Starting Pitching Fantasy Baseball Help-Spot Starter Selection-Monday, June 4


Heading into another week in Fantasy Baseball, most starters on the schedule today and tomorrow are in line for two starts this week. If you need help with waiver wire ideas, we’ve got you covered. I apologize for the absence of sleeper central today and tomorrow as we take a two-day hiatus as my family and we travel from our home in Guam to the mainland US to visit family. My family and I are all packed and ready for our international trek and we’ll be headed to the airport soon. Sleeper Central should be back Tuesday and run as usual for the remainder of the week. I’ll keep you up to date of any future adjustments to the schedule as a result of our travels.

Before we take off though, here’s the spot starter picks for Monday. In response to feedback from our readers, we’re moving the spot starter selections to the day before the scheduled start so that you have the time to make your league’s deadline. Look for picks the afternoon or evening of the day before the games.

After a full Sunday, there are just seven games across the Big Leagues on Monday. The earliest of the games is the Cards-Mets game at 1:10 at Citi Field. For those teams, expect makeshift lineups to a degree after playing on Sunday night baseball just a few hours before the fourth game in their series. The Cubs and Giants start at 3:45 and then there are three games in the American League and two in the National League in the evening.

Here’s my three picks for starters who are available in over half of ESPN leagues who make good additions headed into their Monday matchup.

The Picks

Christian Friedrich-Col: (1.8% ownership in ESPN leagues) Although his last three starts were not nearly as strong as his initial two starts in the bigs, Friedrich has still gotten his record to 3-1 in his first five MLB starts. Tonight he’ll face the D-Backs and Joe Saunders in Arizona tonight at 9:40. Friedrich is a good source of strikeouts with 32 in his 29 innings and just eight walks, four of which came in one start. He has a 5.59 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP, but those numbers are a little inflated due to a thumping he took at Coors against the Mariners. He gets to pitch on the road tonight where he’s got a 2.50 ERA and is 2-0 in his three starts away from Coors. He makes a solid starting option Monday night in Arizona.

Will Smith-KC: (0.0% owned in ESPN leagues) Smith isn’t a sure thing, but with just seven games he’s a good option if you are streaming starters for the week. Smith is 1-1 and looked pretty solid in his last start at Cleveland. He went six innings allowing just two runs on four hits while striking out five. He’ll take the mound today for the first time at home at Kauffman Stadium as the Royals host their division rival Twins. The key to his success is keeping the ball on the ground, which he should be able to do against the Twins who rank 22nd in team batting average, 24th in the Majors in runs per game, and 27th in home runs per game.

Jeremy Hefner-NYM: (0.2% ownership) While Monday’s start may not be as exciting as his last one, I like Hefner to have a good start Monday. His last time out he got his first Major League W and his first hit in the Majors, a home run to help his own cause in his best start of the year. Hefner has allowed an extremely high .339 BABIP (batting average on balls in play) which has artificially inflated his ERA to 5.60. He’s shown great control striking out 12 in his first four games this season while walking just one. The Cardinals lineup is one to avoid for the most part, but the day after a night game should reduce the fire-power a little. With the shallow pool of options and the Mets pitching controlling the series the first two games of the series, Hefner makes a decent option if you’re looking to grab a W to start the week.

The Payoff

Felix Doubront was the only one of my picks to figure in the decision on Saturday as he picked up the win with seven strikeouts and just two earned runs in Toronto. The other two picks, Edinson Volquez and PJ Walters, had mixed results. Walters was gone to early in the Twins win to get the W and Volquez had control issues walking five in the Padres loss to Arizona, although he didn’t get the loss. Here’s the results from the past week:

Felix Doubront2-Jun6 1/3277110
Edinson Volquez2-Jun6254500
PJ Walters2-Jun4 1/3428300
Felipe Paulino1-Jun6053310
Mike  Leake1-Jun7174310
Jerome Williams1-Jun7247210
Anthony Bass30-May4 2/3526400
Jeanmar Gomez30-May55310101
Jose Quintana30-May3 2/3121000
Homer Bailey29-May9054110
Eric Stults29-May6 1/3417101
Justin Masterson29-May6789001
Scott Diamond28-May6 1/3349100
Felix Doubront28-May6264110
Bronson Arroyo28-May4418101
J.A. Happ27-May6 1/32109201
Brian Matusz27-May6357301
Edinson Volquez27-May5 2/3255301
Jerome Williams26-May6355210
Wade Miley26-May6328210
Wei-Yin Chen26-May6256100
Derek Lowe26-May2 1/38310001