Week 25 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. The teams have if we deem their week's matchups favorable and if their week's matchups are deemed unfavorable.

Arizona Diamondbacks

1. Joe Saunders vs COL De La Rosa, vs LAD Billingsley
2. Ian Kennedy vs COL Francis
3. Daniel Hudson vs LA Kershaw
4. Barry Enright vs LA Ely
5. Rodrigo Lopez vs COL Jimenez

Two-starter(s): Saunders. He is not an advisable start against any opponent at this point. He was already regressing before the Haren trade, and the National League just isn't agreeing with him.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Kennedy. He has been much more effective of late, due to better control, issuing only 15 walks in nine starts since Aug. 1.
One-week bust:Enright. Flyball tendencies are catching up with him, and he has given up nine home runs and 17 earned runs overall in his last three starts.

Atlanta Braves

1. Tim Hudson at WAS Zimmermann
2. Tommy Hanson at PHI Oswalt
3. Brandon Beachy at PHI Hamels
4. Derek Lowe at WAS Maya
5. Mike Minor at PHI Halladay
6. Jair Jurrjens at WAS Hernandez

Who is getting skipped: Jurrjens. He was initially a two-start option, but he was a late scratch from Monday's game at Philadelphia. He was replaced by rookie callup Brandon Beachy. At this point, his Sunday start at Washington is questionable, but right now he is a risky start in most formats regardless.
One-week sleeper: Lowe: He has dominated the Nats of late, striking out 18 and walking none over his last two starts against them.
One-week bust:Minor. Flyball tendencies at Citizens Bank Park plus a matchup against Halladay equals tough sledding.

Baltimore Orioles

1. Jeremy Guthrie at TOR Romero
2. Kevin Millwood at TOR Cecil
3. Brian Matusz at BOS Matsuzaka
4. Jake Arrieta (elbow, out for the season), so Rick VandenHurk at BOS Lackey
5. Brad Bergesen at BOS Buchholz
6. Chris Tillman at TOR Marcum

Two-starter(s): None.
Who is getting skipped:Arrieta. He is done for the season with a bone spur in his elbow.
One-week sleeper:Guthrie. He has a 3.06 ERA in seven career starts at Rogers Centre.
One-week bust: Tillman. He has demonstrated poor command, and he faces a tough opponent in Shaun Marcum .

Boston Red Sox

This week's two-start pitchers
Must-starts TM Own% Start%
Jered Weaver LAA 97 90
Chris Carpenter STL 97 90
Zack Greinke KC 97 84
Trevor Cahill OAK 92 73
Matt Cain SF 97 85
Cole Hamels PHI 97 89
Advisables TM Own% Start%
Chris Capuano MIL 10 7
Gio Gonzalez OAK 84 64
James Shields TB 92 67
Chad Billingsley LAD 95 74
J.A. Happ HOU 86 64
Jorge De La Rosa COL 88 68
Clayton Richard SD 81 56
Gavin Floyd CHW 89 64
Mike Pelfrey NYM 75 49
Colby Lewis TEX 85 59
Roberto Hernandez CLE 69 42
Jake Westbrook STL 57 37
Bud Norris HOU 44 31
Questionables TM Own% Start%
Daisuke Matsuzaka BOS 81 47
Rick Porcello DET 43 24
Livan Hernandez WAS 56 35
Joe Saunders ARI 41 22
Matt Garza TB 96 78
Phil Hughes NYY 93 64
Jair Jurrjens ATL 90 68
Ivan Nova NYY 18 9
High-risks TM Own% Start%
Dave Bush MIL 10 5
Homer Bailey CIN 41 21
Paul Maholm PIT 9 4
Chris Volstad FLA 17 7
Derek Holland TEX 24 14
Luke French SEA 6 3
Jeanmar Gomez CLE 10 4
Adalberto Mendez FLA 1 1
Bruce Chen KC 7 5

1. Jon Lester at NYY Nova
2. Josh Beckett at NYY Pettitte
3. John Lackey vs BAL VandenHurk
4. Clay Buchholz vs BAL Bergesen
5. Daisuke Matsuzaka vs BAL Matusz, at NYY Hughes

Two-starter(s): Matsuzaka. He has not had a quality start since Aug. 5 against the Indians, and a start against the Yankees doesn't help his value this week. He is not an advisable two-start pitcher this week.
Who is getting skipped:None.
One-week sleeper: Lackey. His last start against Toronto aside, he has been pitching much better lately, striking out 16 batters, walking four and allowing no homers in 18 1/3 September innings, though his 4.91 ERA for the month doesn't show the progress.
One-week bust: Matsuzaka, despite his two-start status, as discussed above.

Chicago Cubs

1. Ryan Dempster vs SF Bumgarner
2. Carlos Zambrano vs SF Cain
3. Randy Wells vs SF Sanchez
4. Casey Coleman vs STL Carpenter
5. Tom Gorzelanny vs STL Wainwright
6. Jeff Samardzija vs STL Westbrook

Two-starter(s): Zambrano, in the event that manager Mike Quade sends Casey Coleman to the bullpen to limit his innings. Zambrano would be the likely beneficiary to pick up a start against the Cardinals on Sunday against Jake Westbrook .
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Dempster. He hasn't allowed a run in either of his last two starts and he will face a Giants lineup that is struggling to put runs on the board.
One-week bust: Coleman, if he makes his scheduled start on Saturday. The Cardinals will take advantage of his poor control, and he will be facing Chris Carpenter .

Chicago White Sox

1. John Danks at ANA Kazmir
2. Mark Buehrle at OAK Cahill
3. Gavin Floyd at OAK Gonzalez, at ANA Weaver
4. Edwin Jackson at OAK Anderson
5. Freddy Garcia (back, out), so Lucas Harrell at ANA Pineiro

Two-starter(s): Floyd. He faces a couple of formidable starters, but he can match both Gonzalez and Weaver, and he has a more potent offense backing him. He is an advisable two-start pitcher.
Who is getting skipped: Garcia. He is questionable for the Angels' series and may even be shut down for the season.
One-week sleeper: None, really, but bear in mind that Floyd's been plagued recently by trouble with stranding runners. He should rebound from this.
One-week bust: Jackson. Given his recent struggles, a start against Brett Anderson is not exactly a prescription for a get-well win.

Cincinnati Reds

1. Johnny Cueto at MIL Wolf
2. Bronson Arroyo at SD Young
3. Edinson Volquez at MIL Bush
4. Homer Bailey at MIL Capuano, at SD Richard
5. Travis Wood at SD Garland

Two-starter(s): Bailey. He has been shaky, and the matchups are not especially beneficial, especially the start against Milwaukee (see below). He is a risky two-start option.
Who is getting skipped:None.
One-week sleeper: Wood. He is a big-time flyball pitcher, but with him pitching at PETCO Park this week, who cares? Let it ride.
One-week bust: Bailey. He has not been all that sharp since returning to the rotation, and he struggled in particular in his last start against the Brewers, coughing up four runs on eight hits in six innings back on Aug. 30.

Cleveland Indians

1. Roberto Hernandez at MIN Baker, vs KC Chen
2. Mitch Talbot vs KC O'Sullivan
3. Carlos Carrasco at MIN Pavano
4. Jeanmar Gomez at MIN Duensing, vs KC Grienke
5. Josh Tomlin vs KC Hochevar

Two-starter(s): Carmona and Gomez. Carmona is on a nice roll and doesn't face overwhelming pitching opponents. Gomez, on the other hand, is no match for Duensing and Greinke.
Who is getting skipped:None.
One-week sleeper: Tomlin. He has been very effective in his last three starts, and he could snatch another win against Luke Hochevar and the Royals.
One-week bust:Carrasco. He is off to a nice start, with a 2.70 ERA over his first four games this year, but eventually those gopher balls (five home runs in 26 2/3 innings) will get to him.

Colorado Rockies

1. Ubaldo Jimenez at ARI Lopez
2. Jorge De La Rosa at ARI Saunders, vs SF Cain
3. Jason Hammel vs SF Zito
4. Jhoulys Chacin vs SF Lincecum
5. Jeff Francis at ARI Kennedy

Two-starter(s): De La Rosa. Prior to his last start against San Diego, he was in a serious groove, posting a 2.45 ERA over five straight starts. He is an advisable two-start option.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Chacin. Sure, he faces off against Lincecum, but maybe it's Lincecum who should be scared. Chacin has given up just four earned runs over his last six starts.
One-week bust: Francis. He may not give owners very many innings, and he goes up against Ian Kennedy , an opponent on a hot streak.

Detroit Tigers

1. Justin Verlander vs MIN Blackburn
2. Max Scherzer vs KC Davies
3. Rick Porcello vs KC Greinke, vs MIN Liriano
4. Jeremy Bonderman vs MIN Slowey
5. Armando Galarraga vs KC Chen

Two-starter(s): Porcello. Though he has a 3.45 ERA over his last seven starts, he hits a pair of roadblocks named Greinke and Liriano. He could easily go 0-2 on the week.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Galarraga. He has faced the Royals twice over the last month and held them to a run in each start.
One-week bust: Porcello, because of the matchups.

Florida Marlins

1. Anibal Sanchez at MIL Gallardo
2. Chris Volstad vs STL Carpenter, at MIL Capuano
3. Alex Sanabia vs NYM Niese
4. Andrew Miller at MIL Narveson
5. Adalberto Mendez vs NYM Pelfrey, at MIL Bush

Two-starter(s): Volstad and Mendez. Volstad has been dreadful, and a matchup with Carpenter doesn't help. Mendez draws a better set of matchups, but he is too wild to trust outside of NL-only leagues.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Sanabia. He has pitched well in each of his last two starts, while Niese has been struggling. He provides the Marlins with their best chance for a W this week.
One-week bust: Sanchez. He has given up 12 earned runs over 16 2/3 innings in his last three starts and faces a tough foe in Gallardo.

Houston Astros

1. Brett Myers at PIT McDonald
2. Wandy Rodriguez at WAS Marquis
3. Bud Norris at WAS Hernandez, at PIT Duke
4. J.A. Happ at WAS Lannan, at PIT Maholm
5. Nelson Figueroa at WAS Detwiler

Two-starter(s): Norris and Happ. Both are advisable two-start options, given their favorable matchups against the Nats and Pirates.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Figueroa. He has not been as good over his last three starts, but he catches a break facing the Nats' sixth starter, Ross Detwiler . His start against Washington could get him back on track.
One-week bust: None.

Kansas City Royals

1. Zack Greinke at DET Porcello, at CLE Gomez
2. Bruce Chen at DET Galarraga, at CLE Carmona
3. Kyle Davies at DET Scherzer
4. Sean O'Sullivan at CLE Talbot
5. Luke Hochevar at CLE Tomlin

Two-starter(s): Greinke and Chen. Greinke will overmatch his opponents, but Chen has the misfortune of facing a streaking Roberto Hernandez . The latter is not an advisable two-start option.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: O'Sullivan. Yes, he's been terrible, but it's mostly been home runs that have ruined his starts. One of his better performances came when he visited Oakland's pitcher-friendly park on Aug. 4. Between pitching in Progressive Field and facing a less-than-potent Cleveland lineup, this could be a good week to give O'Sullivan a try in deeper leagues
One-week bust: None.

Los Angeles Angels

1. Jered Weaver vs TEX Holland, vs CHW Floyd
2. Dan Haren vs TEX Wilson
3. Ervin Santana vs TEX Lewis
4. Scott Kazmir vs CHW Danks
5. Joel Pineiro vs CHW Harrell

Two-starter(s): Weaver. Two starts are just one more reason to start one of the American League's best pitchers in all formats.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Pineiro. He looked solid Saturday against the Rays, and next time out, in Lucas Harrell , he gets a much less imposing adversary than David Price .
One-week bust:Kazmir. Walks will continue to get him into trouble, a handicap he can't afford when facing John Danks and the Sox.

Los Angeles Dodgers

1. Clayton Kershaw at ARI Hudson
2. Chad Billingsley vs SD Richard, at ARI Saunders
3. Ted Lilly vs SD Stauffer
4. Hiroki Kuroda vs SD Latos
5. John Ely at ARI Enright

Two-starter(s): Billingsley. He is normally an advisable start, whether he is scheduled to go once or twice, and the matchup with the Diamondbacks only cements his status as an advisable as a two-start option.
Who is getting skipped:None.
One-week sleeper: Lilly has gotten blasted in two of his last four starts, though one of those was at Coors Field (seven earned runs, two home runs in four innings). He won't face those long ball nightmares with a home start against the Padres.
One-week bust: None.

Milwaukee Brewers

1. Yovani Gallardo vs FLA Sanchez
2. Randy Wolf vs CIN Cueto
3. Dave Bush vs CIN Volquez, vs FLA Mendez
4. Chris Capuano vs CIN Bailey, vs FLA Volstad
5. Chris Narveson vs FLA Miller

Two-starter(s): Capuano and Bush. Capuano has a 2.45 ERA over his last three starts, and he gets a couple of decent matchups. Bush has a favorable week ahead on paper, but he is just too unreliable, regardless of whom his opponent is.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Narveson. He has been more successful lately due to a jacked-up strikeout rate, and he gets a huge gift in the form of a start against Andrew Miller and the Marlins.
One-week bust: Wolf. While he has strung together three quality starts in a row, he is often bedeviled by home runs when pitching at home. Facing the Reds won't make that an easier task.

Minnesota Twins

1. Francisco Liriano at DET Porcello
2. Carl Pavano vs CLE Carrasco
3. Kevin Slowey at DET Bonderman
4. Nick Blackburn at DET Verlander
5. Brian Duensing vs CLE Gomez
6. Scott Baker vs CLE Carmona

Two-starter(s): None.
Who is getting skipped:None.
One-week sleeper: Slowey. He has been ratcheting up his pitch count since returning from his triceps injury, and he has pitched well, giving up four earned runs and racking up 15 strikeouts over 15 2/ 3 innings.
One-week bust: Blackburn. He has regained his form over the past several starts, but he'll have a tough time coming away with a win facing Justin Verlander .

New York Mets

1. R.A. Dickey at PHI Blanton
2. Jonathon Niese at FLA Sanabia
3. Mike Pelfrey at FLA Mendez, at PHI Hamels
4. Dillon Gee at PHI Kendrick
5. Jenrry Mejia (shoulder, out for the season); won't need a fifth starter in Fantasy Week 25 (Sept. 20-26)

Two-starter(s): Pelfrey. He gets a favorable matchup against Florida, but he also has the misfortune of going up against one of the hottest pitchers in Fantasy, Cole Hamels . He's an advisable two-start option, even though he could take a loss with a solid effort against the Phillies.
Who is getting skipped:Mejia. He is out for the rest of the season with a strained rhomboid muscle in his right shoulder.
One-week sleeper: None.
One-week bust: Niese. He has not been very good over his last five starts, posting a 5.93 ERA, while his opponent this week, Alex Sanabia has been fairly reliable for the Marlins.

New York Yankees

1. CC Sabathia vs TB Price
2. Andy Pettitte vs BOS Beckett
3. A.J. Burnett vs TB Davis
4. Phil Hughes vs TB Shields, vs BOS Matsuzaka
5. Ivan Nova vs TB Garza, vs BOS Lester

Two-starter(s): Hughes and Nova. Since June, Hughes has not been a pitcher to trust in mixed leagues, as he has posted a 5.16 ERA over his last 19 games. Nova has been a good find for the Yankees, but his competition is just too tough this week. Neither is an advisable two-start pitcher.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Burnett has had a disappointing season, but he has been a little better over his last four starts, and he draws the Rays' inconsistent Wade Davis in his start this week.
One-week bust: None.

Oakland Athletics

1. Brett Anderson vs CHW Jackson
2. Trevor Cahill vs CHW Buehrle, vs TEX Lewis
3. Dallas Braden vs TEX Lee
4. Gio Gonzalez vs CHW Floyd, vs TEX Holland
5. Bobby Cramer vs TEX Hunter

Two-starter(s): Cahill and Gonzalez. They have 1.58 and 2.70 home ERAs, respectively, this season. Both are advisable two-start options.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: None.
One-week bust: Braden. He has allowed 14 runs over his last three starts and tries to get back on track against Cliff Lee . Better to wait ‘til next week.

Philadelphia Phillies

1. Roy Halladay vs ATL Minor
2. Roy Oswalt vs ATL Hanson
3. Cole Hamels vs ATL Jurrjens, vs NYM Pelfrey
4. Joe Blanton vs NYM Dickey
5. Kyle Kendrick vs. NYM Gee

Two-starter(s): Hamels. He has been on a level all his own since the All-Star break, compiling a 1.96 ERA. Start him every week.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Blanton. He may not really be a sleeper anymore, but he continues to outperform his 5.00 ERA with a strong second half.
One-week bust: None.

Pittsburgh Pirates

1. Zach Duke vs HOU Norris
2. Paul Maholm vs STL Westbrook, vs HOU Happ
3. James McDonald vs. HOU Myers
4. Charlie Morton vs STL Lohse
5. Brian Burres vs STL Garcia

Two-starter(s): Maholm. The matchup against Jake Westbrook isn't bad, but Maholm just hasn't been very good this year. Pass.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Burres. Most times out, he is an NL-only option, but there is a chance he could oppose Jeff Suppan instead of Jaime Garcia this week. Burres has been better lately, so he's worth a flier if you are underwhelmed by the alternatives.
One-week bust: McDonald. He's been the best of the Pirates' starters since coming over from the Dodgers, but odds are long against him picking up a win against Brett Myers and the Astros.

San Diego Padres

1. Mat Latos at LA Kuroda
2. Jon Garland vs CIN Wood
3. Clayton Richard at LA Billingsley, vs. CIN Bailey
4. Tim Stauffer at LA Lilly
5. Chris Young vs CIN Arroyo

Two-starter(s):Richard. Facing a punchless Dodger lineup and an inconsistent Homer Bailey , Richard is primed for a good two-start week.
Who is getting skipped: None at this time, though Young's start could be pushed back depending on how well he bounces back from his Saturday's start, his first since April.
One-week sleeper: None.
One-week bust: Latos. He's been clobbered in each of his last two starts. Perhaps the 22-year- old is starting to wear down after 168 innings.

San Francisco Giants

1. Tim Lincecum at COL Chacin
2. Matt Cain at CHC Zambrano, at COL De La Rosa
3. Barry Zito at COL Hammel
4. Jonathan Sanchez at CHC Wells
5. Madison Bumgarner at CHC Dempster

Two-starter(s): Cain. He is more homer-prone when he hits the road, but has a 3.64 career ERA at Coors. Cain is safe to start in all formats.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: None.
One-week bust: Zito. He has struggled on the road with a 4.93 ERA this year, and he got clocked his last time out at Coors.

Seattle Mariners

1. Felix Hernandez at TOR Hill
2. Jason Vargas at TB Niemann
3. Doug Fister at TB Garza
4. Luke French at TOR Rzepczynski, at TB Shields
5. David Pauley at TOR Drabek

Two-starter(s): French. When this flyball pitcher leaves Safeco Field, he's as vulnerable as they come (5.67 ERA in six away appearances). He is not an advisable two-start option.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Pauley. He is enough of a ground ball pitcher to survive the Toronto lineup, and he has a decent matchup against Kyle Drabek .
One-week bust: Vargas and Fister. Both have away ERAs just under 5.00 and face a potent Rays lineup this week.

St. Louis Cardinals

1. Chris Carpenter at FLA Volstad, at CHC Coleman
2. Adam Wainwright at CHC Gorzelanny
3. Jeff Suppan at PIT Burres
4. Jake Westbrook at PIT Maholm, at CHC Samardzija
5. Kyle Lohse at PIT Morton

Two-starter(s): Carpenter and Westbrook. Both pitchers benefit from great matchups (not that Carpenter needs to). Start both.
Who is getting skipped: Garcia had his last start (Saturday vs. SD) skipped due to fatigue, and all signs point to Jeff Suppan taking his next turn on Thursday at Pittsburgh.
One-week sleeper: Lohse. He hasn't been all that effective, but when you get to face one of the weaker lineups and one of the worst starting pitchers in the majors, you're worth a shot in deeper leagues.
One-week bust: None, unless Garcia is pulled from his start again.

Tampa Bay Rays

1. David Price at NYY Sabathia
2. Matt Garza at NYY Nova, vs SEA Fister
3. James Shields at NYY Hughes, vs SEA French
4. Wade Davis at NYY Burnett
5. Jeff Niemann vs SEA Vargas

Two-starter(s): Garza and Shields. Both pitchers have favorable matchups against the Mariners, though Shields has fared better against the Yankees this year. Shields should start in nearly all leagues this week, while owners in standard mixed leagues should consider giving Garza a breather.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Shields. His ERA against the Yankees is 2.51 in five starts this season.
One-week bust:Davis. Though he has been good in his last two starts, it's best not to take chances with this homer-prone pitcher at Yankee Stadium.

Texas Rangers

1. Cliff Lee at OAK Braden
2. C.J. Wilson at ANA Haren
3. Colby Lewis at ANA Santana, at OAK Cahill
4. Tommy Hunter at OAK Cramer
5. Derek Holland at ANA Weaver, at OAK Gonzalez

Two-starter(s): Lewis and Holland. A couple of nice team matchups for Lewis, though wins are hardly a given. Holland isn't going deep enough into games to take the risk of him facing a couple of good starters. Lewis is an advisable start, while Holland is not.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Hunter has been hurt by homers in the season's second half, but there's not much of a threat of that pitching at Oakland against the A's.
One-week bust: None.

Toronto Blue Jays

1. Shaun Marcum vs BAL Tillman
2. Ricky Romero vs BAL Guthrie
3. Brett Cecil vs BAL Millwood
4. Marc Rzepczynski vs SEA French
5. Shawn Hill vs SEA Hernandez
6. Kyle Drabek vs SEA Pauley

Two-starter(s): None.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: None
One-week bust: Hill. He has been decent in his first two starts, but he could have a hard time picking up a win with his lineup facing Felix Hernandez .

Washington Nationals

1. John Lannan vs HOU Happ
2. Livan Hernandez vs HOU Norris, vs ATL Jurrjens
3. Jason Marquis vs HOU Rodriguez
4. Jordan Zimmermann vs ATL Hudson
5. Yunesky Maya vs ATL Lowe
6. Ross Detwiler vs HOU Figueroa

Two-starter(s): Hernandez. He could give Bud Norris a close matchup, and he also draws a struggling Jair Jurrjens . Hernandez is an advisable start in deeper mixed leagues.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Lannan. He has regained his form recently, and Happ has not been as sharp in his last two starts.
One-week bust: None.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter . You can e-mail us your Fantasy Baseball questions to DMFantasyBaseball@cbs.com . Be sure to put Pitching Planner in the subject field. Please include your full name, hometown and state.

Data Analyst

Al Melchior has been playing Fantasy Baseball since 1994, getting his start in the Southern Maryland Anthropomorphic Baseball League (SMABL). He has been writing about Fantasy Baseball since 2000, getting... Full Bio

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