Finally Jim Mora and Robert Horry will pay attention to their fantasy baseball teams.  Last week got all flummoxed with all that Irene business. Not my fault the patent is still pending on my weather machine. This week let’s hope we are back to some sense of normalcy.  Wait, off course we are…  Strasburg is back!  It’s like the Beatles playing Shea in ‘63.  No, not really, but it’s still exciting.  Some playoff systems lock their rosters so if your reading this to just read this, thanks for being a faithful reader.  Others, start as many as you can.  Stats are stats.  I would rather go down fighting than sit there like a bump on a log.  Well, good luck this week in both the fantasy baseball playoffs and the first week of fantasy football.  (Please keep in mind that pitchers and matchups change.)


Bruce Chen @ Oak – Moscoso
R.A. Dickey @ Fla – Hensley
Joe Saunders @Col – Millwood
Aaron Harang vs. SF – Cain

Mike Minor @ NYM – Gee
Luke Hochevar @ Sea – Vargas

Mark Buehrle vs. Cle – Gomez
Bud Norris vs. Was – Hernandez
Brandon McCarthy @ Tex – Lewis
Brett Cecil vs. Bal – Guthrie

Henderson Alvarez (Bos vs. Beckett, Bal vs. Reyes) Anyone who reads my posts knows I love me some ground ball pitchers, sop them up with a biscuit.  Temptation is there to sit him against the Sawx, but you do what you do.

Jake Westbrook (Mil vs. Wolf, Atl vs. Hudson) I am going to run out of biscuits this week.  Pitching better, I wanna pat him on the head and say it’s too late for the Cards, but I hate breaking peoples’ spirits.

James McDonald (Hou vs. Sosa, Fla vs. Vazquez) Return of the Mack…. Yes, I did.  Wow, that was my jam when I was crossing over out of my high top fade days.  His WHIP makes me do the sour pickle face, home starts make me do the pee pee dance but in a good way.

Fausto Carmona (Det vs. Porcello, @Chw vs. Stewart) His name translated means unsolvable enigma.  That’s really not true, but it was fun to type.  You know his whole story, he has been on this weekly post more than anyone.  Buy two-ply just in case.

John Lannan (LAD vs. Kuroda, Hou vs. Rodriguez) Home sweet home.  ERA is way lower and he needs to keep the place clean for when Stras’ pitches.

Josh Collmenter (@Col vs. Rogers, SD vs. LeBlanc) Start all D-Backs, no matter when, no matter where.  That’s my new theory.  It has replaced “eatin’ ain’t cheatin.”

Javier Vazquez (NYM vs. Capuano, @Pit vs. McDonald) I don’t know who is more of an agita inducer, him or Fausto.  Could be the Montezuma’s revenge kicking in.  Ks are always nice and I would always like to play for my great grandfather.

Henry Sosa (@Pit vs. McDonald, @Was vs. Strasburg) I really wanted to work both Stras’ starts in here, but left Ted Lilly at the bagel store.  27-year-old rookie basically getting by on deception.  Is this week’s “it’s 2 o’clock and I don’t want to sleep alone special.”

Felipe Paulino (@Oak vs. Harden, @Sea vs. Beavan) I was having a debate with a friend, who would be a better love therapist Phil Collins or REO Speedwagon?  You’re asking yourself,  “How does this relate to Felipe Paulino?”  It doesn’t but thanks for reading and now you’re thinking of Phil Collins.  Mission accomplished.

Wade Miley (@Col vs. Cook, SD vs. Stauffer) I like anyone who plays for the Snakes right now.  Team is gritty with neck tattoos and a gruff disposition.  Sounds like I was reading a profile off of American Grizzly.

Chris Capuano (@Fla vs. Vazquez, CHC vs. Wells) You’re welcome, I gave you 11 guys this week.  Mainly because I can’t count.

  1. Oilcan Giuseppe says:

    Smokey:I can say w/out a hint of irony that I really love Phil Collins.He became one of the biggest musicians on the planet despite being a weird,bald little british dude.Anyway,I trust ugly people more to give love advice…..

    could you rank these SP’s for the playoffs?10 team 8×8 h2h keeper(IP,K’s,K/9 and QS are categories)….

    Oswalt,Pineda,Scherzer,Fister and Ubaldo.Also,if necessary,which would you drop first?


  2. Oilcan Giuseppe says:

    also,12 team 5×5….for a spot start,do you like Cahill vs SEA?

    btw….its kinda sad/crazy to think that its come to the point where I have to even think about whether or not to start Cahill AT HOME vs the Mariners.This guy has really fell off.I know plenty of people have been predicting a correction for a while,and I have never been crazy about him,but still….

  3. Smokey

    Smokey says:

    @Oilcan Giuseppe: You are a faithful reader, and thank you for that. Phil has definitely been scorned that’s all i’m saying. As for the rankings I would go Fister, Ubaldo as 1 and 1A. For this week, followed by Oswalt Pineda and than Scherzer. Pineda doesnt have more than 2 starts left so be leery of that. i don’t trust Cahill versus anyone anymore. i thought it was just against good teams that he was awful but his MPH are down and walks are up. Never good.

  4. WDE05 says:

    Ok, sort of a long question here, but I’d love to get Smokey or anyone else’s thoughts on my pitchers for the 1st week of the playoffs…

    Its a 12 team league. Pitching stats are: Ws, SVs, HRs, Ks, GIDP, ERA, WHIP.

    I don’t feel great about my match-ups and most of my starts are on the road. Also, I only have 2 pitchers with 2 starts on my team giving me a total of 10 starts for the week…

    Verlander: @Clev(Masterson)
    Beachy: @Philly(Oswalt)
    Hudson: @Philly(Worley) @STL (Westbrook)
    Dempster: Cincy(Cueto)
    Saunders: @Col(Milwood)
    Bumgarner: @SD (Stauffer) LAD
    Strasburg: LAD(Lilly) Houston

    My opponent also doesn’t have the greatest match-ups, but all 3 of his high K guys are going twice and he has 12 starts:

    Gallardo: @STL(Lohse) Philly
    AJ Burnett: Balt (Britton)
    Shields: Tex (Feldman) Boston
    Jackson: ATL
    Nolasco: @Pitt
    Jiminez: Det (Fister) @CWS (Humber)
    Dickey: @Fla (Hensley)
    Felix Hernandez: @LAA(Santana) KC

    Another thing to factor in is that I think should have an edge on saves with my 3 closers (Kimbrel, Walden, Parnell) over his two (Axford, Soria).

    I feel like I have 2 options:

    1. Stick with my current roster, but go into the week only planning to start Verlander and Bumgarner. We have a minimum 18 innings requirement, but those 3 starts should get me there. If they don’t I could start Strasburg on Sunday vs LAD.

    Obviously this is a big gamble because if any of those starts are bad, I’m screwed. Assuming they pitch the way I would expect, I should win ERA, WHIP, and HRs allowed. If I also win saves, that gives me the majority of the pitching cats.

    2. I currently have 4 bench position players and I can drop 2 or 3 of those guys. I could also dump one of my current pitchers with a bad matchup. Then pick up 2-4 2 start guys to give myself the edge on starts for the week.

    This gives me a shot to compete in every cat, but I’m still not sure I like my chances, esp in Ks given that most of the 2 start guys available aren’t reliable strikeout guys.

    In addition to the 2 start guys listed in the article, what do you think about Humber coming off the DL @ Minn (swarzak) and Clev (Jiminez)?

    Really appreciate any advice/thoughts you guys can offer. This is my first year playing fantasy so I’ve been learning as I go the entire year.

  5. mccourtcollettitorre says:


    Batters on your bench and categories? In your one scenario, you look to win SV, HR, ERA, WHIP. You say that requires Bumgarner and Verlander to do well. Why do they have to do well? You an always try this formula: W, SV, K, and GIDP, which gives you the same 4 wins. See how it goes through Wednesday, possibly Thursday, and if you’re not comfortably in the lead in HR, ERA and WHIP you might want to think about pitching 4 SPs a day. If you go that route, try matchups, since decent shot of 1 of the 2 getting the W (you’d be happy with a Weaver like 6 ER but gets the W). And with the GIDP, don’t be afraid to pickup a low-medium K GB pitcher (some can put up Ks while others put up GIDP). Adjust the mix according to what the current count is for K and GIDP. If you need to drop a pitcher to add one, I’d start with Saunders. By the way, any closers available? If you’re looking to win W, SV, K and GIDP only the SV matter (so even the worst on Grey’s brain freeze list will do)(you can of course bench the brain freeze until next week if he manages to not brain freeze and you’re looking good in SV, HR, ERA, and WHIP at the end of Wednesday/Thursday). Have some faith in your guys. The only ones who have to perform are Kimbrel, Walden and Parnell, so you can win SV (well, they need the SV chances and then to do well). If the others suck wind, then you start 4 SPs a day from Thursday on. And if it comes to that, make sure you add/drop at the first moment available, to make sure that there is someone to add.

  6. jamesmetsfan says:

    Hey Grey,

    I have alot of bad SP matchups next week. Whip and ERA are very tight in my league so im thinking of picking up a RP just who can help in that (saves and wins arent an issue).

    Im looking at guys like Betancourt, Romo, Benoit and others. WHo would you pick up (doesnt have to be from my list)?


  7. Dr Zach says:


    Playoff decisions in my points league- at the corner IF spots I have an option of activating the icecold Youk who has 7 in TOR/TB and has hit below .200 away from the Fens this season- OR sticking with Billy Butler (7 at OAK SEA) OR I can use Duda at 1B and Bourjos in the OF (6 games at home where he rakes-including 3 LHP)

    And I need to pick 2 SP – McCarthy at TEX Minor at NYM (Doubleheader so maybe diluted lineup) Surkamp at SD or two start fliers like LANNAN (LAD HOU) or ALVAREZ (BOS BAL)


  8. Matt says:

    With Wells going up against Morton today in Chicago, should I start Wells if I need K’s and W’s and my innings are getting tight?

  9. Smokey

    Smokey says:

    @WDE05: Well I wouldnt just rest on my laurels and start the 3 best start guys. No on Humber, bench bats are a waste come playoffs i would load up on any one or 2 definite 2 start guys listed dont know who is available so use your best judgement or send me another message if you need an opinion on who to pick up.

    @jamesmetsfan: Jim Johnson, Loe, Benoit

    @Matt: Wells has had 2 stellar starts for his standards in a row. I don’t think he can do it again.

  10. Matt says:

    Thanks. What do you think about Hudson at the Giants? Still needing W’s and K’s

  11. Smokey

    Smokey says:

    @Matt: Definite start

  12. Dr. Zach says:


    Playoff decisions in my points league- at the corner IF spots I have an option of activating the icecold Youk who has 7 in TOR/TB and has hit below .200 away from the Fens this season- OR sticking with Billy Butler (7 at OAK SEA) OR I can use Duda at 1B and Bourjos in the OF (6 games at home where he rakes-including 3 LHP)

    Or i can pick up Encarnacion and start him instead of Butler/Youk

    And I need to pick 2 SP – McCarthy at TEX Minor at NYM (Doubleheader so maybe diluted lineup) Surkamp at SD or two start fliers like LANNAN (LAD HOU) or ALVAREZ (BOS BAL)


  13. MrHappytime says:

    Better 2 start option, Lilly or Fister?

  14. WDE05 says:


    Thanks a ton for taking the time to offer your thoughts. My league has a moves cap of 75 and I’m currently at 59, so streaming pitchers isn’t a great option although if it comes to that late in the week I’ll have to do it.

    Its funny you ask about another closer, because right after I posted this, I saw that Betancourt had solidified the closer’s role for Colorado so I picked him up.

    Regarding the offense, the stats are: Rs, 2bs, HRs, SB, RBI, AVG, and OBP.

    My current lineup is:

    1b: Butler
    2b: Lawrie
    3b: Sandavol
    SS: Asdrubal
    OF: Hamilton, Holiday, Duda
    Bn: Bourjos, Tabata, Freese (dropped Eric Young for Betancourt)

    I’m considering dropping one of the bench guys in favor of Dee Gordon, Pennington, or gasp…Kelly Johnson (who I drafted and stomached till late July) Then I if I decided to try and go after all the cats, I could drop the other 1 or 2 of the other bench guys for 2 start pitchers. Tough call there because Bourjos has been great of late, so maybe dump Tabata and Saunders.

  15. WDE05 says:


    Thanks Doc, here are the 2 start guys available. Also, see my previous post for further explanation of my bench situation etc.

    Westbrook: Mil (Wolf), ATL (Hudson)
    Lannan: LAD (Kuroda), Houston (Rodriguez)
    Sosa: @Pitt (McDonald), Wash (strasburg) Miley: @Col (Cook), SD (Stauffer)
    Capuano: @Fla (Vazquez), Cubs (Wells)
    Duffy: @Oak (Gonzalez), @Sea

  16. WDE05 says:

    Also, add James McDonald to the list of available 2 start guys…

  17. WDE05 says:


    Messed up on my post about my current bench guys. I have Bourjos at Util and Ryan Roberts is the 3rd guy on my bench. I hate to drop Roberts because he has been huge for me this year, but I guess Bourjos provides more upside than him at this point.

  18. Cheese

    Cheese says:

    Bud Norris in a 1 start @ WAS, or Felipe Paulino and his 2 starts @SEA and @OAK?

  19. jacks says:

    I have a 3.45 ERA and 1.204 WHIP and will likely need a 3.35 and 1.185 to earn enuff pitching pts to win my league. I’ll also probably need 10-12 wins, but ERA and WHIP are more important. Undecided whether I should be aggressive and take risks on two start pitchers or play it conservative … who would you sit? I can use up to 6 starters given my lead in saves, but it might make sense only start 5: Hamels @ MIL, Marcum vPHI, Ervin v SEA, Bedard @ TB, Wandy @ WA, Billz @ WA, Ubaldo vs DET and @ CHW, Stauffer vs SF and @ AZ? appreciate any help! thx.

  20. WDE05 says:


    FYI, Paulino is probably not going to make his start tomorrow.

  21. Smokey

    Smokey says:

    @jacks: Stauffer and Bedard for sure.

  22. Cheese

    Cheese says:

    @Smokey: Re: Norris vs Paulino

    What if I told you that QS is also a category in my H2H league?
    My opponent has Haren, Bumgarner, Carmona and Garcia going twice. I currently have Capuano and Fister going twice. He will outnumber be in starts 9-7 as it stands right now. Am I still better off with the Norris start, or do I gamble with Paulino?


  23. Cheese

    Cheese says:

    @WDE05: What makes you say that?

  24. Smokey

    Smokey says:

    @Cheese: Yea, Carmona and QS go together like pop tarts and ketchup. Someone posted a link about Paulino above.

  25. SetPhaserstoDL says:

    @ Smokey

    Hold Chacin? H2H playoffs begin next week and I’m sure there will be heavy streaming in my daily lineup set league. Any idea how long it will take before he gets back? Thoughts on his massive rise in walks?

  26. WDE05 says:


    Yesterday there was an article saying he would probably miss the start because of a back injury with a quote from the manager saying he planned to play it safe etc. Just found this today, so it looks like maybe he’s going to pitch…

    Felipe Paulino (back) is expected to be ready to make his scheduled start Monday against the Athletics.
    Paulino was scratched from his last outing due to back spasms, and there was concern that he might miss an additional start. But, he threw a bullpen session Saturday with no issues. Royals manager Ned Yost wanted to make sure the righty felt fine Sunday before officially clearing him for Monday. “He passed all of his tests (Saturday),” Yost said. “But we’ll see how he feels (Sunday).” If Paulino should have a setback, Nate Adcock would get another spot start. Sep. 4 – 12:34 pm et
    Source: Kansas City Star

  27. mccourtcollettitorre says:


    The max moves does put a damper on streaming, though as you said, if you need to. Smokey and I have a differing view on value of bench, which bench I would say is more important here with your max moves. Check your Thursday. Should have a full lineup for Monday. See whether the bench guys will be able to fill a void on Thursday. Check your worthy opponent’s Thursday as well. Try to exploit Thursday if you can.

    The disparity in pitching match-ups isn’t that great. Your opponent’s advantage is rather more in number of starts (Gallardo could win 2, with an ERA of 4.75, 15 Ks and a 1.47 WHIP)(he’s that damn variable and within the same game)(I know, I have him on 2 teams). As for your bench, Tabata would be the first to go. Tough call with Sandoval v. Freese. Re Gordon, who else is going to steal a base for your team? If you think he can put you over the stop…otherwise, as they say in the Navy, a stern chase is a long chase (so take a look at what your worthy opponent’s team might steal)(can’t really do it in roto quite so much, but not always a losing proposition to punt SB in H-2-H, especially as the league adds more scoring categories and so my best team this year has never won the SB category on the week).

    Back to max moves, how many does he/she have? If he/she has plenty, then he/she can also do the W, SV, K, GIDP thing and you might see that later in the week from her/his end, so be prepared (just pray that you have the SV lead at the time). And good luck. And with luck, Betancourt saves 3 and puts up 6 K (that’s near one start) with a 0.00 ERA and 1.00 WHIP (despite the G man having him on the brain freeze list, I added him a couple weeks back as well on a few teams; just hold out for another month there, Rafael, that’s all I’m asking friend).

    Lastly, for why I rarely take the 2 start folks, if they were that reliable over two starts they wouldn’t be in the free agent pool. Save some moves next year, and once you well and truly believe that the bye positions are beyond hope, then just finish in the playoff eligible with only those moves expected to be for the duration (no flavor of the week), so you have some moves left to add SPs and batters for Thursday (3 through 6, they’re all the one (in my best Willie Frazer voice), playing this week, in fact, so what’s the difference between them?; in one league, first round this just finished week, with 8 of 16 and I told them all that last time it was 8 for me, I was 5 and 5-8 all won week one, so I’d be doing that ole voodoo to ensure that top seed me didn’t go out, what with no bye, and so I won this week, while 2, 3 and 4 did not, so it didn’t matter, they might as well have been 5, 6, and 7, and next time they might try the ole voodoo). And none of the above is criticism, just a friendly word or forty. And, again, good luck.

  28. Black Beard says:

    Please pick 3 to start this week. I’m befuddled.


    T. Hudson @PHI, @STL
    Carp MIL
    Colon @LAA
    Romero BOS
    Niemann Tex
    Masterson DET
    Collmenter @COL, SD

  29. Monkeyshocker says:

    Is Sizemore worth taking a flier on over Angel Pagan, LoMo, or Cuddyer?

  30. chata says:

    ozzie takes santos out

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