MLB Fantasy: Carpenter, Jimenez, Hughes:Two-Start Pitchers for Week 16

Rick MillemanCorrespondent IJuly 18, 2010

ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 13:  American League All-Star Phil Hughes #65 of the New York Yankees throws a pitch during the 81st MLB All-Star Game at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 13, 2010 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

We are now just past the midway point of the 2010 season and it is time for a little self-reflection.

Do you have a chance to compete or is it time to start preparing for fantasy football ? (Cheatsheet Compiler & Draft Buddy Football now available) Understanding your league rules and looking at results realistically will be the key to success.

In my NFBC league, I am behind in strikeouts by almost 50 Ks. I’m sure my team can get more than 50 strikeouts before the end of the season, but the team ahead of me will assuredly keep piling up the Ks too.

So the question is can I pick up 50 Ks more than my opponent for the remainder of the season given the current players on our two teams?

Since he is beating me so far and none of my players was underperforming too much, it is unrealistic to expect to make up that ground. So I should use this opportunity to try to make up points in other categories instead while punting strikeouts for the rest of the season.

Depending on your league rules, your decisions can vary.

If you are in a re-draft league, you have no way to keep your players for next season and have no choice but to keep playing for this season, no matter how far down in the standings you are.

If you decide to abandon your team, that is your choice, but don’t give your best players away for next to nothing to another team. You’d be pretty upset if a competitor of yours got the same advantage if you were challenging them.

If you are in a league that allows keepers then you have to decide if it is best to be a seller or a buyer.

Just like a Major League general manager, you must decide if your team is in contention or if it is time to start selling pieces in preparation for next season.

Have your players underperformed in the first half and are reasonably expected to find their second half swing? Or do you trade some youth for a difference maker that can help give your team an edge on the competition?

If so, give it a go and see if you can find yourself in the playoffs, where anything can happen. But if your team is just not excelling like you had hoped, maybe it is time to sell off the players not worth keeping and find a few who are.

Now, the projected 2-start pitchers for this week. For those of you in leagues who require you to set your lineup at the beginning of the week, these are guys you should strongly consider:

Rick’s Picks

Five best bets for double-start pitchers this week

1. Chris Carpenter gets the Phillies at home and the Cubs in Chicago. You can’t go wrong with the big righty.

2. Ubaldo Jimenez goes on the road for games at Florida and Philadelphia. He’s too dominant to let you down.

3. Phil Hughes hosts the Angels and Royals. Both have good hitting squads, but Hughes has figured out this starting thing and will get plenty of run support.

4. Mike Leake is still befuddling hitters. It will likely be next season before they start to catch up, so enjoy two weak offenses flailing away (vs WAS, at HOU).

5. Going on the road is never good for newbie rookies, but Dan Hudson will face two weak hitting teams in pitchers parks (at SEA, at OAK). This kid has success written all over him so play him with confidence.

Rick Milleman is the head fantasy baseball contributor at . Check his annual player projections included in the Cheatsheet Compiler & Draft Buddy to help draft your championship team.