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Week 8 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. The teams have if we deem their week's matchups favorable and if their week's matchups are deemed unfavorable.

Updated May 24 at 3:45 p.m. ET

Arizona Diamondbacks

  1. Dan Haren at COL Hammel
  2. Edwin Jackson at SF Cain
  3. Ian Kennedy at COL Chacin, at SF Wellemeyer
  4. Rodrigo Lopez at COL Jimenez
  5. Billy Buckner at SF Sanchez

Two-starter(s): Kennedy. He has pitched like a front-line starter and is an advisable option in all leagues, despite the two road starts against quality opponents.
Who is getting skipped: None. Kris Benson is beginning a rehab assignment Monday and could reclaim a rotation spot next weekend. Don't use him at this point.
One-week sleeper: Jackson. He has won back-to-back starts and faces a struggling Giants team with a sketchy offense.
One-week bust: Buckner. Even a quality start Sunday wouldn't have made him viable outside of deeper NL-only leagues. He has to outpitch Lopez to remain in the rotation once Benson is ready to return.

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Atlanta Braves

  1. Tommy Hanson at FLA Robertson
  2. Tim Hudson at FLA Nolasco
  3. Derek Lowe vs PIT Duke
  4. Kris Medlen vs PIT Burres
  5. Kenshin Kawakami at FLA Sanchez, vs PIT Maholm

Two-starter(s): Kawakami. He is an questionable option in deeper leagues, coming off that quality last start and facing those matchups.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Medlen. He has been a nice sleeper in deeper formats and draws a very favorable one-start matchup.
One-week bust: None. All off the Braves starters are useful options this week.

Baltimore Orioles

  1. Kevin Millwood at TOR Cecil
  2. Jeremy Guthrie vs OAK Braden, at TOR Romero
  3. Brian Matusz vs OAK Cahill
  4. David Hernandez vs OAK Gonzalez
  5. Brad Bergesen at TOR Marcum

Two-starter(s): Guthrie. He is a questionable option, but one we would take a chance on in deeper leagues.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Guthrie. Those are not overwhelming matchups and Guthrie has strung three consecutive quality starts together.
One-week bust: Matusz. He has had another stinker that makes him a difficult young arm to trust in mixed leagues right now.

Boston Red Sox

  1. Jon Lester at TB Shields, vs KC Meche
  2. John Lackey at TB Garza
  3. Daisuke Matsuzaka vs KC Bannister
  4. Tim Wakefield vs KC Davies
  5. Clay Buchholz at TB Davis, vs KC Greinke
Two-start pitcher options
Must-starts TM Own% Start%
Tim Lincecum SF 98 89
Adam Wainwright STL 97 88
Jon Lester BOS 97 88
John Danks CHW 96 87
James Shields TB 97 84
Jake Peavy CHW 96 81
Clayton Kershaw LA 96 80
Clay Buchholz BOS 90 69
Mike Leake CIN 83 65
Dallas Braden OAK 85 56
Anibal Sanchez FLA 47 33
Advisables TM Own% Start%
A.J. Burnett NYY 97 79
Ryan Dempster CHC 96 60
Ian Kennedy ARI 75 55
Wade Davis TB 80 54
Livan Hernandez WAS 68 48
Jon Garland SD 65 45
Joe Saunders ANA 57 40
Aaron Harang CIN 57 38
Jamie Moyer PHI 30 22
Questionables TM Own% Start%
Scott Baker MIN 92 52
Randy Wolf MIL 78 49
Jhoulys Chacin COL 44 24
Brett Cecil TOR 35 24
Justin Masterson CLE 32 15
Jeremy Guthrie BAL 21 13
Paul Maholm PIT 10 5
Kenshin Kawakami ATL 7 3
High-risks TM Own% Start%
Gil Meche KC 9 3
Felipe Paulino HOU 4 2
Brian Burres PIT 1 1
R.A. Dickey NYM 1 0

Two-starter(s): Lester and Buchholz. They are on the right side of hot again, so consider them must-starts in all leagues.
Who is getting skipped: None. Josh Beckett (back) isn't eligible to return this week.
One-week sleeper: Wakefield. He has been great as a starter again and draws the Royals in perhaps his last start before Beckett's return. It will be tough to take him out of the rotation if he keeps pitching like he did Sunday.
One-week bust: Lackey. We still consider him useful in most formats, but if there is a Red Sox pitcher to sit, it is the struggling Lackey right now.

Chicago Cubs

  1. Ryan Dempster vs LAD Kershaw, vs STL Wainwright
  2. Ted Lilly vs LAD Billingsley
  3. Randy Wells vs LAD Ely
  4. Carlos Silva vs STL Carpenter
  5. Tom Gorzelanny vs STL TBD

Two-starter(s): Dempster. He remains an advisable option in most leagues, despite the tough matchups and his mediocre May.
Who is getting skipped: Gorzelanny (finger). He was moved off his Tuesday start and could be removed from the rotation altogether after this week. Carlos Zambrano makes a sim game Monday and is expected to return to the rotation next week on the road trip.
One-week sleeper: Lilly. He draws the red-hot Dodgers, but he has made three consecutive quality starts and is an advisable one-start option in most formats right now.
One-week bust: Zambrano. He won't be used in long relief until the weekend, if at all, so sit him in all leagues. He could be a two-start pitcher for Fantasy Week 9 (May 31-June 6), though.

Chicago White Sox

  1. John Danks at CLE Masterson, at TB Davis
  2. Jake Peavy at CLE Talbot
  3. Mark Buehrle at CLE Westbrook
  4. Gavin Floyd at TB Niemann
  5. Freddy An. Garcia at TB Price

Two-starter(s): Danks. He is a must-start in all leagues right now, especially with that very favorable first matchup.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Peavy. He gave up six runs his last time out, but he had been otherwise effective in his past four starts, winning three. That is a favorable matchup for your struggling potential ace.
One-week bust: Floyd. He was good his last time out, but you should not trust the up-and-down starter against the first-place Rays this week.

Cincinnati Reds

  1. Aaron Harang vs PIT Burres, vs HOU Norris
  2. Mike Leake vs PIT Maholm, vs HOU Paulino
  3. Bronson Arroyo vs PIT Ohlendorf
  4. Johnny Cueto vs PIT Morton
  5. TBD vs HOU Rodriguez

Two-starter(s): Harang and Leake. Harang is an advisable option amid his season's resurgence, while Leake has been great this season and qualifies as a must-start, two-start pitcher with those favorable matchups.
Who is getting skipped: Homer Bailey (shoulder). He officially hit the DL after leaving Sunday's start early with a tight shoulder. Aroldis Chapman (4-2, 3.98) had his next Triple-A start, which was slated for Monday, pushed back but it is doubtful they would bring him up to the majors in the short term if Bailey needs a DL stint.
One-week sleeper: Cueto. A blister isn't going to keep him from making his start this week, according to MLB.com. Start him in all leagues against the lowly Pirates.
One-week bust: Bailey. He struggled before leaving his start Sunday and has to be considered a high-risk option at this point.

Cleveland Indians

  1. Fausto Carmona at NYY Hughes
  2. David Huff at NYY Sabathia
  3. Justin Masterson vs CHW Danks, at NYY Burnett
  4. Mitch Talbot vs CHW Peavy
  5. Jake Westbrook vs CHW Buehrle

Two-starter(s): Masterson. He is a questionable option that is best avoided in mixed leagues, mostly due to that tough second matchup at Yankee Stadium.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Carmona. He is facing the Yankees, but if there is one Indians starter to trust at this point, it would be Carmona -- even against the potent Yankees.
One-week bust: Masterson. He hasn't been steady enough to trust in a two-start week against those opponents.

Monday
By the Numbers: Al Melchior examines BABIP trends that forecast potential long-term trends
Tuesday
Fantasy Update: Audio | Video
Sliders: Scott White highlights his risers and fallers
Wednesday
Fantasy Update: Audio | Video
LIVE writer chat: Our writers answer your questions about prospects, rotations, lineups and much more every Wednesday
Dear Mr. Fantasy: Scott White touches on some of the hot topic issues facing owners
By the Numbers: Al Melchior breaks down compelling Fantasy data to assist owners in predicting future production
Thursday
Fantasy Update: Audio | Video
Friday
Prospects Report: Eric Mack spotlights top prospects on the brink of making an impact in Fantasy
Hitting Planner: Scott White analyzes the state of all 30 lineups and shares his top sleepers for the week
Saturday
Splitsville: Jeff Lippman highlights some statistical splits that owners should take advantage of
Sunday
Fantasy Update: Audio | Video
Pitching Planner: Eric Mack addresses all 30 rotations and highlights two-start pitchers
LIVE writer chat: Scott White spends 90 minutes fielding your questions every Sunday at 5 p.m. ET
Follow us via Twitter!

Colorado Rockies

  1. Ubaldo Jimenez vs. ARI Lopez
  2. Jason Hammel vs ARI Haren
  3. Jeff Francis vs. LAD Kuroda
  4. Aaron Cook vs LAD TBD?
  5. Jhoulys Chacin vs ARI Kennedy, vs LAD Kershaw

Two-starter(s): Chacin. He is a questionable option right now, coming off two bad starts after opening with two great ones. We say only trust him in NL-only formats.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Francis. He has been outstanding in his two starts coming off shoulder surgery. Consider him a sleeper for deeper mixed leagues right now.
One-week bust: Hammel. He was bad last time out and said he was pitching through a groin strain. That makes him dangerous at this point.

Detroit Tigers

  1. Justin Verlander at SEA Fister
  2. Jeremy Bonderman at SEA Vargas
  3. Rick Porcello vs OAK Braden
  4. Dontrelle Willis vs OAK Sheets
  5. Armando Galarraga vs OAK Ross/Mazzro

Two-starter(s): None. The Tigers play five games this week with days off Monday and Thursday. They don't plan to skip any of their five starters at this point.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Bonderman. He faces the weak Mariners offense and has a 1.80 ERA in his four May starts.
One-week bust: Willis. After a solid April (3.75), he has been awful in May with a 7.07 ERA. That makes him difficult to trust against the A's and their staff ace.

Florida Marlins

  1. Josh Johnson vs PHI Halladay
  2. Anibal Sanchez vs ATL Kawakami, vs PHI Moyer
  3. Ricky Nolasco vs ATL Hudson
  4. Nate Robertson vs ATL Hanson
  5. Chris Volstad vs PHI Kendrick

Two-starter(s): Sanchez. He looks like a must-start in all leagues right now.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Sanchez. He is ridiculously underowned at 46 percent on CBSSports.com. He should be starting in 75 percent of leagues, not the mere 31 percent.
One-week bust: Nolasco. He is coming off a big-time stinker and looks like he is his notoriously erratic self. You likely have better options available to you in mixed formats.

Houston Astros

  1. Roy Oswalt at MIL Narveson
  2. Brett Myers at MIL Bush
  3. Wandy Rodriguez at CIN TBD
  4. Bud Norris at CIN Harang
  5. Felipe Paulino at MIL Wolf, at CIN Leake

Two-starter(s): Paulino. He is a high-risk option best left for the deepest of NL-only leagues.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Rodriguez. Despite losing his past two starts, he did pitch a pair of quality starts, which can be a signal he has kicked his early season funk. Consider him a viable option in deeper mixed formats this week.
One-week bust: Norris. He seems to have a great start and then alternately a bad one, so you can never be sure which Norris you're going to get.

Kansas City Royals

  1. Zack Greinke at BOS Buchholz
  2. Gil Meche vs TEX Harden, at BOS Lester
  3. Luke Hochevar vs TEX Feldman
  4. Brian Bannister at BOS Matsuzaka
  5. Kyle Davies at BOS Wakefield

Two-starter(s): Meche. He is a high-risk option in all leagues amid his 0-4, 6.75 start to the season.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Davies. Save for one bad start at Texas on May 6, Davies has been otherwise steady this season. Consider him in deeper formats if you're deseperate for a starter.
One-week bust: Meche. He would be a bad start in favorable matchups. Those lineups are anything but pushovers.

Los Angeles Angels

  1. Scott Kazmir vs SEA Lee
  2. Jered Weaver vs SEA Snell
  3. Joe Saunders vs TOR Cecil, vs SEA Hernandez
  4. Ervin Santana vs TOR Romero
  5. Joel Pineiro vs TOR Morrow

Two-starter(s): Saunders. He is an advisable option in all leagues amid his hot streak, especially with those matchups.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Kazmir. He has pitched seven innings in back-to-back starts for the first time since May 2008. He could be ready to take off for Fantasy owners in all formats, especially against that weak Mariners lineup.
One-week bust: Pineiro. He is coming off his worst start of the season and is difficult to trust in mixed leagues right now.

Los Angeles Dodgers

  1. Clayton Kershaw at CHC Dempster, at COL Chacin
  2. Chad Billingsley at CHC Lilly
  3. Hiroki Kuroda at COL Francis
  4. John Ely at CHC Wells
  5. TBD at COL Cook

Two-starter(s): Kershaw. He remains a must-start ace in all leagues through thick and thin. He has allowed two earned runs in his past 22 1/3 innings, striking out 23.
Who is getting skipped: The No. 5 starter TBD. It was Ramon Ortiz, but it could be Carlos Monasterios next. Charlie Haeger (heel, 15-day DL, Class A rehab assignment) is also an option. We cannot advise trusting any of these potential stopgap starters.
One-week sleeper: Ely. He continues to impress and is underowned on CBSSports.com at 43 percent. Consider him a nice sleeper in mixed leagues, since he is 3-0 with a 2.45 ERA in May.
One-week bust: No. 5 starter TBD. Monasterios has the most potential at this point, but Haeger could get the call off a rehab assignment Friday or Saturday at Colorado. Kuroda will start the other game, perhaps getting the extra day of rest.

Top 10 Pitchers Added
Player % Change
1. Anibal Sanchez, SP, Marlins 27
2. Carlos Villanueva, RP, Brewers 25
3. Jeff Francis, SP, Rockies 22
4. John Ely, SP, Dodgers 20
5. Ian Kennedy, SP, Diamondbacks 16
6. Joe Saunders, SP, Angels 12
7. Mike Leake, SP, Reds 11
8. Jamie Moyer, SP, Phillies 11
9. Carlos Zambrano, SP, Cubs 10
10. Clayton Richard, SP, Padres 10

Milwaukee Brewers

  1. Yovani Gallardo vs NYM Santana
  2. Randy Wolf vs HOU Paulino, vs NYM Dickey
  3. Dave Bush vs HOU Myers
  4. Chris Narveson vs HOU Oswalt
  5. Manny Parra or Marco Estrada vs NYM TBD

Two-starter(s): Wolf. A two-start slump makes him a questionable option best left for NL-only leagues at this point.
Who is getting skipped: Parra or Estrada. The Brewers aren't quite sure which of these two will be their No. 5 starter at this point. Don't use either of them outside of deeper NL-only Rotisserie formats.
One-week sleeper: Narveson. He is 4-0 on the road and 3-1 with a 4.24 ERA as a starter in May. This start comes at home, though, if you believe in those splits.
One-week bust: Bush. He is coming off the worst start of his career and hasn't won in over a month. He is risky even in NL-only leagues right now.

Minnesota Twins

  1. Scott Baker vs NYY Burnett, vs TEX Wilson
  2. Francisco Liriano vs NYY Pettitte
  3. Nick Blackburn vs NYY Vazquez?
  4. Kevin Slowey vs TEX Lewis
  5. Carl Pavano vs TEX Holland

Two-starter(s): Baker. He is a questionable option against those offensively potent clubs.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Blackburn. It is vs. the Yankees, but he is 4-0 with a 2.67 ERA in May and could be a decent option in deeper leagues amid this hot streak.
One-week bust: Pavano. He is 0-2 with a 13.09 ERA in his career against Texas. Uh, no thanks.

New York Mets

  1. Johan Santana at MIL Gallardo
  2. Mike Pelfrey vs PHI Hamels
  3. Hisanori Takahashi vs PHI
  4. R.A. Dickey vs PHI Moyer, at MIL Wolf
  5. TBD (Raul Valdes or Oliver Perez) at MIL Parra/Estrada

Two-starter(s): Dickey. He is a high-risk option even for the deepest of NL-only leagues, despite a solid first start.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: None. Santana and Pelfrey have tough matchups but they are Fantasy aces who remain viable options in all leagues through thick and thin, regardless of the matchups.
One-week bust: Takahashi. He was great against the Yankees, a team that hasn't seen him before, but the Phillies have five hits in his 1 1/3 relief innings against them to date. Consider him a sleeper in deeper leagues, but avoid him in this difficult matchup -- even if another knuckleballer Wakefield shut down the Phils on Sunday.

New York Yankees

  1. CC Sabathia vs CLE Huff
  2. A.J. Burnett at MIN Baker, vs CLE Masterson
  3. Andy Pettitte at MIN Liriano
  4. Javier Vazquez at MIN Blackburn
  5. Phil Hughes vs CLE Carmona

Two-starter(s): Burnett. He is an advisable in all leagues, regardless of the matchups and despite a bit of a slump in May (1-2, 5.76). Those are decent matchups to boot.
Who is getting skipped: None. Vazquez is a question mark with his bruised finger, but he is currently listed on the team's official upcoming probables.
One-week sleeper: Hughes. He wasn't great in his two-start week, but that matchup is too favorable to bench him in any format right now.
One-week bust: Vazquez. He has made some solid starts, but his finger bruise makes him a bit of a risk all over again this week.

Oakland Athletics

  1. Ben Sheets at DET Willis
  2. Dallas Braden at BAL Guthrie, at DET Porcello
  3. Trevor Cahill at BAL Matusz
  4. Gio Gonzalez at BAL Hernandez
  5. TBD (Brett Anderson, Tyson Ross or Vin Mazzaro) at DET Galarraga

Two-starter(s): Braden. He is a must-start in all leagues even if he has been held up by flu-like symptoms recently.
Who is getting skipped: None. Anderson (elbow), Ross or Mazzaro will be picked to start the next time the A's need a No. 5 starter at Detroit on May 29. Anderson's decison won't come until after a 60-pitch rehab start Monday.
One-week sleeper: Cahill and Gonzalez. They are hot and drawing favorable matchups this week. Use them even in mixed leagues.
One-week bust: No. 5 starter's spot. You cannot be sure if Anderson will be ready -- or if Ross or Mazzaro will get the spot start nod. Avoid them in all leagues, although Ross and Mazzaro have at least some value in deeper AL-only Rotisserie leagues.

Philadelphia Phillies

  1. Roy Halladay at FLA Johnson
  2. Cole Hamels at NYM Pelfrey
  3. Joe Blanton at NYM Takahashi
  4. Jamie Moyer at NYM Dickey, at FLA Sanchez
  5. Kyle Kendrick at FLA Volstad

Two-starter(s): Moyer. He is an advisable option in most leagues amid his hot streak (2-1, 2.42 in his past three starts).
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Moyer. He is facing a pair of teams has handled nicely in his career (10-5 against the Mets and 13-5 against the Marlins). Consider him viable even in mixed formats if you need a two-start sleeper.
One-week bust: Kendrick. He is not good of late (5.30 ERA in his past three starts) and not good against the Marlins in his career (6.46 ERA).

Pittsburgh Pirates

  1. Zach Duke at ATL Lowe
  2. Paul Maholm at CIN Leake, at ATL Kawakami
  3. Ross Ohlendorf at CIN Arroyo
  4. Charlie Morton at CIN Cueto
  5. Brian Burres at ATL Medlen

Two-starter(s): Maholm. He is a questionable option for mixed leagues. We figure he probably can only be trusted in NL Fantasy formats.
Who is getting skipped: None. Morton (1-8, 8.71) saved his rotation spot with a fourth quality start in his past five, but Brad Lincoln (5-2, 3.77) is ready down in Triple-A, if the Pirates want to make a move with Morton or Burres.
One-week sleeper: Duke. We struggle to project his hot streaks, but Duke is on one right now and is useful in deeper leagues for as long as it lasts. He has a 2.08 ERA in 30 1/3 innings in May.
One-week bust: Maholm. He has good numbers in his career against the Reds (5-4, 3.95) but we still cannot advise trusting him in mixed leagues this week.

San Diego Padres

  1. Jon Garland vs STL Wainwright, vs WAS Hernandez
  2. Kevin Correia vs STL Garcia
  3. Wade LeBlanc vs STL Walters?
  4. Clayton Richard vs WAS Lannan
  5. Mat Latos vs WAS TBD

Two-starter(s): Garland. He is an advisable option in most formats amid his 5-2, 2.38 start to the season.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Garland. That first start is tough, but he is a veteran worth trusting in mixed leagues right now. He is 5-0, 1.67 in his past seven starts.
One-week bust: Correia and LeBlanc. They have cooled off and face a sleeping giant in the Cardinals.

San Francisco Giants

  1. Tim Lincecum vs WAS Atilano
  2. Barry Zito vs WAS Stammen
  3. Matt Cain vs ARI Cain
  4. Jonathan O. Sanchez vs ARI Buckner
  5. Todd Wellemeyer vs WAS Hernandez, ARI Kennedy

Two-starter(s): Wellemeyer. The Giants decided they won't skip their No. 5 starter, but he is on shaky ground at this point. Consider him a high-risk, two-start pitcher, especially since he could be replaced by journeyman Eric Hacker (7-1, 2.20 in eight Triple-A starts) or top prospect Madison Bumgarner (3-0, 1.01 ERA in seven Triple-A starts since April 14).
Who is getting skipped: None. Wellemeyer dodged as a bullet as the Giants decide to give Lincecum and extra day of rest.
One-week sleeper: None. The top four starters are advisable options in all leagues and the No. 5 starter is just too uncertain right now.
One-week bust: Wellemeyer. He could from a two-start pitcher to perhaps off the roster altogether this week.

Seattle Mariners

  1. Felix Hernandez at LAA Saunders
  2. Cliff Lee at LAA Kazmir
  3. Doug W. Fister vs DET Verlander
  4. Jason M. Vargas vs DET Bonderman
  5. Ian Snell at LAA Weaver

Two-starter(s): None. The Mariners have just five games in the week and don't project to skip any of their five at this point.
Who is getting skipped: None. Snell is a candidate to be skipped, but his solid start in his return to the rotation makes it far less likely.
One-week sleeper: Fister and Vargas. They just keep making the skeptics wonder if they have been wrong all along. Consider them one-start sleepers in deeper mixed leagues still. Fister might even be able to pick up a second start.
One-week bust: Snell. He could be skipped in the weekend series at the L.A. Angels, which would make Fister a potential two-start pitcher.

St. Louis Cardinals

  1. Chris Carpenter at CHC Silva
  2. Adam Wainwright at SD Garland, at CHC Dempster
  3. Jaime Garcia at SD Correia
  4. TBD/Kyle Lohse (forearm) at CHC Gorzelanny
  5. TBD (likely P.J. Walters ) at SD LeBlanc

Two-starter(s): Wainwright. The ace is a must-start in all leagues through thick and thin.
Who is getting skipped: Likely Lohse. Brad Penny (back) is on the DL and could be spot-started by Walters, while Lohse is questionable for the Saturday turn at the Cubs. Don't use Lohse in any format this week.
One-week sleeper: None. The top three starters are must-starts, while the two TBDs are too risky to take a chance on outside of the deepest of NL-only leagues.
One-week bust: Lohse. It sounds like he could be headed for a stint on the 15-day DL. He was a high-risk option anyway.

Tampa Bay Rays

  1. James Shields vs BOS Lester, vs CHW Peavy
  2. Matt Garza vs BOS Lackey
  3. Jeff Niemann vs CHW Floyd
  4. David Price vs CHW Garcia
  5. Wade Davis vs BOS Buchholz, vs CHW Danks

Two-starter(s): Shields and Davis. Shields is a must-start in all leagues, while the rookie Davis has to qualify as at least advisable right now.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Davis. We are surprised he is only starting in 52 percent of CBSSports.com's leagues at this point. That should be at least 67 percent.
One-week bust: None. All of the Rays starters are advisable in all weeks and all matchups.

Texas Rangers

  1. C.J. Wilson at MIN Baker
  2. Rich Harden at KC Meche
  3. Scott Feldman at KC Hochevar
  4. Colby Lewis at MIN Slowey
  5. Derek Holland at MIN Pavano

Two-starter(s): None. The Rangers have only five games this week with offdays Monday and Thursday. They don't project to skip any of their starting five either.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Harden. He made some progress in his past start against the Orioles and draws another favorable matchup that can make him a winner for Fantasy owners in mixed leagues.
One-week bust: Wilson. He has given up 12 runs in his past two starts, perhaps a sign the innings on the former reliever's shoulder are catching up to him. You shouldn't completely jump off the bandwagon, but this is certainly disconcerting.

Toronto Blue Jays

  1. Shaun Marcum vs BAL Bergesen
  2. Ricky Romero at LAA Santana, vs BAL Guthrie
  3. Brandon Morrow at LAA Pineiro
  4. Brett Cecil at LAA Saunders, vs BAL Millwood
  5. Likely to be skipped

Two-starter(s): Romero and Cecil. Romero is a must-start option, while Cecil is a questionable one, but a risk worth taking in deeper leagues. He really only has had one real bad outing in his six starts.
Who is getting skipped: Dana Eveland. He was designated for assignment and the Blue Jays figure to go to a four-man rotation this week. Brian Tallet (forearm) could be put on track for a return to the rotation in Fantasy Week 9 (May 31-June 6). It could happen in Fantasy Week 8 (May 24-30), but don't use Tallet in any format.
One-week sleeper: Cecil. Marcum and Romero qualify as must-starts, while Cecil is nice sleeper in his two-start week, especially with that very favorable second matchup.
One-week bust: Morrow. He might be the most talented arm in the Blue Jays' rotation, but he is also the most erratic and difficult to trust. His strikeout rate makes us believe his stuff is great and the results will catch up, but you shouldn't use him if you can avoid it this week.

Washington Nationals

  1. Livan Hernandez at SF Wellemeyer, at SD Garland
  2. Luis Atilano at SF Lincecum
  3. Craig Stammen at SF Zito
  4. John Lannan at SD Richard
  5. TBD (uh, Stephen Strasburg?) at SD Latos

Two-starter(s): Hernandez. We suppose his hot start to the season makes him an advisable option in deeper leagues. The bottom will fall out eventually, but hopefully it doesn't happen this week for you that take a shot on him.
Who is getting skipped: Scott Olsen (shoulder). Olsen is on the DL and the Nationals are likely to skip the No. 5 starter's spot until May 29 at San Diego. That just happens to be the home town of Strasburg, who could make his final Triple-A start Monday and make his major league debut the following Saturday on regular rest. It might be worth starting Strasburg in Rotisserie formats even before it is clear he is ready to make his debut. Pick him up in all leagues if he happens to be available.
One-week sleeper: Hernandez. We don't trust him, but he is starting in two pitcher's parks against so-so offenses, so you might be able to get some use out of him again this week.
One-week bust: Atilano and Stammen. They aren't pitching well enough to trust outside of the deepest of NL-only leagues.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter . You can e-mail us your Fantasy Baseball questions to DMFantasyBaseball@cbs.com . Be sure to put Pitching Planner in the subject field. Please include your full name, hometown and state.

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Player News
Kole Calhoun heading to DL with ankle injury
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(2:39 am ET) Angels outfielder Kole Calhoun suffered what appears to be a serious injury to his right leg late Tuesday, and it could be one that costs him considerable time.

According to MLB.com, Calhoun will be placed on the disabled list Wednesday with an ankle injury, suffered when he twisted the ankle running through first base trying to beat out a grounder. He had to be helped off the field and could hardly put weight on it as he was helped off the field.

The extent of the injury is not yet known, but it is serious enough to keep him out at least two weeks. Calhoun was batting .250/.297/.500 in his first 14 appearances of the season. 


Jim Johnson tosses two scoreless for extra-innings win
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(2:29 am ET) Athletics' reliever Jim Johnson tossed his third scoreless outing in a row, as he went two innings to pick up the win in a 10-9 victory over the Angels.

Johnson pitched scoreless 10th and 11th innings for the win, allowing one walk and one hit as he went. He struck out one batter and picked up five groundball outs en route to his second straight win.

Johnson lost the closer's role after giving up seven runs in his first five appearances. He has a 7.56 ERA in 8 1/3 innings. 


Sean Doolittle blows first save
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(2:27 am ET) Athletics reliever Sean Doolittle couldn't hold on to a two-run lead in the ninth inning Tuesday, as he took his first blown-save of the season in a 10-9, extra-innings win.

Doolittle faced the top of the Angels' lineup and ran into trouble immediately. He surrendered a leadoff double to Kole Calhoun and followed that up by serving up a two-run, game-tying home run to Mike Trout, before ultimately retiring the side and sending the game into extra innings.

Doolittle had been solid before this outing, and still has a 3.12 ERA in 8 2/3 innings. There is no reason to think one misstep will cost him the closer's role, though he might not have a strong grip on it anyways.

 


Dan Straily struggles for first time
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(2:22 am ET) Athletics starting pitcher Dan Straily struggled through three-plus innings and had to rely on the offense to bail him out in a 10-9 win over the Angels Tuesday.

Straily put the A's in a hole early, allowing two runs in the first inning an then four more in the fourth. He was charged with six runs on seven hits and a walk in 3 2/3 innings of work, while striking out three.

Straily opened the season with quality starts in consecutive outings, so this was the first time he faced adversity. He will try to bounce back in his next start, set for Monday against the Rangers.


Garrett Richards fades after solid start
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(2:22 am ET) Angels starting pitcher Garrett Richards pitched well enough to win for six innings Tuesday, but faltered late in a 10-9 extra innings loss to the A's.

Richards allowed three runs in his first six innings of work, and seemed well on his way to a win, up 5-3. Unfortunately, he ran into trouble in the seventh, allowing two more runs to come across, a sign of bad things to come for the bullpen.

Richards was charged with five earned runs on eight hits and a pair of walks in seven innings of work, while striking out five. He settled for a no-decision, as the game went into extras.

Richards had allowed just one run through his first two starts, so this was something of a disappointment. He will try to bounce back in his next start, carrying a 2-0 record and 2.84 ERA into Monday's scheduled start in Washington. 


Kole Calhoun exits in extras with ankle injury
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(2:20 am ET) Angels outfielder Kole Calhoun put together a big game Tuesday against the A's, but it didn't end how he wanted as he limped off the field in the bottom of the 11th inning.

Calhoun hit his third home run of the season in the fourth inning, a two-run shot, and added two more hits and three runs scored overall. He went 3 for 6, but left the game in extra innings after appearing to tweak his ankle running through first base.

Calhoun needed a lot of help to get off the field, which isn't a good sign. No update was known on his status prior to the finish of the game, and he will likely be considered ay to day moving forward.  


Kenley Jansen blows save Tuesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(2:04 am ET) Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen blew a save opportunity in his team's game against the Giants Tuesday.

Jansen gave up an RBI double to tie Tuesday's game at 2-2 before it went into extra innings. He ended his night after allowing two hits and a walk while striking out two. Jansen owns a 4.50 ERA and 15:4 K:BB ratio in eight innings.


Tim Lincecum gives up one run in no-decision vs. Dodgers
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(2:04 am ET) Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum surrendered just one earned run on five hits in five innings while striking out five in his team's game against the Dodgers Tuesday.

Lincecum gave up a second-inning solo home run to Juan Uribe but was otherwise able to shut the Dodgers down. He has posted a 7.20 ERA and 17:1 K:BB ratio in 15 innings but has also served up five home runs. Lincecum is on schedule to take on the Padres in San Diego Sunday.


Josh Beckett pitches five scoreless innings in no-decision
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(2:03 am ET) Dodgers pitcher Josh Beckett allowed two hits and five walks in five scoreless innings while striking out four Tuesday, but he didn't factor into the decision in his team's game against the Giants.

Beckett threw just 47 of his 90 pitches for strikes, but he was able to navigate through trouble and leave with a 1-0 lead, which was squandered in the sixth inning. He owns a 4.00 ERA and 9:6 K:BB ratio in nine innings over his first two starts. Beckett is slated to face the struggling Diamondbacks Sunday.


LaTroy Hawkins earns third save Tuesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:57 am ET) Rockies closer LaTroy Hawkins picked up his third save Tuesday, allowing one hit in a scoreless ninth inning in his team's 3-2 win over the Padres.

Hawkins needed just eight pitches to slam the door on the victory for his team, turning in his fourth straight scoreless outing since giving up a run in his season debut. He owns a 1.93 ERA and 2:1 K:BB ratio in 4 2/3 innings.


 
 
 
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