In the last week of the season, you will see a lot of things happening that didn’t happen over the first 25 weeks. You will see teams who have already locked up playoff berths sit their starters to make sure they are fresh for the playoffs.
Starting rotations will be jumbled as aces will be bumped a day or two to position them for specific days of playoff action. Rookies will get more playing time and vets will sit as teams out of contention look to the future.
There is no rhyme or reason to some of the decisions made, just be prepared to watch your pitching matchups vanish into thin air or your stud hitter watch more games from the bench then from his usual fielding position.
This week, Cleveland, New York (AL), Arizona, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Houston, Los Angeles (NL), Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington are all on the docket for six. All others are scheduled for seven games this week.
Now, the projected two-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:
Five best bets for double-start pitchers this week
1. David Price gets Baltimore on the road then Kansas City at home. He will most likely start two games this week as the Rays are in contention for the division title and top record in the American League. The opponents are already making off-season plans, so Price should be in for a big week.
2. Wade Davis’ week looks just like Price’s above. Davis problem has been a sore shoulder that landed him on the disabled list last month. He has been very good since returning, so it looks like the rest did him well.
3. Jonathan Sanchez gets two weak offenses at home (vs ARZ, vs SD) as the Giants look to lock up the division and head for the playoffs. Since Sanchez is unlikely to be on the front end of the Giants playoff rotation, he will almost assuredly get both starts this week.
4. Edinson Volquez is trying ot prove that he belongs in the playoff rotation and will have two home games (vs HOU, vs MLW) this week to show his stuff. Look for Volquez to have a big week.
5. Tommy Hanson has scuffled in his sophomore season, but is still a good pitcher. With the Braves fighting for their playoff lives, they get the Marlins and Phillies at home. The Marlins are playing out the streak and the Phillies will be resting their starters for the upcoming playoffs, so Hanson is a good bet this week.
Note: If Roy Halladay gets two starts this week, he is easily the No. 1 choice for the list. But since the Phils will likely bump him from his second start to allow him to start game 1 of the NLDS, don’t count on him taking the mound twice this week.