, with an OBP of .378, SLG of .566, and a OPS of .944. That does not bode well for Kennedy. However, if you dive a little deeper, only three of the batters (Yonder Alonso, Rajai Davis, Trevor Plouffe) have more than 10 at-bats against him. Factor that in with Kennedy pitching at home and all of its pitcher-friendly park factors, it all adds up to a great start.
The Angles are not close to being as good against Kennedy as they are batting .234 against. Even the epic Mike Trout is only hitting .143 against him. Yes, the Angels have been hitting the ball well at home (.343), but they are batting a middling .252 on the road. With both starts at home, I’d expect two pretty solid performances.
Matt Moore, SF vs. ARI/COL (LHP)
I’m excited for Matt Moore this year! Did anyone watch how he worked the Chicago Cubs in the playoffs last year? He has the tools to make the jump, and with him pitching in AT&T Park, he is set up to have a great week. With Arizona being in the Top 5 in strikeouts (62) this year, and Moore getting his K/9 up over nine after the trade to San Francisco last year, it sets the stage for a great match up, minus Jake “Rake” Lamb.
The Rockies will be a harder match-up as they have only lost two games thus far, and have San Diego next. So far the Rockies are outside of the Top 10 VS LHP this year. Also, by the time the Rockies face Moore, they will have played in 11 straight games.
Dylan Bundy, BAL at BOS/TOR (RHP)
Dylan Bundy had a great start to the season, allowing one run on four hits and eight Ks over 7.0 IP. If he is available, pick him up. I’ll wait…. Okay, know that he’s on your team, you can leave him in your starting line-up this week. Boston is struggling with illness, injury and other issues. If Bundy can turn in another solid outing, he should be able to put another tick in the win column. Given how he handled the Blue Jays, I suspect he will be able to get another win against Toronto.
Michael Pineda, NYY vs. TB/STL (RHP)
I would love to tell you to start Pineda, really. He could be a very good starting pitcher someday. I mean, he struck out over 200 batters last year. A lot of his peripherals also suggest that notion. However, it just doesn’t happen. Having an ERA over four the last two years, and showing no signs of slowing down, Pineda should be shown the could bench this week. Both starts are at home, and with the Rays and Cards coming to town, it will not take a lot for Pineda to serve a few over the walls of the house that Jeter built.
Jeff Samardzija, SF vs. ARI/COL (RHP)
The former golden domer has seen better days. Jeff Samardzija is a slightly better version of Michael Pineda. His K/9 has been dropping the last four out of five years, his ERA has been 3.81 or higher four out of the last six years. With both Arizona and Colorado coming into town, Samardzija needs to ride the pine as both teams can kill right-handed pitching.
Alex Cobb, TB at NYY/BOS (RHP)
Alex Cobb had a great first start. However, I’m far from sold that he is back to his old self. With Cobb throwing out of a different arm slot, it could impact the movement on his pitches. Facing the Yankees and Red Sox on the road does not sound like a situation I want my two-start pitcher to enter, as he figures out how to reestablish himself in the majors.