Week 16 Pitching Planner
The All-Star break provides teams an opportunity to reset their rotations, meaning headaches for Fantasy owners. Our Scott White addresses all 30 rotations and how they'll shake out in his Pitching Planner.
Because of the All-Star break, not every pitcher will start in a shortened Fantasy Week 16 (July 17-20), and none will start twice. While this week's Pitching Planner primarily focuses on the pitchers scheduled to start this upcoming week, it also touches on the two-start pitchers for Fantasy Week 17 (July 21-27), both in the team-by-team staff reflections and the table that follows.
Arizona Diamondbacks: The Diamondbacks have pinned Doug Davis for the first game against the Dodgers, allowing All Stars Dan Haren and Brandon Webb a chance to recover. Haren and Webb will close out the weekend, though ... Randy Johnson figures to go Monday and get two starts in Fantasy Week 17 (July 21-27), but he has a tough matchup in his first start against the Cubs ... Micah Owings rounds out the rotation, but he's become nothing more than an NL-only option with a 7.71 ERA in his last seven starts.
Atlanta Braves: Jair Jurrjens gets the call out of the gate Friday against the Nationals, with Tim Hudson and Jo-Jo Reyes rounding out Week 16. Leave Reyes for NL-only leagues, but start the other two ... Mike Hampton (pectoral) will make his second rehab start Wednesday and could potentially return Monday at Florida, but considering his endless string of injuries since his last start in 2005, expect rookie Charlie Morton to get the call Monday and two starts in Fantasy Week 17 ... Jorge Campillo , who left his last start after fouling a pitch off his left foot, won't start until Tuesday to get extra rest.
Baltimore Orioles: Struggling left-hander Garrett Olson gets the first start out of the break against the Tigers on Thursday, with Jeremy Guthrie , Daniel Cabrera and Brian Burres also pitching in Fantasy Week 16. Only Guthrie and maybe Cabrera have any mixed-league appeal ... Fifth starter Radhames Liz will make two starts during a seven-game Fantasy Week 17. So will Olson. Again, you wouldn't want to start either outside of AL-only leagues.
Boston Red Sox: On Friday at the Angels, Clay Buchholz will make his second start since returning from the minors. He struggled in his first start and likely will be inconsistent from time to time, so keep him reserved in mixed leagues until he gets on a roll. Josh Beckett and Tim Wakefield , who has become relevant in mixed leagues with his recent performance, will round out the staff in Fantasy Week 16 ... Only Jon Lester will make two starts in a six-game Fantasy Week 17, with Daisuke Matsuzaka not making his post-break debut until Tuesday.
Chicago Cubs: Ted Lilly will get the call in the first game Friday at Houston, with All Stars Carlos Zambrano and Ryan Dempster rounding out the staff in Fantasy Week 16 ... Fourth and fifth starters Rich Harden and Jason Marquis will both get two starts during a seven-game Fantasy Week 17. Marquis has pitched well lately and is a decent stopgap at Arizona and against the Marlins, and Harden has emerged as a must-start, at least for as long as he stays healthy.
Chicago White Sox: The White Sox actually do start three of their best pitchers -- Mark Buehrle , Gavin Floyd and John Danks -- right after the All-Star break, and facing the lowly Royals, all three should start in Fantasy ... Javier Vazquez , still a solid Fantasy option because of his strikeouts, will make two starts in Fantasy Week 17, with Jose Contreras making his second-half debut Tuesday ... Closer Bobby Jenks (shoulder) hasn't exactly dominated in his Double-A rehab assignment, but he hasn't had to leave early either. He looks ready to go in Week 16, so get him active.
Cincinnati Reds: The Reds play four games against the Mets coming out of the break, but the alignment of their rotation remains unclear. Johnny Cueto will likely start Thursday, with Bronson Arroyo following him. The Reds will probably hold off using Edinson Volquez until Saturday because he pitched in the All-Star game. Veteran Josh Fogg will likely get the call over rookie Homer Bailey to close out Fantasy Week 16 ... Bailey, then, would line up for two starts in Fantasy Week 17. He'll have two good matchups at home against the Padres and Rockies, so consider him a sleeper even in mixed leagues ... The Reds won't know until Thursday when Aaron Harang (forearm) can start throwing, but his return doesn't appear imminent. Keep him reserved.
Cleveland Indians: Aaron Laffey opens the Indians' three-game series at Seattle and remains a consistent back-of-the-rotation Fantasy option, especially with that matchup. Jeremy Sowers and All Star Cliff Lee will also each get a start in Fantasy Week 16 ... Paul Byrd and Matt Ginter round out the staff, with Byrd likely getting two starts in Fantasy Week 17. However, Roberto Hernandez (hip), on the DL since May 24, has a chance to return before the end of the scoring period, potentially ruining Byrd's second start. Carmona would make only one start if he returned. Keep him reserved because of the uncertainty.
Colorado Rockies: Because Aaron Cook pitched in the All-Star game, Ubaldo Jimenez will start the first game of a four-game series against the hot-hitting Pirates. Glendon Rusch will go Friday before Cook makes his second-half debut Saturday. Kip Wells , on the DL since April with a blood clot in his hand, will make his return Sunday to close out Fantasy Week 16. Only Cook deserves a look in NL-only leagues ... With Wells' return to the rotation, one of Jorge De La Rosa and Mark Redman will lose his place, most likely Redman. The victor will get two starts in Fantasy Week 17, but he's probably not worth using even in NL-only leagues.
Detroit Tigers: The Tigers play four games at Baltimore right out of the break, meaning Kenny Rogers , Armando Galarraga , Nate Robertson and Justin Verlander each of have a decent matchup. You'd only start Verlander and Galarraga in mixed leagues, though ... The Tigers sent Eddie Bonine down to minors right before the break, but unless they make a trade, he figures to begin the second half as their fifth starter, meaning he'd get two starts in Fantasy Week 17. Consider him a high-risk Fantasy option, though.
Florida Marlins: Breakout pitcher Ricky Nolasco gets the first start against the Phillies. He has a tough matchup, but he's too hot to bench in mixed leagues. Scott Olsen and Andrew Miller round out the team's only series in Fantasy Week 16 ... Because the Marlins play a full seven-game schedule in Fantasy Week 17, Josh Johnson and Chris Volstad line up for two starts. Both made their first starts of the season last time out, and both pitched well. Wait until they show some consistency, though, before looking at them in mixed leagues ... Anibal Sanchez (shoulder) won't return until July 28 at the earliest, so he won't factor in Week 17 except by making Volstad fight harder for his job.
Houston Astros: Brian Moehler starts the first game after the break Friday against the Cubs, but he might have the lowest ceiling of any pitcher in baseball. Wandy Rodriguez and Brandon Backe round out the staff in Fantasy Week 16 ... Runelvys Hernandez will get two starts in Fantasy Week 17, but he remains a high-risk option ... The Astros won't decide whether Roy Oswalt (hip) will make his Tuesday start until he throws off a mound Friday. If he can't go, the team might turn to long reliever Chris Sampson , who's made 11 starts this season. Don't worry about him outside of NL-only leagues, though.
Kansas City Royals: The Royals run three of their best out to the mound at the White Sox, as Zack Greinke , Gil Meche and Brian Bannister deserve a look in mixed leagues. Greinke has almost achieved must-start status ... Luke Hochevar and Kyle Davies both line up for two starts during a seven-game Fantasy Week 17, but they remain too inconsistent to use outside of AL-only leagues.
L.A. Angels: John Lackey is the only declared starter going into Fantasy Week 16. He'll take the hill Friday against the Red Sox. Jered Weaver figures to start Saturday to give All Stars Joe Saunders and Ervin Santana extra rest. Since Saunders had more rest going into the break because of the birth of his child, he'll likely round out Fantasy Week 16 ... The Angels have listed Jon Garland as their starter on Monday, meaning he'll go twice and make Santana a one-start pitcher in Fantasy Week 17. Reserve him until then.
L.A. Dodgers: Hiroki Kuroda , Chad Billingsley and Derek Lowe start at Arizona during the Dodgers' only three games of Fantasy Week 16, and all three deserve a look in mixed leagues -- especially the must-start Billingsley ... Chan Ho Park and Eric Stults will start the first two games of a six-game Fantasy Week 17, meaning Park tentatively lines up for two starts. However, the Dodgers still await the results of an MRI on closer Takashi Saito right elbow, and if he has to go on the DL, they might move Park to the bullpen and call up Clayton Kershaw ... If you need saves, pick up setup man Jonathan Broxton , the Dodgers' closer-in-waiting, because Saito could potentially need season-ending surgery.
Milwaukee Brewers: The Brewers turn to their aces right out of the break, sending CC Sabathia and All-Star starter Ben Sheets to the mound Friday and Saturday at San Francisco. Manny Parra starts the third game, and the red-hot rookie deserves a look in mixed leagues ... Dave Bush , red-hot in his own right, and Seth McClung will both make two starts in Fantasy Week 17. McClung has pitched pretty well, but his lack of endurance makes him more of an NL-only option.
Minnesota Twins: Glen Perkins , Livan Hernandez and Scott Baker will start the three-game series against the Rangers in Fantasy Week 16. Make sure you have the streaking Baker active, even with the tough matchup ... Nick Blackburn will serve as the Twins' lone two-game starter during a six-game Fantasy Week 17 ... Kevin Slowey has an infected fingernail on his right middle finger, but by putting him at the end of their rotation, the Twins don't expect him to miss any time. He'll go Tuesday at the Yankees and is a decent low-end mixed-league starter.
N.Y. Mets: The Mets have no reason to bench All-Star snub Johan Santana , so he'll start the first game Thursday at Cincinnati. John Maine and Oliver Perez will follow him for sure during the four-game series, with Pedro Martinez the other likely candidate. Because Martinez left his last start with a tight right shoulder, the Mets might push his next start back to Tuesday, which would affect Mike Pelfrey two-start status in Week 17. For now, though, the Mets have Martinez scheduled for Sunday ... Pelfrey has gotten hot finally, allowing a combined five earned runs in his last five starts, so consider him an advisable start even in mixed leagues.
|1.||Jonathan Broxton , RP, LAD||28|
|2.||Dave Bush , SP, MIL||24|
|3.||Chris Volstad , SP, FLA||20|
|4.||Jaime Garcia , SP, STL||20|
|5.||Mike Pelfrey , SP, NYM||18|
|6.||Sean Gallagher , SP, OAK||15|
|7.||Paul Maholm , SP, PIT||14|
|8.||Josh Johnson , SP, FLA||13|
|9.||Clay Buchholz , SP, BOS||11|
|10.||Damaso Marte , RP, PIT||10|
N.Y. Yankees: The Yankees give surprise 11-game winner Mike Mussina the first start after the break Friday. He, Joba Chamberlain and Andy Pettitte all deserve to start in mixed leagues for the three-game series against the Athletics ... Sidney Ponson will get two starts during Fantasy Week 17, the first coming Monday against the Twins. He continues to surprise and is worth starting in AL-only leagues ... Darrell Rasner rounds out the second-half rotation, but he'll need to turn around his pitching to keep his job.
Oakland Athletics: Joe Blanton , Greg Smith and Justin Duchscherer will start the only Fantasy Week 16 series against the Yankees, with Duchscherer the only clear choice to start in mixed leagues ... Sean Gallagher , who pitched seven two-hit innings in his first start after coming over from the Cubs, will have two starts in Fantasy Week 17 to prove it not a fluke, but he faces two tough teams in the Rays and the Rangers. Leave him for AL-only leagues ... Dana Eveland , the fifth starter, has struggled with his control lately, but he remains a must-start in AL-only leagues.
Philadelphia Phillies: The Phillies loaded up on left-handers for their three-game series at Florida to kick off the second half. Jamie Moyer , Kyle Kendrick and Fantasy ace Cole Hamels will complete the staff for Fantasy Week 16 ... The perpetually struggling Adam Eaton will make the first start of Fantasy Week 17, giving him two for the scoring period, and then the Phillies could go in two different directions to fill out their staff. They could call J.A. Happ back up from the minors, but the Philadelphia Daily News reports they'll more likely go with Brett Myers , the former ace whose struggles this year forced the Phillies to send him to the minors. Myers still looks too risky to start right now, but hopefully the Phillies will clarify this situation before Fantasy Week 17's lineup deadline.
Pittsburgh Pirates: The Pirates send Paul Maholm , Ian Snell , Yoslan Herrera and Zach Duke to the mound for a tough four-game series at Colorado in Fantasy Week 16. Maholm has pitched well enough lately to merit mixed-league consideration, but not in that ballpark ... John Van Benschoten fills out the staff mostly due to a lack of alternatives and will start twice during a seven-game Fantasy Week 17 ... Maholm also gets two starts -- one at the Astros and the other against the Padres -- and he'll deserve a look in mixed leagues with so few elite two-start pitchers available.
San Diego Padres: Ace Jake Peavy didn't make an All-Star team for once, so he'll get to start the second-half opener Thursday at St. Louis. Greg Maddux , Randy Wolf (if he doesn't get traded first) and Cha Seung Baek will start the other three games of the four-game series, closing out Fantasy Week 16 ... Josh Banks will start the first game of Fantasy Week 17 and take two turns. He remains nothing more than an NL-only option. Peavy, though, does not. He also gets two starts and serves as one of the few two-start aces available during Fantasy Week 17 ... Chris Young , who hasn't pitched since an Albert Pujols line drive hit him in the face May 21, will begin a rehab assignment Thursday. He remains a few weeks away, though.
San Francisco Giants: Fantasy must-starts Matt Cain and Jonathan Sanchez both get a turn against the Brewers during the three-game Fantasy Week 16. Tim Lincecum , assuming he's overcome the flu that sidelined him for the All-Star game, will start the third game ... Barry Zito and Kevin Correia , who've both done nothing but lose their Fantasy appeal since the beginning of the season, open Fantasy Week 17, with Zito scheduled to make two starts.
Seattle Mariners: Felix Hernandez , Jarrod Washburn and Carlos Silva all have the good fortune of facing the Indians for a three-game set in Fantasy Week 16, with Hernandez back to must-start status in mixed leagues since his return from the DL, Washburn on a roll with a 3.02 ERA over his last eight starts, and Silva about as crummy as you'd expect ... The Mariners talk like Erik Bedard (shoulder) will come off the DL on Monday and make two starts in Fantasy Week 17, so hopefully they'll clarify the situation before your league's lineup deadline ... R.A. Dickey rounds out the staff, but his lack of elite stuff makes him an AL-only option.
St. Louis Cardinals: Surprise 11-game winner Kyle Lohse kicks off a four-game series against the poor-hitting Padres, and as long as he keeps pitching like he has, you have to start him in all leagues. Braden Looper , Todd Wellemeyer and Jaime Garcia finish off Fantasy Week 16, and each gets a boost in Fantasy value with the good matchup ... Joel Pineiro on-and-off performance limits his Fantasy appeal to deeper NL-only leagues, but he does make two starts in Fantasy Week 17. So does Lohse, and again, you want him active.
Tampa Bay Rays: The Rays will send their ace out to start the second half as James Shields opens a three-game series against the light-hitting Blue Jays. Scott Kazmir and Matt Garza will follow to round out Week 16, though manager Joe Maddon might flip-flop the two after Kazmir unexpectedly had to pitch in the All-Star game ... Edwin Jackson and Andy Sonnanstine fill out the staff. Both will start twice in Fantasy Week 17, and their plus supporting cast makes them worth starting in mixed leagues ... Closer Troy Percival (hamstring) threw off a mound Saturday and looked good doing it, but because the Rays haven't given a projected return date, you have to keep him reserved.
Texas Rangers: Kevin Millwood will pitch the first of a three-game series at Minnesota, with Eric Hurley , on the DL with a hamstring injury, scheduled to follow him. Hurley pitched 7 1/3 innings in a rehab start Monday, so he should have no problem pitching Saturday. Vicente Padilla went on the DL with a stiff neck in early July, but the Rangers expect him to return Sunday, finishing out Fantasy Week 16. Nothing to worry about there except for his 15 earned runs allowed in his last two starts ... High-risk starters Luis Mendoza and Matt Harrison open Fantasy Week 17, with Mendoza taking two turns. He looked good in his last start, but he looked too bad in too many others for you to trust him.
Toronto Blue Jays: A.J. Burnett starts the first game of Fantasy Week 16 at Tampa Bay, meaning he'll make back-to-back starts for the out-of-contention Blue Jays. He nearly hurled a shutout in his last start, so get him active. Roy Halladay and Jesse Litsch round out the first week of second-half action ... John Parrish , a converted reliever, will start twice in Fantasy Week 17 and deserves a look in AL-only leagues ... The final rotation spot is up for grabs after Dustin McGowan went on the DL with a tear in his rotator cuff. The Blue Jays might only need one start from a new face with Shaun Marcum , on the DL since June 21 with a strained right elbow, due to return soon. David Purcey could get the call, but the National Post reports reliever Brian Tallet will instead. Leave him for AL-only leagues.
Washington Nationals: The Nationals will turn to two first-half success stories -- Tim Redding and John Lannan -- to kick off their second half. Both remain NL-only options due to their lack of run support. Odalis Perez will start the third and final game of Fantasy Week 16 on Sunday at Atlanta ... Jason Bergmann -- he of the 1.91 ERA over his last five starts -- will take two turns in Fantasy Week 17 against two weak opponents, the Giants and the Dodgers. Take a chance on him in all leagues ... Rookie Collin Balester makes his fourth start on Wednesday, but he hasn't done enough in his first three to merit Fantasy consideration.
Fantasy Week 17 (July 21-27)
|Pitcher||Start No. 1||Start No. 2|
|Rich Harden||at ARI Johnson||vs. FLA Johnson|
|Jake Peavy||at CIN Cueto||at PIT Maholm|
|Jon Lester||at SEA Bedard||vs. NYY Ponson|
|Kyle Lohse||vs. MIL McClung||at NYM Pelfrey|
|Pitcher||Start No. 1||Start No. 2|
|Javier Vazquez||vs. TEX Mendoza||at DET Bonine|
|Jon Garland||vs. CLE Byrd||at BAL Olson|
|Dave Bush||at STL Pineiro||vs. HOU Backe|
|Mike Pelfrey||vs. PHI Eaton||vs. STL Lohse|
|Paul Maholm||at HOU Oswalt||vs. SD Peavy|
|Erik Bedard||vs. BOS Lester||at TOR Marcum?|
|Edwin Jackson||vs. OAK Gallagher||at KC Hochevar|
|Andy Sonnanstine||vs. OAK Eveland||at KC Davies|
|Jason Bergmann||at SF Zito||at LAD Park|
|Pitcher||Start No. 1||Start No. 2|
|Randy Johnson||vs. CHC Harden||at SF Zito|
|Jason Marquis||at ARI Owings||vs. FLA Volstad|
|Homer Bailey||vs. SD Banks||vs. COL De La Rosa|
|Josh Johnson||vs. ATL Morton||at CHC Marquis|
|Chris Volstad||vs. ATL Campillo||at CHC Harden|
|Luke Hochevar||vs. DET Bonine||vs. TB Jackson|
|Seth McClung||at STL Lohse||vs. HOU Hernandez|
|Chan Ho Park||at COL De La Rosa||vs. WAS Bergmann|
|Nick Blackburn||at NYY Ponson||at CLE Byrd|
|Sidney Ponson||vs. MIN Blackburn||at BOS Lester|
|Sean Gallagher||at TB Jackson||vs. TEX Mendoza|
|Barry Zito||vs. WAS Bergmann||va. ARI Johnson|
|John Parrish||at BAL Liz||vs. SEA Silva|
|Pitcher||Start No. 1||Start No. 2|
|Charlie Morton||at FLA Johnson||at PHI Eaton|
|Radhames Liz||vs. TOR Parrish||vs. LAA Saunders|
|Garrett Olson||vs. TOR Tallet||vs. LAA Garland|
|Paul Byrd||at LAA Garland||vs. MIN Blackburn|
|Eddie Bonine||at KC Hochevar||vs. CHW Vazquez|
|Jorge De La Rosa||vs. LAD Park||at CIN Bailey|
|Runelvys Hernandez||vs. PIT Van Benschoten||at MIL McClung|
|Kyle Davies||vs. DET Rogers||vs. TB Sonnanstine|
|Adam Eaton||at NYM Pelfrey||vs. ATL Morton|
|John Van Benschoten||at HOU Hernandez||vs. SD Banks|
|Josh Banks||at CIN Bailey||at PIT Van Benschoten|
|Joel Pineiro||vs. MIL Bush||at NYM Martinez|
|Luis Mendoza||at CHW Vazquez||at OAK Gallagher|
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