Heading into June, it is a good time to reassess what your team is doing vis a vis your opponents. Pumping up your pitching stats is always a nice tweak, especially in head to head leagues, and fortunately there are plenty of options to explore this week, especially in the middle tier below.

Start 'em If You Own 'em

Starting Pitcher

First Start/Opponent

Second Start/Opponent

Clayton Kershaw  LAD

6/2/2014

6/8/2014

 

vs. CHW

@ COL

 

Jose Quintana  CHW

Jorge De La Rosa  COL

Felix Hernandez  SEA

6/2/2014

6/8/2014

 

@ NYY

@ TB

 

David Phelps  NYY

Chris Archer  TB

C.J. Wilson  LAA

6/3/2014

6/8/2014

 

@ HOU

vs. CHW

 

Collin McHugh  HOU

Jose Quintana  CHW

James Shields  KC

6/3/2014

6/8/2014

 

@ STL

vs. NYY

 

Jaime Garcia  STL

Hiroki Kuroda  NYY

Gerrit Cole  PIT

6/3/2014

6/8/2014

 

@ SD

vs. MIL

 

Tim Stauffer  SD

Yovani Gallardo  MIL

Anibal Sanchez  DET

6/3/2014

6/8/2014

 

vs. TOR

vs. BOS

 

R.A. Dickey TOR

Jake Peavy  BOS

Scott Kazmir  OAK

6/3/2014

6/8/2014

 

@ NYY

@ BAL

 

Hiroki Kuroda  NYY

Bud Norris  BAL

John Lackey  BOS

6/2/2014

6/7/2014

 

@ CLE

@ DET

 

Justin Masterson  CLE

Max Scherzer  DET

As I say every week, I would start any of these pitchers no matter the opponent or venue. Anibal Sanchez is pitching extraordinarily effectively since coming off the DL, and with his command and control, is much better than the normal number three starter. If you can acquire him for a reasonable cost, you should do so immediately. Shields needs to pick up his game to continue their residence in this tier, so keep an eye on him as June rolls on.

Maybe Yes, Maybe No

Starting Pitcher

First Start/Opponent

Second Start/Opponent

Chris Archer  TB

6/3/2014

6/8/2014

 

@ MIA

vs. SEA

 

Henderson Alvarez  MIA

Felix Hernandez  SEA

Jorge De La Rosa  COL

6/3/2014

6/8/2014

 

vs. ARI

vs. LAD

 

Chase Anderson  ARI

Clayton Kershaw  LAD

Jaime Garcia  STL

6/3/2014

6/8/2014

 

vs. KC

@ TOR

 

James Shields  KC

R.A. Dickey  TOR

Tim Lincecum  SF

6/3/2014

6/8/2014

 

@ CIN

vs. NYM

 

Homer Bailey  CIN

Zack Wheeler  NYM

Homer Bailey  CIN

6/3/2014

6/8/2014

 

vs. SF

vs. PHI

 

Tim Lincecum  SF

David Buchanan  PHI

Shelby Miller  STL

6/2/2014

6/7/2014

 

vs. KC

@ TOR

 

Danny Duffy  KC

TBA

Jose Quintana  CHW

6/2/2014

6/8/2014

 

@ LAD

@ LAA

 

Clayton Kershaw  LAD

C.J. Wilson LAA

R.A. Dickey  TOR

6/3/2014

6/8/2014

 

@ DET

vs. STL

 

Anibal Sanchez  DET

Jaime Garcia  STL

Hiroki Kuroda  NYY

6/3/2014

6/8/2014

 

vs. OAK

@ KC

 

Scott Kazmir  OAK

James Shields  KC

Zack Wheeler  NYM

6/3/2014

6/8/2014

 

@ CHC

@ SF

 

Jake Arrieta  CHC

Tim Lincecum  SF

Henderson Alvarez  MIA

6/3/2014

6/8/2014

 

vs. TB

@ CHC

 

Chris Archer  TB

Jake Arrieta  CHC

Bartolo Colon  NYM

6/2/2014

6/7/2014

 

@ PHI

@ SF

 

Roberto Hernandez  PHI

Tim Hudson  SF

David Phelps  NYY

6/2/2014

6/7/2014

 

vs. SEA

@ KC

 

Felix Hernandez  SEA

Danny Duffy  KC

Roberto Hernandez  PHI

6/2/2014

6/7/2014

 

vs. NYM

@ CIN

 

Bartolo Colon  NYM

Alfredo Simon  CIN

Charlie Morton  PIT

6/2/2014

6/7/2014

 

@ SD

vs. MIL

 

TBA

Matt Garza  MIL

Matt Garza MIL

6/2/2014

6/7/2014

 

vs. MIN

@ PIT

 

Kyle Gibson  MIN

Charlie Morton  PIT

Erik Bedard  TB

6/2/2014

6/7/2014

 

@ MIA

vs. SEA

 

Randy Wolf MIA

Roenis Elias  SEA

Chase Anderson  ARI

6/3/2014

6/8/2014

 

@ COL

vs. ATL

 

Jorge De La Rosa  COL

Aaron Harang  ATL

David Buchanan  PHI

6/3/2014

6/8/2014

 

@ WAS

@ CIN

 

Jordan Zimmermann  WAS

Homer Bailey  CIN

Bud Norris  BAL

6/3/2014

6/8/2014

 

@ TEX

vs. OAK

 

Joe Saunders TEX

Scott Kazmir  OAK

Jake Arrieta  CHC

6/3/2014

6/8/2014

 

vs. NYM

vs. MIA

 

Zack Wheeler  NYM

Henderson Alvarez  MIA

Samuel Deduno  MIN

6/3/2014

6/8/2014

 

@ MIL

vs. HOU

 

Yovani Gallardo  MIL

Scott Feldman  HOU

Yovani Gallardo  MIL

6/3/2014

6/8/2014

 

vs. MIN

@ PIT

 

Samuel Deduno  MIN

Gerrit Cole  PIT

Jordan Zimmermann  WAS

6/3/2014

6/8/2014

 

vs. PHI

@ SD

 

David Buchanan  PHI

Tim Stauffer  SD

Joe Saunders  TEX

6/3/2014

6/8/2014

 

vs. BAL

vs. CLE

 

Bud Norris  BAL

Justin Masterson  CLE

Tim Stauffer  SD

6/3/2014

6/8/2014

 

vs. PIT

vs. WAS

 

Gerrit Cole  PIT

Jordan Zimmermann  WAS

The first group or sub-tier here begins with Archer and runs through Miller. Archer has been walking too many for my taste, but his results and the K potential puts him at the top of the list. De la Rosa keeps validating my early faith in him, as does Garcia who was a late round pick that sat on my bench for weeks. Lincecum has recovered his mojo, and while I still don't trust him entirely, he is a fine option if he keeps up his current production, beu beware of his walk rate. Some bailed on Bailey, but he has righted his ship of late and is a pitcher I would trust going forward. Likewise, Miller, who is coming off two bad outings that has led to him relying on his curveball more, which I project as an important choice that should result in a return to effective pitching. You may disagree, but don't drop him just yet.

Our second sub-tier runs from Quintana to Morton. Quintana has had some poor support that results in a lack of wins, despite allowing three or fewer earned runs in seven consecutive starts. Dickey suffered a hiccup, but overall his production has been very good, making up for his stumbles in 2013, plus his team is playing well behind him. Kuroda keeps plugging along, although he has not been pitching deeply into games his last two starts, where his Ks have been down as well. Still, he is the number two for the Yankees, and is a decent SP3 for your team. Wheeler is due to have the occasional ripple, but that happens with rookies. Especially in keeper leagues, he is someone to target for long term production. Alvarez scared his owners with elbow stiffness in his last start, so keep a watch on his status, but if he can go, I like both his match ups this week. Colon has been sharp his last two outings, especially his 7.1 inning outing against the Pirates where he racked up 9 Ks. The Mets are in disarray, but their pitching is not the reason to worry. Phelps and Hernandez, and Morton too for that matter, have been pitching effectively recently, although both Morton and Hernandez have been a bit too free with the walks. Of the three, I'd go with Phelps if I had my druthers.

The next sub-tier ends with Arrieta, who suffers from lack of support but does give decent strikeout numbers to his owners. Garza, at the top of the sub-tier, has the occasional bad outing, but is overall a decent option, providing decent K totals in most starts. Bedard was due to regress and did so in his last start, but he has been spectacular before that, so it is worth a shot to see if this is a new trend or just a hiccup. Must confess I don't really like his first start this week in Miami, but the second start is a good spot to put him back into your roster. Anderson and Buchanan are both more than likely available on the wire, and are both coming off back to back excellent starts, so what I am saying is, if you need a pitcher, consider snagging one or both while the getting is good. Might want to avoid using Anderson at Coors Field, though. Norris is up and down like a yo-yo, but if you get him on the right day, he can be very useful in terms of peripherals and Ks. Just be wary of the blow up starts.

The bottom five in this tier are desperation picks. Dedundo is coming off a bad start at home vs Texas, but has been good overall. His second start against the Astros looks good. Gallardo is another yo-yo pitcher, and you just have to weigh your risk if you start him. Zimmermann has not been living up to his early season expectations, and with limited Ks and occasional double digit base runners in his starts, I don't trust him right now, but you may feel differently. Note though his tumble from usual top tier status to the bottom of the middle tier. Saunders looked good against the Twins at Target Field, but with only two starts on the season (one great, one short and bad), and last year's debacle looking me in the face, I am waiting before I consider using him yet. Stauffer has two home starts, and that is favorable,but he is also coming off a disastrous one third of an inning start where he was charged with seven earned runs, so I am not sold on his potential. Then again, two starts are Petco make him the foundation of this tier, and not a resident of the third tier.

Not On My Roster

Starting Pitcher

First Start/Opponent

Second Start/Opponent

Randy Wolf  MIA

6/2/2014

6/7/2014

 

vs. TB

@ CHC

 

Erik Bedard  TB

Jeff Samardzija CHC

Jake Peavy  BOS

6/3/2014

6/8/2014

 

@ CLE

@ DET

 

T.J. House  CLE

Anibal Sanchez  DET

Kyle Gibson  MIN

6/2/2014

6/7/2014

 

@ MIL

vs. HOU

 

Matt Garza MIL

Dallas Keuchel  HOU

Justin Masterson  CLE

6/2/2014

6/8/2014

 

vs. BOS

@ TEX

 

John Lackey  BOS

Joe Saunders  TEX

Danny Duffy  KC

6/2/2014

6/7/2014

 

@ STL

vs. NYY

 

Shelby Miller  STL

David Phelps  NYY

I would not start any of these pitchers until they get things together on the mound. Masterson has been spectacularly disappointing, as it appears that last season's brilliance was his ceiling, and his current owners are suffering through his floor in 2014.

Should you have questions regarding fantasy baseball, especially starting pitching, you can reach me at ia@fantasyalarm.com to continue the discussion.




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About Ivar G. Anderson

I have actively played fantasy sports since 2004, when I was roped into competing in an auto-pick football league on Yahoo. My devotion, and number of teams has continued to grow to the present. I began writing about fantasy sports for FantasyGameday in 2008, and was recruited to join the FantasyAlarm team in 2011, where I cover Starting Pitching on the baseball side of things, and publish a weekly IDP Report and NFL Weather Report weekly during the football season. I can be reached by e-mail at: ia@fantasyalarm.com and my Twitter handle is: @johnwhorfin

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