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. Yovani Gallardo – Milwaukee Brewers – against St. Louis and against Los Angeles Dodgers
  2. Josh Beckett – Boston Red Sox – against Oakland and against Kansas City
  3. Matt Cain – San Francisco Giants – against Florida and against San Diego
  4. Josh Johnson – Florida Marlins – at San Francisco and at Arizona
  5. CC Sabathia – New York Yankees – at Minnesota and at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
  6. Matt Garza – Tampa Bay Rays – against Toronto and against Oakland
  7. Javier Vazquez – Atlanta Braves – at Chicago Cubs and at Colorado
  8. Kevin Millwood – Texas Rangers – at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and at Seattle
  9. Adam Wainwright – St. Louis Cardinals – at Milwaukee and at Chicago Cubs
  10. Clayton Kershaw – Los Angeles Dodgers – at New York Mets and at Milwaukee
  11. Ryan Dempster – Chicago Cubs – against Atlanta and against St. Louis
  12. Johnny Cueto – Cincinnati Reds – at Philadelphia and at New York Mets
  13. Jered Weaver – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – against Texas and against New York Yankees
  14. Cole Hamels – Philadelphia Phillies – against Cincinnati and against Pittsburgh
  15. John Smoltz – Boston Red Sox – against Oakland and against Kansas City
  16. Kevin Correia – San Diego Padres – at Arizona and at San Francisco
  17. Aaron Harang* – Cincinnati Reds – at Philadelphia and at new York Mets
  18. Jair Jurrjens – Atlanta Braves – at Chicago Cubs and at Colorado Rockies
  19. Scott Baker – Minnesota Twins – against New York Yankees and against Chicago White Sox
  20. José Contreras – Chicago White Sox – against Cleveland and at Minnesota
  21. Jason Hammel – Colorado Rockies – against Washington and against Atlanta
  22. Doug Davis – Arizona Diamondbacks – against San Diego and against Florida
  23. Mike Pelfry – New York Mets – against Los Angeles Dodgers and against Cincinnati Reds
  24. Jason Marquis – Colorado Rockies – against Washington and against Atlanta
  25. Andy Pettitte – New York Yankees – against Toronto and at against St. Louis

There are some borderline two-start pitchers (Ricky Romero, Vicente Padilla, Randy Wells, J.A. Happ, Erik Bedard, Jordan Zimmerman, and Gil Meche). Still 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. Wandy Rodriguez – Houston Astros – home against Pittsburgh
  2. Ubaldo Jimenez – Colorado Rockies – home against Atlanta
  3. Brad Penny – Boston Red Sox – home against Kansas City
  4. John Danks – Chicago White Sox – home against Cleveland
  5. Tim Wakefield – Boston Red Sox – home against Oakland
  6. Randy Johnson – San Francisco Giants – home against San Diego
  7. Felipe Paulino – Houston Astros – home against Pittsburgh
  8. Nick Blackburn – Minnesota Twins – home against Chicago White Sox

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

  1. Atlanta Braves (three games at Chicago Cubs and four games at Colorado). Players potentially available: Martin Prado, Garret Anderson, Matt Diaz.
  2. Philadelphia Phillies (home for four games against Cincinnati and three games against Pittsburgh). Players potentially available: Pedro Feliz.
  3. Colorado (home for three games against Washington, four games against Atlanta). Players potentially available: Garrett Atkins, Ryan Spilborghs, Seth Smith, Dexter Fowler.
  4. Chicago Cubs (three home games against Atlanta and two home games against St. Louis). Players potentially available: Milton Bradley, Kosuke Fukudome, Jake Fox.
  5. Toronto Blue Jays (one game at New York Yankees, three games at Baltimore). Players potentially available: Lyle Overbay, Rod Barajas.

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:

  • Adam LaRoche (for HRs/RBIs);
  • Cody Ross (for HRs/RBIs);
  • Casey Blake (for Runs/RBIs);
  • Jason Kubel (for HRs/RBIs);
  • Casey McGehee (for Runs/HRs);
  • Andrew McCutcheon (Runs/SBs); and
  • Mark Teahen (for Runs/RBIs).

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

*Can you imagine an awesome gnome-like Harang bobble head? Or perhaps a colleague? Check out the link at the top of this column!

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One response to this post.

  1. […] in the Katy Perry All-star by-laws, Barajas must make at least one appearance every year (here, here and here). We were beginning to run out of time though, so it was nice to see Barajas really make a […]


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