Fantasy Baseball can be a very difficult dance to master, and many people will scream their success to you in many different ways. One of the things I love about it is that one strategy does not fit all. You can have a completely different strategy year by year and still be successful. That being said, it can also be quite frustrating.
For example, in my head-to-head (H2H) keeper league, my team cumulatively hit over .300 both weeks, but I was matched up against a tougher, hotter team (even though I would have beat most of the other teams in the league). You have to learn to roll with the punches week by week.
One way to get a big of a leg up on the competition is to look at the two-start pitchers for the upcoming week and set your lineups accordingly.
Here is a list of the top 25 two-start pitchers for the week of July 29, 2013:
Note: They are ranked in what I believe to be their value in H2H standard leagues.
1. David Price: @Bos, @SF
Price has been dealing since returning from injury and should continue his success in Boston and in Milwaukee.
2. Stephen Strasburg: @Det, @Mil
Strasburg should pitch well against a Tigers lineup that doesn't know him well and should continue his success against the punch-less Brewers later in the week.
3. Anibal Sanchez: Was, CWS
A pretty solid week for Anibal moves him up into the top three. Anibal should handle both of these offenses quite easily and is an excellent play this week.
4. Matt Garza: LAA, @Oak
Garza should continue to help the Rangers rotation and pitch just as well as he did in the month of July. I believe the Athletics lineup is a bit overrated, and he should get two wins even though the Rangers are struggling as a whole.
5. Francisco Liriano: Stl, Col
Liriano has been a revelation this season. Pitching both games at home should be beneficial for Liriano and he should have good success this week.
6. Jered Weaver: @Tex, Tor
A tough week for Weaver, who will be facing two struggling yet mighty offenses. Usually, he would be ranked a bit higher, but his opponents bring him down a few pegs.
The Solid Starters
7. Jeff Samardzija: Mil, LAD
JS has a solid week ahead of him, pitching both his games at home. Although he has a much better road record than he does at home, I think Samardzija should handle both of these teams with his high strikeout totals.
8. Mat Latos: @SD, Stl
Latos has been up and down this year, but he has been striking out plenty as of late, and this should continue against the Padres. The matchup with the Cardinals is a wild-card game as you don't know which Latos will show up.
9. Derek Holland: LAA, @Oak
Like Garza, I expect a big turnaround week from the Rangers, and Holland should be able to handle both offenses even though he has an ERA over 5.00 in his two starts against the Angels this year.
10. Zack Wheeler: @Mia, KC
Probably the best two opponents on this list, Wheeler should display his great arsenal and destroy the punch-less Marlins and pitch very well at home versus the Royals, who have yet to see the phenom pitch.
11. Brandon Beachy: Col, @Phi
Beachy is a tough play here. He was the best pitcher last season until his injury and this is his first start since returning in 2013. Don't expect Beachy to go deep into the games, but I think he will provide enough to net some wins and great peripherals.
12. Jake Peavy: @Cle, @Det
Peavy hasn't been electric since returning from the disabled list and has two tough matchups this week, which brings him down in this week's list. He also will probably be traded.
13.Lance Lynn: @Pit, @Cin
A tough stretch for Lynn, he will have his hands full this week with both games on the road. Lynn has pitched very well this season and he would definitely be in the top 10 if it wasn't for the offenses he is going up against.
14. C.J. Wilson: @Tex, Tor
Wilson has the ability to command a game, and I think he will do so against his former mates in his former home of Texas. Toronto poses a problem for C.J., but I think, overall, he has a strong week.
The Above-Average (but Not Great) Starters
15. Mike Leake: @SD, Stl
Leake had an excellent run in May and June (1.87 and 1.76 ERAs, respectively), and even though his July ERA has doubled from those months, he is still pitching great and has one great and one average matchup.
16. Kyle Lohse: @CHC, Was
Lohse has been a very underrated starter this season and has pitched quite well as of late. In the last two months, Lohse has given up one run or less in seven of his 11 starts and is 6-1 during that stretch.
17. Ervin Santana: @Min, @NYM
Another great slew of matchups, Santana should be able to do well against the punch-less Twins and against the Mets, who have never seen him pitch. Watch out for him at the plate, though.
18. Felix Doubront: TB, Ari
Pitching both games at home, Doubront has been on an excellent streak as of late. He hasn't given up more than three runs since May 8 and spun a gem against the Rays on June 18 (8 IP, 0 ER). Expect the 25-year-old to continue his improvement and dominance this week.
The Tougher Matchups
19. A.J. Burnett: Stl, Col
Burnett is unfairly low on this list, and maybe that is because I can never trust him. He has given up two earned runs or less in every start since June 3rd. That being said, I expect the Cardinals to put up crooked numbers against A.J., and Colorado has some power. I expect him to do decently well but not great.
20. Jorge De La Rosa: @Atl, @Pit
De La Rosa won't have to worry about Coors Field this week, but he has two tough matchups on the schedule. He is a bit erratic and can put up a crooked number, so watch out against these two teams this week.
21. Ian Kennedy: @TB, @Bos
A tough year for Kennedy and an even tougher slew of games against the AL East. The Rays are sneaky good on offence, and pitching in Fenway is always tough. Kennedy has struggled this season, so I would not necessarily recommend him this week.
The "Good" Pitchers
22. Ricky Nolasco: NYY, @CHC
Maybe Alfonso Soriano will reinvigorate the Yanks, but as of now, they are not close to the Bombers of old. The Cubs are also a work in progress, so Nolasco should continue his strong play with the Dodgers. In July, he has given up one or two earned runs in every start, save for one. He should be a decent play this week. He could easily be higher up on this list, but you never know with these Yankees.
23. Esmil Rogers: @Oak, @LAA
With many pitchers set to come back from injury for the Blue Jays (Kyle Drabek, Drew Hutchison, etc.), Esmil will want to cement his place in the rotation with some good starts. Both of these starts are on the West Coast, so I believe Rogers should keep the Jays in a good standing in both of these games. Don't be surprised if he comes away with two wins this week.
24. Bud Norris: @Bal, @Min
Bud might be moved in the next couple of days and his start at Baltimore could easily be the deciding factor. I know Bud would want to play for a contender, so he might have some extra motivation this week. Look for him to pitch well in both games with a little more on the line.
25. A.J Griffin: Tor, Tex
A tough two-game stretch for Griffin, although both games are at home where he has pitched well this season (3.41 ERA). Expect average numbers in both these starts. Start at your own peril.
Jake Westbrook: @Pit, @Cin
Wei-Yin Chen: Hou, Sea
Mark Buehrle: @Oak, @LAA
Scott Kazmir: CWS, @Mia
Andy Pettitte: @LAD, @SD
See you next week.
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