MLB Fantasy Baseball: Zach Britton, Brandon McCarthy and Week 2's Pitching Duels

Fantasy Knuckleheads@_knuckleheadsCorrespondent IApril 12, 2011

ST PETERSBURG, FL - APRIL 03:   Pitcher Zach Britton #53 of the Baltimore Orioles pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays during the game at Tropicana Field on April 3, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
J. Meric/Getty Images

Last week I made some suggestions about which pitchers to put out there for your fantasy rosters. Let’s see how they fared:

Justin Verlander blew past Baltimore like I thought he would. He gave up only three runs in eight innings while striking out nine, then he threw a complete-game loss to Texas at home giving up two runs and striking out four.

Jeremy Hellickson pitched 5.2 innings and gave up three earned runs in a loss to the Angels, but he struck out a career-high 10 batters.

Francisco Liriano is still trying to figure things out and like I said, his start against the Yankees was sure to be a bumpy one. He lasted just five innings and surrendered four runs on four hits and three walks with five K’s.

Carlos Carrasco was great in his turn at Seattle. He allowed one run in six innings with six K’s.

Jordan Zimmerman was fine against the Mets as he allowed two runs in 5.1 innings with four K’s and no BB’s, but his real test is on Thursday, April 14 against the hot-hitting Phillies.

For a more in-depth look at what happened last week, jump on over to Ray Tannock’s fantasy baseball roundup.

Here’s a look at the big starts this week and some starters to watch out for:

Wednesday, April 13

John Danks faces light-hitting Oakland at home. He only faced the A’s once in 2010 and didn’t have great success, but he is great at home and the A’s offense has tripped itself up out of the gate in 2011. He strikes out more hitters than most do and pitches for a great lineup that is sure to get him a win.

Ervin Santana goes up against a surprisingly potent Cleveland Offense, but he is no slouch. He went undervalued in many drafts as evidenced by his 48.7 percent ESPN ownership, but he is coming off two great starts in 2011.

He went 6.2 and 8 innings, giving up just three runs in each game and striking out six and seven. People fail to realize he was a 17-game winner last year with a sub-4.00 ERA. If you can pick Santana up, I would not hesitate to.

Thursday, April 14

Zach Britton is slated to start against the Yankees in New York, but don’t hit the drop button just yet. In his previous start against Texas he threw 7.2 scoreless frames, allowing just four hits while striking out a pair of Rangers. He is a highly-touted prospect and is pitching for a rejuvenated Baltimore club. If you’ve got him, let him start against the Bombers on Thursday; if not, you should definitely try to grab him before someone else does.

Friday, April 14

Brandon McCarthy takes the hill against the Detroit Tigers. After several years of struggling to establish himself, the A’s new fifth starter seems to have found himself in a groove in the MLB’s most talented young rotation.

By throwing 7.1 and 8 innings in his first two starts and striking out seven compared to one walk in that time, McCarthy is solidifying himself in the No. 5 spot in Oakland’s rotation and is quickly finding his way onto fantasy rosters everywhere. And for those of you who like a good chuckle, follow him on Twitter—he is really quite funny.

Erik Bedard faces the Royals and is a very low-risk, high-reward pitcher. He is available in almost any league and may be a great option for a spot start or those in deeper leagues looking for cheap points. He has 200 strikeout talent, but an injury risk that is equally high. He may take a while to find his pitching legs again, but a start against Kansas City just might do the trick.

Sunday, April 17

Michael Pineda goes against the Royals and could do some serious damage. This high-profile prospect made a splash in his major league debut against Texas last week and Kansas City isn’t nearly as deadly as the Rangers. He has a big strikeout potential. Go grab him.

Clayton Richard starts fresh against the Astros. His last start was cut short due to a rain delay but his next start shouldn’t worry anyone. Richard had a solid 2011 debut in which he threw six innings of three-run ball with three strikeouts. Houston’s offense isn’t scaring anyone and starting Richard against them shouldn’t either.

For waiver wire advice or scouting help check our Eric Annet’s three up, three down column