Lately a lot of the fresh faces in new places are making the most out of their change of scenery. This week it’s time for you to take advantage! Let's stroll though and see who to sit and who to start.
Ian Desmond, Washington Nationals, 23 percent owned
As long as your league doesn't count fielding percentage or errors, then Desmond is your man this week. He's been hot after the break, hitting .304 with a .790 OPS since. All of his games next week are at home where he's hit all but one of his home runs. Against his team's two opponents next week (CHC, STL), Desmond's hitting .500 through 20 at-bats this year.
Ryan Theriot, Chicago Cubs, 84 percent owned
You can expect this new acquisition to pay some major dividends this week for the Dodgers. First up, he plays in Milwaukee against the Brewers, where he has a career mark of .368 and a .451 OBP through 102 at-bats—great numbers with a large sample size.
He also has a .400-plus average against three of the five Brewers starters. His numbers against the Rockies and at Coors Field are great too. Lifetime he's hitting .327 at Coors Field and .299 against the entire current staff.
Pat Burrell, San Francisco Giants, 18 percent owned
"The Bat" has been on fire since being acquired from the Rays. Five of the six pitchers that he faces this week are right-handed (40 points higher against righties, and 11 of 14 home runs). Against Cincinnati’s pitching, Burrell has a career mark of .333, in 33 at-bats, with great individual numbers against Arroyo (.333, two HR in 18 AB).
Jason Kubel, Minnesota Twins, 94.8 percent owned
This week is going to be Jason Kubel’s gauntlet. He’s hitting .200 with a .290 OBP against lefties this year (a career-long weakness of his). Four of the seven starting pitchers that Kubel will face this week are left-handed. Included in those four are Cliff Lee and C.J. Wilson.
Against both the Rangers pitchers and Mariners pitchers, Kubel has a combined career line of .206 in 102 AB and only one home run. This might be a career year for him, but this week showcases his career weakness.
Jorge Posada, New York Yankees, 92.6 percent owned
Posada’s numbers away this year are dismal and his numbers at both the Rogers Centre and Kaufman Stadium fall in line. In away games Posada is hitting .197, 101 points lower than at home. This year at both fields he’s a combined two for 19 (.105).
John Buck might be an affordable option to back-up since most teams only have one catcher on their roster and Buck is only owned in 12.2 percent of leagues. Over the last month he’s quietly hit .297.
Two-Start Pitchers To Use
Jake Westbrook, St. Louis Cardinals, 16 percent owned
Since being acquired from the Indians, Westbrook has thrown four consecutive quality starts. He has amassed 26 strikeouts in only 25 innings, while walking only four, and has posted a phenomenal 3.5 ground to fly-ball ratio. While he is not likely keep that rate up, this week shouldn’t be too much of a challenge for him to maintain those numbers.
PNC Park provides Westbrook with the fifth-worst place for home runs and the Pirates lineup is virgin to Westbrook, limiting their scouting of him. Washington doesn’t fare much better against Westbrook. While their park isn’t as good at containing the yardball, their lineup has only 22 hits in a career 97 at-bats against him.
Gio Gonzalez, Oakland A’s, 29.9 percent owned
Gio’s week from a distance may look like a bumpy one since they face the powerful Rangers. Yet with good, current-year numbers, Gio should make it through this week easily. So far this year Gio has pitched two shutouts against the Indians (13.2 innings total). As for the Rangers, in three starts he has maintained a 2.65 ERA and has kept the batters in check throughout his career (.227 average through 75 ABs, only two home runs).
Two-Start Pitchers To Avoid
Fausto Carmona, Cleveland Indians, 23.6 percent owned
This week a large sports website posted an article about using Carmona because of his two-starts. I’m here to tell you why you should do just the opposite. As a team, the A’s are hitting .344 against Carmona, with the bigger bats crushing him. Cust is hitting .500 against him with two home runs in 10 at bats. Carmona’s BAA post all-star game is a disgusting .335. He’s given up seven earned runs in 10 innings against Kansas City previously this year.
Huroki Kuroda, Los Angeles Dodgers, 86.7 percent owned
Unfortunately for Kuroda owners, he’s taking a trip to two of the top 10 homer-friendly parks in the bigs (third place for Coors Field and seventh for Miller), and his career numbers at both places are horrendous. His career ERA at Coors is 9.00 and his career ERA at Miller is 20.25!
Adding to his troubles are his career numbers against the players of both teams. Colorado players have a combined career .325 average against Kuroda through 83 at-bats. Milwaukee players are hitting .294, however in his defense, this is only through 17 at-bats.
All Statistical Information was obtained through ESPN.com
Written exclusively for TheFantasyFix.com by James Bryce. James is a grad student at UCSD and is currently in his 13th year of fantasy sports.
Follow us on Twitter@TheFantasyFix
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