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. The means we consider them a recommended start. The means we suggest you consider a replacement option.

Updated April 4 at 11:20 a.m. ET

Arizona Diamondbacks

  1. Dan Haren vs SD Garland, vs PIT McCutchen
  2. Edwin Jackson vs SD Young, vs PIT Duke
  3. Ian Kennedy vs SD Correia
  4. Rodrigo Lopez vs PIT Morton
  5. vacant

Two-starter(s): Haren and Jackson. They are must-starts in all leagues, especially with those favorable matchups.
Who is getting skipped: Brandon Webb (shoulder). He opens the season on the DL and will be out until at least early May. The D-Backs are going with a four-man rotation for a few turns. No. 5 starter will be one of Kris Benson , Billy Buckner or Kevin Mulvey the first time a No. 5 starter is needed April 17.
One-week sleeper: Kennedy. A great talent drawing a favorable matchup and he is ridiculously underowned. This is a must-add if you need a starter in Fantasy Week 1 (April 4-11).
One-week bust: Lopez. He surprisingly made the rotation and draws a tempting matchup, but we cannot advise trusting him in any format at this point.

Atlanta Braves

  1. Derek Lowe vs CHC Zambrano, at SF Wellemeyer
  2. Jair Jurrjens vs CHC Dempster
  3. Tommy Hanson vs CHC Wells
  4. Tim Hudson at SF Sanchez
  5. Kenshin Kawakami at SF Lincecum

Two-starter(s): Lowe. He is an advisable option in most formats.
Who is getting skipped: None. Kawakami might slot after Lowe's second start, but he will still get a start in Fantasy Week 1 (April 4-11), if healthy.
One-week sleeper: Lowe. He might be the team's fourth-most intriguing Fantasy starter, but he is the one that gets the double starts out of the gate.
One-week bust: Kawakami. He is dealing with a blister issue and will be opposing the Giants with Lincecum on the mound, unfortunately. Two good reasons to look elsewhere for a starting pitcher in deeper leagues.

Baltimore Orioles

  1. Kevin Millwood at TB Shields, vs TOR Marcum
  2. Jeremy Guthrie at TB Garza
  3. Brian Matusz at TB Niemann
  4. Brad Bergesen vs TOR Morrow
  5. David Hernandez vs TOR Eveland

Two-starter(s): Millwood. He is more of an AL-only option to start the season.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Bergesen and Hernandez. They get favorable matchups vs. the back end of the Blue Jays' rotation. Use them in deeper leagues.
One-week bust: Guthrie. He has had a bad spring and draws a tough matchup. We would try to sit him even in deeper AL-only formats.

Boston Red Sox

  1. Josh Beckett vs NYY Sabathia, at KC Greinke
  2. Jon Lester vs NYY Burnett
  3. John Lackey vs NYY Pettitte
  4. Tim Wakefield vs KC Davies
  5. Clay Buchholz at KC Meche

Two-starter(s): Beckett. The contract year is about to go out the window, but he is a must-start in all leagues even with those matchups against top five pitchers.
Who is getting skipped: Daisuke Matsuzaka (back). He starts the year on the DL and is targeting an April 23 return.
One-week sleeper: Wakefield. He draws a favorable enough matchup to use him in any format.
One-week bust: Buchholz. The Red Sox could skip him entirely, but he is tentatively slated to start against the Royals. It is reason enough to sit him in mixed leagues.

Chicago Cubs

  1. Carlos Zambrano at ATL Lowe, at CIN Leake
  2. Ryan Dempster at ATL Jurrjens
  3. Randy Wells at ATL Hanson
  4. Carlos Silva at CIN Bailey
  5. Tom Gorzelanny at CIN TBD

Two-starter(s): Zambrano. He is a must-start in all leagues.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Gorzelanny. A nice sleeper for deeper leagues with a winnable matchup.
One-week bust: Silva. He might have earned his rotation spot, but we still do not trust him even for NL-only formats.

Chicago White Sox

  1. Mark Buehrle vs CLE Westbrook, vs MIN Blackburn
  2. Jake Peavy vs CLE Carmona
  3. Gavin Floyd vs CLE Masterson
  4. John Danks vs MIN
  5. Freddy Garcia vs MIN Baker

Two-starter(s): Buehrle. He is an advisable option in most formats.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Buehrle. He isn't a true power-armed ace, but he warrants starting with the two-start week.
One-week bust: Garcia. We wouldn't trust him in that matchup outside of AL-only leagues.

Cincinnati Reds

  1. Aaron Harang vs STL Carpenter, vs CHC Gorzelanny
  2. Johnny Cueto vs STL Wainwright
  3. Bronson Arroyo vs STL Lohse
  4. Homer Bailey vs CHC Silva
  5. Mike Leake vs CHC Zambrano

Two-starter(s): Harang. He is a sit in mixed leagues with those matchups.
Who is getting skipped: None. The winner of the No. 5 starter's spot, likely Wood, can pitch either Saturday or Sunday at the end of Fantasy Week 1 (April 4-11).
One-week sleeper: Bailey, Arroyo and Leake. The matchups for the first two make them advisable options in any format, while Leake is a wild card making his major league debut without having pitched in the minor leagues.
One-week bust: Cueto. He is coming off a bad last spring outing and draws a tough matchup.

Cleveland Indians

  1. Jake Westbrook at CHW Buehrle, at DET Verlander
  2. Roberto Hernandez at CHW Peavy
  3. Justin Masterson at CHW Floyd
  4. David Huff at DET Porcello
  5. Mitch Talbot at DET Bonderman

Two-starter(s): Westbrook. He is a questionable to risky option even in AL-only leagues.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Carmona or Masterson. These are two good arms who should prove mixed-league worthy this season, so give them a shot in deeper leagues in Fantasy Week 1 (April 4-11).
One-week bust: Huff and Talbot. We cannot be sure what to expect of them outside of deeper AL-only options.

Colorado Rockies

  1. Ubaldo Jimenez at MIL Gallardo, vs SD Garland
  2. Greg Smith at MIL Wolf
  3. Aaron Cook at MIL Davis
  4. Jorge De La Rosa vs SD Richard
  5. Jason Hammel vs SD Latos

Two-starter(s): Jimenez. He is a must-start ace in all leagues.
Who is getting skipped: None. The Rockies could skip Hammel over the weekend, but we don't see anything that suggests they will. It might be a reason to sit him if you have viable alternatives.
One-week sleeper: Cook. He is a bit underrated. The Rockies slot him ahead of Fantasy favorite De La Rosa even.
One-week bust: Smith. He earned a rotation spot with Jeff Francis (shoulder) needing to be placed on the 15-day DL to start the season. We are not quite sure what to expect of Smith against a tough Brewers' lineup.

Detroit Tigers

  1. Justin Verlander at KC Greinke, vs CLE Westbrook
  2. Max Scherzer at KC Hochevar
  3. Dontrelle Willis at KC Bannister
  4. Rick Porcello vs CLE Huff
  5. Jeremy Bonderman vs CLE Talbot

Two-starter(s): Verlander. He is a must start in all leagues.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Willis. Many will be scared of trusting him, but his matchup is favorable and he has pitched well this spring.
One-week bust: None. The Tigers open with a favorable schedule that makes all of their starters useful even in mixed formats in Fantasy Week 1 (April 4-11).

Florida Marlins

  1. Josh Johnson at NYM Santana, vs LAD Padilla
  2. Ricky Nolasco at NYM Maine
  3. Anibal Sanchez at NYM Niese
  4. Chris Volstad vs LAD Kuroda
  5. Nate Robertson vs LAD Haeger

Two-starter(s): Johnson. He is a must start in all leagues.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Robertson. He was outstanding in his last outing and draws a back-end starter against the Dodgers.
One-week bust: Sanchez and Volstad. They didn't have great springs and likely should sit in mixed formats until they show something out of the gate.

Houston Astros

  1. Roy Oswalt vs SF Lincecum, vs PHI Halladay
  2. Wandy Rodriguez vs SF Zito
  3. Bud Norris vs SF Cain
  4. Brett Myers vs PHI Happ
  5. Felipe Paulino vs PHI Moyer

Two-starter(s): Oswalt. He is an advisable option in all leagues despite being banged up and facing the two best starting pitchers in Fantasy.
Who is getting skipped: None. Paulino is banged up, though, and could miss his start. The Astros could easily go with a four-man rotation, which would give Rodriguez a bonus second start.
One-week sleeper: Norris. His strikeout rate was good this spring, so he should prove useful in deeper leagues for that reason alone.
One-week bust: Paulino. Draws the Phillies and is a candidate to be skipped. Don't consider him in any format.

Kansas City Royals

  1. Zack Greinke vs DET Verlander, vs BOS Beckett
  2. Luke Hochevar vs DET Scherzer
  3. Brian Bannister vs DET Willis
  4. Kyle Davies vs BOS Wakefield
  5. Gil Meche (shoulder, 15-day DL) vs BOS Buchholz

Two-starter(s): Greinke. He is a must-start in all leagues, despite those tough opposing pitchers.
Who is getting skipped: Meche. He is banged up and hoping to make his season debut April 11 vs. Boston, which means he could still make a start in Fantasy Week 1 (April 4-11).
One-week sleeper: Hochevar. We would consider him in deeper formats.
One-week bust: Meche. He has a stiff shoulder after an offseason of rehab and would be starting against the Red Sox. Don't use him even in AL-only formats.

Los Angeles Angels

  1. Jered Weaver vs MIN Baker, vs OAK Sheets
  2. Joe Saunders vs MIN Blackburn, vs OAK Braden
  3. Ervin Santana vs MIN Pavano
  4. Joel Pineiro vs MIN Slowey
  5. Matt Palmer vs OAK Gonzalez

Two-starter(s): Weaver and Saunders. Weaver is a must start, while Saunders is an advisable one with those matchups.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Saunders. He is a bit undervalued because he pitches to contact, but he is a winner and can win those matchups with his contending Angels.
One-week bust: Pineiro. We don't have a lot of confidence in Pineiro back in the AL and he draws the toughest matchup of all the Angels starters.

Los Angeles Dodgers

  1. Vicente Padilla at PIT Duke, at FLA Johnson
  2. Clayton Kershaw at PIT Ohlendorf
  3. Chad Billingsley at PIT Maholm
  4. Hiroki Kuroda at FLA Volstad
  5. Charlie Haeger at FLA Robertson

Two-starter(s): Padilla. He is the sexy Fantasy Week 1 (April 4-11) two-start sleeper that was drafted in less than 40 percent of leagues. We like his matchups and supporting cast even if we don't like his stuff.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Padilla. Pick him up in deeper mixed leagues for a sneaky favorable two-start week.
One-week bust: Haeger. Unless you're Wakefield and getting support from the Red Sox, it is very tough to trust a knuckleballer, especially an untested one.

Milwaukee Brewers

  1. Yovani Gallardo vs COL Jimenez, vs STL Garcia
  2. Randy Wolf vs COL Smith, vs STL Carpenter
  3. Doug Davis vs COL Cook
  4. Dave Bush vs STL Penny
  5. vacant

Two-starter(s): Gallardo and Wolf. Gallardo is a must start in all leagues, while Wolf is advisable in most formats.
Who is getting skipped: Jeff Suppan (neck). Suppan starts the season on the DL, while Chris Narveson and Manny Parra open in the bullpen. The Brewers go with a four-man rotation for the first few turns, until the No. 5 starter is needed April 18.
One-week sleeper: Wolf. He is a bit underrated and shouldn't be sitting in many leagues.
One-week bust: Davis and Bush. We have to wait and see with the Brewers starters after the top two. They could be sleepers, or complete duds.

Minnesota Twins

  1. Scott Baker at LAA Weaver, at CHW Garcia
  2. Nick Blackburn at LAA Saunders, at CHW Buehrle
  3. Carl Pavano at LAA Santana
  4. Kevin Slowey at LAA Pineiro
  5. Francisco Liriano at CHW Danks

Two-starter(s): Baker and Blackburn. Baker is advisable in most formats, while Blackburn is questionable. We would say Blackburn is advisable, but there are so many aces with two starts this week, we can see you sitting him in smaller mixed formats.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Blackburn. He is available in many leagues and a useful two-start stopgap if you have a pitcher not pitching this week.
One-week bust: Pavano. We could see a nice rebound year for him, but we cannot yet advise him against a contending team like the Angels.

New York Mets

  1. Johan Santana vs FLA Johnson, vs WAS Lannan
  2. John Maine vs FLA Nolasco
  3. Jonathon Niese vs FLA Sanchez
  4. Mike Pelfrey vs WAS Hernandez
  5. Oliver Perez vs WAS Mock

Two-starter(s): Santana. Despite some struggles this spring, he is a must start in all leagues.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Pelfrey. He has had a bad spring, but he was great in his final spring start and is useful in deeper leagues with that matchup.
One-week bust: Niese and Perez. Their matchups are not difficult, but they need to prove consistent before they should be trusted in mixed formats.

New York Yankees

  1. CC Sabathia at BOS Beckett, at TB Davis
  2. A.J. Burnett at BOS Lester at TB Shields
  3. Andy Pettitte at BOS Lackey
  4. Javier Vazquez at TB Price
  5. Phil Hughes skipped

Two-starter(s): Sabathia and Burnett. Sabathia is a must start in all leagues, while Burnett is advisable in all formats.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Pettitte. He has gone from overrated to overlooked. He should be active in almost all leagues even against the Red Sox and an ace.
One-week bust: Hughes. He is staying back to pitch in minor league games, since the Yankees have three days off in the first eight days of the season and can go with a four-man rotation until April 17. Don't play Hughes in all leagues. He won't even be available for the bullpen.

Oakland Athletics

  1. Ben Sheets vs. SEA Hernandez, at LAA Weaver
  2. Dallas Braden vs SEA Snell, at LAA Saunders
  3. Justin Duchscherer vs SEA Rowland-Smith
  4. Brett Anderson vs SEA Fister
  5. Gio Gonzalez at LAA Palmer

Two-starter(s): Sheets and Braden. Sheets is an advisable option, while Braden is questionable and better left for AL-only formats.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Duchscherer. He was outstanding in his last spring outing and draws a favorable matchup. Use him even in mixed leagues.
One-week bust: Gonzalez. He had a great spring to beat out Trevor Cahill (shoulder, 15-day DL), but Gonzalez hasn't been a trustworthy starter in mixed leagues during the regular season thus far in his career. We figure you should stash him as a wait-and-see sleeper.

Philadelphia Phillies

  1. Roy Halladay at WAS Lannan, at HOU Oswalt
  2. Cole Hamels at WAS Marquis
  3. Kyle Kendrick at WAS Stammen
  4. J.A. Happ at HOU Myers
  5. Jamie Moyer at HOU Paulino

Two-starter(s): Halladay. A must start and seven wasted words.
Who is getting skipped: Joe Blanton (oblique). He begins the year on the DL.
One-week sleeper: Kendrick. He gets a rotation spot at the 11th hour and draws one of the best matchups in all of Fantasy Week 1 (April 4-11).
One-week bust: Moyer. We would still use him in deeper formats, but he is the only Phillies starter that really isn't highly advisable.

Pittsburgh Pirates

  1. Zach Duke vs LAD Padilla, at ARI Jackson
  2. Ross Ohlendorf vs LAD Kershaw
  3. Paul Maholm vs LAD Billingsley
  4. Charlie Morton at ARI Lopez
  5. Daniel McCutchen at ARI Haren

Two-starter(s): Duke. He is a questionable to risky option best left for NL-only leagues, like all Pirates pitchers.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Duke. If you want to roll the dice on a Pirates pitcher, it might as well be the opening-day starter and two-start pitcher.
One-week bust: Ohlendorf and Maholm. You can't like any Pirates pitcher against the Dodgers.

San Diego Padres

  1. Jon Garland at ARI Haren, at COL Jimenez
  2. Chris Young at ARI Jackson
  3. Kevin Correia at ARI Kennedy
  4. Clayton Richard at COL De La Rosa
  5. Mat Latos at COL Hammel

Two-starter(s): Garland. He is a questionable option that can prove useful in deeper leagues, mostly NL-only formats.
Who is getting skipped: None. The Pirates could skip a starter, but their No. 5 might be their best arm.
One-week sleeper: Garland. He isn't an exciting opening-day starter, and his opposing starters are tough, but he is a risk worth taking in deeper formats with the double starts.
One-week bust: Richard. The Padres have a sneaky sleeper-like rotation, but Richard draws the toughest matchup among them in Fantasy Week 1 (April 4-11).

San Francisco Giants

  1. Tim Lincecum at HOU Oswalt, vs ATL Kawakami
  2. Barry Zito at HOU Rodriguez
  3. Matt Cain at HOU Norris
  4. Jonathan Sanchez vs ATL Hudson
  5. Todd Wellemeyer vs ATL Lowe

Two-starter(s): Lincecum. A must start and seven wasted words.
Who is getting skipped: Maybe Wellemeyer. They could skip their No. 5 starter, but we have no information they will at this point.
One-week sleeper: Sanchez. The third-year starting pitcher breakout is going to prove to be a solid mixed league option weekly this season.
One-week bust: Zito and Wellemeyer. Zito is notoriously a slow starter and Wellemeyer is a back-end guy that could be skipped.

Seattle Mariners

  1. Felix Hernandez at OAK Sheets, at TEX Harrison
  2. Ian Snell at OAK Braden, at TEX Feldman
  3. Ryan Rowland-Smith at OAK Duchscherer
  4. Doug Fister at OAK Anderson
  5. Jason Vargas at TEX Lewis

Two-starter(s): Hernandez and Snell. Hernandez is a must start in all leagues, while Snell is a high-risk option even in deeper AL-only leagues.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Rowland-Smith. He is the only non-King Felix we would trust in mixed leagues right now.
One-week bust: Snell. After his last spring start, don't be lured by his two starts. He is dangerous.

St. Louis Cardinals

  1. Chris Carpenter at CIN Harang, at MIL Wolf
  2. Adam Wainwright at CIN Cueto
  3. Kyle Lohse at CIN Arroyo
  4. Brad Penny at MIL Bush
  5. Jaime Garcia at MIL Gallardo

Two-starter(s): Carpenter. He is a must start in all leagues.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Garcia. He has a tough, tough matchup, but you should pick him up just because he is a great sleeper for the whole year. He is overlooked and could be really, really good.
One-week bust: Lohse and Penny. We aren't sure which versions of them will show up this year. Let's give it at least one start before we jump on board.

Tampa Bay Rays

  1. James Shields vs BAL Millwood, vs NYY Burnett
  2. Matt Garza vs BAL Guthrie
  3. Jeff Niemann vs BAL Matusz
  4. David Price vs NYY Vazquez
  5. Wade Davis vs NYY Sabathia

Two-starter(s): Shields. He is an advisable option in all leagues, if not a must start.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Niemann. He is a bit overlooked, but the sophomore has a favorable matchup against a rookie.
One-week bust: Davis. It is tough to trust this rookie in Week 1 against Sabathia and the Yankees.

Texas Rangers

  1. Scott Feldman vs TOR Marcum, vs SEA Snell
  2. Rich Harden vs TOR Tallet
  3. C.J. Wilson vs TOR Romero
  4. Colby Lewis vs SEA Vargas
  5. Matt Harrison vs SEA Hernandez

Two-starter(s): Feldman. He is an advisable option in all leagues with those favorable matchups.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Wilson and Lewis. The new starters have favorable matchups and will be backed by that potent Texas offense in their home park.
One-week bust: Harrison. He needs to prove healthy and effective before we can advise him against an ace like King Felix.

Toronto Blue Jays

  1. Shaun Marcum at TEX Feldman, at BAL Millwood
  2. Brian Tallet at TEX Harden
  3. Ricky Romero at TEX Wilson
  4. Brandon Morrow at BAL Bergesen
  5. Dana Eveland at BAL Hernandez

Two-starter(s): Marcum. He is an advisable option coming off Tommy John surgery with those matchups.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Morrow. A good, young arm with a favorable matchup out of the gate. Use him in mixed leagues.
One-week bust: Tallet and Eveland. We didn't figure they would make the rotation, so we cannot advise them outside of the deepest of AL-only leagues.

Washington Nationals

  1. John Lannan vs PHI Halladay, at NYM Santana
  2. Jason Marquis vs PHI Hamels
  3. Craig Stammen vs PHI Kendrick
  4. Livan Hernandez at NYM Pelfrey
  5. Garrett Mock at NYM Perez

Two-starter(s): Lannan. He is a questionable option with those difficult matchups. You shouldn't use him in mixed leagues.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: None. Lannan would be the only useful mixed league option, but his matchups make him an NL-only starter this week.
One-week bust: Lannan. He looks headed for a two-loss week.

Two-start pitchers

This week's two-start pitchers
Must-start options
Tim Lincecum at HOU Oswalt vs ATL Kawakami
Roy Halladay at WAS Lannan at HOU Oswalt
Felix Hernandez at OAK Sheets at TEX Harrison
CC Sabathia at BOS Beckett at TB Davis
Justin Verlander at KC Greinke vs CLE Westbrook
Zack Greinke vs DET Verlander vs BOS Beckett
Josh Beckett vs NYY Sabathia at KC Greinke
Dan Haren vs SD Garland vs PIT McCutchen
Josh Johnson at NYM Santana vs LAD Padilla
Chris Carpenter at CIN Harang at MIL Wolf
Jered Weaver vs MIN Baker vs OAK Sheets
Ubaldo Jimenez at MIL Gallardo vs SD Garland
Yovani Gallardo vs COL Jimenez vs STL Garcia
Johan Santana vs FLA Johnson vs WAS Lannan
Carlos Zambrano at ATL Lowe at CIN Leake
Edwin Jackson vs SD Young vs PIT Duke
Advisable options
Scott Baker at LAA Weaver at CHW Garcia
A.J. Burnett at BOS Lester at TB Shields
James Shields vs BAL Millwood vs NYY Burnett
Roy Oswalt vs SF Lincecum vs PHI Halladay
Derek Lowe vs CHC Zambrano at SF Wellemeyer
Mark Buehrle vs CLE Westbrook vs MIN Blackburn
Randy Wolf vs COL Smith vs STL Carpenter
Ben Sheets vs SEA Hernandez at LAA Weaver
Scott Feldman vs TOR Marcum vs SEA Snell
Joe Saunders vs MIN Blackburn vs OAK Braden
Shaun Marcum at TEX Feldman at BAL Millwood
Questionable options
Kevin Millwood at TB Shields vs TOR Marcum
Aaron Harang vs STL Carpenter vs CHC Gorzelanny
Vicente Padilla at PIT Duke at FLA Johnson
Nick Blackburn at LAA Saunders at CHW Buehrle
Zach Duke vs LAD Padilla at ARI Jackson
Jon Garland at ARI Haren at COL Jimenez
Jake Westbrook at CHW Buehrle at DET Verlander
John Lannan vs PHI Halladay at NYM Santana
Dallas Braden vs SEA Snell at LAA Saunders
High-risk options
Ian Snell at OAK Braden at TEX Feldman

You can e-mail Emack 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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