Week 24 Fantasy Pitching Planner
Pitching staffs are starting to take on new looks as the season winds down for many teams. How will it impact Fantasy Week 24? Our Eric Mack helps you sort out your rotation questions in his latest 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. The teams have if we deem their week's matchups favorable and if their week's matchups are deemed unfavorable.
- Ian Kennedy at PIT Burres
- Daniel Hudson at CIN Wood, at PIT Duke
- Barry Enright at CIN Arroyo, at PIT McDonald
- Joe Saunders at CIN Bailey
- Rodrigo Lopez at CIN Volquez
Two-starter(s): Hudson and Enright. Hudson is advisable, while
Enright's worst start of his career last time out makes him more of a
questionable option best left to NL-only leagues in crunch time.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Kennedy. He draws a favorable one-start matchup and went into Sunday having gone 2-0 with a 1.23 ERA in the past three starts.
One-week bust: Enright. He was looking amazingly consistent, but that last time makes him a risk in mixed formats now, especially against that potent Reds offense in that hitter's park.
- Tommy Hanson at NYM Niese
- Tim Hudson at NYM Gee
- Derek Lowe vs WAS Maya, at NYM Dickey
- Jair Jurrjens vs WAS Hernandez
- Mike Minor vs WAS Lannan
Two-starter(s): Lowe. He is an advisable option, despite his sore
elbow and mediocre second half. The matchups are favorable and he was
healthy and effective last time out.
Who is getting skipped: None. Lowe could be moved off his second start next Sunday after Thursday's offday if his elbow acts up, though. Jurrjens would pick up the second start in that event. Jurrjens is a useful option in mixed leagues, even with that one start.
One-week sleeper: Minor. You can't like his past two starts, but if you need a one starter we would take this rookie talent against the Nats over many other mediocre options.
One-week bust: None. All five Braves starters are worth using this week with those matchups.
- Jeremy Guthrie vs NYY Sabathia
- Brian Matusz vs TOR Rzepczynski
- Jake Arrieta vs TOR Hill
- Brad Bergesen vs TOR Drabek
- Kevin Millwood vs NYY Burnett
- Chris Tillman vs NYY Pettitte
Two-starter(s): None. The Orioles are going with a six-man
rotation and have a six-game week.
Who is getting skipped: None. The O's could choose to skip one of the weekend starters (Millwood, Guthrie or Tillman), but nothing is expected at this point. Matusz would pick up a second start in that event.
One-week sleeper: Matusz. The rejuvenated young lefty has won his past four starts -- all against contenders -- with a 2.00 ERA. He was 4-1, 2.43 in August, too.
One-week bust: Guthrie. He is 3-0 with a 0.81 ERA in his past three starts, but do you trust him against the Yankees in crunch time? Perhaps. We wouldn't advise it, though.
Boston Red Sox
- Jon Lester at SEA Fister, vs TOR Marcum
- Josh Beckett vs TOR Romero
- John Lackey vs TOR Cecil
- Clay Buchholz at SEA Pauley
- Daisuke Matsuzaka at SEA French
Two-starter(s): Lester. He is a must-start ace in all leagues.
Who is getting skipped: None. Tim Wakefield will remain in the bullpen after making a spot start last week.
One-week sleeper: None, really. The top four are solid mixed-league options, while No. 5 is the ...
One-week bust: Dice-K. He is coming off his worst start of the season and is risky even at the Mariners this week. We would only use him in AL-only formats.
- Ryan Dempster at FLA Sanchez
- Carlos Zambrano at STL Carpenter
- Randy Wells at STL Wainwright
- Casey Coleman at FLA Sanabia
- Jeff Samardzija at STL Garcia, at FLA Miller
Two-starter(s): Samardzija. He is a high-risk option best left
for the deepest of NL-only leagues right now. There is long-term
potential here, though.
Who is getting skipped: Carlos Silva (elbow). Silva could be done for the season, pending a medical exam. Then, over the weekend, the Cubs could skip Samardzija's second start after Thursday's offday or slot Tom Gorzelanny (hand) back in the rotation. If they choose to go with a four-man rotation, Wells would pick up the second start. We consider that doubtful for a non-contender that needs to take a look at talent for 2011.
One-week sleeper: Zambrano. Wow, he has been awesome since returning to the rotation and is a solid option even against a contender.
One-week bust: Silva. He goes from a potential two-start sleeper to potentially being done for the year. Don't use him in any format.
Chicago White Sox
- John Danks vs MIN Liriano, vs DET Verlander
- Gavin Floyd vs MIN Duensing
- Mark Buehrle vs MIN Pavano
- Edwin Jackson vs DET Galarraga
- Freddy Garcia (back, questionable) vs DET Scherzer
Two-starter(s): Danks. He is a must-start ace in Fantasy crunch
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Jackson. We are willing to grant him a pass for his first loss in the AL last time out. He can rebound against the Tigers.
One-week bust: Floyd. He had been great, but his bad past outing makes him a bit more difficult to trust against the Twins in a crucial division game.
- Johnny Cueto at HOU Rodriguez
- Bronson Arroyo vs ARI Enright, at HOU Figueroa
- Travis Wood vs ARI Hudson, at HOU Myers
- Homer Bailey vs ARI Saunders
- Edinson Volquez vs ARI Lopez
Two-starter(s): Arroyo and Wood. They are a bit riskier than most
advisable options, but the fact they pitch for a contender with a great
offense against a pair of non-contenders, we will consider them risks
worth taking in most leagues.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Volquez. He was completely dominant in his return to the rotation and he faces a cellar-dweller with their worst starter on the mound. He is a solid one-start option even if there have been some erratic results this season.
One-week bust: None. All five Reds starters are worth using this week.
- Roberto Hernandez vs LAA Santana
- Mitch Talbot (shoulder, questionable) at KC O'Sullivan
- Carlos Carrasco at KC Davies
- Josh Tomlin vs LAA Kazmir, at KC Hochevar
- Jeanmar Gomez vs LAA Weaver
Two-starter(s): Tomlin. He is a questionable option but his
matchups and recent results make him a potential sleeper for deeper
leagues, mostly AL-only formats.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Carrasco. He has been outstanding since his Sept. 1 callup and draws the Royals in a favorable one-start matchup.
One-week bust: Gomez. He has been solid, but we wouldn't expect him to win against the Angels' ace.
- Ubaldo Jimenez at LAD Ely
- Jorge De La Rosa vs SD Richard
- Jason Hammel vs SD Garland
- Jhoulys Chacin at LAD Padilla
- Jeff Francis vs SD Luebke, at LAD Kershaw
Two-starter(s): Francis. He is a high-risk option coming off the
DL, especially since he isn't completely stretched out.
Who is getting skipped: Perhaps Francis. He could be moved off his second start if he struggles Monday, especially since the Rockies have days off Thursday and the following Monday and can easily go with a four-man rotation for a couple of turns. The second start would go to Hammel in that event, which makes Hammel slightly more intriguing and Francis even more risky.
One-week sleeper: De La Rosa. He looks far more like his 2009 self now and is a great option against the Padres in a crucial division matchup.
One-week bust: Francis. He isn't stretched out and might lose that second start. He is risky even in NL-only formats.
- Justin Verlander at CHW Danks
- Max Scherzer at CHW Garcia
- Jeremy Bonderman at TEX Holland
- Rick Porcello at TEX Lewis
- Armando Galarraga at CHW Jackson
Two-starter(s): None. The Tigers have a five-game week and no
official skipping has been announced yet.
Who is getting skipped: Porcello or Galarraga. The Tigers said they would skip Galarraga this week, but he had a very good past few starts and Porcello is banged up with a finger issue. The Tigers still list Porcello as probable for Tuesday and Galarraga getting moved of his weekend start to slot Bonderman instead doesn't make complete sense.
One-week sleeper: None. The top two are must-starts, but we wouldn't trust the three others with the tough matchups or potential skipping.
One-week bust: Bonderman, Porcello and Galarraga. There is too much uncertainty to trust Porcello and Galarraga. We wouldn't touch Bonderman at Texas, no matter how well he has pitched.
- Josh Johnson (back, out), so TBD vs PHI Halladay
- Anibal Sanchez vs CHC Dempster
- Chris Volstad (suspension, out), so Adalberto Mendez vs PHI Hamels
- Alex Sanabia vs CHC Coleman
- Andrew Miller vs PHI Blanton, vs CHC Silva
Two-starter(s): Miller. He is high-risk option that is best
avoided in mixed formats, especially with the Phillies matchup.
Who is getting skipped: Johnson and Volstad. Johnson is likely out with a back issue and will be replaced by a bullpen game. Volstad is suspended until Sept. 20 and won't be eligible to pitch.
One-week sleeper: Sanchez. He is the psuedo ace of the staff this week and the only one we would trust.
One-week bust: Johnson. He is likely out for his Wednesday start and might not be asked to pitch again this season at this point. Avoid him in all formats.
- Wandy Rodriguez vs CIN Cueto
- Brett Myers vs MIL Narveson, vs CIN Wood
- Bud Norris vs MIL Capuano
- J.A. Happ vs MIL Bush
- Nelson Figueroa vs CIN Arroyo
Two-starter(s): Myers. He is a must-start in all leagues, having
gotten you to this point and drawing double starts, no matter how
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Happ. He has gone 5-2 with a 3.28 ERA in the second half. The Brewers can be potent, but Bush is likely to surrender some run support.
One-week bust: Figueroa. He has won back-to-back starts, but we wouldn't trust him against the offensively potent Reds.
Kansas City Royals
- Zack Greinke vs OAK Gonzalez
- Bruce Chen vs OAK Cahill
- Kyle Davies vs CLE Carrasco
- Sean O'Sullivan vs CLE Talbot
- Luke Hochevar vs OAK Cramer, vs CLE Tomlin
Two-starter(s): Hochevar. He is a high-risk option in the deepest
of AL-only leagues, because he is on a pitch count and will be
piggybacked with a "starter" in
Who is getting skipped: Bannister. He and Hochevar are sharing innings on their day. They could split up and bounce O'Sullivan over next weekend, though.
One-week sleeper: Davies. He is 2-1 with a 1.77 ERA in his past three starts. That is a very favorable matchup, too.
One-week bust: Hochevar. He is getting great matchups, but he won't pitch deep enough into the game to impact anything but the deepest of AL-only formats.
Los Angeles Angels
- Jered Weaver at CLE Gomez
- Ervin Santana at CLE Carmona
- Dan Haren at TB Davis
- Scott Kazmir at CLE Tomlin, at TB Price
- Joel Pineiro at TB Niemann
Two-starter(s): Kazmir. He is a questionable option, but he faces
a great first matchup and has a 2.31 ERA in his two September starts.
Who is getting skipped: Trevor Bell . We assume Pineiro will return from the DL and his Sunday rehab assignment start to go at Tampa Bay the next time the Angels need a No. 5 starter. That forces Bell back to the bullpen.
One-week sleeper: Kazmir. He remains an erratic lefty trying to find himself, but there has been improvement enough of late to trust him in deeper mixed formats.
One-week bust: Pineiro. He is difficult to trust coming off the DL, especially since his return isn't yet official.
Los Angeles Dodgers
- Clayton Kershaw at SF Zito, vs COL Francis
- Chad Billingsley at SF Cain
- Ted Lilly at SF Sanchez
- Hiroki Kuroda vs COL Jimenez
- John Ely vs COL Chacin
Two-starter(s): Kershaw. He is a must-start ace in all Fantasy
leagues in crunch time.
Who is getting skipped: Vicente Padilla (neck). The Dodgers said he won't start for the foreseeable future, which likely keeps Ely in the rotation this week. Consider them both risky.
One-week sleeper: Kuroda. A veteran with a 3.32 ERA and 1.18 WHIP deserves more than a starting percentage of a mere 55 percent, even against the Rockies and their ace.
One-week bust: Padilla. We doubt he starts, but we wouldn't be sure he doesn't and Ely does, though.
- Yovani Gallardo at SF Lincecum
- Randy Wolf at SF Bumgarner
- Chris Narveson at HOU Myers, at SF Zito
- Dave Bush at HOU Happ
- Chris Capuano at HOU Norris
Two-starter(s): Narveson. He is an advisable option in deeper
leagues with his recent success and the fact those are real imposing
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Narveson. Somehow he has pitched himself to respectability, going 2-0 with a 2.21 ERA.
One-week bust: Bush and Capuano. They have been pitching better of late and are decent starts in deeper leagues, but they are by no means sure things in crunch time. Use them more out of necessity.
- Francisco Liriano at CHW Danks, vs OAK Cramer
- Carl Pavano at CHW Buehrle
- Brian Duensing at CHW Floyd
- Kevin Slowey vs OAK Braden
- Nick Blackburn vs OAK Anderson
Two-starter(s): Liriano. He is a must-start ace in all leagues in
Fantasy crunch time.
Who is getting skipped: Scott Baker (elbow). He remains out until later in the month.
One-week sleeper: Blackburn. He has been pitching well and draws the lowly A's.
One-week bust: Slowey. We would trust him in deeper leagues against the A's, but he has been held to a pitch count, which is a good reason to sit him for a healthier alternative.
New York Mets
- Jonathon Niese vs ATL Hanson
- Mike Pelfrey vs PIT Morton
- R.A. Dickey vs PIT Duke, vs ATL Lowe
- Dillon Gee vs PIT McDonald, vs ATL Hudson
- Jenrry Mejia vs PIT Maholm
Two-starter(s): Dickey and Gee. Dickey is an advisable option,
while Gee is a high-risk one.
Who is getting skipped: Johan Santana (shoulder). He is out for the season.
One-week sleeper: Pelfrey. He had a good August and a bad start to September, but he is coming off a promising start and facing the lowly Pirates.
One-week bust: Gee. His debut was a great one, but we cannot be sold yet on what he can do consistently, especially with that second start of this week against a top contender.
New York Yankees
- CC Sabathia at TB Price, at BAL Guthrie
- Andy Pettitte at BAL Tillman
- A.J. Burnett at BAL Millwood
- Phil Hughes at TB Shields
- Ivan Nova at TB Garza
Two-starter(s): Likely Sabathia. The Yankees will have to skip
on Friday or not slot Pettitte (calf) in his expected
return for Sabathia to get two starts. We expect he will. He is a
must-start even if he doesn't, though.
Who is getting skipped: Likely Vazquez. The veteran's next turn would have been against the Orioles on Friday after a Thursday offday. The Yankees will likely keep Sabathia on regular rest before Pettitte's return Sunday.
One-week sleeper: Burnett. We doubt he gets skipped and we really think he can kick his funk against the Orioles. Only use him in deeper formats, though.
One-week bust: Pettitte, Vazquez, Hughes and Nova. Hughes and Nova are assured to start, but it comes against the Rays for both, while Pettitte and Vazquez aren't entirely certain to get starts at this point.
- Brett Anderson at MIN Blackburn
- Dallas Braden at MIN Slowey
- Trevor Cahill at KC Chen
- Gio Gonzalez at KC Greinke
- Bobby Cramer at KC Hochevar, at MIN Liriano
Two-starter(s): Cramer. He is a high-risk option best left for
the deepest of AL-only leagues in his major-league debut.
Who is getting skipped: Perhaps Cramer. If he struggles mightily in his debut the A's could choose to skip him off his second start due to Thursday's offday.
One-week sleeper: Gonzalez. He has been dominant, winning his past four starts and posting 7-2 record with a 2.23 ERA since the All-Star break. There is no reason to expect this run to end.
One-week bust: Cramer. The 30-year-old journeyman went 15-5 with a 2.71 ERA in 29 games (27 starts) between the Mexican League and Triple-A, where he had a 1.94 ERA in seven starts. Those are great numbers but we cannot guarantee he will be successful right away in the majors.
- Roy Halladay at FLA TBD
- Roy Oswalt vs WAS Zimmermann
- Cole Hamels at FLA Mendez
- Joe Blanton at FLA Miller, vs WAS Maya
- Kyle Kendrick vs WAS Marquis
Two-starter(s): Blanton. He is an advisable option in deeper
Who is getting skipped: Perhaps Kendrick. The Phillies could skip Kendrick off his Friday start after the Thursday offday. They could also pull Kendrick from the rotation altogether and insert Vance Worley , who made a decent first start early last week. If Kendrick is skipped, Hamels picks up the second start next Sunday. Hamels is a must-start regardless.
One-week sleeper: Blanton. He had a promising past start amid a solid second half and draws two winnable games for the surging Philles.
One-week bust: Kendrick. We wouldn't start him if we were the Phillies or a Fantasy owner. Worley should get a shot in the rotation, but the Phillies should keep their aces on regular rest right now.
- Zach Duke at NYM Dickey, vs ARI Hudson
- Paul Maholm at NYM Mejia
- Charlie Morton at NYM Pelfrey
- Brian Burres vs ARI Kennedy
- James McDonald at NYM Gee, vs ARI Enright
Two-starter(s): Duke and McDonald. They are questionable options
that should be left for deeper leagues, mostly NL-only formats. Duke is
actually more risky.
Who is getting skipped: Brad Lincoln . He will pitch out of the bullpen for the rest of the season.
One-week sleeper: McDonald. He isn't completely trustworthy, but he does have a 2.25 ERA in his two September starts going into this two-start week.
One-week bust: Duke. He couldn't record an out in the second inning in his past start. It certainly makes him difficult to trust.
San Diego Padres
- Mat Latos at STL Lohse
- Clayton Richard at COL De La Rosa
- Jon Garland at COL Hammel, at STL Wainwright
- Cory Luebke at COL Francis, at STL Garcia
- Tim Stauffer or more likely Wade LeBlanc at STL Westbrook
Two-starter(s): Garland and Luebke. They are questionable options
best left for NL-only leagues.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Richard. He hasn't won in three starts, but he has an unbelievable 1.64 ERA in his past six starts. He has to be considered viable in all leagues, regardless of the tough matchup on the road at Coors Field.
One-week bust: Garland. He is far less effective on the road than at home. His ERA is almost a run higher on the road.
San Francisco Giants
- Tim Lincecum vs MIL Gallardo
- Barry Zito vs LAD Kershaw, vs MIL Narveson
- Matt Cain vs LAD Billingsley
- Jonathan Sanchez vs LAD Lilly
- Madison Bumgarner vs MIL Wolf
Two-starter(s): Zito. He is a questionable option best left for
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Sanchez. He is just 10-8, but he is 1-0 with a 0.45 ERA in his past four starts. Trust him in all formats.
One-week bust: Zito. Although he is better at home and better in his past start, he has lost six consecutive starts and is too risky to use in mixed leagues.
- Felix Hernandez vs TEX Wilson
- Jason Vargas vs TEX Hunter
- Doug Fister vs BOS Lester, vs TEX Lee
- Luke French vs BOS Matsuzaka
- David Pauley vs BOS Buchholz
Two-starter(s): Fister. He is a high-risk option even for the
deepest of AL-only leagues with those matchups.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Fister. He is tough to trust in mixed leagues, but he is much better at home, posting a 3.21 ERA there compared to a 4.96 ERA on the road. Those are two home starts, albeit tough matchups.
One-week bust: Vargas. He still has a sub-4.00 ERA, but we wouldn't dare touch him against the Rangers.
St. Louis Cardinals
- Chris Carpenter vs CHC Zambrano
- Adam Wainwright vs CHC Wells, vs SD Garland
- Jaime Garcia vs CHC Silva, vs SD Luebke
- Jake Westbrook vs SD TBD
- Kyle Lohse vs SD Latos
Two-starter(s): Wainwright and Garcia. Wainwright is a must-start
in all leagues at home, while Garcia is an advisable option.
Who is getting skipped: None. Jeff Suppan remains in the bullpen.
One-week sleeper: None. The top three are advisable options, while the bottom two are the ...
One-week busts: Westbrook and Lohse. We wouldn't trust them as one starters against a contender this week.
Tampa Bay Rays
- David Price vs NYY Sabathia, vs LAA Kazmir
- Matt Garza vs NYY Nova
- James Shields vs NYY Hughes
- Wade Davis vs LAA Haren
- Jeff Niemann vs LAA Pineiro
Two-starter(s): Price. He is a must-start ace in all Fantasy
Who is getting skipped: None. The Rays could skip the struggling Niemann or even Davis after Thursday's offday, but we don't see it at this point.
One-week sleeper: Davis. He has been great since his return from the DL, going 3-0 with a 3.24 ERA. Consider him a solid option against the offensively weak Angels.
One-week bust: Niemann. He was less of a disaster Sunday, but still not good enough to trust in crunch time.
- Cliff Lee at SEA Fister
- C.J. Wilson at SEA Hernandez
- Colby Lewis vs DET Porcello
- Derek Holland vs DET Bonderman
- Tommy Hunter at SEA Vargas
Two-starter(s): None. The Rangers play five games this week and
don't figure to skip Hunter, Wilson or Lee.
Who is getting skipped: None. With days off Monday and Thursday, the Rangers could go with a four-man rotation. The only pitcher we could see them skipping would be Wilson at this point, because he is well over his career high in innings. The Rangers don't play those reindeer games, though.
One-week sleeper: Hunter. He kicked his slump and draws a very favorable matchup at Seattle.
One-week bust: Lewis. He has been pitching the poorest of the Rangers starters in the second half.
Toronto Blue Jays
- Ricky Romero at BOS Beckett
- Shaun Marcum at BOS Lester
- Brett Cecil at BOS Lackey
- Marc Rzepczynski at BAL Matusz
- Shawn Hill at BAL Arrieta
- Kyle Drabek at BAL Bergesen
Two-starter(s): None. The Blue Jays are going with a six-man
rotation now in a six-game week.
Who is getting skipped: None. Cecil is getting moved back to slot Drabek for his major-league debut, but he will remain in the six-man rotation, as will Hill.
One-week sleeper: Drabek. We like the talent and the favorable matchup in his debut. It could make him a sleeper for mixed leagues if you are a risk-taker.
One-week bust: Romero. He is coming off a terrible start, right after we decided to jump on the bandwagon. Oops. We're back off him in mixed formats this week now.
- Livan Hernandez at ATL Jurrjens
- John Lannan at ATL Minor
- Jason Marquis at PHI Kendrick
- Jordan Zimmermann at PHI Oswalt
- Yunesky Maya at ATL Lowe, at PHI Blanton
Two-starter(s): Maya. He is a high-risk option for the deepest of
NL-only leagues against those top contenders.
Who is getting skipped: None. The Nationals could move Zimmermann back, but we figure it is safer to keep the Tommy John survivor on turn.
One-week sleeper: None. The matchups make all the Nationals risky options.
One-week bust: Lannan. He is perhaps intriguing because he is a solid 5-2 with a 3.08 ERA since returning from the minor leagues, but we wouldn't take the risk in mixed formats when he is facing the contending Braves.
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