Quality starting pitching is essential to winning in fantasy baseball. If you have a pitcher that hasn’t been carrying their weight through the first three weeks of the season, like A.J. Burnett of the Toronto Blue Jays, consider adding one of these two start pitchers who will make two starts in week four.
If the pitcher you consider isn’t at the top of the rankings, there’s often a chance he’ll throw at least one good game out of the two he is probable to start. Worst case, a pitcher with two starts will generally keep a lower ERA and bring in more strikeouts, which could save owners in weekly head-to-head matchups.
Jake Peavy, San Diego’s 2007 NL Cy Young winner and FBD’s Pitcher of the Week in week one, and Brandon Webb of the Arizona Diamondbacks top the list of two-start fantasy baseball pitchers in week four. Other “must starts” include:
- Carlos Zambrano, Chicago Cubs
- Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners
- Tim Hudson, Atlanta Braves
- Josh Beckett, Boston Red Sox
- Chien-Mang Wang, New York Yankees
- Brad Penny, Los Angeles Dodgers
- John Smoltz, Atlanta Braves
- Adam Wainwright, St. Louis Cardinals
The Sunday Specials (Two two-start pitchers that should impress you with their performances in week four):
- Livan Hernandez, Minnesota Twins. Hernandez will be out of the Homerdome in Week four for his two starts – at Oakland on Tuesday against Joe Blanton and Sunday at Texas against the inconsistent Vicente Padilla. Livan has posted 3-0 record in four starts this season, and was in good shape to go 4-0 before an error in the field and a two-run homerun left him with a no-decision versus the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday. Through 27 innings of work, he has struck out eight and only walked four. While no longer an overpowering pitcher, Hernandez has great matchups in week four, assuming his previous start isn’t an indication of him falling back to earth.
- Kyle Lohse, St. Louis Cardinals. Like most of the Cards’ rotation to start the season, Lohse has been great. After four starts, Lohse is currently 2-0 with 10 strikeouts and a 1.48 ERA in 24.3 innings of work. His last start Thursday against Milwaukee was stellar – seven innings, five hits, three strikeouts, no walks, and only two earned runs. He is matched against the Brew Crew again Tuesday on the road against Manny Parra and Sunday at home against Brandon Backe and the Houston Astros.
Waiver Wire Wonder (One two-start pitcher owned in less than 40% of fantasy baseball leagues to consider in week three):
- Mark Hendrickson, Florida Marlins. Hendrickson is off to a surprising 3-1 for the baby Marlins. Over his past three starts, he has only allowed four earned runs and currently sits with nine strikeouts and a 3.97 ERA in 22.7 innings. He has also walked nine batters, so beware of this frequency if you have walks as a stat in your league. Don’t get super excited and expect two shutout-type performances from Hendrickson, but we’re pretty sure in mixed leagues that he will be available, and could provide so quality numbers if you’re looking for a fill-in pitcher. He is scheduled to start Monday, 4/21 against the terrible Matt Morris and the Pittsburgh Pirates, then will also take the mound Saturday 4/26 against the Milwaukee Brewers and Carlos Villanueva.