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Shuffling the Rotations for Week 2

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After enduring the truncated schedule of Week 1, Fantasy owners will be treated to a much broader range of pitching options for Fantasy Week 2 (April 9-15).

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It's also the first week in which everyone in weekly leagues will have two-start pitchers, and there are 37 of them from which to choose. While there are plenty of two-start options to go around, not many of them are on the high end. You may be lucky enough to have two or more two-starters already on your roster, but just as likely, you will have to search the waiver wire to get some extra starts into your Week 2 rotation.

If you go the waiver route, some of the better options available could include Henderson Alvarez (51 percent ownership rate), Tommy Milone (17 percent) and Josh Tomlin (15 percent). Rick Porcello (52 percent), Homer Bailey (36 percent) and Brian Matusz (35 percent) deserve some consideration, too, but because of less-than-favorable matchups, none made this week's top 70. Similarly, Jair Jurrjens (89 percent) and John Danks (87 percent) are among the more popular starters who need to sit in Week 2, and with an impending DL trip, Doug Fister (ribs) needs a replacement as well.

Starting Rotation breakdown for Fantasy Week 2
Rank Player Start 1 Start 2 Stat of note
1 Clayton Kershaw PIT (Correia) SD (Volquez) Career 2.48 ERA at home
As good as Kershaw has been in his career overall, he has been even better at home. It should be a great week with two home starts.
2 Cole Hamels MIA (Sanchez) NYM (Pelfrey) 2.48 ERA vs. MIA in 2011
Hamels hasn't always handled the Marlins well, but he was strong in four starts against them last season.
3 C.J. Wilson @MIN (Blackburn) @NYY (Hughes) 3.38 career ERA at Yankee Stadium
Some pitchers fold at the Yankees' home park, but in limited time there (18 2/3 innings), Wilson has had few problems.
4 Roy Halladay MIA (Johnson) N/A 71 percent strikes thrown
Halladay actually set a career-high in percentage of pitches thrown for strikes last season, as he keeps getting sharper with time.
5 Cliff Lee NYM (Dickey) N/A 7.0 K/9 in six Grapefruit League starts
Spring stats don't often mean much for established veterans, but owners should see if Lee's strikeout rate regresses over his early starts.
6 Justin Verlander TB (Shields) N/A 41 percent flyball rate in 2011
Verlander allowed 10 more home runs last season than the year before. If he has an Achilles' heel, this could be it.
7 Ian Kennedy @SD (Moseley) N/A Two earned runs allowed in 18 career innings at PETCO Park
Kennedy hasn't pitched many innings at PETCO Park, but his track record there confirms what you likely expected.
8 Jered Weaver @MIN (Pavano) N/A 15 Ks in 14 innings vs. MIN in 2011
Weaver's strikeouts were down last season, but he had no problems avoiding contact against the Twins.
9 Felix Hernandez OAK (Colon) N/A Career 12-4 record, 2.47 ERA vs. OAK
The A's haven't been very potent for most of Hernandez's career, and he has taken advantage of their weak lineups.
10 Matt Cain PIT (McDonald) N/A Career 3.12 ERA at home
Cain is a markedly better pitcher at AT&T Park, and add in a favorable matchup, and he is a top 10 starter this week.
11 Adam Wainwright CHC (Samardzija) N/A 23 Ks, 4 BBs vs. CHC in 2010
Last season, the Cubs were second-to-last in the NL in walk rate, and Wainwright has a history of being stingy with free passes against them.
12 CC Sabathia @BAL (Arrieta) N/A Career 2.73 ERA at BAL
Sabathia has a long record of success at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, and it might just be what he needs after Friday's tough start against the Rays.
13 Tommy Hanson @HOU (Weiland) N/A 4.01 pitches per plate appearance (P/PA) in 2011
Hanson needs to be more efficient, but he did cut his P/PA to 3.77 against the Mets last Thursday.
14 Stephen Strasburg @NYM (Santana) N/A 71 percent strikes thrown vs. CHC on Thurs.
It's only one game, but Strasburg was even better at finding the strike zone than he has been over his career so far.
15 Matt Moore @DET (Porcello) @BOS (Doubront) 12.2 K/9 in the minors in 2011
Moore won't be eligible to use as a starter in standard Head-to-Head leagues, but he is worth using in all formats, especially with two starts.
16 Yu Darvish SEA (Noesi) @MIN (Blackburn) 21 Ks in 15 Cactus League innings
It remains to be seen how well Darvish will adjust to big-league hitting, but at least he starts off with two favorable matchups.
17 Dan Haren @MIN (Liriano) N/A 3.29 career ERA vs. MIN
Haren has a good track record against the Twins, and the lineup he will face this week will probably not be one of the strongest he has seen.
18 Zack Greinke @CHC (Garza) N/A 26 Ks in 19 2/3 innings vs. CHC in 2011
Given what Greinke did against the Cubs in his first year in the division, Week 2 could turn out to be a big one for him.
19 David Price @BOS (Beckett) N/A Career 1.75 ERA at BOS
Price has made just four career starts at Fenway Park, but has not given up more than two earned runs in any of them.
20 Madison Bumgarner @COL (Moyer) N/A Career .354 opponents' SLG vs. COL
The Rockies haven't hurt Bumgarner with extra-base hits, and he has yielded only two homers in 18 career innings at Coors Field.
21 Mat Latos @WAS (Gonzalez) N/A 2.85 ERA last three months of 2011
Latos struggled early last year, but he pitched like an elite over the second half of the season.
22 Yovani Gallardo @CHC (Dempster) N/A 51 percent strikes thrown vs. STL on Friday
If you're wondering what went wrong for Gallardo in his disastrous first start, his problems with command resurfaced, but he's rebounded from it before.
23 Daniel Hudson @COL (Nicasio) N/A 6.4 percent home run per flyball rate in '11
Though Hudson has some slight flyball tendencies, they haven't hurt him yet, even though he has pitched for teams in home run parks. A start at COL isn't too scary.
24 Jon Lester @TOR (Romero) N/A 0.6 career HR/9 at TOR
Lester is enough of a ground ball pitcher that he has little to fear from the Blue Jays' powerful lineup, even at Rogers Centre.
25 Anibal Sanchez @PHI (Hamels) HOU (Happ) .181 flyball BABIP in 2011
Even though Sanchez missed more bats last year, opponents slugged 42 points higher against him. Some of that looks like bad luck on balls in play.
26 Josh Beckett TB (Price) N/A 10 percent popup rate last year
Frequent infield flies helped Beckett to limit opposing hitters to just 23 doubles last year. If he keeps that up and limits homers from here on out, he is a potential ace.
27 Brandon Beachy @HOU (Happ) MIL (Narveson) Career 4.08 P/PA
Inefficiency is all that keeps Beachy from being a No. 2 starter in Fantasy, but he is a must-start with two starts.
28 James Shields @DET (Verlander) N/A 13 ground balls induced vs. NYY on Fri.
Shields had a forgettable first start this year, but it's a positive sign that he induced grounders on nearly two-thirds of all hit balls.
29 Matt Garza MIL (Greinke) N/A 65 percent quality start rate in 2011
Particularly after a rocky first month, Garza developed a higher level of consistency last season, so you can leave him active each week with confidence.
30 Josh Johnson @PHI (Halladay) N/A 2.39 career ERA prior to May 1
Poor starts like Johnson's opener against STL have been rare for him in the early going, and he could still give Halladay a battle this week.
31 Tim Lincecum @COL (Guthrie) N/A 90 mph average fastball velocity on Fri.
Lincecum's velocity is decidedly down, so Friday's meltdown at Arizona may not be just one of those things. Approach him with caution.
32 Justin Masterson CHW (Humber) N/A Career 0.4 HR/9 at Progressive Field
Masterson's ground ball tendencies along with his pitcher-friendly park add up to a career 3.07 home ERA, making him a solid one-start option.
33 Ricky Romero BOS (Lester) N/A 6.56 ERA vs. BOS in 2011
Romero had two poor starts against the Red Sox last year, but he was fine in the other two. He's riskier than usual, but still worth starting.
34 Johnny Cueto STL (Garcia) N/A Career 3.9 K/9 vs. STL
Cueto was sharp in his season debut, but given his past struggles against the Cardinals, expect a dropoff from him in Week 2.
35 Shaun Marcum @CHC (Volstad) @ATL (Minor) 11 Ks, 1 BB vs. CHC in 2011
Marcum is yet another pitcher who took advantage of the Cubs' impatient ways last year, and you can expect more of the same this week.
36 Erik Bedard @LAD (Billingsley) N/A 72 percent strikes thrown vs. PHI on Thurs.
Bedard had a harder time than usual throwing strikes with BOS last year, but Thursday's performance was a reflection of his improved health.
37 Jordan Zimmermann CIN (Arroyo) N/A 3.71 P/PA in 2011
Zimmermann made huge gains in efficiency last year. No longer chained by an innings limit, he could actually be an asset in the innings category.
38 Cory Luebke ARI (Saunders) N/A 7 HR allowed in 3 starts vs. ARI
Luebke's overall record is strong enough to merit a start this week, but given his Diamondback starts last year, he is a little riskier than normal.
39 Ervin Santana @NYY (Kuroda) N/A 64 percent quality start rate since 2010
If you still think of Santana as erratic, you're living about three years in the past. He's worth using, even with a start at Yankee Stadium.
40 Neftali Feliz SEA (Beavan) @MIN (Marquis) 9.8 K/9 rate in second half of '11
Feliz's K-rate will take a dip now that he is a starter, but he was superb at avoiding contact after a disappointing first half last year.
41 Clay Buchholz TB (Hellickson) N/A 1.18 career ERA vs. TB
Buchholz has owned the Rays throughout his career, though he made just one start against them last year before sitting out the latter part of the season.
42 Gio Gonzalez CIN (Latos) N/A Career .407 opponents' SLG vs. lefties
Oddly, Gonzalez has been a better pitcher against righties, so Joey Votto and Jay Bruce could do some damage against him.
43 Derek Holland SEA (Vargas) N/A Career 3.17 ERA vs. SEA
Holland usually performs exceedingly well against weaker offenses, and the Mariners have been an easy target for him in the past.
44 Ubaldo Jimenez @KC (Sanchez) N/A 92 mph average fastball velocity on Sat.
Jimenez had a decent stat line in his first start on Saturday, but his velocity was well below where it was last year.
45 Ivan Nova @BAL (Matusz) LAA (Williams) 1.24 WHIP vs. BAL in 2011
Nova was more of a strikeout pitcher when he faced the Birds last season, and that helped him to post an better-than-average WHIP.
46 Mike Leake STL (Lohse) @WAS (Detwiler) 1.0 HR/9 at home last year
Leake has been homer-prone, but less so at home. He could keep the Cardinals in check, even though they have plenty of power without Pujols.
47 Edwin Jackson @NYM (Pelfrey) CIN (Bailey) 25 percent line drive rate in 2011
Jackson managed to post a 3.79 ERA last year despite the highest line drive rate of his career. He could be even better in 2012 and viable even in some one-start weeks.
48 Jhoulys Chacin SF (Zito) ARI (Collmenter) Career 3.82 home ERA
Not surprisingly, Chacin has been better as a road pitcher, but he is good enough at Coors Field to be trusted with two home starts.
49 Trevor Cahill @SD (Volquez) @COL (Pomeranz) Career 2.85 ERA vs. NL teams
This week Cahill will make his debut as an NL pitcher, but in 12 previous interleague starts, he has been outstanding.
50 Matt Harrison @MIN (Hendriks) N/A 2.99 road ERA in 2011
Harrison is good at avoiding extra-base hits even at home, but he should be especially tough at Target Field.
51 Jeremy Hellickson @BOS (Buchholz) N/A 1.29 WHIP vs. BOS last year
Hellickson has been a much less effective pitcher against lefties, and the Red Sox could give him fits, making him a lower-end choice than usual.
52 Jaime Garcia @CIN (Cueto) N/A Career 1.17 WHIP vs. CIN
The Reds could be the toughest matchup in the NL Central, but Garcia has had few problems against them in nine career appearances.
53 Wandy Rodriguez ATL (Delgado) N/A 78 percent strand rate in 2011
Rodriguez is nothing special in the WHIP category, but consistently high strand rates keep his ERA in the low-to-mid 3.00s.
54 Ryan Vogelsong PIT (Correia) N/A 2.15 home ERA with SF
Vogelsong is not a slam dunk in one-start weeks, but as long as he is at home with a good matchup, you can use him.
55 Brandon McCarthy KC (Chen) N/A 27.6 batters faced per game in 2011
McCarthy didn't last long in Friday's game against Seattle, but that was the exception to the rule.
56 Francisco Liriano LAA (Haren) N/A 33 Ks, 5 BBs in 27 Grapefruit League innings
Liriano's command has been inconsistent over the years, but he gave owners a reason to be hopeful with his spring numbers.
57 Brandon Morrow BAL (Hunter) N/A 10 ground ball outs on Sunday at CLE
Morrow did an unusually good job of keeping the ball down on Sunday, but we need to see more of that before trusting him on a weekly basis.
58 Ryan Dempster MIL (Gallardo) N/A 17 Ks in 17 innings vs. MIL in 2011
The Brewers were one of Dempster's tougher opponents last year, but he still managed to get whiffs. He's still worth starting for the Ks.
59 Colby Lewis SEA (Millwood) N/A 2 HR allowed in 22 1/3 innings vs. SEA in '11
Lewis seemingly gave up numerous dingers to everyone last year, but not to the Mariners. Even in Texas, Lewis is safe to start when he faces the M's.
60 Tommy Milone KC (Mendoza) @SEA (Noesi) 9.7 K/BB in Triple-A last year
Welcome to the top 70, Tommy. Great command and two favorable matchups earn you a spot here this week.
61 Bartolo Colon @SEA (Hernandez) N/A 67 percent strikes thrown in 2011
Colon posted one of the highest strike thrown percentages of his career last year, and he hit the zone with 73 percent of his pitches in his season debut.
62 Edinson Volquez ARI (Cahill) @LAD (Kershaw) Career 2.59 ERA at SD
Maybe there's a chance the PETCO Effect can help Volquez after all. He has only pitched 24 1/3 innings there, but the results have been good.
63 Vance Worley NYM (Niese) N/A Career 3.00 ERA vs. NYM
Worley's control (11 BBs in 24 innings) hasn't been good against the Mets, but he has escaped largely unscathed.
64 Josh Tomlin CHW (Sale) @KC (Mendoza) 0 career HR allowed in 18 1/3 innings at KC
Tomlin usually gets into trouble in road games, but the pitcher-friendly confines of Kauffman Stadium have worked to his advantage so far.
65 Jonathon Niese @PHI (Worley) N/A 55 percent ground ball rate in 2011
Niese showed all sorts of improvement last year, and a career-best ground ball rate is just one reason to like him as a sleeper this year.
66 Henderson Alvarez BOS (Doubront) BAL (Matusz) 5.0 K/BB ratio last season
Alvarez showed impressive command for a rookie last year; now he just needs to induce more whiffs with his mid-90s fastball.
67 Chris Sale @CLE (Tomlin) DET (Porcello) 28 Ks, 4 BBs in 28 Cactus League innings
Control has been a minor issue for Sale as a reliever, but it wasn't a problem in six spring starts.
68 Ricky Nolasco HOU (Harrell) N/A Career 1.06 WHIP vs. HOU
Barring a dramatic turnaround, Nolasco won't be a pitcher you'll want to start every week, but he gets a good matchup this time around.
69 Max Scherzer @CHW (Floyd) N/A Career 2.30 ERA vs. CHW
Scherzer is a home run risk at U.S. Cellular Field, but even in his starts there (2.95 ERA), he has had some success.
70 Hiroki Kuroda LAA (Santana) N/A Career 2.45 ERA vs. LAA
Kuroda may be new to the AL, but the Angels are something of a familiar opponent. He should be able to hold their lineup in check.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Al Melchior at @almelccbs . You can also e-mail us at fantasybaseball@cbsinteractive.com .

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Player News
Rockies surprising 2B LeMahieu cranks first homer Saturday
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12:45 am ET) Rockies second baseman DJ LeMahieu had his nine-game hitting streak to start the season snapped Friday night. He apparently didn't take too kindly to it.

LeMahieu, a hot hitter on a hot-hitting team, provided most of the offense in a loss to the Dodgers with a two-run homer in the seventh inning off standout right-hander Zack Greinke. The RBI give him eight on the year and the performance improved his slash line to an impressive .463/.476/.585.


Blue Jays second baseman Devon Travis thriving early this season
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(12:43 am ET) Blue Jays second baseman Devon Travis has ripped through the first two weeks of the season with a bang, hitting .333 in 45 at-bats. Manager John Gibbons loves the way the rookie is playing this season.

"He's got the complete game, he really does," Gibbons said. "He was such a good hitter in spring training I thought to myself: 'This kid will hit some home runs in his career.' But he's shown a lot more power than I expected."

Gibbons is handling things at the plate like an old veteran, according to Gibbons.

"One thing he's got that's advanced for a young guy is he's got a great approach at the plate, he doesn't chase out of the zone much. He's got the ability to foul off tough pitches to stay alive and a lot of guys can't do that. And he handles breaking balls, at least fouls them off, and that's a big part of it. He stays alive and if they make a mistake he doesn't miss it. He's been very productive."


Blue Jays manager just fine with Kevin Pillar's aggressive style of play
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(12:38 am ET) Blue Jays manager John Gibbons has no issue with how outfielder Kevin Pillar attacks the game head on, reports the Toronto Sun. He will deal with the slight issues that comes with his aggressiveness.

"I love the fact that he's aggressive, he can pull off some catches that a lot of guys don't make," Gibbons said. "It depends on the situation, some balls you can't get to, them back off. But he's always had that mindset (to go get it) and that's what allows him to be so good and make those plays. A lot of guys don't. But he's smart enough too to know there's certain times he's got to back off too."

Pillar doesn't think he's overly aggressive.

"He believes he's going to make it, that's why he makes a lot of them," Gibbons added. "There's no hesitation with him at all. He's got a ton of confidence when he's playing that outfield, really in his whole game. When he's on the bases he's a confident kid too."


Adrian Gonzalez drives in three more for Dodgers on Saturday
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12:37 am ET) The 2015 RBI Machine, otherwise known as Adrian Gonzalez, was at it again Saturday night.

The Dodgers slugger not only boasts a ridiculous batting average of .523, which actually went down in the game but he added three RBI to his total, giving him 14 in 11 games. He brought home a run with a fielder's choice in the third and singled in two in the fifth. Gonzalez owns an eye-popping slugging percentage of 1.045.

He has struck out just three times in 44 at-bats on the year.


Dodgers closer Peralta overcomes pain in neck to be pain in neck to Rockies
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12:30 am ET) For a guy considered questionable to pitch with a neck issue, Dodgers closer Joel Peralta was certainly impressive Saturday night.

Peralta was a pain in the neck to the Rockies. He closed them down with a shutout inning, yielding only a walk along the way to notch his third save.

The right-hander has yet to surrender a run in six outings as he holds down the role for the injured Kenley Jansen.


Rockies starter Lyles can't compete against Greinke in defeat
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12:24 am ET) Opposing pitchers must be sharp when matched up against Dodgers stud Zack Greinke. Rockies right-hander Jordan Lyles was not sharp Saturday night. The result was his first loss of the season.

Lyles walked five in six innings. He also gave up five hits and four earned runs. He was hanging in there until a two-run single by Adrian Gonazalez in the fifth stretched the Los Angeles lead to 4-1.

His ERA jumped more than a point to 3.50, but he will have a chance to lower it Thursday against San Diego.


Mariners catcher Mike Zunino rips first home run of the year
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(12:17 am ET) Mariners catcher Mike Zunino went 1 for 3 at the plate in Seattle's 3-1 win over the Rangers Saturday. Zunino did his damage in the fifth when he smacked the first pitch he saw from Colby Lewis over the left center field wall for a solo home run, his first of the year.

Zunino, who also struck out twice, boosted his average to .139 in 36 at-bats this season.


Dodgers RHP Greinke good enough for second win Saturday
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12:16 am ET) Good was good enough Saturday night for Dodgers right-hander Zack Greinke.

Greinke was dominant in his first two starts this season. He was merely good against the hot-hitting Rockies and that earned him his second win.

Only a two-run homer by DJ LeMahieu in the seventh inning really marred his performance. He finished having yielded three earned runs on five hits in 6 2/3 inning with one walk and three strikeouts. His ERA nearly doubled to a still-wonderful 1.83.

Greinke has now allowed just 12 hits and two walks in 19 2/3 innings. He will try to continue his fine start Thursday in San Francisco.


Rangers pitcher Colby Lewis knocked around for 10 hits in loss
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(12:14 am ET) Rangers pitcher Colby Lewis allowed three runs on 10 hits in Texas' 3-1 loss to the Mariners Saturday. 

Lewis worked efficiently through the first three innings before running into issues in the fourth. Lewis allowed a sacrifice fly to Seth Smith, allowing Robinson Cano to score. Then in the fifth, Lewis surrendered a leadoff home run to Mike Zunino.

Brad Miller then tripled in the sixth, driving in Kyle Seager, before getting pulled.

Lewis, now 1-1, boasts a 3.79 ERA and will look to get back on track Saturday against the Angels.


Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez strikes out 12 in win Saturday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(12:14 am ET) Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez allowed one run in seven innings of work in Seattle's 3-1 win over the Rangers Saturday. 

Hernandez struck out 12 and needed 111 pitches, 70 for strikes, to get through his outing. Hernandez allowed two baserunners in the fifth, putting runners on first and third. He got Elvis Andrus to ground out to short, but allowed the run to score.

Manager Lloyd McClendon said Hernandez was feeling tightness in his quad during the game and was going to pull hiim in the sixth, but Hernandez convinced him to keep him in the seventh, according to the Seattle Times.

Hernandez, now 2-0, boasts a 2.37 ERA and will look to keep rolling Saturday against the Twins.


 
 
 
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