There are only so many ways to say that we're dealing with a small sample size. I mean, it's obvious since we're barely two weeks into the season, but we still feel the need to throw it out there every time we're talking about a pitcher's first three starts or a hitter's first 50 at bats. So I'm officially declaring the end of the disclaimer. That is all.
Now onto the medium-term starting pitcher schedules you should be aware of.
THE POTENTIAL OUTPERFORMERS
Matt Moore (MIN, LAA, SEA, OAK, @BAL)
It has not been smooth sailing through Moore's first two starts, but it's not like there's really been any major concerns. Sure, the walk rate's been high, but last time I checked, Boston and Detroit were two pretty darn good offenses. Now he gets to take his talents to the rest of the league, including four starts in a row at home. If there was ever a time to try to pry him from his current owner it's right now. Literally, right now -- he's starting less than 10 hours.
Randy Wolf (HOU, @SD, @SF, CHC, HOU, SF)
There's no question about it, Randy Wolf has been horrific this season so far. So much so that he's probably on your waiver wire right now, unless you're in an NL-only league. But his next few starts are a good reason to scoop him back up and see if he can get back on track. If you're in a deeper league and have the spot, stash him on your bench before he takes on the Astros -- and if he turns it around, he could really help you out. And if not, no harm, no foul.
More after the jump..Adam Wilk/Doug Fister (SEA, KC, CHW, @OAK, MIN)
This one's a dual header, since by the time this stretch is half-way over, it should be Fister back in the rotation. Adam Wilk is not a good pitcher, and he's probably available even in some AL-only leagues -- but if you're looking for a deep sleeper, you could do worse than these next group of match-ups against struggling teams. It's not unreasonable that Fister could be back for the May 6th start against the White Sox, but it's probably more likely to be in Oakland.
Rick Porcello (TEX, SEA, KC, @SEA, @OAK, MIN)
Yes, you probably want to sit him against the Rangers, but once he makes it through that start, Porcello may have some pretty smooth sailing through mid-May. With his nifty 1.84 ERA and a win through two starts, Porcello could end up looking very good on paper after this stretch -- and is exactly the type of player you can sell as having "finally turned the corner." Though it's certainly not out of the realm of possibility that Porcello really has turned the corner.
Edinson Volquez (PHI, WSH, MLW, COL)
These are the kinds of stretches you want to see in front of a Padres pitcher -- four likely starts in a row at the house where offense goes to die a long drawn-out death. If there was ever a time to feel OK about running Volquez out there, it's probably now.
Other soft upcoming schedules:
Chris Sale (@SEA, @OAK, CLE, @DET, KC)
Mat Latos (SF, HOU, @PIT, WSH, @NYM)
Bronson Arroyo (SF, CHC, @PIT, WSH, @NYM)
Ubaldo Jimenez (@OAK, LAA, @CHW, CHW)
Jhoulys Chacin (@MLW, @PIT, LAD, @SD, @LAD, SEA, @MIA, HOU)
Max Scherzer (SEA, @NYY, CHW, @OAK, @CHW, PIT, @MIN)
Jered Weaver (BAL, @CLE, MIN, @MIN, @TEX, @SD, @OAK)
Chad Billingsley (@HOU, WSH, @CHC, SF)
Mark Buehrle (@NYM, ARZ, @SD, @HOU, PIT)
Roy Halladay (@SD, CHC, @ATL, NYM, SD)
Jeremy Hellickson (LAA, SEA, OAK, @BAL)
Henderson Alvarez (@BAL, SEA, @LAA, @MIN)
Jordan Zimmermann (@SD, @LAD, PHI, @CIN, PIT)
THE POTENTIAL UNDERPERFORMERS
Jason Hammel (TOR, @NYY, @BOS, TB)
I know he just struck out 10 guys in one game -- which admittedly is pretty impressive -- but do not run out to pick Hammel up. Any sane fantasy owner is not going to run him out there in any of these next four match-ups against Baltimore's division "rivals". Move on, nothing to see here.
CC Sabathia (@BOS, DET, @KC, TB)
Sabathia has struggled a bit to start the season, and he's not looking down the barrel at a particularly easy road back to normalcy for his stats. He's probably too big of a name to make for a real buy low opportunity if he struggles, but it would not be surprising if he could be had for 85-90 cents on the dollar from an owner who's towards the bottom of the standings in another few weeks.
All Cubs starters (CIN, STL, @PHI, @CIN, LAD, ATL, @MLW, @STL)
Let's be honest, you're not depending on any Cubs starters, except for Matt Garza. Ryan Dempster was a nice value pick heading into the season (and he's been pretty great so far), but if he's your ace, you're either trying out a fun strategy in a deep league or something went horribly, horribly wrong. Jeff Samardzija had been a nice story in his first start, but not so much last time out. Chris Volstad and Paul Maholm? Don't do that to yourself. There will be times later in the season, when match-ups will dictate using most of these guys in various sized leagues -- but tread carefully for now.
Other tough upcoming schedules:
Brian Matusz (@LAA, TOR, @NYY, TEX, TB)
Wandy Rodriguez (LAD, @CIN, STL, MIA, @PHI, TEX)
Liam Hendriks (@TB, BOS, @LAA, LAA, TOR, @DET)
Hiroki Kuroda (@BOS, DET @KC, TB)
Tom Milone (CHW, @BOS, @TB, DET, @TEX)
Charlie Morton (STL, COL, @STL, CIN)
Kevin Millwood (CHW, @TOR, @TB, DET, @BOS, @COL)
Matt Harrison (@DET, NYY, @TOR, @BAL, LAA)
Yu Darvish (@DET, NYY, @TOR, @CLE, LAA)
Lastly, if you follow me on Twitter at @tfw_bret, you know that I've been posting my Streamer of the Day for the last week or so -- and will continue this all season long. Every day I pick a starting pitcher who is owned in less than 10% of leagues and recommend them for streamers. In the interest of full disclosure, here's how my first seven picks went (as of right now, Henderson Alvarez -- today's pick -- is still in the 1st inning):
5 wins, 4.95 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 31 K's in 40 IP
A good chunk of those ratios are attributable to me changing my mind at the last minute from R.A. Dickey (1 ER) to Luke Hochevar (7 ER) last weekend. But here are the full details for those interested (and yes, these are some of the best names available in that many leagues):
|12-Apr||Chris Capuano||PIT||5 1/3||2||6||0||7||3.38||1.13||W|
|14-Apr||Lance Lynn||CHC||5 1/3||1||4||2||5||1.69||1.13||W|
|18-Apr||Juan Nicasio||SD||6 1/3||4||7||0||5||5.68||1.11||W|
So if you're into that sort of thing, check me out -- I'll keep posting my results in this column so that I can be properly judged.