[Each Sunday Hippeaux provides suggestions for spot starters for the coming week. The suggestions are based on players available for 2 Legit 2 Not Acquit, in a 10-team, H2H 5 X 5 mixed league hosted by ESPN. If these players are available there, there's a decent chance they're available in your league as well. Keep in mind that the strategy of "streaming," introducing a waiver wire starter every day of the week, is designed to help you in categories like Wins and Strikeouts, but can be disastrous for your ERA and WHIP. It is best used in H2H leagues, where a few bad choices won't haunt you all year long, and should be abandoned in weeks when your top starters make enough appearances to carry the counting categories.]
MON: Brett Anderson (OAK) v. Seattle Mariners (Jakubauskas)
It's hard to argue with Brian Tallet right now (2.78 ERA in last four starts) and Jonthan Sanchez has been quite good at home (2.08 ERA in three starts), but both are sizable risks as well. The Blue Jays are going through their first offensive drought (and I can't quite forget that five starts ago Tallet surrendered ten earned runs). Sanchez gets a weak offense (Atlanta), but not as weak as his own, and faces off against an imposing Ace (Javier Vazquez). Therefore, I'm going to roll the dice on young Brett Anderson, coming off the best start of his young career (6 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 0 B, 5 K) on the road against a strong offense (Tampa Bay). This time he'll be in friendlier confines and gets a struggling lineup and a converted long reliever (6.10 ERA). Could this be his coming out party?
TUE: Kevin Correia (SDP) @ Arizona Diamondbacks (Scherzer)
There's not a lot of good choices. You could go with Ricky Romero making his first start off the D.L. Nick Blackburn and Aaron Cook are coming off strong outing, but match up with tough lineups (Red Sox and Dodgers). I'll take Correia against the D-Backs, who have about half-a-dozen regulars hitting below the Mendoza line. Correia has a 2.79 ERA in his last three starts. Maybe it's a sign that he's starting to stretch it out.
WED: Kensin Kawakami (ATL) @ San Francisco Giants (Johnson)
Wish somebody from the group of Brett Myers, Trevor Cahill, and Manny Parra was throwing on Tuesday (cross fingers). Kawakami is coming off of four straight quality starts (1.88 ERA), including an eight inning shutout masterpiece his last time out. Good way to build momentum for facing the league's worst offense.
THU: Randy Wolf (LAD) @ Chicago Cubs (Wells)
As I said of Wandy Rodriguez last week, it won't be too much longer that Randy Wolf is available on the waiver wire, what with his great overall numbers (2-1, 2.72 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 46 K) and even better in his last five starts (1-0, 1.45 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 23 K).
FRI: Dontrelle Willis (DET) @ Baltimore Orioles (Bergeson)
The D-Train appears to be back on track. He's allowed only three earned in his last thirteen innings. His last two starts have been at home, so leaving the friendly confines is justifiably cause for concern. However, the Orioles have a measly 620 team OPS against left-handers this season (only Oakland is worse) and are not the most patient group, which bodes well. If you aren't comfortable boarding this train again just yet, you might check out Sean West, the new addition to the Marlins rotation.
SAT: Barry Zito (SFG) v. St. Louis Cardinals (Pineiro)
It's hard to recommend a mediocre lefty against any lineup featuring Albert Pujols. But, aside from "The Machine," the Cardinals lineup is pretty meager right now, with Ludwick, Ankiel, and Glaus still sidelined. Zito has posted a 2.36 ERA at home thusfar.
SUN: Jorge De La Rosa (COL) v. San Diego Padres (Gaudin)
It was a a tough call between De La Rosa and Gil Meche (v. White Sox), so I'm going with the guy who faces the weaker offense (even if it is at Coors Field). If you need Ks, Jorge's your man, with 46 K in 46 IP so far this season.
Swimming Upstream [How did I do last week?]
MON: Randy Wolf (7 2/3 IP, ND, 2.35/1.04, 2 K)
TUE: Barry Zito (8 IP, L, 2.25/1.13, 3 K)
WED: Paul Maholm (6 IP, ND, 1.50/1.17, 7 K)
THU: Bartolo Colon (2 IP, L, 4.50/4.50, 1 K)
FRI: Rich Hill (5 2/3 IP, ND, 3.18/1.24, 6 K)
SAT: Kyle Lohse (8 IP, W, 0.00/0.50, 6 K)
SUN: Wandy Rodriguez (DNP)
Week 7 Totals: 1-2, 37 1/3 IP, 1.93 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 25 K
This week I'll hang my hat on terrific ratios and some bad run support, and thank my lucky stars that seven of the eight runs Big Fat Bartolo Colon allowed on Wednesday were unearned.