Spot D'jour: Your Daily Pitcher Pickup...for Tomorrow

Dan Israeli Contributor IIIJune 4, 2009

KANSAS CITY - MAY 14:  Jeremy Guthrie #46 of the Baltimore Orioles pitches against the Kansas City Royals on May 14, 2009 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by: Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Jeremy Guthrie (Baltimore Orioles) @ Athletics. RHP. 20 percent owned.

Stat potential: Win, WHIP

Risk factor: Moderate-High

It was a busy day in the world of real and fake baseball, as the Nate McLouth trade seemed to set off a chain of top prospect call-ups, leading owners to scramble towards a lap top in hopes of scooping Tommy Hanson, Andrew McCutchen and Gordon Beckham.

Amid all the hoopla, the wild world of spot-starting must go on. Two days ago, I strongly pushed J.A. Happ as a possible hold in mixed leagues, and he answered with seven scoreless innings en route to a win. Today's Spot D'jour, Brian Tallet, did not fair too well in his daytime outing against the Angels, but did manage six strikeouts.

For anyone looking to exploit a good matchup tomorrow night, the hard-hitting Orioles will be visiting Oakland, as Jeremy Guthrie will take the mound in game one. Let's be honest —he is far from a staff ace, despite Baltimore's best efforts to masquerade him as one over the past two seasons.

He does draw a favorable matchup against the 29th-ranked hitting Athletics tomorrow night, and an equally average pitcher in Dallas Braden. Guthrie's biggest issue has been getting out of the gate this season, as he's been prone to giving up runs early and often. He often manages to right his ship, which has led to four wins, and only one outing fewer than five innings this season.

Guthrie improved by the numbers in May, and actually posted a strong 1.23 WHIP on the month. His ability to stay in games, coupled with a hot Orioles offense should make him a good candidate for wins in certain matchups. Oakland would appear to be one, but it's wise to note that Guthrie has struggled on the road this season, posting an ERA of more than six.

Nonetheless, Guthrie continues to improve as the season goes on, similar to how he fairs through the course of a ballgame. For good measure, he struck out a season-high 10 batters in his last game vs. Detroit, which could perhaps spill over into his start against Oakland.

Guthrie is never guaranteed to throw zeros on the board, but his ability to stay in games always makes him a viable option when the right matchup comes around.