Fantasy Baseball: Week 15 Start 'Em or Sit 'Em Breakdown

Jonathan IrwinContributor IIJuly 8, 2013

Fantasy Baseball: Week 15 Start 'Em or Sit 'Em Breakdown

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    Another week has come and gone, and once again you're faced with the question of whom to start and whom to sit in fantasy baseball.

    This week's list has a myriad of "big names," but it's just been that kind of year for once-ace pitchers. Oddly enough, there's reason to treat these guys with optimism (at least for this week).

    Hold on to your seats, folks, as we once again take a trip through the start 'em/sit 'em breakdown.

Jered Weaver

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    Scheduled Start: July 13th at Seattle Mariners

    It's been a slow start to 2013 for Weaver, who battled injuries through the first part of the season.

    Finally healthy, it seemed like things would click in June. But instead the right-hander struggled, posting an 0-3 record and a 4.40 ERA across his five starts in the month.

    Lately things have seemed much better for Weaver. He's been masterful his last two starts, going 2-0 across 13.2 innings pitched.

    Not only has Weaver been able to limit his free passes—something he had issues with in June—but his pitches appear crisper and truer to form.

    Weaver will draw just one start this week against the Seattle Mariners, a team he's dominated in his career (12-7, 3.21 ERA).

    While he still needs a couple more consistent starts to prove he's returned to form, Weaver is well worth the risk this week.

    Verdict: Start 'em.

Tim Lincecum

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    Scheduled Starts: July 8th vs. New York Mets, July 13th at San Diego Padres

    Could Tim Lincecum be turning things around?

    After an up-and-down start to the season, the Freak looked much better in June. Despite a 1-3 record, he posted a 3.60 ERA with his lowest opponent OBP in any month this season.

    Those aren't acely numbers, but they're good enough to get by in fantasy.

    Not to mention that he's still striking out a healthy number of batters—in his most recent start, against Cincinnati, he struck out eight across 5.1 innings.

    Starting Lincecum still carries some risk, but this could be a good week for it. Both starts will come against weak lineups at pitchers' parks.

    Verdict: Start 'em.

Ivan Nova

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    Scheduled Start: July 10th vs. Kansas City Royals

    It's been a while since Ivan Nova looked like his 2011 self, but that's been the case as of late.

    In his latest start, Nova was as masterful as it gets, pitching a complete game while allowing two earned runs and striking out 11.

    Across his last three games, Nova is 1-1 with a 3.08 ERA and a 5.5 K/BB ratio.

    Nova draws one lone start this week, against Kansas City. His career numbers against the Royals aren't pretty, but that's across just two starts. With the way he's pitching right, now that shouldn't be an issue.

    Verdict: Start 'em.

Hisashi Iwakuma

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    Scheduled Starts: July 9th vs. Boston Red Sox, July 14th vs. Los Angeles Angels

    After starting the season off looking like a potential Cy Young candidate, things have finally slowed down for Iwakuma.

    The Japanese import is 0-3 across his last four starts, and he's allowed four runs in each one of them. While that's not awful by fantasy standards, it isn't great either.

    This week is a hard one to figure out for the right-hander.

    He's never pitched against Boston in his career, but he gets the start at home. He's 4-0 in his career against L.A., but that Angels lineup is hot as of late.

    I'd say it's better to wait until he starts pitching more consistently before going all in.

    Verdict: Sit 'em.

Jon Lester

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    Scheduled Starts: July 8th at Seattle Mariners, July 13th at Oakland A's

    After starting the season off with such promise, things have been rocky as of late for Lester. The lefty was awful in June, going 2-2 with a 7.62 ERA.

    July could be a solid new month for Lester. He's had one start this month, and it was a good one, as he went 7.0 innings while allowing one earned run and striking out five.

    More than anything else this week, Lester draws some great matchups. Both starts come on the road but at great pitching parks. Not to mention that he's a combined 8-5 against his two opponents.

    Lester's far from out of the woods, but his matchups make him a solid option this week.

    Verdict: Start 'em.

R.A. Dickey

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    Scheduled Start: July 12th at Baltimore Orioles

    Just when you think he's back to form, R.A. Dickey pulls a 360 and leaves fantasy owners reeling once more.

    After two back-to-back starts in which he gave up two runs over 16.0 innings, Dickey fell apart Saturday, allowing six runs across 7.0 innings. It was the knuckleballer's seventh start this season in which he allowed at least six runs.

    This week Dickey will draw his start on the road against Baltimore. The O's have had his number this year, scoring 16 total runs off the right-hander spanning three different starts.

    Needless to say, it's once again a good week to suspend your faith in Dickey.

    Verdict: Sit 'em.