We go around baseball's pitching staffs and Fantasy's two-start pitcher options every Sunday of the season in the weekly Pitching Planner.
Arizona Diamondbacks: They are dangerously close to postseason elimination, but the rotation figures to be one of the most stable in baseball this week. Brandon Webb is certain to be a two-start pitcher amid his Cy Young hunt, while Randy Johnson is motivated to start twice, including the season finale, because he is stalking 300 victories. ... Max Scherzer, Doug Davis and Dan Haren are pretty safe bets as one-start pitchers in the seven-game week.
Atlanta Braves: The Braves finish out with six games, two of which will likely be started by rookie of the year candidate Jair Jurrjens. The NL ROY might be the only reason he starts the final game of the year. The Braves could elect to start Tuesday's starter Mike Hampton on regular rest. Hampton then might be the team's two-start pitcher if Jurrjens gets shut down a start early. ... Jo-Jo Reyes, Jorge Campillo and James Parr each figure to get just one start.
Baltimore Orioles: Brian Bass is slated to get a pair of starts before the end of the season, but a Tuesday doubleheader could slot Jeremy Guthrie (shoulder). That would allow Guthrie or the other doubleheader starter, Garrett Olson, a second time Sunday in the season finale. ... The O's figure to be careful with their ace Guthrie, so don't count on him for one abbreviated start, much less a full two. Guthrie told MLB.com he is physically capable of starting Tuesday and Sunday, but the O's might not want to push him off the DL that way. The O's face the first-place Rays in that early week series, so they might owe it a tad to the Red Sox to toss their best against the division leader ... If Guthrie doesn't start, the O's might go with a bullpen game started by Lance Cormier. ... Radhames Liz, Brian Burres and Chris Waters are each likely to get a start apiece in the final week. They play seven games in six days, due to the Tuesday doubleheader and a Thursday offday.
Boston Red Sox: Josh Beckett is slated to be a two-start pitcher along with Tim Wakefield, but it is possible the Red Sox could have clinched all they can get before Beckett's second start Saturday, so they might hold him out to start Game 1 of the postseason. Consider Beckett, conservatively, more of a one-start pitcher. ... Devern Hansack is the likely spot starter for Beckett over the weekend now that Bartolo Colon has been placed on the team's suspended list. Colon went home to attend to a personal matter and decided he won't return. ... Wakefield is pretty certain to be a two-starter, but he has been risky of late. ... Paul Byrd, Jon Lester and Daisuke Matsuzaka follow as certain one-start options.
|1.||Chad Qualls, RP, ARI||13|
|2.||Scott Lewis, SP, CLE||10|
|3.||Freddy Garcia, SP, DET||8|
|4.||Scott Olsen, SP, FLA||6|
|5.||Phil Hughes, SP, NYY||5|
|6.||Jonathon Niese, SP, NYM||5|
|7.||David Price, SP, TB||4|
|8.||Max Scherzer, SP, ARI||4|
|9.||Takashi Saito, RP, LAD||4|
|10.||Sean Gallagher, SP, OAK||4|
Chicago Cubs: Jason Marquis and Rich Harden are slated to be two-start pitchers at this point. ... Carlos Zambrano, Ted Lilly and Ryan Dempster follow as one-start options in the seven-game week. ... The Cubs could make changes now that they have clinched their postseason spot, but Harden and Marquis figure to remain on schedule, since they won't be one of the Cubs' top two postseason starters. ... Zambrano could be moved back later in the week, though, which would push Marquis to the season finale and Harden out of a second start. ... In that scenario, Sean Marshall would be slotted as a sixth starter.
Chicago White Sox: Javier Vazquez is slated to be a two-start pitcher, but the White Sox figure to have their postseason spot clinched before the final day of the season -- assuming the Twins don't sweep them in their early week series. Vazquez could be pulled from his second start so he could slot in Game 1 or 2 of the ALDS. ... Mark Buehrle, Gavin Floyd, John Danks and likely Clayton Richard will be one-start pitchers, while Lance Broadway could pick up a spot start if the White Sox choose to hold Vazquez out of the season finale.
Cincinnati Reds: Aaron Harang and Edinson Volquez are slated to be two-start pitchers. Although either one could be shut down early, Harang due to his balky elbow in the second half and Volquez due to his innings total in his first full season, we think both are pretty safe bets to go twice. ... Ramon A. Ramirez, Johnny Cueto and Bronson Arroyo each will start once in the seven-game week.
Cleveland Indians: Zach Jackson and Cliff Lee are two-start pitchers in the seven-game week. We like their chances to each keep their turns for the spoiler-minded Indians, especially since Lee is pitching for the AL Cy Young award. ... Fausto Carmona, Jeremy Sowers and rookie Scott Lewis will each start once.
Colorado Rockies: Ubaldo Jimenez is slated to be a two-start pitcher, although there is a slight chance he is held out of his Sunday start in the series finale to limit his innings in his first full season. Consider him a solid one-start pitcher regardless, but we think he indeed starts twice, especially if the D-Backs are playing for something on the final day. ... Wednesday's starter is a TBD. It would have been Jeff Francis (shoulder), but they shut him down for the season and will start either Jason Hirsh or Livan Hernandez. The Rockies have said they wanted to give Hirsh a start before then end of the year. ... Jorge De La Rosa, Aaron Cook and Greg Reynolds are one-start pitchers in the six-game week. ... If Jimenez is pulled from the season finale, Hernandez or Hirsh -- whichever one doesn't start Wednesday -- would be the likely fill-in.
Detroit Tigers: The Tigers are slotting a six-man rotation, which will steal a second start from one of Zach Miner or Freddy Garcia in the season finale vs. the Rays. MLB.com reports Garcia will get the call over Miner for the final day of the season. ... Miner, Nate Robertson, Armando Galarraga, Justin Verlander and Dontrelle Willis figure to be one-start pitchers in the seven-game week.
Florida Marlins: Ricky Nolasco and Scott Olsen are slated two be two-start pitchers in the final week and are pretty sure to get both starts since the Marlins will be playing spoiler against the contending Mets over the weekend -- or perhaps even fighting for their own playoff lives. ... Josh Johnson, Anibal Sanchez and Chris Volstad are certain one-start pitchers in the seven-game week.
Houston Astros: Brandon Backe was tentatively slated to be a two-start pitcher, but a potential return of Wandy Rodriguez (oblique) could make Backe a one-start pitcher and force Alberto Arias to the bullpen. ... Randy Wolf, Brian Moehler and Roy Oswalt are certain to be one-start pitchers. ... Backe could be a two-starter if Rodriguez is not available, but he might also not start at all if they decide to go with rookie Alberto Arias over him after skipping him once.
Kansas City Royals: Gil Meche and Zack Greinke could both be two-start pitchers, since the Royals have an offday Thursday and could choose to skip No. 5 starter Brandon Duckworth over the weekend. Consider that likely, especially since the Royals will try to play spoiler against the Rays over the weekend. ... Brian Bannister and Kyle Davies each will get one start apiece in the six-game week.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: Ervin Santana and Jon Garland might be two-start pitchers in the seven-game week. ... Jered Weaver, Joe Saunders and John Lackey are scheduled to be one-start pitchers. ... Saunders is questionable at this point and is a risky play. Dustin Moseley could take a turn Thursday, while the Angels could slot Saunders in over the weekend -- that would take away Santana or Garland's second start -- likely Garland's.
Los Angeles Dodgers: Chad Billingsley is slated to be a two-start pitcher, but the Dodgers could pull him from the season finale if they want to slot him second behind Derek Lowe in the postseason rotation. Consider Billingsley a must-start one-start pitcher regardless of whether he is given the start in the season finale. ... Clayton Kershaw, Greg Maddux, Derek Lowe and Hiroki Kuroda are one-start pitchers in the six-game week.
Milwaukee Brewers: Dave Bush is tentatively slated to be a two-start pitcher, but the Brewers have a rotation up in the air at this point. ... C.C. Sabathia could be used Wednesday on three-day's rest so he could be slotted on the final day of the regular season on three-day's rest, which would have been Bush's second start. ... Ben Sheets (elbow) won't start early in the week, but they might use him later in the week. ... Yovani Gallardo (knee) is also in the mix for a spot start, too. ... Jeff Suppan and Seth McClung might each get a start, or none. We have no clue what the Brewers will go with, but the sure things are Sabathia and Bush will at least start once. One of them will also start twice, but which one? We cannot be sure.
Minnesota Twins: Scott Baker is a two-start pitcher in the six-game week. ... Nick Blackburn, Kevin Slowey, Francisco Liriano and Glen Perkins follow as one-start options. They Twins' rotation appears fairly set regardless of their postseason chances -- although their is a slight possibility Liriano gets shut down early if they are eliminated before Liriano's final start.
New York Mets: Jonathon Niese and Johan Santana are slated to be two-start pitchers, but their status is tenuous at this point. ... Santana could be moved up to start on short rest Saturday to slot for the postseason -- or he could be skipped the final weekend if something is clinched altogether. ... Niese could pitch twice if he pitches well in his first start, but Brandon Knight might also steal his second start if he doesn't pitch well. ... Oliver Perez, Pedro Martinez and Mike Pelfrey are certain one-start pitchers in the seven-game week.
New York Yankees: Mike Mussina is a two-start pitcher pretty certain to take both turns. ... Phil Hughes, Carl Pavano, Alfredo Aceves and Andy Pettitte are pretty certain to follow as one-start pitchers in the six-game week.
Oakland Athletics: Greg Smith and Josh Outman are tenatively slated to be two-start pitchers as the A's can go with a four-man rotation in a six-game week. ... Dana Eveland and Sean Gallagher each will get one start apiece. ... Gio Gonzalez is not slated to start, but he or Justin Duchscherer (hip) could be considered for a start, which would take Outman's second start.
Philadelphia Phillies: We have Cole Hamels starting Tuesday and Sunday, but No. 5 starter J.A. Happ will get that season-finale call if the Phillies have clinched a postseason berth. Bank on that happening, but Hamels is a must-start one-start pitcher regardless. ... Brett Myers, Joe Blanton and Jamie Moyer are certain to be one-start options in the six-game week.
Pittsburgh Pirates: The Pirates have been using a six-man rotation and have a six-game week to close out the season. They don't figure to have any two-start pitchers, but Jeff Karstens goes Tuesday and would pitch the season finale if anyone needs to be shut down. ... Paul Maholm, Zach Duke, Ian Snell, Jimmy Barthmaier and Ross Ohlendorf are slated to be one-start pitchers.
San Diego Padres: Jake Peavy is expected to return from his child's birth to start Tuesday -- and perhaps Sunday on the final day of the season. ... Wade LeBlanc, Josh Geer, Chris R. Young and Cha Seung Baek figure to be one-start pitchers, while Dirk Hayhurst could start the season finale if the Padres choose to sit their ace, Peavy. Peavy is a must-start pitcher even with the one start.
San Francisco Giants: Tim Lincecum is slated to be a two-start pitcher, despite a career high innings total. A NL Cy Young and the possibility the Dodgers could be playing for something are likely all that keeps him from resting on the final day of the season. ... Jonathan O. Sanchez, Barry Zito, Brad Hennessey and Matt Cain are one-start pitchers in the six-game week.
Seattle Mariners: Ryan Rowland-Smith and Ryan Feierabend are two-start pitchers and we don't see a reason why they won't each take both of their turns. ... Felix Hernandez, Carlos Silva and Brandon Morrow are one-start pitchers in the seven-game week.
St. Louis Cardinals: Todd Wellemeyer and Kyle Lohse are two-start pitchers likely to each take both of their turns. ... Adam Wainwright, Joel Pineiro and Braden Looper are likely one-start options in the seven-game week.
Tampa Bay Rays: David Price makes his first start Monday and the Rays might be using a seven-man rotation in an eight-game week. ... There is a doubleheader Tuesday, which will be started by James Shields and rookie Mitch Talbot. ... Edwin Jackson, Matt Garza, Scott Kazmir and Andy Sonnanstine each should get one start as well. ... The question is who is the Rays' lone two-start pitcher? It could be Shields on Tuesday and Sunday, but perhaps it could be Price. Shields and Price each are advisable one-start pitchers that could pick up a second start. ... Shields could be held out of the Sunday start to be slotted as the Rays' No. 2 starter in the postseason, although Matt Garza would be an option for that on their currently scheduled rotation.
Washington Nationals: Shairon Martis is a two-start pitcher likely to take both turns, albeit very tough ones vs. the Marlins and at the Phillies. ... Tim Redding, Collin Balester, John Lannan and Odalis Perez are one-start options in the six-game week.
Final Fantasy Week 26 (Sept. 22-28)
|Pitcher||Start No. 1||Start No. 2|
|Johan Santana||vs CHC Harden||vs FLA Olsen|
|Brandon Webb||at STL Wellemeyer||vs COL Reynolds|
|Tim Lincecum||vs COL Jimenez||vs LAD Billingsley|
|Cliff Lee||at BOS Wakefield||at CHW Vazquez|
|Cole Hamels?||vs ATL Hampton||vs WAS Martis|
|Jake Peavy||at LAD Billingsley||vs PIT Ohlendorf|
|Rich Harden||at NYM Santana||at MIL Bush|
|Chad Billingsley||vs SD Peavy||at SF Lincecum|
|Ervin Santana||at SEA Rowland-Smith||vs TEX Feldman|
|Edinson Volquez||at HOU Rodriguez||at STL Lohse|
|James Shields||at BAL Olson||at DET Garcia?|
|Javier Vazquez||at MIN Baker||vs CLE Lee|
|Mike Mussina||at TOR Litsch||at BOS Wakefield|
|Josh Beckett||vs CLE Jackson||vs NYY Pettitte|
|Ricky Nolasco||at CIN Harang||at NYM Niese|
|Randy Johnson||at STL Lohse||vs COL Jimenez|
|Pitcher||Start No. 1||Start No. 2|
|Todd Wellemeyer||vs ARI Webb||vs CIN Harang|
|Zack Greinke||at DET Garcia||at MIN Baker|
|Gil Meche||at DET Miner||at MIN Perkins|
|Jair Jurrjens||at PHI Happ||at HOU Rodriguez?|
|Kyle Lohse||vs ARI Johnson||vs CIN Volquez|
|Aaron Harang||vs FLA Nolasco||at STL Wellemeyer|
|Jon Garland||at SEA Hernandez||vs TEX Millwood|
|Ubaldo Jimenez||at SF Lincecum||at ARI Johnson|
|Dave Bush||vs PIT Karstens||vs CHC Harden|
|Scott Olsen||at WAS Martis||at NYM Santana|
|Pitcher||Start No. 1||Start No. 2|
|Scott Baker||vs CHW Vazquez||vs KC Greinke|
|Tim Wakefield||vs CLE Lee||vs NYY Mussina|
|Jesse Litsch||vs NYY Mussina||at BAL Bass|
|Jason Marquis||at NYM Niese||at MIL TBD?|
|Greg Smith||at TEX Millwood||at SEA Rowland-Smith|
|Kevin Millwood||vs OAK Smith||at LAA Garland|
|Jonathon Niese||vs CHC Marquis||vs FLA Nolasco|
|Freddy Garcia?||vs KC Greinke||vs TB Shields|
|Pitcher||Start No. 1||Start No. 2|
|Wandy Rodriguez||vs CIN Volquez||vs ATL Jurrjens|
|Ryan Rowland-Smith||vs LAA Santana||vs OAK Smith|
|Shairon Martis||vs FLA Olsen||at PHI Hamels?|
|Zach Jackson||at BOS Beckett||at CHW Richard|
|Ryan Feierabend||vs LAA Weaver||vs OAK Outman|
|Josh Outman||at TEX Nippert||at SEA Feierabend|
|Brian Bass||vs TB Price||vs TOR Litsch|
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