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I heard a good point about trying to predict a daily league pitcher compared to a yearly league pitcher any given day.  The difficulty is not in predicting a good start from a bad start (although at times I will be the first to admit that I have a hard enough time doing that), but instead in daily leagues, it is predicting how that “good” start will stack up with the rest of the pitchers going that day.

At the beginning of the year, and even nearly two months in, as we are now, a lot of aces still match-up on a weekly basis, so saying Wei-Yin Chen will have a good start, may not really matter if it comes as the eighth best start of the day when matching up with the stud pitchers like Felix Hernandez, Madison Bumgarner, Clayton Kershaw, etc.

I also have begun to focus less on “two-start” pitchers from week to week, as a rotation can fluctuate so much by that following weekend, and instead simply focus on their initial start that week. If it happens to fall on a Monday or Tuesday, then perhaps you luck out and get the bonus start that weekend.

Let’s break it down. A few things to keep in mind heading into this week. Target the Philadelphia Phillies lineup.  Duh. But also, avoid the hot hitting lineups like the Washington Nationals, Toronto Blue Jays and surprisingly the San Francisco Giants, although that is aided by their trip to Coors Field.

In addiition to those points, do not fall victim to the “due theory.” I have based far too many predictions on a guy being “due.” And, quite frankly, sometimes a guy just stinks. And sometimes, a team is just hot, a.k.a. the Houston Astros earlier in the year.

5 Fantasy Pitchers to Start

I offer up a handful of starting pitchers you should consider starting this week.

1. Lance Lynn, SP, St. Louis Cardinals

Lynn draws the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday in St. Louis, and although that seems to be the “day of the aces” this week, I still think he matches up pretty well in this start compared to the other starters going. The Diamondbacks have struggles, Collmenter has been dreadful of late, and Lynn enjoys pitching at Busch Stadium. All signs point to a victory.

2. Wei-Yin Chen, SP, Baltimore Orioles

It is not an ideal start for Chen as the Houston Astros offense can be really good at times, however Chen went 8-2 at home last year and 2-0 against the Astros. With the start coming at Camden Yards, I like his chances to pick up a victory. On top of that, there are not a ton of great options to begin the week on Monday.

3. Joe Kelly, SP, Boston Red Sox

Along with the new pitching coach possibly helping, Kelly has really turned things on ever since John Farrell said he needed to start pitching better or they may have to reconsider their rotation. He has the ability to throw up a decent number of strikeouts in a two-start week, and I am still not a huge believer in the Minnesota Twins, the team he draws on Monday.

4. Carlos Carrasco, SP, Cleveland Indians

The Texas Rangers roughed up Carrasco a little in his previous start, but I think he finally bounces back against the same team, only this time drawing the start at home. Carrasco has been consistently below average this year (three or more earned runs in his last five starts) in terms of ERA, but he has had decent control and good strikeout numbers even during the struggles. This could be a good week for Carrasco to get back on track, and it may come at a discounted price in daily leagues.

5. Phil Hughes, SP, Minnesota Twins

In two starts against the Boston Red Sox last year he had 1.93 ERA. He went 11-2 during day games in 2014. Hughes happens to draw the Red Sox for a 12:10 first pitch. Although he has struggled this year, he has somewhat started to turn a corner and I think that continues against the struggling Boston lineup.

5 Fantasy Pitchers to Sit in the Upcoming Week

Here’s a handful of players to think about sitting in standard leagues.

1. Archie Bradley, SP, Arizona Diamondbacks

Past aside, his match-up with the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium is not ideal. In addition, he has not looked nearly the same since returning from the disabled list. I would exercise caution with Bradley until he returns to form, and I do not see that happening in St. Louis.

2. Michael Pineda, SP, New York Yankees

Pineda got torched by the Kansas City Royals in his last start against them and he draws the same team on Wednesday, only this time at Yankee Stadium. Even if he can manage to bounce back for a three earned in six inning type performance, the Royals do not strikeout, which leaves him with very little upside. Perhaps he needs to call up Will Smith and try the pine tar again.

3. Jeff Samardzjia, SP, Chicago White Sox

He has yet to show any reason that he can be trusted on a consistent basis, and in general, it is a safe bet to avoid playing a starter against the Toronto Blue Jays offense at the Rogers Centre. He draws the Blue Jays for a morning-afternoon first pitch. Oh, and he is 11-25 during day game starts since 2012.

4. C.J. Wilson, SP, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Wilson draws the Detroit Tigers on Thursday in Anaheim. Although Wilson has pitched really well this season, and draws a favorable match-up with Kyle Lobstein, the Tigers are 7-3 against lefties this season. Plus, Wilson has a 5.46 ERA against the Tigers in his last five starts.

5. Nick Martinez, SP, Texas Rangers

4-0, 1.96 ERA. Those are Martinez’s numbers, so why not start him? Well, he offers very little upside in strikeouts. He has had control issues of late, walking five Cleveland Indians in his start one week ago today. His groundball to flyball ratio over his previous two starts before Saturday, 6/16 and 3/10. Not a good combination heading into the summer month at the Ballpark in Arlington (Globe Life Park). Drawing a home start against the Boston Red Sox, it may all finally unravel for the surprise breakout in the Rangers rotation.

Good luck in your Fantasy Baseball leagues — and in your Daily Fantasy Baseball lineups this week!

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