MLB Fantasy Baseball Insiders' Inbox: Spot-Start Options for Memorial Day

Nick Kappel@@NickKappelAnalyst IIIMay 29, 2011

CINCINNATI, OH - MAY 18:  Charlie Morton #50 of the Pittsburgh Pirates throws a pitch during the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on May 18, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Spot-starting is a crucial part of any fantasy team’s success, especially in roto leagues. Monday’s games will feature a plethora of back-of-the-rotation starters who are likely available in your league, including Jason Hammel, Doug Fister, Brad Penny and Charlie Morton. But which one is the best option?

Jason Hammel (available in 92 percent of Yahoo! leagues) @ Dodgers

Jason Hammel has fared well on the road this season, posting a 1.77 ERA in four road starts, opposed to a 4.23 ERA in six starts at Coors Field. In a start against the Dodgers earlier this season, however, he allowed four runs in five innings. In his career, Dodgers hitters have feasted off of Hammel:

Furcal (2-for-10)
Blake (7-for-20, HR)
Ethier (5-for-16, HR)
Kemp (3-for-15)
Loney (5-for-20, 2 HR)
Sands (NA)/Gibbons (4-for-12)
Barajas (3-for-8, HR)
Miles (0-for-1)/Carroll (3-for-5)

Total incl. Gibbons/Carroll (32-for-106, .301 BA, 5 HR)

Doug Fister
(available in 95 percent of Yahoo! leagues) vs. Orioles

Doug Fister has posted a 2.81 ERA in five home starts this season, though his .287 BAA at SAFECO raises a red flag. After allowing five runs on a whopping 14 hits in 5.2 innings May 7 against the White Sox, Fister has since turned in a quality start in two of his last three outings, posting a 2.78 ERA. The Baltimore hitters have little experience against Fister, but have fared well against him:

Andino (NA)
Jones (2-for-6)
Markakis (2-for-6)
Guererro (3-for-10)
Wieters (2-for-6)
Reimold (0-for-2)
Reynolds (NA)
Hardy (3-for-9)
Fox (NA)/Scott (2-for-6)

Total incl. Scott (14-for-45, .311 BA)

Brad Penny
(available in 91 percent of Yahoo! leagues) vs. Twins

Brad Penny’s home/road splits this season are ridiculous. In five starts at Comerica, he’s posted a 1.82 ERA against the Royals, Yankees, Mariners, White Sox and Rangers. His road ERA in five starts is 7.71. The injury-riddled Twins lineup has fared well despite limited experience against Penny:

Span (2-for-3)
Casilla (NA)
Kubel (2-for-6)
Morneau (4-for-8, HR)
Cuddyer (1-for-8, HR)
Thome (2-for-12, HR)
Young (1-for-4)
Valencia (NA)
Rivera/Butera (NA)

Total (12-for-41, .292 BA, 3 HRs)

Charlie Morton
 (available in 72 percent of Yahoo! leagues) @ Mets

Although Charlie Morton has been much better at home (1.95 ERA in four starts) than he has been on the road (3.15 ERA in five starts) this season, his Monday matchup at the Mets is a favorable one. In his last road start (at the Great American Small Park), Morton tossed a complete game, five-hit shutout. His ERA is 1.14 in his last three starts. The current Mets lineup has seen very little of Morton:

Reyes (0-for-4)
Turner (NA)
Beltran (0-for-0, BB)
Bay (NA)
Evans (NA)/Murphy (0-for-1)
Pagan (2-for-3)
Paulino (NA)
Tejada (0-for-0, 2 BB)

Total (2-for-8, .250)

If Morton is available in your league, he’s a four-star matchup against the Mets. Fister and Penny are risky three-star options and Hammel shouldn’t be in anyone’s lineup on Monday.

If you have a question for the Insider, send it to to be used in a future edition of the Insiders’ Inbox.


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2011 Rankings: C / 1B / 2B / 3B / SS / OF / SP / Top 100 / All-Breakout Team 

Buy or Sell?: Chris Coghlan / Starlin Castro  / Bruce Chen / Chris Narveson

Top RookiesJerry Sands / Michael Pineda / Zach Britton / Brandon Belt / Mike Minor

Keeper Conundrum: Brett Anderson or Trevor Cahill? / Bryce Harper or Mike Trout?


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