Quality starting pitching is essential to winning in fantasy baseball. If you have a pitcher that hasn’t been carrying their weight, consider adding a starting pitcher who will make two starts in week eight.
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.
Brandon Webb of the Arizona Diamondbacks, who is 9-1 with a 2.69 ERA, 56 strikeouts, and a 0.98 WHIP in 70 innings, tops our list of two-start fantasy baseball pitchers in week nine. Other “must starts” include:
- Ben Sheets, Milwaukee Brewers
- Johan Santana, New York Mets
- Dan Haren, Arizona Diamondbacks
- Javier Vazquez, Chicago White Sox (FBD Week 2 Pitcher of the Week)
- Scott Kazmir, Tampa Bay Rays
- Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners
- A.J. Burnett, Toronto Blue Jays
- Tim Linecum, San Francisco Giants
- Tim Hudson, Atlanta Braves
- Shawn Marcum, Toronto Blue Jays
The Sunday Special – Two two-start pitchers that should impress you with their performances in week nine:
- Darrell Rasner, New York Yankees. How come so few people are talking about Rasner? Is it possible that the Yankees hype machine is actually running low key on Rasner after the sad starts of Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy? Rasner is 3-0 with a 1.89 ERA, 11 strikeouts, and a 0.84 WHIP in 19 innings of work. His highlight reel start came this past Thursday against Baltimore – 7 innings, 5 hits, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts, NO RUNS! His first start of the week comes Monday on the road at Baltimore against Garrett Olson… his second start is scheduled for Sunday, 6/1, against Nick Blackburn at the Metrodome against the Twins.
- Andy Sonnanstine, Tampa Bay Rays. Sonnanstine has seen the benefit of serious run support from the Rays. Despite his 5.09 ERA, Sonnanstine is 6-2 with 32 strikeouts and 1.32 WHIP in 63.7 innings. In only four of his starts has he given up less than four runs. So, despite his record, why on earth are recommending Sonnanstine? Matchups. His first start comes Tuesday at home against the Texas Rangers and Vicente Padilla. Start no. 2 for Sonny comes against the Chicago White Sox on Sunday 6/1 versus Mark Buehrle. Sonnanstine pitched a three-hit, four strikeout, complete game shutout versus Buehrle and the White Sox on April 19.
Waiver Wire Wonder – A two-start pitcher owned in less than 40% of leagues to consider in week nine:
- Nick Blackburn, Minnesota Twins. Blackburn has won four of his last seven starts dating back to April 19, and has only given up four or more earned runs in three starts this year. Two of those starts came on the road, but none of them were against the Kansas City Royals. Nick’s first start of the week is Tuesday at KC against Brian Bannister. His second start comes against Rasner and the Yankees in the Bronx on Sunday, and he has never faced the Yankees before either. With the Twins’ penchant for developing young pitching, Blackburn is worth a chance replacement after the recent trip to the DL of Fausto Carmona. On the year, Blackburn is 4-3 with a 3.55 ERA, 34 strikeouts, and a 1.41 WHIP in 63.3 innings of work.