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Week 4 Fantasy Pitching Planner

Eric Mack
Senior Fantasy Writer

We go around baseball's rotations every Sunday of the season in our weekly Pitching Planner. We highlight every matchup, recommended two-start options, sleepers and busts and much more. The means we consider them a recommended start. The means we suggest you consider a replacement option.

Arizona Diamondbacks

  1. Dan Haren at COL Hammel, at CHC Silva
  2. Edwin Jackson at COL Jimenez, at CHC Gorzelanny
  3. Kris Benson at COL Smith
  4. Ian Kennedy at CHC Lilly
  5. Rodrigo Lopez at CHC Wells

Two-starter(s): Haren and Jackson. They have had some struggles, but they remain advisable options in most leagues.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Kennedy. He has had only one real bad start thus far and is coming off his best start of the season. The Cubs are not a scary offense yet, either.
One-week bust: Benson. He is pitching well right now, but we still cannot advise you trusting him in any league. He is risky even in deeper NL-only formats.

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Atlanta Braves

  1. Tommy Hanson vs HOU Rodriguez
  2. Tim Hudson at STL Lohse, vs HOU Myers
  3. Derek Lowe at STL Carpenter, vs HOU Norris
  4. Kenshin Kawakami at STL Garcia
  5. Jair Jurrjens at STL Wainwright

Two-starter(s): Hudson and Lowe. They are advisable options in most leagues.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Lowe. He is coming off his first loss and facing a tough matchup at St. Louis, but a favorable second start makes him useful still.
One-week bust: Jurrjens. He hasn't been at his dominant 2009 form and faces the tough Cardinals with one of the aces of baseball on the mound.

Baltimore Orioles

  1. Kevin Millwood vs NYY Hughes, vs BOS Beckett
  2. Jeremy Guthrie vs NYY Sabathia
  3. Brian Matusz vs NYY Burnett
  4. David Hernandez vs BOS Lackey
  5. TBD (perhaps Jake Arrieta) vs BOS Matsuzaka

Two-starter(s): Millwood. He is a questionable option that is best avoided with those difficult matchups.
Who is getting skipped: No. 5 TBD. That turn is next needed May 1 vs. Boston. Arrieta is coming off an 11-strikeout performance and is leading the Triple-A IL in ERA at 0.36 through four starts. The Orioles could also go back to the well on Brad Bergesen or consider Jason Berken out of long relief. Just the potential for an Arrieta major league debut warrants taking a flier on him in AL-only formats.
One-week sleeper: Matusz. If there is one Oriole starter to trust in the NYY-BOS matchups week, it is the rookie. He has held his own against tough competition to date.
One-week bust: Millwood. He has been a solid veteran through four starts (3.38 ERA, 1.24 WHIP) and is getting a two-start week, but those matchups are just too risky to trust him.

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Boston Red Sox

  1. Josh Beckett at TOR Eveland, at BAL Millwood
  2. Jon Lester at TOR Cecil
  3. John Lackey at BAL Hernandez
  4. Daisuke Matsuzaka at BAL TBD
  5. Clay Buchholz at TOR Marcum

Two-starter(s): Beckett. Despite his early season struggles, Beckett is an advisable option in most leagues with those matchups.
Who is getting skipped: Tim Wakefield. He is heading to the bullpen to make room for Dice-K.
One-week sleeper: Buchholz. He is coming off a great start with his rotation spot on the line and is pitching the best of all the Red Sox's starters. He is guaranteed that one start at Toronto -- and at least a few turns -- so use him with confidence in all leagues. He will remain in the rotation as long as he is pitching this well, leaving Wakefield in the bullpen.
One-week bust: Wakefield. He will be a valuable reliever for the Red Sox, but his Fantasy value after his start Sunday drops to almost nil now.

Chicago Cubs

  1. Ryan Dempster vs WAS Atilano
  2. Ted Lilly vs ARI Kennedy
  3. Randy Wells vs ARI Lopez
  4. Carlos Silva vs WAS Lannan, vs ARI Haren
  5. Tom Gorzelanny vs WAS Hernandez, vs ARI Jackson

Two-starter(s): Silva and Gorzelanny. They survived the return of Lilly to remain in the rotation. They are questionable options in most weeks, but their favorable matchups and solid starts to the season make them nice sleepers in deeper leagues.
Who is getting skipped: Carlos Zambrano. The $91 million ace remains a worthless setup man in Fantasy right now. Stash him away until he returns to the Cubs' rotation.
One-week sleeper: Silva. We want to bury him for his hittability, but those matchups force us to consider him a nice stopgap sleeper this week.
One-week bust: Zambrano. We don't have the guts to consider Silva or Gorzelanny busts with those matchups, so we take the easy way out on Big Z. He shouldn't be starting in any format with reserves. He is too talented and promising to cut while he is stuck in a Pitch-22: Talented enough to start, but too valuable in relief.

Chicago White Sox

  1. Mark Buehrle at TEX Wilson, at NYY Hughes
  2. Jake Peavy at TEX Harden
  3. Gavin Floyd at TEX Feldman
  4. Freddy An. Garcia at NYY Pettitte
  5. John Danks at NYY Vazquez

Two-starter(s): Buehrle. He remains an advisable option in most formats with the two starts, although those are tough matchups. Sit him if you have viable alternatives on your reserves.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Peavy. He is a risk at Texas -- especially with how poor he is throwing out of the gate -- but if there is a struggling pitcher who can pitch his way out of a funk in a hurry, it has to be the talented Peavy.
One-week bust: Floyd. The slow starter is too risky to trust in mixed leagues. We would try to find a way to sit him in AL-only formats as well.

Cincinnati Reds

  1. Aaron Harang at HOU Norris, at STL Carpenter
  2. Mike Leake at HOU Paulino
  3. Bronson Arroyo at HOU Oswalt
  4. Johnny Cueto at STL Penny
  5. Homer Bailey at STL Lohse

Two-starter(s): Harang. He is a high-risk option even in the deepest of NL-only leagues amid his struggles. He could be pitching his way out of town.
Who is getting skipped: None
One-week sleeper: Leake. He is holding his own in his first pro season, including winning a tough matchup last time out. He draws a more favorable matchup this time.
One-week bust: Harang, Arroyo, Cueto and Bailey. Almost all of the Reds starters are too difficult to trust right now.

Cleveland Indians

  1. Fausto Carmona vs MIN Blackburn
  2. Justin Masterson vs MIN Slowey
  3. David Huff at LAA Weaver, vs MIN Liriano
  4. Mitch Talbot at LAA Saunders
  5. Jake Westbrook at LAA Santana

Two-starter(s): Huff. Although he has started the season well, we have to consider him a questionable option against a pair of contenders this week.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Talbot. We cannot advise using him in mixed leagues, but he is pitching well and could get some run support against one of the Angels' struggling back-end starters.
One-week bust: Huff. His 3.00 ERA and two-start week make him intriguing, but he is only a risk worth taking in real deep AL formats where replacement options are not as readily available.

Colorado Rockies

  1. Ubaldo Jimenez vs ARI Jackson
  2. Aaron Cook at SF Zito
  3. Jorge De La Rosa at SF Cain
  4. Jason Hammel vs ARI Haren, at SF Sanchez
  5. Greg Smith vs ARI Benson

Two-starter(s): Hammel. With his ERA at 8.08, he is a high-risk option for all leagues.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Cook. He has been running hot and cold, but he is coming off his best start of the season and could be useful in deeper leagues at San Francisco in a pitcher's duel.
One-week bust: Smith. He has a potentially favorable matchup, but he shouldn't be trusted outside of deeper NL-only leagues right now.

Detroit Tigers

  1. Justin Verlander vs MIN Liriano, vs LAA Weaver
  2. Max Scherzer vs MIN Baker
  3. Dontrelle Willis vs MIN Pavano
  4. Rick Porcello vs LAA Pineiro
  5. Jeremy Bonderman at TEX Harrison, vs LAA Kazmir

Two-starter(s): Verlander and Bonderman. They are questionable options amid their slow starts to the season and with those tough matchups. Verlander is an ace worth taking a risk on, while Bonderman is too high-risk.
Who is getting skipped: Willis. He missed his last start with a cracked fingernail and a stomach virus. We cannot be sure when he will make his start, even if he should make at least one in Fantasy Week 4 (April 26-May 2).
One-week sleeper: Scherzer. He is not pitching like a sleeper as much as a must-start in all leagues right now. He has been the Tigers' best starter to date.
One-week bust: Porcello. We are confident he can be useful in all leagues this season, but this is a good time to keep him on your reserves in lieu of a viable alternative.

Florida Marlins

This week's two-start pitchers
Must-start options Own% Start%
Roy Halladay PHI 98 94
Felix Hernandez SEA 98 93
Josh Johnson FLA 97 91
Jered Weaver ANA 97 91
Yovani Gallardo MIL 97 89
Chris Carpenter STL 97 88
Zack Greinke KC 97 86
Phil Hughes NYY 92 74
Randy Wolf MIL 90 74
Francisco Liriano MIN 95 82
Advisable options Own% Start%
Dan Haren ARI 97 91
Josh Beckett BOS 98 90
Tim Hudson ATL 93 77
Jonathan O. Sanchez SF 91 76
Hiroki Kuroda LA 87 72
Edwin Jackson ARI 92 68
Mark Buehrle CHW 90 63
Derek Lowe ATL 87 62
Ben Sheets OAK 89 61
Shaun Marcum TOR 78 56
Wade Davis TB 74 50
Questionable options Own% Start%
Justin Verlander DET 97 85
C.J. Wilson TEX 68 48
Carlos Silva CHC 48 39
Mat Latos SD 47 28
Zach Duke PIT 42 26
Kevin Millwood BAL 48 23
Dana Eveland TOR 33 22
Jeremy Bonderman DET 30 18
Bud Norris HOU 27 14
Tom Gorzelanny CHC 20 13
Jon Garland SD 21 12
Oliver Perez NYM 17 8
David Huff CLE 15 8
John Lannan WAS 15 8
Matt Harrison TEX 10 6
Jamie Moyer PHI 8 3
High-risk options Own% Start%
Aaron Harang CIN 51 20
Kyle Lohse STL 21 12
Jason Hammel COL 14 7
Kyle Davies KC 3 2
Josh Towers LA 0 0
  1. Josh Johnson vs SD Latos, vs WAS Lannan
  2. Ricky Nolasco vs SD? Correia
  3. Anibal Sanchez vs SD Garland
  4. Nate Robertson vs WAS Stammen
  5. Chris Volstad vs WAS Olsen

Two-starter(s): Johnson. He is a must-start in all leagues, especially with those favorable matchups.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Sanchez. He is coming off a good start and is facing a Padres team well overdue to cool off.
One-week bust: Nolasco. He is a must-start in all leagues, but the Marlins are tentatively penciling him in on three-day's rest against the Padres. The Marlins would otherwise need a No. 6 starter Wednesday after Saturday's doubleheader in Colorado. Nolasco could get an abbreviated outing if he starts Wednesday. He has a favorable matchup Wednesday vs San Diego or Friday vs. Washington, so keep him active but reduce your expectations if he makes his first-career start on three-day's rest.

Houston Astros

  1. Roy Oswalt vs CIN Arroyo
  2. Wandy Rodriguez at ATL Hanson
  3. Brett Myers at ATL Hudson
  4. Bud Norris vs CIN Harang, at ATL Lowe
  5. Felipe Paulino vs CIN Leake

Two-starter(s): Norris. He is a questionable option that is useful in deeper leagues with those winnable matchups.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Norris. The talented young arm is a risk worth taking in deeper formats.
One-week bust: Paulino. He is the only Astros starter we cannot advise trusting in most leagues at this point.

Kansas City Royals

  1. Zack Greinke vs SEA Snell, at TB Davis
  2. Gil Meche vs SEA Rowland-Smith
  3. Luke Hochevar at TB Garza
  4. Brian Bannister at TB Niemann
  5. Kyle Davies vs SEA Hernandez, at TB Price

Two-starter(s): Greinke and Davies. One is a must-start in all leagues and one is high-risk. We will leave it to you to figure out which is which.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Hochevar. He has been pitching pretty well in what could be a breakthrough year. That tough matchup makes him difficult to trust outside of AL-only leagues, though.
One-week bust: Meche, Bannister and Davies. We have a hard time trusting these guys even in AL-only leagues, and their matchups are not all that favorable for the most part.

Los Angeles Angels

  1. Scott Kazmir at DET Bonderman
  2. Jered Weaver vs CLE Huff, at DET Verlander
  3. Joe Saunders vs CLE Talbot
  4. Ervin Santana vs CLE Westbrook
  5. Joel Pineiro at DET Porcello

Two-starter(s): Weaver. He is a must-start in all leagues as he becomes the staff ace.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Kazmir. Many have jumped off his bandwagon, but he is a viable starter in any format in that matchup.
One-week bust: Saunders and Santana. They have favorable matchups, but they are so erratic right now, we cannot advise using them in mixed formats.

Los Angeles Dodgers

  1. Clayton Kershaw vs PIT TBD
  2. Chad Billingsley vs PIT Morton
  3. Hirokia Kuroda at NYM Perez, vs PIT Duke
  4. Josh Towers at NYM Santana, vs PIT TBD
  5. Charlie Haeger at NYM Maine

Two-starter(s): Kuroda and Towers. Kuroda is advisable in all leagues, while Towers is a high-risk option even in the deepest of NL-only formats.
Who is getting skipped: Vicente Padilla (forearm). He is on the 15-day DL with Towers the likely replacement in the rotation at this point.
One-week sleeper: Kuroda. He should be active in all leagues, but he is not active in 30 percent of's leagues as of this writing.
One-week bust: Towers and Haeger. The placeholders cannot be trusted in any format, regardless of the matchup(s).

Milwaukee Brewers

  1. Yovani Gallardo vs PIT Duke, at SD Latos
  2. Randy Wolf vs PIT TBD, at SD Garland
  3. Chris Narveson vs PIT Maholm
  4. Doug Davis at SD LeBlanc
  5. Dave Bush at SD Richard

Two-starter(s): Gallardo and Wolf. We consider them must-starts in all leagues with those favorable matchups.
Who is getting skipped: Jeff Suppan. The veteran has been removed from the rotation and can be cut from all leagues he was owned.
One-week sleeper: Davis. He is coming off his best start of the season and facing a Padres team due to cool off.
One-week bust: Narveson. He joins the rotation for a favorable matchup, but we would not consider him outside of NL-only formats at this point.

Minnesota Twins

  1. Kevin Slowey at CLE Masterson
  2. Francisco Liriano at DET Verlander, at CLE Huff
  3. Scott Baker at DET Scherzer
  4. Carl Pavano at DET Willis
  5. Nick Blackburn at CLE Carmona

Two-starter(s): Liriano. He is a must-start in all leagues amid his career resurgence.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Pavano. He has had three great starts and one bad one. We have to consider him at least a nice stopgap in deeper leagues at this point.
One-week bust: Baker and Blackburn. They are struggling and drawing hot opposing starters. It is not a week to use them in mixed formats -- or any, if you can afford to sit them.

New York Mets

  1. Johan Santana vs LAD Towers
  2. Mike Pelfrey at PHI Halladay
  3. Jonathon Niese at PHI Kendrick
  4. John Maine vs LAD Haeger
  5. Oliver Perez vs LAD Kuroda, at PHI Moyer

Two-starter(s): Perez, perhaps. The Mets could choose to skip Perez to keep Santana on regular rest and start him against the rival Phillies. It is reason enough to consider Perez less than an advisable option in most leagues.
Who is getting skipped: Perhaps Perez in his second start. Maine also believes he will take his turn despite a sore (non-throwing) elbow, which forced him out of his last start early.
One-week sleeper: Pelfrey. He is off to a tremendous start this season, but he draws a very tough matchup. We would sit him if you can, but he should be owned in all leagues amid his potential breakthrough season now.
One-week bust: Niese, Maine and Perez. Tough offenses make these guys too risky to trust in most formats this week.

New York Yankees

  1. CC Sabathia at BAL Guthrie
  2. A.J. Burnett at BAL Matusz
  3. Andy Pettite vs CHW Garcia
  4. Javier Vazquez vs CHW Danks
  5. Phil Hughes at BAL Millwood, vs CHW Buehrle

Two-starter(s): Hughes. He is a must-start in all leagues, regardless of the matchup(s), at this point.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Pettitte and Hughes. We cannot figure out why they are active in only 69 percent of's leagues currently. They are must-starts amid their hot starts.
One-week bust: Vazquez. We would still trust him in most formats, but his slow start could be reason to keep him reserved until he proves he can handle pitching for the Yankees at this point.

Oakland Athletics

  1. Ben Sheets at TB Davis, at TOR Marcum
  2. Dallas Braden at TB Shields
  3. Justin Duchscherer at TOR Romero
  4. Brett Anderson at TOR Morrow
  5. Gio Gonzalez at TOR Eveland

Two-starter(s): Sheets. He is off to a solid start this season and is an advisable option in all leagues at this point.
Who is getting skipped: Perhaps Anderson. He is dealing with a tight left forearm/elbow and might be held out of his next start Friday at Toronto.
One-week sleeper: Duchscherer. He has been a quality mixed league Fantasy starter in his career, when healthy. He is healthy and completely dominant right now. Start him in any format.
One-week bust: Anderson. We cannot imagine the A's taking any chances with this talent this week. There is no reason to this early in the season. Oh, by the way, a pitcher who had a 30-plus inning jump last year is dealing with a balky forearm ... go figure.

Philadelphia Phillies

  1. Roy Halladay at SF Sanchez, vs NYM Pelfrey
  2. Cole Hamels at SF Lincecum
  3. Jamie Moyer at SF Wellemeyer, vs NYM Perez
  4. Kyle Kendrick vs NYM Niese
  5. Nelson Figueroa likely to be skipped

Two-starter(s): Halladay and perhaps Moyer. Halladay is a must-start in all leagues, while Moyer could pick up a second start in a four-man rotation week. He is a questionable option, but one pitching well enough to trust in deeper leagues in that(/those) matchup(s).
Who is getting skipped: Figueroa. The Phillies don't need a No. 5 starter until May 4, which could go to Joe Blanton (oblique), if not J.A. Happ (forearm). Don't start Figueroa, Blanton or Happ in Fantasy Week 4 (April 26-May 2).
One-week sleeper: Moyer. He is coming off his best start of the season and could be drawing a two-start week (with winnable matchups).
One-week bust: Figueroa. The No. 5 spot almost certainly will be skipped, so don't use him unless you are in a league that uses true middle men.

Pittsburgh Pirates

  1. Zach Duke at MIL Gallardo, at LAD Kuroda
  2. Paul Maholm at MIL Narveson
  3. Charlie Morton at LAD Billingsley
  4. TBD at MIL Wolf, at LAD Towers
  5. TBD (perhaps Kevin Hart) at LAD Kershaw

Two-starter(s): Duke and TBD. Duke is a questionable option with those tough matchups, while the TBD is high-risk in all leagues. We cannot even venture a guess who the Pirates will turn to at this point -- unless prospect Brad Lincoln is removed from his Sunday night start in Triple-A.
Who is getting skipped: None. Daniel McCutchen is back in the minors, while Ross Ohlendorf will get a bullpen session early in the week and a rehab start later in the week. Neither will be viable in Fantasy Week 4 (April 26-May 2). Kevin Hart could be a candidate for Thursday's opening, as is long reliever Brian Burres.
One-week sleeper: None. All of the Pirates starters are risky options at this point.
One-week bust: Duke. He is coming off his worst start of the season and draws matchups too unfavorable to trust him in most formats.

San Diego Padres

  1. Jon Garland at FLA Sanchez, vs MIL Wolf
  2. Kevin Correia at FLA Nolasco
  3. Wade LeBlanc vs MIL Davis
  4. Clayton Richard vs MIL Bush
  5. Mat Latos at FLA Johnson, vs MIL Gallardo

Two-starter(s): Garland and Latos. They are questionable options we would consider advisable in deeper leagues this week.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Latos. He is coming off arguably the best start of his career and will get a start in Florida. He is from South Florida and could be pumped up for a strong outing in front of friends and family.
One-week bust: LeBlanc. He baffled the Reds, but we cannot advise him in a tough matchup against the Brewers.

San Francisco Giants

  1. Tim Lincecum vs PHI Hamels
  2. Barry Zito vs COL Cook
  3. Matt Cain vs COL De La Rosa
  4. Jonathan O. Sanchez vs PHI Halladay, vs COL Hammel
  5. Todd Wellemeyer vs PHI Moyer

Two-starter(s): Sanchez. The third-year starting pitcher breakout is a burgeoning ace and an advisable option in all leagues, even with those matchups.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Zito. The top four starters have to be owned and active in all leagues. We are surprised Zito is currently active in less than 50 percentage of leagues.
One-week bust: Wellemeyer. A struggling back-end starter against the Phillies isn't a one-week bust as much as one-week Fantasy suicide.

Seattle Mariners

  1. Felix Hernandez at KC Davies, vs TEX Wilson
  2. Cliff Lee at TEX Lewis?
  3. Jason M. Vargas likely to be skipped
  4. Doug W. Fister vs TEX Harrison
  5. Ryan Rowland-Smith at KC Meche
  6. Ian Snell at KC Greinke

Two-starter(s): Perhaps Hernandez. He is a must-start in all leagues with or without two starts.
Who is getting skipped: Vargas. With the return of Cliff Lee possible Friday, and Fister needing to be slotted in the rotation and Hernandez kept on near regular rest, we assume Vargas will not pitch the weekend series vs. Texas. The M's figure to go with Lee, Fister and Hernandez in any order. Ian Snell is likely to be removed from the rotation upon Lee's return, but the M's have already listed Hernandez, Snell and Rowland-Smith as the starters for the series in Kansas City to begin the week.
One-week sleeper: Rowland-Smith. He is pitching for his rotation spot and drawing a favorable matchup in a pitcher's park. Use him with more confidence than even Fister or Vargas this week.
One-week bust: Vargas. It looks like the M's will have to skip him, so don't use him this week.

St. Louis Cardinals

  1. Chris Carpenter vs ATL Lowe, vs CIN Harang
  2. Adam Wainwright vs ATL Jurrjens
  3. Jaime Garcia vs ATL Kawakami
  4. Brad Penny vs CIN Cueto
  5. Kyle Lohse vs ATL Hudson, vs CIN Bailey

Two-starter(s): Carpenter and Lohse. Carpenter is a must-start in all leagues regardless of the matchup(s), while Lohse is a high-risk option even in the deepest of NL-only leagues at this point.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Garcia. He is an all-week sleeper. More Fantasy owners need to get on board with this rookie.
One-week bust: Lohse. He isn't pitching well enough to trust in any leagues at this point.

Tampa Bay Rays

  1. James Shields vs OAK Braden
  2. Matt Garza vs KC Hochevar
  3. David Price vs KC Davies
  4. Jeff Niemann vs KC Bannister
  5. Wade Davis vs OAK Sheets, vs KC Greinke

Two-starter(s): Davis. He draws tough opposing aces, but he is pitching like an advisable option in all leagues right now. Those are not overpowering offenses, either.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Davis. He should not be available in 27 percent of's leagues, or starting in just 43 percent as of this writing.
One-week bust: None. All of the Rays pitchers are advisable options this week.

Texas Rangers

  1. Rich Harden vs CHW Peavy
  2. Scott Feldman vs CHW Floyd
  3. Colby Lewis at SEA Lee?
  4. Matt Harrison vs DET Bonderman, at SEA Fister?
  5. C.J. Wilson vs CHW Buehrle, at SEA Hernandez

Two-starter(s): Harrison and Wilson. They are questionable options we would consider sleepers in deeper leagues at this point.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Wilson. He is pitching like a closer who can go deep into games somehow. He is opposing staff aces, but those offenses aren't that threatening.
One-week bust: Harden. He hasn't pitched well yet and likely has to stay on the bench in most formats until he does. Feldman likely has to be benched, too.

Toronto Blue Jays

  1. Shaun Marcum vs BOS Buchholz, vs OAK Sheets
  2. Ricky Romero vs OAK Duchscherer
  3. Brandon Morrow vs OAK Anderson
  4. Dana Eveland vs BOS Beckett, vs OAK Gonzalez
  5. Brett Cecil vs BOS Lester

Two-starter(s): Marcum and Eveland. Marcum is an advisable option in most leagues, while Eveland is a questionable one still, despite his hot start.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Morrow. He has strung a couple of decent starts together and faces a winnable matchup that makes him a solid start in deeper formats.
One-week bust: Eveland. He is off to a great start and draws a two-start week, but we just don't trust the journeyman enough to advise using him outside of AL-only formats yet.

Washington Nationals

  1. John Lannan at CHC Silva, at FLA Johnson
  2. Livan Hernandez at CHC Gorzelanny
  3. Luis Atilano at CHC Dempster
  4. Craig Stammen at FLA Robertson
  5. Scott Olsen at FLA Volstad

Two-starter(s): Lannan. He remains a questionable option best left for deeper NL-only leagues at this point.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Hernandez. We suppose his hot start will be difficult to resist at this point. Go with him at your own risk in mixed leagues, though.
One-week bust: Atilano. He was solid in his season debut, but we cannot advise you trust him outside of NL-only formats -- like any Nationals starter.

You can e-mail Emack your Fantasy Baseball pitching questions to Be sure to put Pitching Planner in the subject field. Please include your full name, hometown and state. Be aware, due to the large volume of submissions received, we cannot guarantee personal responses to all questions.

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Dustin McGowan lasts only four innings in no-decision
by Igor Mello |
(11:22 pm ET) Blue Jays pitcher Dustin McGowan was not at his best as he lasted only four innings on Thursday, but managed to escape with a no-decision in a 9-5 defeat to the Twins in Minnesota.

McGowan allowed a solo home run to Brian Dozier in the opening frame and a two-run double to Chris Colabello in the fifth before the end of his night. He was charged with three runs on six hits and four walks while striking out three over four innings of work. He ran his pitch count to 85, with 49 of his pitches called for strikes.

McGowan has allowed seven runs over his first 13 innings pitched to start the season. He'll take the hill Wednesday at home against Baltimore.

Big seventh inning sinks Ian Kennedy
by Chris Towers |
(11:18 pm ET) Padres starting pitcher Ian Kennedy was on top of his game for much of his start Thursday, but fell apart late in a 3-1 loss

Kennedy made it through seven innings in the start, and six of them were nearly flawless. He allowed just one hit through his first six innings and appeared well on his way to his second win even with little support. Unfortunately, three hits and a walk in the seventh inning led to three runs and left Kennedy on the wrong side of a 3-1 loss.

Kennedy struck out seven while allowing four hits and two walks in his seven innings, while lowering his ERA to 4.13. He is 1-3 through four starts, with just nine runs of support total heading into his next start, set for Tuesday in Milwaukee. 

Franklin Morales picks up first win thanks to late rally
by Chris Towers |
(11:14 pm ET) Rockies pitcher Franklin Morales tossed his first quality start of the season Thursday, in a 3-1 win voer the Padres.

Morales allowed just one run on a fourth-inning solo home run that put him down 1-0, which was actually where the score stood when Morales exited the game. Fortunately, the offense rallied to score three runs in the seventh inning, in time for Morales to get the win.

Morales was charged with one run on four hits and a walk in six innings of work, while striking out five. He pushed his record to 1-1, with a 4.82 ERA. His next start is set for Tuesday against the Giants.  

Mike Pelfrey escapes rough outing with no-decision
by Igor Mello |
(11:10 pm ET) Twins starting pitcher Mike Pelfrey was not at his best again on Thursday, but this time he escaped with a no-decision in a 9-5 win over Toronto. The right-hander was charged with five runs -- four earned -- on four hits and five walks while striking out one over 4 1/3 innings pitched.

Pelfrey owns a 7.98 ERA and a 1.91 WHIP through his first three starts (14 2/3 innings). He'll look to get back on track Tuesday against Tampa Bay.

Casey Fien gets second win of season
by Igor Mello |
(11:09 pm ET) Twins reliever Casey Fien was awarded the win Thursday night against the Blue Jays.

Fien (2-0) worked his way around a base hit and needed just 16 pitches to make it out of the eighth inning unscathed. He owns a 4.50 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP with a 4:2 K:BB ratio over six innings pitched this season.

Taylor Jordan hit hard in second loss
by Chris Towers |
(11:06 pm ET) Nationals starting pitcher Taylor Jordan struggled through his second subpar start in a row Thursday, in an 8-0 loss to the Nationals.

Jordan took the loss after allowing seven runs -- five earned -- in 5 1/3 innings of work, and he was in trouble from the start. Jordan was tagged for four runs in the first inning, though one of them was unearned. He allowed seven hits and a pair of walks, while striking out four and throwing 61 of 96 pitches for strikes.

Jordan is now 0-2 through his first three starts of the season, and has allowed 10 of his 11 earned runs over the last two outings.  He has a 5.94 ERA heading into his next start, set for Tuesday against the Angels. 

Adam Wainwright tosses first complete-game shutout
by Chris Towers |
(11:01 pm ET) Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright twirled a gem Thursday against the Nationals, in an 8-0 win.

Wainwright tossed his first complete-game shutout of the season in the win, and was barely in trouble at all. He surrendered just two hits, both singles, while also walking three batters. He struck out eight batters for the second start in a row as well.

Wainwright has been his typically brilliant self through four starts, holding a 3-1 record and 1.80 ERA in 30 innings of work. He has struck out 32 batters while walking nine heading into his next start, scheduled for Tuesday against the Mets. 

Royals get the best of Scott Feldman
by Igor Mello |
(10:57 pm ET) Astros pitcher Scott Feldman took a step back and was on the wrong end of a decision for the first time this season in his team's 5-1 defeat to the Royals on Thursday.

Feldman (2-1) surrendered a run-scoring single to Mike Moustakas in the second, a two-run double to Alcides Escobar in the fourth and a run-scoring double to Salvador Perez in the fifth. He was charged with five runs -- four earned -- on nine hits and one walks while striking out two over six innings pitched.

Feldman has allowed just five earned runs over his first 26 2/3 innings pitched through four starts. He'll look to turn things around again Tuesday in Seattle.

Timeline becoming clear for Doug Fister following sim start
by Chris Towers |
(10:53 pm ET) Nationals pitcher Doug Fister overcame the first hurdle in his recovery from a lat strain Thursday, as he got through a two simulated innings without an issue Thursday.

Fister will make another simulated start in five days, with a rehab assignment likely to come after. According to, the team has a timetable for Fister that could have him back with the team within 20 days, if his two scheduled rehab starts go according to plan.

"We have to build [up Fister] like we [tried to] build him [up] this spring," Williams said. "I think he is a little bit ahead of the game in that regard. I would like him to get five innings somewhere to make sure he can up that pitch count."