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Week 21 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.

Arizona Diamondbacks

  1. Joe Saunders at SD LeBlanc
  2. Ian Kennedy at SD Correia
  3. Barry Enright at SF Lincecum
  4. Daniel Hudson at SF Zito
  5. Rodrigo Lopez at SD Richard, at SF Cain

Two-starter(s): Lopez. He is a high-risk option after those contenders in the NL West.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Enright and Hudson. They are 2-0-2.66 and 3-1-2.12 in August respectively. Inversely, their opposing veteran starters haven't been going well in the second half.
One-week bust: Lopez. He is 0-2-6.55 in August and 0-4-6.53 since the All-Star break, as if you needed reasons to avoid the journeyman.

Atlanta Braves

  1. Tim Hudson at COL Hammel, vs FLA Johnson
  2. Derek Lowe at COL De La Rosa
  3. Jair Jurrjens at COL Rogers
  4. Tommy Hanson vs FLA Volstad
  5. Mike Minor vs FLA Nolasco

Two-starter(s): Hudson. He is a must-start ace in all leagues down the stretch.
Who is getting skipped: Perhaps Minor. If the Braves want to keep their veterans on regular rest and save the innings on Minor's arm in his first full season, they could skip Minor next weekend and give a second start to Lowe.
One-week sleeper: Lowe. We call him a sit in a standard mixed league, but he could pick up a second start. You have to be willing to take a risk on him pitching at Coors Field in his first, and perhaps only, start.
One-week bust: Minor. He could get the fifth-starter's treatment again and be skipped off his weekend start after Thursday's off day.

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Baltimore Orioles

  1. Kevin Millwood at LAA Kazmir
  2. Jeremy Guthrie at CHW Floyd, at LAA Santana
  3. Brian Matusz at CHW Buehrle
  4. Jake Arrieta at CHW Jackson
  5. Brad Bergesen at LAA Weaver

Two-starter(s): Guthrie. His torrid second half came to a halt against the lowly Mariners, which cannot give you enough confidence to consider him anything more than a questionable option in mixed leagues.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Matusz. He is coming off one of his best starts of the season, against the potent Rangers no less, showing the talent that made him such an elite pitching prospect. He still needs to show some consistency to be used in mixed leagues.
One-week bust: Guthrie. His past start in a very favorable matchup wound up being a bust. He isn't worthy of using in most leagues unless you're in a position where you have to gamble.

Boston Red Sox

  1. John Lackey vs SEA Fister, at TB Shields
  2. Josh Beckett vs SEA Pauley
  3. Jon Lester vs SEA Hernandez
  4. Daisuke Matsuzaka at TB Price
  5. Clay Buchholz at TBD Garza

Two-starter(s): Lackey. He remains an advisable option in all leagues, especially with that favorable first matchup.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Beckett. He has been getting beat up of late, 0-2 with a 10.69 ERA in his past three starts, but that matchup against the Mariners is just too favorable to sit him.
One-week bust: Matsuzaka. Unlike Beckett, Dice-K has been pitching well since May. The problem is he faces the Rays and their ace. He is just 2-5 against the Rays in his career.

Chicago Cubs

  1. Carlos Zambrano at WAS Lannan
  2. Ryan Dempster at WAS Marquis
  3. Tom Gorzelanny at CIN Cueto
  4. Randy Wells at CIN Arroyo
  5. Casey Coleman at WAS Hernandez, at CIN Volquez

Two-starter(s): Coleman. He is a high-risk option in the deepest of NL-only leagues at this point.
Who is getting skipped: Perhaps Coleman off his second start. The Cubs have an off day Thursday and could skip that turn. Coleman could head to the bullpen or the minors with a bad start Monday, especially since Carlos Silva (heart) could be ready to return from the DL the next time the Cubs need a No. 5 starter.
One-week sleeper: Zambrano. He is still walking too many batters, but he is 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA since returning to the rotation. That matchup makes him useful even in mixed leagues again.
One-week bust: Gorzelanny and Wells. They haven't been pitching consistently enough start-to-start to consider go with in a bandbox ballpark against a first-place team with a potent offense.

Chicago White Sox

  1. John Danks vs NYY Vazquez
  2. Gavin Floyd vs BAL Guthrie, vs NYY Sabathia
  3. Mark Buehrle vs BAL Matusz
  4. Edwin Jackson vs BAL Arrieta
  5. Freddy Garcia vs NYY Burnett

Two-starter(s): Floyd. He is an questionable option better left for deeper leagues this week. He has gotten beaten up in his past two starts to the tune of a 9.75 ERA.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Buehrle. Active in just 44 percent of CBSSports.com's leagues, he is 3-1 with a 2.57 ERA in August and is facing the Orioles: reasons enough to start in him in all leagues.
One-week bust: Garcia. He has a 9.64 ERA in his past three starts and faces the Yankees. We wouldn't trust him even in AL-only formats this week.

Top 10 Pitchers Added
* as of Sunday, Aug. 22
Player % Change
1. Hisanori Takahashi, SP, Mets 27
2. Brandon Lyon, RP, Astros 15
3. Brian Duensing, RP, Twins 14
4. Bud Norris, SP, Astros 14
5. R.A. Dickey, RP, Mets 10
6. Homer Bailey, SP, Reds 10
7. Daniel Hudson, SP, Diamondbacks 9
8. Joe Blanton, SP, Phillies 8
9. John Lannan, SP, Nationals 7
10. Clayton Richard, SP, Padres 6

Cincinnati Reds

  1. Johnny Cueto vs CHC Gorzelanny
  2. Bronson Arroyo vs CHC Wells
  3. Edinson Volquez at SF Cain, vs CHC Coleman
  4. Travis Wood at SF Sanchez
  5. Homer Bailey at SF Bumgarner

Two-starter(s): Volquez. He is a questionable option because of his rough past start, but he has been good more than bad and those offenses really aren't all that scary.
Who is getting skipped: None. Aaron Harang (back) has a 9.00 ERA through two rehab starts and doesn't look ready to push any of the Reds starters out in Fantasy Week 21 (Aug. 23-29) at least.
One-week sleeper: Wood. He is 4-0 with a 2.19 ERA in his past four starts. His hot streak and matchup at San Francisco makes him useful in mixed leagues.
One-week bust: Cueto. He has a 9.72 ERA in his past two starts bookending his seven-game suspension. Consider him a mixed-league risk in this one-start week.

Cleveland Indians

  1. Fausto Carmona vs OAK Gonzalez, vs KC Chen
  2. Mitch Talbot vs OAK Cahill
  3. Justin Masterson vs OAK Mazzaro
  4. Jeanmar Gomez vs KC Bullington
  5. Josh Tomlin vs KC Greinke

Two-starter(s): Carmona. This could have been a good week for him with those matchups, but he hasn't pitched well in the second half (5.63 ERA) or August (5.33 ERA). We consider him a questionable option.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Carmona. We don't trust any of the struggling Indians starters, despite the matchups. Carmona is one that might be worth the risk in deeper leagues, though.
One-week bust: All. The matchups are intriguing perhaps, but not one of their starting five is pitching well right now enough to trust in most mixed leagues.

Colorado Rockies

  1. Ubaldo Jimenez vs LAD Billingsley
  2. Jason Hammel vs ATL Hudson, vs LAD Kuroda
  3. Jorge De La Rosa vs ATL Lowe
  4. Esmil Rogers vs ATL Jurrjens
  5. Jhoulys Chacin vs LAD Kershaw

Two-starter(s): Hammel. He is a questionable option against those contenders. He isn't pitching great, but he is at least much better at home ((6-1)-3.36) than on the road ((2-6)-5.40). He gets two home starts.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: De La Rosa. He has just one win in his past six starts, but he does have a 3.58 ERA in that span. He also strikes out around a batter per inning and is much better at home (4.10 ERA) than on the road (5.74). He is useful in mixed formats again.
One-week bust: Chacin and Rogers. They are inconsistent back-end starters who shouldn't be trusted outside of deeper NL-only leagues this week.

Detroit Tigers

  1. Justin Verlander at TOR Marcum
  2. Max Scherzer at TOR Romero
  3. Jeremy Bonderman vs KC Chen, at TOR Morrow
  4. Rick Porcello vs KC Davies, at TOR Rzepczynski
  5. Armando Galarraga vs KC O'Sullivan

Two-starter(s): Bonderman and Porcello. Bonderman is high-risk even in the deepest of AL-only leagues, while Porcello is a questionable option best left for AL-only formats.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Galarraga. He is coming off seven shutout innings and facing the Royals. That could make him useful in deeper leagues if you need a one-start option.
One-week bust: Bonderman. He has an ERA well over 7.00 since June. He isn't even worth owning in any league right now.

This week's two-start pitchers
Must starts TM Own% Start%
Adam Wainwright STL 97 89
Josh Johnson FLA 97 87
Tim Hudson ATL 96 86
Cole Hamels PHI 97 83
Matt Cain SF 97 83
Brett Myers HOU 86 65
Ted Lilly LA 91 63
Advisables TM Own% Start%
Carl Pavano MIN 93 75
Colby Lewis TEX 91 72
Ervin Santana ANA 94 69
John Lackey BOS 92 68
James Shields TB 92 65
Clayton Richard SD 77 54
R.A. Dickey NYM 71 54
Gio Gonzalez OAK 72 46
Livan Hernandez WAS 59 37
Joe Blanton PHI 47 29
Rich Harden TEX 50 15
John Lannan WAS 11 7
Questionables TM Own% Start%
Gavin Floyd CHW 92 66
Brandon Morrow TOR 84 64
Edinson Volquez CIN 79 52
Fausto Carmona CLE 67 39
Scott Kazmir ANA 60 29
Jason Hammel COL 45 26
Bud Norris HOU 29 18
Jeremy Guthrie BAL 29 18
Rick Porcello DET 34 15
Doug Fister SEA 22 11
Ross Ohlendorf PIT 8 5
Bruce Chen KC 5 4
Marc Rzepczynski TOR 7 3
High-risks TM Own% Start%
Jeremy Bonderman DET 25 13
Dave Bush MIL 10 6
Kyle Lohse STL 10 5
Rodrigo Lopez ARI 6 3
Nick Blackburn MIN 12 2
Casey Coleman CHC 1 0

Florida Marlins

  1. Josh Johnson at NYM Dickey, at ATL Hudson
  2. Anibal Sanchez at NYM Pelfrey
  3. Alex Sanabia at NYM Misch
  4. Chris Volstad at ATL Hanson
  5. Andrew Miller at ATL Minor

Two-starter(s): Johnson. He is a must-start ace in all leagues.
Who is getting skipped: Ricky Nolasco (knee). We have to assume he is headed for the DL with torn cartilage in his knee.
One-week sleeper: Sanchez. Apparently CBSSports.com's Fantasy owners aren't reading this space enough. After seven shutout innings Friday, Sanchez has a 2.00 ERA in seven starts after the All-Star break. Despite that, he is still active in just 40 percent of leagues. You shouldn't need any more information than that. Sanchez is a must-start in all leagues right now.
One-week bust: Sanabia, Volstad and Miller. They are each coming off decent starts, but we still don't trust them in mixed leagues yet.

Houston Astros

  1. Wandy Rodriguez at PHI Kendrick
  2. Brett Myers at PHI Blanton, at NYM Santana
  3. Bud Norris at PHI Hamels, at NYM Dickey
  4. J.A. Happ at PHI Halladay
  5. Nelson Figueroa at NYM Niese

Two-starter(s): Myers and Norris. Myers is a must-start in all leagues amid his career revival, while Norris is hot right now and a sleeper for deeper leagues. His tough first start makes him a questionable option in smaller mixed formats, though.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Norris. He has posted two great starts in a row, but he gets a much tougher week on the road now. We still trust him in deeper formats, though.
One-week bust: Happ. He is hot of late, too, but a matchup against his former team with Halladay on the mound is not the week to trust him in mixed leagues.

Kansas City Royals

  1. Zack Greinke at CLE Tomlin
  2. Bruce Chen at DET Bonderman, at CLE Carmona
  3. Kyle Davies at DET Porcello
  4. Sean O'Sullivan at DET Galarraga
  5. Bryan Bullington at CLE Gomez

Two-starter(s): Chen. He is a questionable option, but there are reasons to consider him right now in deeper leagues.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Chen. He is 3-1 with a 3.97 ERA in August and facing a pair of favorable matchups. Use him if you like to take chances on two-start sleepers.
One-week bust: O'Sullivan. He has had some moments this season, but far less of them of late, going 0-3 with a 6.88 ERA in August.

Los Angeles Angels

  1. Jered Weaver vs BAL Bergesen
  2. Dan Haren vs TB Niemann
  3. Scott Kazmir vs TB Shields, vs BAL Millwood
  4. Ervin Santana vs TB Davis, vs BAL Guthrie
  5. Trevor Bell likely to be skipped

Two-starter(s): Kazmir and Santana. Santana is an advisable option in all leagues, while Kazmir is a questionable one where you are assuming a level of risk using him in mixed formats.
Who is getting skipped: Bell. He is the No. 5 starter, but the team has skipped him wherever possible. Don't use him even in AL-only formats this week.
One-week sleeper: Kazmir. He has been better since his return to the rotation (3.38 ERA in three August starts), but he failed to reach a quality start last time out. It is enough to avoid using him in smaller mixed leagues this week.
One-week bust: Bell and Haren. We fully expect the Angels to skip the No. 5 starter's spot for as long as they are considering themselves contenders. We don't see Bell getting a start this week; he would be a high-risk option even if he was. Haren was awful last time out and is a risky option in mixed leagues again. His bad season just hasn't gotten that much better in the AL West.

Los Angeles Dodgers

  1. Chad Billingsley at COL Jimenez
  2. Clayton Kershaw at COL Chacin
  3. Ted Lilly at MIL Bush, at COL Hammel
  4. Hiroki Kuroda at MIL Wolf
  5. Carlos Monasterios at MIL Gallardo

Two-starter(s): Lilly. He is a must-start in all leagues, regardless of the matchup(s).
Who is getting skipped: Vicente Padilla (neck). Padilla is on the DL and his replacement, Monasterios, could be moved back, but he will merely get a change of matchup from above. He is still a risky one-start pitcher.
One-week sleeper: Kuroda. He is active in just 52 percent of leagues and pitching closer to a must-start than a questionable one -- especially with his 2.14 ERA in three August starts.
One-week bust: Monasterios. The Dodgers could move him to the weekend and/or go with someone else in their rotation over him. He is also not quite stretched out enough to be considered a full-go starter.

Milwaukee Brewers

  1. Yovani Gallardo vs LAD Monasterios
  2. Randy Wolf vs LAD Lilly
  3. Dave Bush vs LAD Kuroda, vs PIT Ohlendorf
  4. Chris Narveson vs PIT McDonald
  5. Manny Parra vs PIT Duke

Two-starter(s): Bush. He is a high-risk option in all leagues because he is terrible every other start. We expect him to be terrible against the Dodgers and merely serviceable against the Pirates.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Wolf. He has won three consecutive starts and has a 2.65 ERA in five starts since July 21.
One-week bust: Bush, Narveson and Parra. We will give Gallardo a pass for his bad starts here and there, but we wouldn't use the Brewers other starters with any confidence in mixed leagues.

Minnesota Twins

  1. Carl Pavano at TEX Lewis, at SEA Fister
  2. Francisco Liriano at TEX Lee
  3. Brian Duensing at TEX Wilson
  4. Scott Baker at SEA Vargas
  5. Nick Blackburn at TEX Harden, at SEA French

Two-starter(s): Pavano and Blackburn. Pavano is an advisable option in deeper leagues, but Blackburn has to be considered high-risk even in AL-only leagues coming back from the minors.
Who is getting skipped: Kevin Slowey (triceps). He left his last start early and won't get a start in the four-game series Monday-Thursday at Texas. He could return in the weekend set at Seattle, but he is too risky to use in any format this week.
One-week sleeper: None. We would consider the entire Twins rotation a bit shaky to trust in most mixed leagues this week.
One-week bust: Liriano. He has a 5.87 ERA in his past three starts and likely should be reserved in all formats against the potent Rangers and their ace in Lee.

New York Mets

  1. Johan Santana vs HOU Myers
  2. Jonathon Niese vs HOU Figueroa
  3. R.A. Dickey vs FLA Johnson, vs HOU Norris
  4. Mike Pelfrey vs FLA Sanchez
  5. Pat Misch vs FLA Sanabia

Two-starter(s): Dickey. The knuckleballer has been mostly great this season, whether you believe in him or not. It makes him an advisable two-start pitcher in any league right now.
Who is getting skipped: Perhaps Misch. The Mets need a No. 5 starter this week and it figures to be Misch, who has posted quality starts in each of his outings. He could be moved back to the weekend series, though, so he doesn't line up against the first-place Braves in Fantasy Week 22 (Aug. 30-Sept. 5). Misch is a risky option regardless right now.
One-week sleeper: Dickey. His surprising year and eligibility at relief pitcher should have him owned in more than 71 percent of leagues and starting in more than a mere 53 percent.
One-week bust: Pelfrey. He has pitched more like his early first-half self of late (2-1, 1.64 in his past three starts), but he is 1-6 with a 5.79 ERA against the Marlins in his career. That is because he is reliant on his fastball and the Marlins are a straight fastball-hitting team. It is not a week to trust him.

New York Yankees

  1. CC Sabathia at CHW Floyd
  2. A.J. Burnett at CHW Garcia
  3. Javier Vazquez at CHW Danks
  4. Phil Hughes at TOR Cecil
  5. Ivan Nova at TOR Morrow
  6. Dustin Moseley at TOR Rzepcyznski

Two-starter(s): None. The Yankees figure to be slotting six starters in their six-game week, because they are taking a look at a rookie, Nova, in his major-league debut.
Who is getting skipped: None. The Yankees could skip struggling veteran Vazquez next weekend, but we figure they need him to right himself sooner rather than later. The only way to do that is to pitch.
One-week sleeper: Nova. He was 12-3 with 2.86 ERA in 23 starts in Triple-A. He might also be a candidate to stick in the rotation for the long term, especially if Moseley struggles Tuesday. Also, Nova could get two starts if the Yankees decide to skip Vazquez after Thursday's off day. We don't see that happening, but it is a possibility.
One-week bust: Burnett and Vazquez. The veterans are pitching too inconsistently to trust during Fantasy crunch time in a one-start week against a potential contender.

Oakland Athletics

  1. Trevor Cahill at CLE Talbot
  2. Brett Anderson at TEX Hunter
  3. Dallas Braden at TEX Harden
  4. Gio Gonzalez at CLE Carmona, at TEX Lewis
  5. Vin Mazzaro at CLE Masterson

Two-starter(s): Gonzalez. He is an advisable option in all leagues now, even with that tough second start. He has a 2.49 ERA and .200 batting-average against in the second half and specifically tough in August with a .158 BAA (2.25 ERA).
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Mazzaro. Owned in just 24 percent of leagues and active in just 8 percent, Mazzaro is actually a must-start in Fantasy Week 21 (Aug. 23-29). Why? It is the Indians and he has a 2.13 ERA in August and a 3.25 ERA in the second half.
One-week bust: None. All five of the developing A's starters are viable options in all leagues right now, regardless of the matchups. Consider this a surprise, but take note of them as sleepers in Fantasy crunch time. They are all coming up aces this month.

Philadelphia Phillies

  1. Roy Halladay vs HOU Happ
  2. Roy Oswalt at SD Correia
  3. Cole Hamels vs HOU Norris, at SD Richard
  4. Joe Blanton vs HOU Myers, at SD Garland
  5. Kyle Kendrick vs HOU Rodriguez

Two-starter(s): Hamels and Blanton. They are advisable options in any Fantasy league at this point.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Blanton. Yes, we called him advisable because he has been respectable since the All-Star break (4.00 ERA) and solid in August (3.79).
One-week bust: Kendrick. You never can be sure what you're going to get out of him other than inconsistent results.

Pittsburgh Pirates

  1. Zach Duke at MIL Parra
  2. Ross Ohlendorf vs STL Lohse, at MIL Bush
  3. Paul Maholm vs STL Wainwright
  4. Jeff Karstens vs STL Westbrook
  5. James McDonald at MIL Narveson

Two-starter(s): Ohlendorf. He is a questionable option in all leagues because he pitches for the Pirates and faces two potentially potent offenses in his division.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Perhaps Ohlendorf. If you can take the risk(s) on his matchups, he has been fairly effective since July 17 (2.23 ERA).
One-week bust: Duke. He has been good at times -- even great like he was this Sunday -- but he is too risky to trust in anything but the deepest of NL-only leagues.

San Diego Padres

  1. Mat Latos vs PHI Oswalt
  2. Jon Garland vs PHI Blanton
  3. Clayton Richard vs ARI Lopez, vs PHI Hamels
  4. Wade LeBlanc vs ARI Saunders
  5. Kevin Correia vs ARI Kennedy

Two-starter(s): Richard. He is an advisable option in all leagues, since he is 5-1 in seven starts since the All-Star break and a pitcher with a 3.24 ERA at home.
Who is getting skipped: Latos. He is getting moved back to start Friday, picking up a tougher matchup against the Phillies, but he remains in the rotation this week and a must-start in all leagues.
One-week sleeper: LeBlanc. He hasn't been good in August, or even since the All-Star break, but he has been getting his starts on the road. His ERA is almost three full runs better at home (2.59) than on the road (5.37).
One-week bust: Correia. He is one Padres pitcher who isn't decidedly better at home. We wouldn't use him even in NL-only formats if you can avoid it.

San Francisco Giants

  1. Tim Lincecum vs ARI Enright
  2. Barry Zito vs ARI Hudson
  3. Matt Cain vs CIN Volquez, vs ARI Lopez
  4. Jonathan Sanchez vs CIN Wood
  5. Madison Bumgarner vs CIN Bailey

Two-starter(s): Cain. He is back to being a must-start ace in all leagues.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Bumgarner. He snapped a five-start winless streak his last time out and really hasn't pitched poorly, save for a start at Colorado on Aug. 4. You can give him a mulligan for that one and keep running him out there.
One-week bust: Zito. He struggles in his past three starts are enough to sit him in all mixed formats right now.

Seattle Mariners

  1. Felix Hernandez at BOS Lester
  2. Jason Vargas vs MIN Baker
  3. Luke French vs MIN Blackburn
  4. Doug Fister at BOS Lackey, vs MIN Pavano
  5. David Pauley at BOS Beckett

Two-starter(s): Fister. He is a questionable option in all leagues against those contenders. We wouldn't use him unless out of necessity.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: None. We cannot trust any of the M's starters in mixed leagues behind No. 1.
One-week bust: All not named Hernandez. Only King Felix is worth considering from this sunk team right now.

St. Louis Cardinals

  1. Chris Carpenter at WAS TBD
  2. Adam Wainwright at PIT Maholm, at WAS Lannan
  3. Jaime Garcia at WAS Olsen
  4. Jake Westbrook at PIT Karstens
  5. Kyle Lohse at PIT Ohlendorf, at WAS Hernandez

Two-starter(s): Wainwright and Lohse. Wainwright is an obvious must-start, while Lohse is a high-risk option in most formats.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Westbrook. He is 4 for 4 in quality starts since being acquired at the trade deadline and draws that favorable matchup against the Pirates that makes him an advisable option in all leagues this week.
One-week bust: Lohse. He was terrible in his return from the DL and, while he draws those favorable matchups, there is a significant amount of risk in starting him in any format.

Tampa Bay Rays

  1. David Price vs BOS Matsuzaka
  2. Matt Garza vs BOS Buchholz
  3. James Shields at LAA Kazmir, vs BOS Lackey
  4. Wade Davis at LAA Santana
  5. Jeff Niemann at LAA Haren

Two-starter(s): Shields. He is an advisable option in most formats, despite some struggles at times this season. He was great his last time out against a tough Texas team. That should give you confidence in him.
Who is getting skipped: Jeremy Hellickson and Andy Sonnanstine. Hellickson was sent to the minors and Sonnanstine heads back to the bullpen with returns from the DL of Niemann and Davis.
One-week sleeper: Niemann. We trust him in a one-start return from the DL much more than Davis this week.
One-week bust: Davis. He was marginal before going on the DL, so we cannot be confident in him coming off it, especially since he didn't get a rehab start.

Texas Rangers

  1. Cliff Lee vs MIN Liriano
  2. Rich Harden vs MIN Blackburn, vs OAK Braden
  3. Colby Lewis vs MIN Pavano, vs OAK Gonzalez
  4. C.J. Wilson vs MIN Duensing
  5. Tommy Hunter vs OAK Anderson

Two-starter(s): Harden and Lewis. They are advisable options in most leagues, especially facing that weak A's lineup in the second start.
Who is getting skipped: Derek Holland. He is getting removed from the rotation for the return of Harden from the DL.
One-week sleeper: Harden. He was outstanding in his past Triple-A rehab start and returns with an advisable two-start week.
One-week bust: None. Even Hunter kicked his slump Sunday, so all of the Rangers starters are advisable options in all leagues.

Toronto Blue Jays

  1. Ricky Romero vs DET Scherzer
  2. Shaun Marcum vs DET Verlander
  3. Brandon Morrow vs NYY Nova, vs DET Bonderman
  4. Marc Rzepczynski vs NYY Moseley, vs DET Porcello
  5. Brett Cecil vs NYY Hughes

Two-starter(s): Morrow and Rzepczynski. They are questionable options better left for deeper leagues. Morrow's talent makes him a viable option in mixed formats, though.
Who is getting skipped: None.
One-week sleeper: Romero and Marcum. They have been underrated starters for most of the season and face a sunk Tigers team that hasn't been very good in the second half.
One-week bust: Rzepcznski. We wouldn't trust the back-end starter in a week where he has to face a contending Yankees team.

Washington Nationals

  1. TBD vs STL Carpenter
  2. Scott Olsen vs STL Garcia
  3. Livan Hernandez vs CHC Coleman, vs STL Lohse
  4. John Lannan vs CHC Zambrano, vs STL Wainwright
  5. Jason Marquis vs CHC Dempster

Two-starter(s): Hernandez and Lannan. They are advisable options in deeper leagues, despite their tough second matchup. They have been great in August.
Who is getting skipped: Stephen Strasburg (forearm). We expect him to go to the DL, which might not happen before your roster deadline.
One-week sleeper: Lannan. He has not allowed more than two earned runs since returning to the rotation in August (3-0, 3.09). He is worth the risk in deeper leagues because of the way he has been pitching in those four starts.
One-week bust: Strasburg. He is far too risky to start even if he was getting double starts against the worst team in baseball. Injury on top of a one-start week against the Cardinals? No thanks.

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
Chris Young delivers game-tying, pinch-hit home run Saturday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7:50 pm ET) Mets outfielder Chris Young knocked a pinch-hit, two-run home run Saturday to tie the game in the seventh inning before his team went on to defeat the Marlins, 5-4.

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(7:46 pm ET) Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich went 1 for 4 with a walk and a solo home run in his team's 5-4 loss to the Mets Saturday.

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(7:43 pm ET) Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon went 5 for 5 with one double, one RBI and one stolen base in his team's 9-3 loss to the Twins Saturday.

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(7:41 pm ET) Twins shortstop Eduardo Escobar went 2 for 5 with a solo home run in his team's 9-3 win over the Rockies Saturday.

Escobar has put together back-to-back multihit efforts after going 0 for 15 in his previous four games. Prior to this two-game stretch, the shortstop's last multihit performance came back on June 15. He has hit .263/.303/.394 with three home runs and 19 RBI in 251 at-bats.


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