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Fantasy Baseball Two Start Pitchers – Week 3

Winning a weekly matchup in fantasy baseball often comes down to getting the most quality pitching out of your starting roster. If you have a pitcher that hasn’t been carrying their weight to start the season, or a relief pitcher like Jeremy Accardo of the Toronto Blue Jays who is about to lose their role, consider adding a starting pitcher who will make two starts in week three.

If the pitcher you consider isn’t at the top of the rankings, there’s often a chance he’ll throw at least one good game out of the two he is probable to start. Worst case, a pitcher with two starts will generally keep a lower ERA and bring in more strikeouts, which could save your weekly head-to-head matchup.

Certain top-tier starting pitchers are absolute “must starts.” Week three must starts include:

  • Zach Greinke is 2-0 with a 0.60 ERA in 2008.Aaron Harang, Cincinnati Reds
  • Jeremy Bonderman, Detroit Tigers
  • Andy Pettitte, New York Yankees
  • Zach Greinke, Kansas City Royals
  • Hideki Kuroda, Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Dustin McGowan, Toronto Blue Jays
  • Shawn Marcum, Toronto Blue Jays
  • Randy Johnson, Arizona Diamondbacks
  • Kevin Millwood, Texas Rangers

The Sunday Specials (Two two-start pitchers that should impress you with their performances in week three):

  • Ian Kennedy, Pitcher, New York Yankees. Ian Kennedy, New York Yankees. Kennedy has made two appearances in 2008, but neither of them have gone well. His start April 9 against Kansas City was better than his first outing of the season in relief, but he has already given up eight earned runs in only 7 2/3 innings. Kennedy was best used by the Yanks as a starter down the stretch in 2007, and he should continue to lower his fat ERA of 13.50 in week three. Kennedy is scheduled Monday, 4/14 at Tampa Bay versus Andy Sonnastine, then Saturday 4/19 at Baltimore against rookie Brian Burress. The Yankees own the Rays historically, and Baltimore will eventually fall from the top of the AL East, probably starting this week.
  • Ervin Santana, Anaheim Angels. Santana had a rough 2007, going 7-14 with an ERA of 5.76 after great numbers in 2005 and ’06. Because of his bad go in 2007, Santana makes a great sleeper/buy-low pick up for fantasy baseball week three. He has eight strikeouts in 12 innings of work this year. Based on probable matchups (4/14 at Texas against Jason Jennings, 4/19 versus Seattle against Jarrod Washburn), Santana has a great chance to improve his 2008 record to 3-0 as the Angels move their way back to the top of the AL West.

Waiver Wire Wonder (One two-start pitcher owned in less than 40% of fantasy baseball leagues to consider in week three):

  • Braden Looper, Pitcher, St. Louis Cardinals.Braden Looper, St. Louis Cardinals. Looper is only owned in 27% of leagues on CBS Sportsline. His 2-0 start could have more to do with his opponents (Washington and Houston) than his talent, but there is something to be said for winning games, right? With scheduled starts 4/15 against Milwaukee and Dave Bush and 4/20 versus San Francisco and Jonathan Sanchez, Looper has pitching matchups that support a chance at him starting the season 4-0. Looper has given up only four earned runs in his two starts, but doesn’t strike out as many batters as some other two-start pitchers in week three (only seven K’s in 11 2/3 innings). He also comes up short as an innings-eater. But for one week, there are worse options than Looper for a two-start spot pitcher.
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