h2h Corner ~ Back to the Future, Week VI h2h Preview

This column will predict how awesome/bad your team can be during next week’s contest. It will prove invaluable for those of you about to set your lineups in weekly leagues.

However, it will also help daily league owners because some leagues have started with weekly move caps to cut down on the nefarious streaming pitchers strategy. This makes it important to maximize your move allotment on two-start pitchers and key hitters who will have good matchups.

When making roster moves, it is important to focus on the categories you want to win. For 5×5 h2h leagues, you only need to win six categories a week. I focus on runs, HRs and SBs for hitters, so I lean to the rare combination of power and speed. For pitchers, I focus on saves first and foremost – there is safety in quantity. Then I let the early returns from my starters do the talking. If they start off great in ERA/WHIP, I focus on diligently tracking my ratio categories and keeping those down. If they give up a ton of runs and walk a bunch, then I throw all my pitchers into the mix and go for wins and strikeouts. By focusing on these four categories and letting your starters figure out the other two, you can get yourself a handy winning percentage near .600.

You will most likely get the best returns on moves from adding starting pitchers, as they can – hopefully positively – impact wins, Ks, ERA and WHIP. If you are in a weekly league, you need to decide which two-start pitchers you are inserting into your line-up. Here’s a handy, dandy, ranked list:

  1. Johan Santana – New York Mets – home against Atlanta & at San Francisco
  2. Roy Halladay – Toronto Blue Jays – home against New York Yankees & home against Chicago White Sox
  3. Rich Harden – Chicago Cubs – home against San Diego & home against Houston
  4. Matt Cain – San Francisco Giants – home against Washington & home against New York Mets
  5. Randy Johnson – San Francisco Giants — home against Washington & home against New York Mets
  6. Jake Peavy – San Diego Padres – at Chicago Cubs & home against Cincinnati
  7. A.J. Burnett – New York Yankees – at Toronto & home against Minnesota
  8. Armando Galarragga – Detroit Tigers – at Minnesota & home against Oakland
  9. Derek Lowe – Atlanta Braves – at New York Mets & home against Arizona
  10. Kevin Slowey – Minnesota Twins – home against Detroit & at New York Yankees
  11. Manny Parra – Milwaukee Brewers – home against Florida & at St. Louis
  12. Mike Pelfry – New York Mets – home against Atlanta & at San Francisco
  13. Clayton Kershaw – Los Angeles Dodgers – at Philadelphia & at Florida
  14. Justin Masterson – Boston Red Sox – at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim & at Seattle
  15. Ubaldo Jimenez – Colorado Rockies – home against Houston & at Pittsburgh
  16. Jordan Zimmerman – Washington Nationals – at San Francisco & home against Philadelphia
  17. Zach Duke – Pittsburgh Pirates – home against St. Louis & home against Colorado
  18. Jon Garland – Arizona Diamondbacks – home against Cincinnati & at Atlanta

Two-start pitchers somewhat weak this week (funny?). So, you might want to try to maximize one start from an actually good pitcher. Also, if you need to stream pitchers later in the week from a likely available starter, I’d look to:

  1. Sean Marshall – Chicago Cubs – home against Houston Astros
  2. Koji Uehara – Baltimore Orioles – at Kansas City Royals
  3. Dave Bush – Milwaukee Brewers – home against Florida
  4. Rick Porcello – Detroit Tigers – home against Oakland A’s
  5. Brian Bannister – Kansas City Royals – at Oakland A’s
  6. Barry Zito – San Francisco Giants – home against Washington Nationals

As I’ve mentioned, leagues are starting to limit the amount of moves you can make on a weekly basis. So, if you are looking to maximize your moves, while boosting your offense, look to the following teams (players).

  • Texas Rangers (home for three games against Seattle and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim). Players potentially available: Marlon Byrd, Andruw Jones, Taylor Teagarden, David Murphy, Omar Vizquel.
  • Chicago Cubs (home for three games against San Diego and Houston). Players potentially available: Kosuke Fukudome, Mike Fontenot.
  • Houston Astros (three games at both Colorado and Chicago Cubs). Players potentially available: Michael Bourn, Ivan Rodriguez.
  • Los Angeles Dodgers (three games at Philadelphia). Players potentially available: Juan Pierre, James Loney, Casey Blake.

The players mentioned above should be available in most 12-team leagues. This is simply an endorsement for an increase in their value for this week – do not make long-term roster plans based solely on this.

However, those are slim pickings, so if you are desperate for some hitting help, try grabbing:

  1. Russell Branyan (for HRs/RBIs);
  2. Jason Kubel (for Runs/RBIs);
  3. Nyjer Morgan (for runs/SBs); and
  4. Scott Hairston (for RBIs/SBs).

If you have any questions about weekly roster management, feel free to post a comment or DM me on Twitter.

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