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. Javier Vazquez – Atlanta Braves – at Florida and home against Cincinnati
  2. Josh Johnson – Florida Marlins – against Atlanta and at Washington
  3. Randy Wolf – Los Angeles Dodgers – against Arizona and against San Diego
  4. Rich Harden – Chicago Cubs – against Houston and at New York Mets
  5. Cole Hamels – Philadelphia Phillies – against San Francisco and at Houston
  6. John Danks – Chicago White Sox – at Minnesota and against Boston
  7. Joel Pineiro – St. Louis Cardinals – against Milwaukee and at Pittsburgh
  8. Andy Pettitte – New York Yankees – at Baltimore and at Toronto
  9. Jonathan Sanchez – San Francisco Giants – at Philadelphia and at Milwaukee
  10. A.J. Burnett – New York Yankees – at Baltimore and at Toronto
  11. Derek Holland – Texas Rangers – against Toronto and at Baltimore
  12. Joe Saunders – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – at Seattle and at Kansas City
  13. Randy Wells – Chicago Cubs – against Houston and at New York Mets
  14. Vicente Padilla – Los Angeles Dodgers – against Arizona and against San Diego
  15. Edwin Jackson – Detroit Tigers – against Cleveland and at Tampa Bay
  16. James Shields – Tampa Bay Rays – at Detroit and `against Detroit
  17. Gavin Floyd – Chicago White Sox – at Minnesota and against Boston
  18. Jarrod Washburn – Detroit Tigers – against Tampa Bay and at Tampa Bay
  19. Roy Oswalt – Houston Astros – at Chicago Cubs and against Philadelphia
  20. Gio Gonzalez – Oakland Athletics – against Kansas City and against Seattle

There are some borderline two-start pitchers (Marc Rzepczynski, Tim Wakefield, Luke Hochevar, Tim Hudson or Yusmeiro Petit). Still you might want to try to maximize one start from a les craptastic pitcher. Also, if you need to stream pitchers later in the week from a likely available starter, I’d look to:

  1. Ubaldo Jimenez – Colorado Rockies – against New York Mets
  2. Tommy Hanson – Atlanta Braves – at Florida
  3. Scott Baker – Minnesota Twins – at Cleveland
  4. Brett Anderson – Oakland Athletics – against Seattle
  5. Ervin Santana – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – at Seattle
  6. Joe Blanton – Philadelphia Phillies – at Houston
  7. John Lannan – Washington Nationals – at San Diego
  8. J.A. Happ – Philadelphia Phillies – against san Francisco
  9. Jorge De La Rosa – Colorado Rockies – against New York Mets

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

  1. Baltimore Orioles (home for three games against both the New York Yankees and Texas Rangers). Players potentially available: Luke Scott, Nolan Reimold, Felix Pie.
  2. Colorado Rockies (home for three games against both the New York Mets and Arizona Diamondbacks). Players potentially available: Eric Young, Jr., Seth Smith, Ryan Spilborghs.

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:

  1. Will Venable (for HRs/RBIs/SBs);
  2. Angel Pagan (for Runs/SBs);
  3. Marlon Byrd (for HRs/RBIs/SBs);
  4. Cody Ross (for HRs/RBIs);
  5. Erick Aybar (for Runs/SBs);
  6. Scott Podsednik (for Runs/SBs);
  7. Julio Borbon (for Runs/SBs);
  8. Everth Cabrera (for Runs/SBs);
  9. Josh Willingham (for HRs/RBIs);
  10. Miguel Montero (for Runs/RBIs);
  11. Eugenio Velez (for Runs/SBs);
  12. Mike Cameron (for Runs/RBIs);
  13. Jack Cust (for HRs/OBP).

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

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