Rockies’ SP Jorge De La Rosa has a favorable matchup in his Opening Day start vs. the Marlins (Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)
Baseball season is back!
Let that sink in for a moment. It’s beautiful, right? Almost like a whale song on a crisp spring morning — almost.
With the players all set for Opening Day, that also means it’s time to start setting your fantasy baseball lineups.
Each Friday I’ll look ahead to the following week and suggest the top two-start pitchers that are most available on fantasy baseball league waiver wires. If you’re lucky, I may even throw in a few bonus pitchers with some favorable matchups, as well.
It’s important to keep in mind that as of this publication not all rotations have been set, so keep checking these players’ statuses later in the week.
(All suggested pitchers are owned in less than 75 percent of ESPN.com leagues)
» Dillon Gee, New York Mets (41.6 percent): Love, love, love Dillon Gee this year. I already profiled him as one of my “Top Sleepers of 2014”, and he begins the season with a great matchup vs. the Washington Nationals. Due to injuries, the Mets anointed Gee to be their Opening Day starter, and well, he deserves it. Gee was fantastic last season, compiling a 12-11 record with a 3.62 ERA. Even better were his stats vs. Monday’s opponent. Gee owned the Nats in 2013, going 4-2 with a 2.72 ERA and 27 K in 39.2 IP against them. Washington was 28th in team batting average and 25th in runs scored on the road last season, and this game will be played at Citi Field in Queens, NY. For his second start of the week, Gee will face the Cincinnati Reds — a more imposing team than the Nats offensively — but the Reds were only a .500 ball club on the road last season.
» Jorge De La Rosa, Colorado Rockies (3.7 percent): Jorge De La Rosa (or JDLR, as his closest friends call him) was not good away from home last season. He had somewhat of a bizarro year, posting a 4.19 ERA on the road, yet a remarkable, if not magical, 2.76 ERA and 10-1 record in the thin air of Coors Field. His matchup Monday offers owners some lenience in regards to his record away from Denver — because it’s vs. the Miami Marlins. In two 2013 starts against the Fish, JDLR went 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA and eight strikeouts. De La Rosa is a southpaw, and the Marlins ranked 29th in OPS (.663) vs. left-handed pitchers last season. He is also scheduled to pitch at home on Saturday vs. the Arizona Diamondbacks, whom he allowed just 6 ER in 22.2 IP against last season.
Bonus Pitcher (Because you’ve earned it!):
» Ian Kennedy, San Diego Padres (13.0 percent) vs. Dodgers on 4/1: Ian Kennedy clearly enjoyed his new spacious digs last season. Following his July trade from the D-Backs to the Padres, he went 4-1 with a 2.57 ERA at PETCO Park — where Tuesday’s game will be played. Despite the Dodgers excellent hitting and pitching, they were only 11-8 vs. the Friars last season.