h2h Corner ~ Back to the Future, Next Week’s 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 match-ups.

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 lineup. Here’s a handy, dandy, ranked list:

  1. Zack Greinke – Kansas City royals – at Houston and at Pittsburgh
  2. Carlos Zambrano – Chicago Cubs – at Detroit and at Chicago White Sox
  3. Ryan Dempster – Chicago Cubs – at Atlanta and at Chicago White Sox
  4. Francisco Liriano – Minnesota Twins – at Milwaukee and at St. Louis
  5. Javier Vazquez – Atlanta Braves – home against Chicago Cubs and home against Boston
  6. Aaron Cook – Colorado Rockies – at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and at Oakland
  7. Edwin Jackson – Detroit Tigers – home against Chicago Cubs and at Houston
  8. Trevor Cahill – Oakland Athletics – home against San Francisco and home against Colorado
  9. John Danks – Chicago White Sox – home against Los Angeles Dodgers and home against Chicago Cubs
  10. Hiroki Kuroda – Los Angeles Dodgers – at Chicago White Sox and home against Seattle
  11. Max Scherzer – Arizona Diamondbacks – home against Texas and home against Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
  12. Brad Penny – Boston Red Sox – at Washington and at Atlanta
  13. David Price – Tampa Bay Rays – home against Philadelphia and home against Florida
  14. Joel Pineiro – St. Louis Cardinals – at New York Mets and home against Minnesota
  15. Garrett Olson – Seattle Mariners – home against San Diego and at Los Angeles Dodgers
  16. Matt Palmer – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – home against Colorado and at Arizona
  17. John Lannan – Washington Nationals – home against Boston and at Baltimore
  18. Tommy Hanson – Atlanta Braves – home against New York Yankees and home against Boston

There are some borderline two-start pitchers (Andrew Miller, Jeff Suppan, Jamie Moyer, Ian Snell, Matt Harrison, Jonathan Sanchez and Todd Wellemeyer), but this isn’t a strong group. So you might want to try to maximize one start from a more serviceable pitcher. Also, if you need to stream pitchers later in the week from a likely available starter, I’d look to:

  1. Ricky Nolasco – Florida Marlins – home against Baltimore
  2. Jason Hammel – Colorado Rockies – at Oakland Athletics
  3. Josh Outman – Oakland Athletics – home against San Francisco
  4. Zach Duke – Pittsburgh Pirates – home against Cleveland
  5. Scott Baker – Minnesota Twins – at St. Louis
  6. Randy Johnson – San Francisco Giants – at Oakland
  7. Kevin Millwood – Texas Rangers – home against San Diego
  8. Ubaldo Jimenez – Colorado Rockies – at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
  9. Joe Saunders – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – home against Colorado
  10. Randy Wells – Chicago Cubs – at Chicago White Sox
  11. Vin Mazzaro – Oakland Athletics – home against San Francisco

If you are looking to maximize your moves, while boosting your offense, look to the following teams (players).

  1. Chicago White Sox (home for three games against Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago Cubs). Players potentially available: A.J. Pierzynski, Scott Podsednik, Chris Getz.
  2. Texas Rangers (home for three games against San Diego). Players potentially available: Hank Blalock, Marlon Byrd.
  3. Chicago Cubs (three games at Chicago white Sox). Players potentially available: Ryan Theriot, Kosuke Fukudome, Reed Johnson.

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

  • Casey Blake (for Runs/RBIs);
  • Cody Ross (for HRs/RBIs);
  • Juan Rivera (for HRs/RBIs);
  • Scott Podsednik (for Runs/SBs);
  • Adrian Beltre (Runs/RBIs/SBs);
  • Nolan Reimold (HRs/RBIs); and
  • Gary Sheffield (for HRs/RBIs).

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

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