I will be attempting to get these articles published by Thursday the rest of the year, but I make no promises as my full time gig sometimes interferes with my plans. I want to provide options for Friday through Sunday for our readers, to help you prosper in your fantasy exploits.
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Remember, while these suggestions are accurate as of time and date of publication, many things can conspire to change rotations. For example, it is snowing here in Detroit as I write this at Slows Barbeque on Michigan Avenue, and I suspect that the Tigers/Royals game may be postponed, as was Tuesday's game. Injury and managerial decisions also affect the pitching match-ups, but this is as good as I can provide today. Be ever vigilant with your fantasy rotations.
Hiram Burgos MIL @ LAD Josh Beckett
Roberto Hernandez TB @ CHW Jake Peavy
Kyle Kendrick PHI @ NYM Dillon Gee
Burgos is no certainty to start this game, but he pitched well enough in his first start in the Brewers' rotation to deserve a shot against the Dodgers. The lack of Ks is distressing, but the peripherals were nice. Hernandez has been mediocre, but the White Sox offense is in a funk early on, and this could be a good time to face them. Especially with the cool weather (alright, it has been downright cold and for the most part miserable in the Midwest so far in April), I would take a chance on the Tampa Bay starter. Kendrick has a 1-0 record over his past 3 starts with a 1.80 ERA and 16 Ks in 19 IP. The Mets are a good offense, but the park limits damage that can be inflicted, and the Philly offense can produce enough firepower on occasion to back their starters, so of the three options here, I would back Kendrick the strongest.
Pedro Hernandez MIN vs TEX Derek Holland
Mike Leake CIN @ WAS Dan Haren
Wily Peralta MIL @ LAD Stephen Fife
Chris Tillman BAL @ OAK A. J. Griffin
Jake Westbrook StL vs PIT A. J. Burnett
Saturday gives us the most options for streaming this weekend. The Texas offense isn't as fearsome as it has been the last few seasons, and while I generally don't favor Twins' SPs outside of Correia, Hernandez pitched well in a middle relief role, and could give you a QS if his luck holds up. Faint praise, I realize. Leake seems to have been motivated by the promotion of Cingrani, and while his short term success is nice, just realize he could suffer a severe meltdown at any point and be moved to the bullpen to allow Cingrani to become the fifth starter. Still, Haren is no good right now, nor is the Nationals' offense, so I would ride him while he's hot. Peralta is decent bet to keep the Brewers in the game, especially pitching at Dodger Stadium with its pitcher friendly dimensions. Plus, I like the Milwaukee offense, so even i he bleeds some runs, he has a chance to give you some Ks and a QS, though he is nothing to write home about, to be sure. Tillman, on the other hand, has always had the talent to be a valuable back of the rotation fantasy SP, and posted a great outing against the Jays, although ending with a no decision to show for his efforts. If he has turned the corner, then he is worth rostering, but this start will tell a ton about him, as Oakland is on a roll, and I am not talking Kaiser. Westbrook is under-owned due to his DL stint, and you should take advantage and roster him now. He walks too many batters, which results in an inflated WHIP, and the strikeouts are never going to be anything more than league average...why again should you roster him? Oh, ya, he wins and keeps his ERA in check. Plus, he pitches for a team known for good pitching franchise-wise. Pick him up and play the match ups.
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Dylan Axelrod CHW vs TB David Price
Kevin Correia MIN vs TEX Alexi Ogando
Only two viable options for Sunday, and I really don't like Axelrod all that much. He's looked acceptable and seems to find a way to make guys hit 'em where they are, but he carries too high a WHIP and doesn't strike out enough batters to maintain this kind of performance over the long haul. Still, his manager believes in him, and he will stay in the rotation so long as Danks is on the DL. I wouldn't necessarily hold onto him past this start, unless he looks to have discovered a way to keep men off base, but he does give you an opportunity at some IP with a good ERA. Correia I do like, and would roster him if you have some under-performing SP still sitting on your bench, or someone who has been sent to the minors, like Fiers. Correia is my nominee for the Twins' ace, pitching better than any of their other SPs, especially Whorley and Diamond. His K/BB ratio is good, although a higher K/9 would make him more valuable. Of course, then he prolly wouldn't be available on the wire, would he? I am starting him where I have him, and while you may get burned ultimately, he's hot and I always suggest you ride the hot hand.
Good luck and godspeed in your fantasy endeavors. If you have any questions Starting Pitching, or about fantasy baseball in general, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will do my best to guide you. Just remember, the service is free and you get what you pay for.
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