Bass, Garcia earn the nod

Bass, Garcia earn the nod

Published Jun. 4, 2012 1:00 a.m. ET

Start ‘Em

Anthony Bass (SF, @MIL)
The 24-year-old was hit hard in May, evidenced by his 5.30 ERA in six starts on the month. However, Bass still owns a respectable 1.30 WHIP, and his 3.63 FIP and 3.65 xFIP illustrate he’s been the bearer of bad luck. San Francisco’s offense has been stalled since Pablo Sandoval hit the sideline, and Milwaukee ranks 25th in team batting average with a .240 mark, providing Bass the proper platform to bounce back. In NL-only or deeper formats, Bass deserves the nod this week.

Jason Hammel (@BOS, PHI)
It seems fantasy aficionados are waiting for Hammel to regress, despite the Baltimore pitcher’s sabermetrics suggesting such a development is unlikely. The main catalyst for Hammel’s career year has been his ability to force opposing hitters into grounders (which has a higher correlation to outs compared to line drives and fly balls), as his 53.8 ground-ball percentage is nearly 10 points higher than last season’s rate. If he continues to cut down on conceding frozen ropes and maintains his elevated strikeout frequency (8.46 K/9 in 2012 versus a 4.97 mark in 2011), the sky’s the limit for Hammel.

Jeff Samardzija (@SF, @MIN)
The advent of the Shark is finally coming to fruition. In six games in May (40 innings), Samardzija was 4-2 with 40 punch-outs, a 2.48 ERA and 1.05 WHIP. Better yet, his .304 BABIP, 2.98 FIP and 3.14 xFIP support that the best is yet to come with Samardzija. As previously alluded to, the Giants have done little to inflict fear into their adversaries, and the Twins enter the week ranked 23rd in baseball in team runs. The Cubs offense is fairly feeble itself, hurting Samardzija’s shot at racking up Ws, but he will do wonders for your team’s ERA, WHIP and strikeout totals.


Other Start ‘Ems
Clayton Kershaw (@PHI, @SEA)
Chad Billingsley (@PHI, @SEA)
Andy Pettitte (TB, NYM)
Cliff Lee (LAD, @BAL)
James Shields (@NYY, @MIA)
Ricky Romero (@CHW, @ATL)
Jordan Zimmermann (NYM, @BOS)
Kyle Lohse (@NYM, CLE)
Yovani Gallardo (CHC, SD)
Ryan Dempster (@MIL, @MIN)
Ryan Vogelsong (CHC, TEX)
Anibal Sanchez (ATL, TB)

Sit ‘Em

Jason Vargas (@LAA, LAD)
He’s got six wins and a respectable 3.45 ERA to his credit, but there’s a lot not to like about Vargas. In eight outings away from Safeco Field, Vargas possesses a 4.32 ERA, miles away from his 1.91 mark at home. The Seattle arm’s sabermetrics don’t paint a pretty picture either, as his .223 BABIP, 4.16 FIP and 4.33 xFIP are waving major red flags. With Matt Kemp returning to the DL, the Dodgers offense is far from ferocious, and the Angels remain ranked in the bottom third in the league in runs, yet one is dancing with the devil in implementing Vargas at this juncture.

Drew Smyly (CLE, @CIN)
Don’t be fooled by Smyly’s 3.46 ERA. In the rookie’s last four appearances, Smyly has surrendered 16 runs (15 earned) and a .306 batting average. Worse, he was taken yard six times in that time frame. Considering his two scheduled starts are coming at the launching pads of Great America Ball Park (first in home runs allowed) and Comerica Park (eighth), it’s probably best that Smyly sits this one out.

Jarrod Parker (TEX, @ARI)
Parker has pitched admirably in his seven starts in the young season, flaunting a sub-3.00 ERA and a 6.4 K/9 mark in 40.2 innings. Alas, Parker’s 4.71 xFIP is almost two runs higher than his ERA, and his .270 BABIP, while not astronomically low, is still cause for concern. And while the Arizona bats are struggling to get something going, a meeting with baseball’s best lineup in the Texas Rangers doesn’t foretell success for the Oakland neophyte. Even in AL-only formats, don’t utilize Parker this week.

Other Sit ‘Ems
Ubaldo Jimenez (@DET, @STL)
Tim Lincecum (@SD, TEX)
Christian Friedrich (@ARI, LAA)
Will Smith (MIN, @PIT)
Jeremy Guthrie (@ARI, LAA)
Lucas Harrell (STL, @CHW)
Cole DeVries (@KC, CHC)
Dillon Gee (STL, @NYY)
Travis Blackley (TEX, @ARI)

Use Caution

Jaime Garcia (@HOU, CLE)
His 1.40 WHIP is a career high, and Garcia finished May with a 4.78 ERA on the month. However, matchups with Houston and Cleveland certainly won’t inflict fear into Garcia fantasy owners, and Garcia hasn’t exactly been the beneficiary of providence, demonstrated by his bloated .351 BABIP and diminutive 2.48 FIP. Understandable if owners are nursing their wounds from last month’s burns, but the forecast looks bright for Garcia going forward.

Scott Feldman (@OAK, @SF)
I’m sure San Francisco can’t be thrilled at the endorsement of three of their challengers this week. Then again, if their collective OBP wasn’t under .320, then maybe we wouldn’t be having this discussion. Anyway, Feldman has suffered three straight losses in the starting rotation for the Rangers, but aside from a bruising at the hands of Seattle, he’s been mostly effective in his role, relinquishing just two earned runs in the other two starts. For those looking for cheap wins this week, Feldman is a medium-risk, high-reward play.

Brad Lincoln (@CIN, KC)
Lincoln has quietly put together one of the best performances in the first half, brandishing a 3-0 record with a 1.04 ERA and 0.92 WHIP in 26 innings this season. With the Pirates dealing with injuries to Charlie Morton and Jeff Karstens, Lincoln will get a chance to showcase his stuff in a starting role. The former first-round pick went six solid innings earlier this year in the starting gig, giving up just four hits and two runs against the Marlins. Cincinnati can be a dangerous offense at home, but the Royals are nothing to be worried about. In NL-only or deeper leagues, Lincoln warrants a hard look this week.

Other Cautions
Joe Saunders (COL, OAK)
Tim Hudson (@MIA, TOR)
Ervin Santana (SEA, @COL)
Jon Lester (BAL, WAS)
Philip Humber (TOR, HOU)
Homer Bailey (PIT, DET)
Chris Young (@WAS, @NYY)
Vance Worley (LAD, @BAL)