Week 1 Fantasy Pitching Planner

We go around baseball's rotations every Sunday of the season in our weekly Pitching Planner. We highlight every matchup, recommended two-start options, sleepers and busts and much more.

Arizona Diamondbacks

  1. Brandon Webb vs. COL (Cook), vs. LAD (Kuroda)
  2. Dan Haren vs. COL (Jimenez), vs. LAD (Wolf)
  3. Doug Davis vs. COL (Morales)
  4. Jon Garland vs. LAD (McDonald)
  5. Max Scherzer skipped, begins on 15-day DL (shoulder)

Two-starter(s): Webb and Haren. They are must-starts in all leagues.
Who is getting skipped: Scherzer. He won't go until the D-Backs need a No. 5 starter April 14.
One-week sleeper: Garland. He makes his D-Backs debut vs. the Dodgers.
One-week bust: Scherzer. He won't start.

Atlanta Braves

  1. Derek Lowe at PHI (Myers), vs. WAS (Lannan)
  2. Jair Jurrjens at PHI (Moyer), vs. WAS (Olsen)
  3. Javier Vazquez at PHI (Blanton)
  4. Kenshin Kawakami vs. WAS (Martis)
  5. Tom Glavine skipped, begins on 15-day DL (shoulder)

Two-starter(s): Lowe and Jurrjens. They are must-starts in all leagues.
Who is getting skipped: Glavine. He won't start until the Braves need a No. 5 starter April 18.
One-week sleeper: Kawakami. Japanese import is at home vs. the Nationals. Lock it up!
One-week bust: Glavine. He won't start.

Top 10 Pitchers Added
Player % Change
1. Jason Motte , RP, Cardinals 35
2. Trevor Cahill , SP, Athletics 21
3. Kenshin Kawakami , SP, Braves 18
4. Jordan Zimmermann , SP, Nationals 18
5. Fernando Rodney , RP, Tigers 17
6. Kelvim Escobar , SP, Angels 15
7. Carlos Villanueva , SP, Brewers 14
8. Brett Anderson , SP, Athletics 14
9. Heath Bell , RP, Padres 12
10. Koji Uehara , SP, Orioles 12

Baltimore Orioles

  1. Jeremy Guthrie vs. NYY (Sabathia), vs. TB (Niemann)
  2. Koji Uehara vs. NYY (Wang)
  3. Alfredo Simon vs. NYY (Burnett)
  4. Mark Hendrickson vs. TB (Sonnanstine)
  5. Adam Eaton vs. TB (Shields)

Two-starter(s): Guthrie. He is risky vs. the Yankees and Rays, but at least he is at home.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: None. Look elsewhere.
One-week bust: Everyone. Avoid all five of the O's starters in Week 1, if possible. Heck, avoid them for the season until the prospects come up.

Boston Red Sox

  1. Josh Beckett vs. TB (Shields), at LAA (Saunders)
  2. Jon Lester vs. TB (Kazmir)
  3. Daisuke Matsuzaka vs. TB (Garza)
  4. Tim Wakefield at LAA (Adenhart)
  5. Brad Penny at LAA (Moseley)

Two-starter(s): Beckett. Tough matchups, but he is a must-start in all leagues.
Who is getting skipped: Penny, but he will start the first time a No. 5 starter is needed April 12, which is the last day of Week 1.
One-week sleeper: Penny.
One-week bust: Wakefield. He starts on the road at the Angels.

Chicago Cubs

  1. Carlos Zambrano at HOU (Oswalt), at MIL (Bush)
  2. Ryan Dempster at HOU (Rodriguez), at MIL (Suppan)
  3. Ted Lilly at HOU (Moehler)
  4. Rich Harden at MIL (Looper)
  5. Sean Marshall skipped

Two-starter(s): Zambrano and maybe Dempster. They are must-start pitchers regardless.
Who is getting skipped: Maybe Marshall.
One-week sleeper: All top four starters are advisable options.
One-week bust: Marshall. He might not start.

Chicago White Sox

  1. Mark Buehrle vs. KC (Meche), vs. MIN (Blackburn)
  2. Gavin Floyd vs. KC (Greinke)
  3. John Danks vs. MIN (Dickey)
  4. Jose Contreras vs. KC (Davies)
  5. Bartolo Colon vs MIN (Liriano)

Two-starter(s): Buehrle. He is an option for deeper leagues vs. KC and MIN.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Buehrle, although his "ace" status likely has him owned already.
One-week bust: Contreras and Colon. They shouldn't be trusted just yet.

Emack's top sleeper starts
1 Brad Penny BOS
2 Andy Sonnanstine TB
3 Kyle Lohse STL
4 Trevor Cahill OAK
5 Barry Zito SF
Emack says sit 'em
1 Oliver Perez NYM
2 Jeremy Guthrie BAL
3 Aaron Cook COL
4 Bronson Arroyo CIN
5 Nick Blackburn MIN

Cincinnati Reds

  1. Aaron Harang vs. NYM (Santana), vs. PIT (Snell)
  2. Edinson Volquez vs. NYM (Pelfrey)
  3. Micah Owings vs. NYM (Perez)
  4. Johnny Cueto vs. PIT (Karstens)
  5. Bronson Arroyo vs. PIT (Maholm)

Two-starter(s): Harang. He is trimmer and ready for a big rebound season, a solid start.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Cueto. Usually risky, a matchup vs. the Pirates makes him a must-start option.
One-week bust: Arroyo. He had a bad spring and is struggling with carpal tunnel syndrome.

Cleveland Indians

  1. Cliff Lee at TEX (Millwood), vs. TOR (Halladay)
  2. Roberto Hernandez at TEX (Padilla)
  3. Carl Pavano at TEX (McCarthy)
  4. Scott Lewis vs. TOR (Richmond)
  5. Anthony Reyes vs. TOR (Purcey)

Two-starter(s): Lee. He is a must-start in all leagues.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Lewis. Unheralded prospect had a great spring and is a nice flier in deeper formats.
One-week bust: Pavano. His Indians debut at Texas is potentially dangerous. Watch him closely if he pitches well, because he will be a two-start pitcher the following week.

Colorado Rockies

  1. Aaron Cook , at ARI (Webb), vs. PHI (Myers)
  2. Ubaldo Jimenez at ARI (Haren)
  3. Franklin Morales at ARI (Davis)
  4. Jason Marquis vs. PHI (Hamels)
  5. Jorge De La Rosa vs. PHI (Park)

Two-starter(s): Cook and Jimenez. Cook is a risky option at Arizona and vs. the Phillies, while Jimenez is an intriguing one.
Who is getting skipped: None. The Rockies could skip their No. 5 starter but apparently won't.
One-week sleeper: Morales. He had a great spring, so consider him in deeper leagues, even against the Phillies.
One-week bust: Cook. For the reasons stated above.

Detroit Tigers

  1. Justin Verlander at TOR (Halladay), vs. TEX (Harrison)
  2. Edwin Jackson at TOR (Purcey)
  3. Zach Miner at TOR (Litsch)
  4. Rick Porcello at TOR (Romero)
  5. Armando Galarraga vs. TEX (Benson)

Two-starter(s): Verlander and Jackson. They are solid options at TOR and vs. TEX.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Porcello. If he slots No. 4 in the rotation, he faces a back-end starter for the Blue Jays in his debut.
One-week bust: Miner. He had a bad spring and shouldn't be trusted at this point.

Two-start SP rankings
Must-start options
1 Roy Halladay TOR
2 Josh Beckett BOS
3 Johan Santana NYM
4 CC Sabathia NYY
5 Brandon Webb ARI
6 Jake Peavy SD
7 Carlos Zambrano CHC
8 Felix Hernandez SEA
9 Roy Oswalt HOU
10 Tim Lincecum SF
11 Francisco Liriano MIN
12 Dan Haren ARI
13 Adam Wainwright STL
14 Ricky Nolasco FLA
15 Justin Verlander DET
16 Cliff Lee CLE
17 James Shields TB
18 Ryan Dempster CHC
19 Brett Myers PHI
20 Derek Lowe ATL
21 Josh Johnson FLA
22 Joe Saunders ANA
Advisable options
23 Aaron Harang CIN
24 Erik Bedard SEA
25 Jair Jurrjens ATL
26 Mark Buehrle CHW
27 Chris Young SD
29 Edwin Jackson DET
Questionable options
30 Gil Meche KC
31 Hiroki Kuroda LA
32 Paul Maholm PIT
33 Kyle Lohse STL
28 Trevor Cahill OAK
34 Wandy Rodriguez HOU
35 Aaron Cook COL
36 Randy Wolf LA
37 Nick Blackburn MIN
38 John Lannan WAS
High-risk options
39 Jeremy Guthrie BAL
40 Ian Snell PIT
41 Kevin Millwood TEX
42 Scott Olsen WAS
43 Dallas Braden OAK
44 David Purcey TOR
45 Jeff Suppan MIL
46 Dustin Moseley ANA

Florida Marlins

  1. Ricky Nolasco vs. WAS (Lannan), vs. NYM (Hernandez)
  2. Josh Johnson vs. WAS (Olsen), vs. NYM (Santana)
  3. Chris Volstad vs. WAS (Cabrera)
  4. Anibal Sanchez vs. NYM (Maine)
  5. Andrew Miller skipped

Two-starter(s): Nolasco and Johnson, if they skip Miller one turn through the rotation (probable). Nolasco and Johnson are must-start pitchers.
Who is getting skipped: Likely Miller. The Marlins don't need a No. 5 starter until April 18.
One-week sleeper: Volstad. He starts at home vs. the Nationals. Heck, that might make him a must-start option.
One-week bust: Sanchez. He draws the Mets in Game 4. They have some payback to levy.

Houston Astros

  1. Roy Oswalt vs. CHC (Zambrano), at STL (Wainwright)
  2. Wandy Rodriguez vs. CHC (Dempster), at STL (Lohse)
  3. Brian Moehler vs. CHC (Lilly)
  4. Mike Hampton vs. STL (Pineiro)
  5. Russ Ortiz skipped

Two-starter(s): Oswalt and perhaps Rodriguez, if the No. 5 spot is skipped (likely).
Who is getting skipped: Likely the No. 5 starter, Ortiz or Jose F. Capellan .
One-week sleeper: Rodriguez gets two starts, albeit tough matchups vs. CHC and at STL.
One-week bust: Hampton and the No. 4 starter, perhaps Moehler, are marginal options with tough matchups.

Kansas City Royals

  1. Gil Meche at CHW (Buehrle), vs. NYY (Sabathia)
  2. Zack Greinke at CHW (Floyd)
  3. Kyle Davies at CHW (Contreras)
  4. Sidney Ponson vs. NYY (Pettitte)
  5. Horacio Ramirez vs. NYY (Chamberlain)

Two-starter(s): Meche. He is a risky option with tough matchups.
Who is getting skipped: Ramirez, but he will still slot before the end of the week, pitching Sunday.
One-week sleeper: Davies. He was hot late last year and had a solid spring.
One-week bust: Ponson and Ramirez. Those vets figure to get beat up by the Yankees.

Los Angeles Angels

  1. Joe Saunders vs. OAK (Braden), vs. BOS (Beckett)
  2. Dustin Moseley vs. OAK (Cahill), vs. BOS (Penny)
  3. Shane Loux vs. OAK (Eveland)
  4. Jered Weaver vs. OAK (Anderson)
  5. Nick Adenhart vs. BOS (Adenhart)

Two-starter(s): Saunders and Moseley. Saunders is advisable, while Moseley is risky.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Weaver. He has a favorable matchup against a rookie making his debut.
One-week bust: Loux. He cannot be trusted until he proves capable.

Los Angeles Dodgers

  1. Hiroki Kuroda at SD (Peavy), at ARI (Webb)
  2. Randy Wolf at SD (Young), at ARI (Haren)
  3. Chad Billingsley at SD (Silva)
  4. Clayton Kershaw at SD (Correia)
  5. James McDonald at ARI (Garland)

Two-starter(s): Kuroda and Wolf. They are nice options at SD and ARI.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Wolf and Kershaw. They are available in some mixed leagues and face the lowly Padres.
One-week bust: McDonald. He makes his first start at ARI as Garland debuts. We still would take the chance on McDonald in NL-only formats, though.

Milwaukee Brewers

  1. Jeff Suppan at SF (Lincecum), vs. CHC (Dempster)
  2. Yovani Gallardo at SF (Johnson)
  3. Manny Parra at SF (Cain)
  4. Braden Looper vs. CHC (Harden)
  5. Dave Bush vs. CHC (Zambrano)

Two-starter(s): Suppan. Tough matchups, so you likely should avoid him in most leagues.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Parra. He matches up against weak Giants lineup.
One-week bust: Looper and Bush. They face the Cubs' standouts.

Minnesota Twins

  1. Francisco Liriano vs. SEA (Hernandez), at CHW (Colon)
  2. Nick Blackburn vs. SEA (Bedard), at CHW (Buehrle)
  3. Kevin Slowey vs. SEA (Silva)
  4. Glen Perkins vs. SEA (Washburn)
  5. R.A. Dickey at CHW (Danks)

Two-starter(s): Liriano and Blackburn. You have to start Liriano in all leagues vs. SEA and at CHW. Blackburn is a riskier option.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Perkins. He has had a great spring and starts at home vs. the lowly Mariners.
One-week bust: Dickey. He is the worst rotation member in baseball. Avoid him.

New York Mets

  1. Johan Santana at CIN (Harang), at FLA (Johnson)
  2. Mike Pelfrey at CIN (Volquez)
  3. Oliver Perez at CIN (Arroyo)
  4. John Maine at FLA (Sanchez)
  5. Livan Hernandez at FLA (Nolasco)

Two-starter(s): Santana. Must-start in all leagues at CIN and FLA. Duh!
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Hernandez. He is only useful in NL-only formats right now, but he was a 13-game winner for far lesser teams last season.
One-week bust: Perez. He has been brutal most of the spring and starts in a great hitter's park in Cincy.

New York Yankees

  1. CC Sabathia at BAL (Guthrie), at KC (Meche)
  2. Chien-Ming Wang at BAL (Uehara)
  3. A.J. Burnett at BAL (Eaton)
  4. Andy Pettitte at KC (Ponson)
  5. Joba Chamberlain at KC (Ramirez)

Two-starter(s): Sabathia. He is a must-start in all leagues no matter the matchup at this point. Watch him for his notorious slow start, though.
Who is getting skipped: Chamberlain. He will slot before the end of Week 1, though, so he can still be used.
One-week sleeper: Pettitte. He is available in some mixed leagues and gets a start against the lowly Royals. Then in Week 2, see below ...
One-week bust: None. All Yankees starters should be active in all leagues this week.

Oakland Athletics

  1. Dallas Braden at LAA (Saunders), vs. SEA (Hernandez)
  2. Trevor Cahill at LAA (Moseley), vs. SEA (Bedard)
  3. Dana Eveland at LAA (Loux)
  4. Brett Anderson at LAA (Weaver)
  5. Josh Outman vs. SEA (Rowland-Smith)

Two-starter(s): Braden and Cahill. They are not your usual front-line starters.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Cahill. This is an elite 21-year-old pitching prospect who will start twice at LAA and vs. SEA.
One-week bust: Braden. He is starting twice, but his matchups suggest it will be against the aces of LAA and SEA.

Philadelphia Phillies

  1. Cole Hamels at COL (Marquis)
  2. Brett Myers vs. ATL (Lowe), at COL (Cook)
  3. Jamie Moyer vs. ATL (Jurrjens)
  4. Joe Blanton vs. ATL (Vazquez)
  5. Chan Ho Park at COL (De La Rosa)

Two-starter(s): Myers. He is a must-start, two-start pitcher in all leagues.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Moyer or Blanton. These two are a bit underrated in most Fantasy leagues.
One-week bust: Park. He starts at Colorado. We wouldn't trust him.

Pittsburgh Pirates

  1. Paul Maholm at STL (Wainwright), at CIN (Arroyo)
  2. Ian Snell at STL (Loshe), at CIN (Harang)
  3. Zach Duke at STL (Wellemeyer)
  4. Ross Ohlendorf at STL (Carpenter)
  5. Jeff Karstens at CIN (Cueto)

Two-starter(s): Maholm and Snell. All of the Pirates starters are risky options this season, especially when they are starting at STL and CIN.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Maholm. He has become an ace on a terrible team, so he could prove useful in deeper leagues even as a two-game loser.
One-week bust: Karstens. Trusting any Pirates starters is dicey. Starting their No. 5 starter at Cincy is just not something advisable.

San Diego Padres

  1. Jake Peavy vs. LAD (Kuroda), vs. SF (Sanchez)
  2. Chris Young vs. LAD (Wolf), vs. SF (Lincecum)
  3. Walter Silva vs. LAD (Billingsley)
  4. Kevin Correia vs. LAD (Kershaw)
  5. Shawn Hill vs. SF (Zito)

Two-starter(s): Peavy and Young. They are solid starts in all leagues until their poor supporting cast proves otherwise.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Young. He might be available in some smaller mixed leagues.
One-week bust: Starter Nos. 3-5. The Padres stink and these starters wouldn't be all that intriguing regardless of their supporting cast.

San Francisco Giants

  1. Tim Lincecum vs. MIL (Suppan), at SD (Young)
  2. Randy Johnson vs. MIL (Gallardo)
  3. Matt Cain vs. MIL (Parra)
  4. Barry Zito at SD (Hill)
  5. Jonathan Sanchez at SD (Peavy)

Two-starter(s): Lincecum. It doesn't matter, but he gets the Brewers at home and Padres on the road, easy money.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Zito. Yeah, yeah, he stinks and notoriously starts slowly, but that is a scrubby Padres team.
One-week bust: Sanchez. He draws Peavy on the road. We wouldn't use him.

Seattle Mariners

  1. Felix Hernandez at MIN (Liriano), at OAK (Braden)
  2. Erik Bedard at MIN (Blackburn), at OAK (Cahill)
  3. Carlos Silva at MIN (Slowey)
  4. Jarrod Washburn at MIN (Perkins)
  5. Ryan Rowland-Smith at OAK (Outman)

Two-starter(s): Hernandez and Bedard. They are at MIN and OAK, so consider them must-starts in all leagues.
Who is getting skipped None.
One-week sleeper: Bedard. He might be unowned in some smaller mixed leagues. He is in a walk year and has proven healthy enough this spring. He is plenty motivated to earn a big contract or even a midseason trade.
One-week bust: Silva. He is a bust every week. Washburn is too.

St. Louis Cardinals

  1. Adam Wainwright vs. PIT (Maholm), vs. HOU (Oswalt)
  2. Kyle Lohse vs. PIT (Snell), vs. HOU (Rodriguez)
  3. Todd Wellemeyer vs. PIT (Duke)
  4. Chris Carpenter vs. PIT (Ohlendorf)
  5. Joel Pineiro vs. HOU (Hampton)

Two-starter(s): Wainwright and Lohse. Wainwright is a must-start option, while Lohse is more of a sleeper.
Who is getting skipped None.
One-week sleeper: Lohse. He gets two home starts vs. PIT and HOU.
One-week bust: None. All of the Cardinals starters are solid options this week.

Tampa Bay Rays

  1. James Shields at BOS (Beckett), at BAL (Guthrie)
  2. Scott Kazmir at BOS (Lester)
  3. Matt Garza at BOS (Matsuzaka)
  4. Andy Sonnanstine at BAL (Hendrickson)
  5. Jeff Niemann at BAL (Guthrie)

Two-starter(s): Shields. He is a must-start option in all leagues at BOS and BAL.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Sonnanstine and Niemann. They get one start against the Orioles. Sign them up.
One-week bust: None. All of the Rays starters are viable options this week.

Texas Rangers

  1. Kevin Millwood vs. CLE (Lee), at DET (Jackson)
  2. Vicente Padilla vs. CLE (Carmona)
  3. Brandon McCarthy vs. CLE (Pavano)
  4. Kris Benson at DET (Galarraga)
  5. Matt Harrison at DET (Verlander)

Two-starter(s): Millwood. He is a risky option vs. CLE and at DET.
Who is getting skipped: The No. 5 starter, likely Harrison. But he will start Sunday at the latest and still get a start in the first week.
One-week sleeper: McCarthy. He was solid at times this spring and could get some decent run support.
One-week bust: Millwood and Padilla. Don't rely on these two arms until they prove they deserve your trust in deeper leagues.

Toronto Blue Jays

  1. Roy Halladay vs. DET (Verlander), at CLE (Lee)
  2. David Purcey vs. DET (Jackson), at CLE (Reyes)
  3. Jesse Litsch vs. DET (Miner)
  4. Ricky Romero at TOR (Romero)
  5. Scott Richmond at CLE (Lewis)

Two-starter(s): Halladay and Purcey. Halladay should never sit, but Purcey is far more risky.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Litsch. He has a solid matchup against Miner.
One-week bust: Purcey, Romero and Richmond. They need to prove worthy of their rotation spots before you should trust them outside of the deepest of AL-only leagues.

Washington Nationals

  1. John Lannan at FLA (Nolasco), at ATL (Lowe)
  2. Scott Olsen at FLA (Johnson), at ATL (Jurrjens)
  3. Daniel Cabrera at FLA (Volstad)
  4. Shairon Martis at ATL (Kawakami)
  5. Jordan Zimmermann skipped

Two-starter(s): Lannan and Olsen. They are sleepers for deeper leagues, mostly NL-only formats, at FLA and ATL.
Who is getting skipped: Zimmermann. The elite pitching prospect is expected to open in the minors and be brought back up when the Nationals first need a No. 5 starter April 19.
One-week sleeper: Lannan. He is really underrated for a hungry upstart and might be able to sneak up for a couple of road victories.
One-week bust: Cabrera. His command issues haven't gone away, so there is no reason to expect them to be solved this early.

You can e-mail us your Fantasy Baseball pitching questions to DMFantasyBaseball@cbs.com. Be sure to put Pitching Planner in the subject field. Please include your full name, hometown and state. Be aware, due to the large volume of submissions received, we cannot guarantee personal responses to all questions.

Crave freelancer Eric Mack is a writer, radio producer, and podcaster based in Taos, N.M., but he lives in Google+. He's also managing editor of Crowdsourcing.org... Full Bio

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