2012 Fantasy Baseball: Week 4 Pitching Breakdown



Henderson Alvarez (Toronto Blue Jays, 2.4% owned)

This week: @ Baltimore, home to Seattle

Alvarez does two things very well.  He generates a lot of ground balls and doesn’t allow many walks.  In three starts this year he has a 2.29 groundball-to-flyball ratio and has only issued four walks in 19.1 innings (1.86 BB/9).  You’d certainly like to see him get more swings-and-misses, but he can still provide value even without the strikeouts.  With two favorable matchups this week, Alvarez is a nice two-start option that is widely available.

Chris Capuano (Los Angeles Dodgers, 1.4% owned)

This week: home to Atlanta and Washington

I’ve mentioned this stat countless times in articles and on my podcast, but Capuano was one of only 30 starters last year with a K/BB over 3.00 and a SIERA of 3.60 or lower.  That doesn’t make him a top-30 pitcher, but it does mean he should probably be owned in more than 30% of leagues.  He also had an excellent swinging strike rate of 10.5% last year, so the 8.00+ K/9 was legit.  Capuano is legit, and two starts at home make him a good two-start option.


Derek Holland (Texas Rangers, 89% owned)

This week: home to New York and Tampa

I like Holland as a pitcher a lot (the jury is still out on his personality).  His control has improved steadily, he has some nice strikeout potential, and he will win a lot of games playing on what may be the best team in baseball.  But three solid starts to being 2012 is not yet enough to erase the memory of several blowups in 2011.  There were five times in 32 starts where Holland failed to pitch more than four innings.  And four of those five blowups occurred at home where his ERA was well over a run higher than it was on the road.  So with two tough teams headed to Texas this week, I’d be wary about trusting Holland.

Hiroki Kuroda (New York Yankees, 97% owned)

This week: @ Texas, home to Detroit

If you own Kuroda, the odds are that you weren’t going to start him this week anyway given his two poor starts in three outings.  But against these opponents, any thoughts about starting him that you might have been entertaining should disappear.  The Rangers are just punishing their opponents recently.  Their +52 run differential is greater than the combined run differential of the other five teams in the AL with a positive run differential.  You run the risk of taking a serious hit in the ratio categories by starting Kuroda this week.

Written by Brett Talley exclusively for thefantasyfix.com.  Brett is a law student in Dallas upon whom the jury is still out on as well.  You can follow him and/or ask him for fantasy advice on Twitter @therealTAL.

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