Week 12 Pitching Planner
Since returning from a spring injury, Johnny Cueto has been terrific in his first eight starts with an earn run average under two and a WHIP around one. Cincinnati will need Cueto to continue pitching like a staff ace if they have hopes of beating out the Brewers and Cardinals in the NL Central. For fantasy owners, Cueto has been a name often talked about as a possible stud of the future but his early arm problems, made it unlikely that this would be his breakout season.
Coming into week twelve Cueto will face two American League squads in inter-league play as he faces the Yankees at home and then travels to Baltimore to pitch against the Orioles. Both matchups will be a challenge but with Cueto pitching so well it is advisable that you keep him in your weekly lineups as a must start.
While Cueto is thriving after his early ailments, two top twenty pitchers who could miss time this week are Phillies Cole Hamels and Brewers Shaun Marcum. Both pitchers are highlighted in red, in our pitching planner and are questionable starts for weekly and daily leagues. If you can go without starting either of these pitchers, I would recommend you consider keeping them on the bench. Just look to Marcum’s blow up in Boston a few days ago as a reason why it’s hard to trust even the best pitchers when they’re not at full strength.
Hopefully, both will avoid a DL stint and pitch well this week. If both of those things happen for either pitcher you can insert them back into your lineup next week, without worry.
On the closer front, those of you that picked up Mark Meloncon more than a month ago can breathe a big sigh of relief, as former closer Brandon Lyon is now expected to have a season ending surgery to fix his arm problems. This means Meloncon is slated to be the teams closer for the rest of the season and won’t have competition, as long as he’s effective. I would anticipate the Astros will give him a long leash, if and when he does struggle because of the success he’s had since taking the job in May.
In Kansas City, it looks like Joakim Soria is starting to show his previous form that made him such a successful closers for the past few seasons. Not only is Soria nailing down is save chances, but the strikeouts are starting to come back, and that is a great sign that he’s starting to feel healthy both physically and mechanically.
Finally, it looks like Jonny Venters has the main opportunities in the closers role as youngster Craig Kimbrel has blown too many saves and the Braves need a steadier option. I still think Kimbrel will be in the mix but for now Venters is clearly a more valuable relief pitcher to own. Congratulations to those of you that held onto Venters when he was just a dominate set up man.
Jered Weaver, Johnny Cueto, Madison Bumgarner, Daniel Hudson, Carl Pavano, Ian Kennedy, Paul Maholm, Josh Outman, Jonathon Niese, Francisco Liriano, Jonny Venters, Mark Melancon, Joakim Soria, Brandon League
Josh Collmenter, Jonathan Sanchez, Colby Lewis, Josh Tomlin, Trevor Cahill, Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Alexi Ogando, Brandon Morrow, Craig Kimbrel, Leo Nunez, Jon Rauch