August 04, 2008

Each week, we'll profile the projected two-start pitchers for the upcoming fantasy week. Keep in mind that these are subject to change as managers adjust their rotations over the weekend.

Brandon Webb: vs PIT (Duke); vs ATL (Hampton) -- Webb leads all of baseball with 15 wins and is 2-0 with a 1.96 ERA and 0.96 WHIP in three starts since the All-Star break. With the Jason Bay-less Pirates and Mark Teixeira-less Braves on the slate for the coming week, the right-hander has a very good chance of tacking on two more wins to that total.

Dan Haren: vs PIT (Herrera); vs ATL (Jurrjens) -- Since holding a 4.45 ERA in May, Haren has posted a 1.62 ERA in his last 11 starts. To top that off, he boasts a 2.20 ERA and 0.94 WHIP in 11 starts at Chase Field, where he'll make both of his starts in the upcoming week.

Roy Halladay: vs OAK (Greg Smith); vs CLE (Ginter) -- It's hard to find another hurler who's more consistently effective than Halladay. He's posted an ERA of 3.26 or less in each month this season, and he sports a 2.70 mark over his last four outings. The right-hander does hold a less-than-impressive 4.90 ERA and 1.62 WHIP in 12 career starts against Oakland, but the A's have scored the second fewest runs in the AL this year, so they don't pose much of a threat.

Joba Chamberlain: @ TEX (Padilla); @ LAA (Lackey) -- In three starts since the All-Star Game, Chamberlain is 2-0 with a 0.95 ERA and 0.84 WHIP. The Rangers have the best offense in baseball, and the Angels lineup has more punch following the Mark Teixeira acquisition, but Joba is one of the best in the game and is a must start no matter who's on the docket.

Chad Billingsley: @ STL (Carpenter); @ SF (Cain) -- Billingsley held a 2.32 ERA and 1.05 WHIP in six July starts, and the addition of Manny Ramirez to the Dodgers lineup should provide him with more run support. In two outings (one start) against the Giants this season, the hard-throwing right-hander holds a 0.96 ERA and 0.75 WHIP in 9.1 innings.

Ryan Dempster: vs HOU (Moehler); vs STL (Carpenter) -- Many doubted Dempster's ability to stay so effective for so long, but he's proven his doubters wrong. He's 12-4 with a 2.90 ERA in 23 starts this season, including boasting a 1.95 ERA in his last four starts. Plus, it's worth mentioning that he's 10-1 at Wrigley Field, where he'll make both of his starts next week.

Matt Cain: vs ATL (Jurrjens); vs LAD (Billingsley) -- Cain held a 4.06 ERA in the first half, but he's started the second half off on the right foot. Through his first three post-break starts, he holds a 1.64 ERA and 1.09 WHIP. Wins will always be hard to come by for any San Francisco pitcher, but Cain is on his game right now. And when he's on his game, he's one of the top hurlers in the National League.

Aaron Cook: vs WAS (Redding); vs SD (Maddux) -- He's done it rather quietly, but Cook's 14 wins this season are second to only Brandon Webb in the National League. With the Nationals and Padres -- the two lowest-scoring teams in baseball -- on the schedule for the upcoming week, the sinkerballer is a strong starting option.

Cliff Lee: @ TB (Garza); @ TOR (Richmond) -- At 14-2, Lee has been one of the top starts in the American League. He's hit a recent rough patch, however, allowing eight earned runs over his last 13 innings (5.54 ERA), spanning two starts. That said, in two starts against the Rays and Blue Jays this year (15 innings), he didn't allow a single run. We don't expect him to stay down for long.

Jair Jurrjens: @ SF (Cain); @ ARI (Haren) -- Jurrjens may just be the most underrated starter in the National League. Acquired from the Tigers in the Edgar Renteria deal over the offseason, Jurrjens has posted sub-4.00 ERAs in each month this year. He has excelled on the road this season (2.77 ERA, 1.12 WHIP in 11 starts), making him a good bet for the upcoming week.

Gavin Floyd: vs DET (Robertson); vs BOS (Buchholz) -- Floyd has been hit or miss this year. Fortunately, the majority of his "hits" have come at home (2.49 ERA, 0.99 WHIP), where he's set to make both of his starts next week. Plus, in three starts against Detroit this year, he's 2-0 with a 2.79 ERA.

Andy Pettitte: @ TEX (Harrison); @ LAA (Saunders) -- Pettitte holds a 5.33 ERA over his last four outings, but his last start (9 ER in 5.1 IP against the Angels) is the main reason for that bloated number. However, with the Angels on the slate again next week, you'll want to keep your expectations tempered.

Joe Saunders: vs BAL (Sarfate); vs NYY (Pettitte) -- Saunders is 2-0 with a 3.26 ERA in three starts since the All-Star break. However, the Orioles have hit him hard this season (5.40 ERA in two starts), and he holds an ugly 10.80 ERA in two career starts against the Yankees, so the stars may not be aligned for the Angels starter next week.

Edinson Volquez: vs MIL (Bush); vs HOU (Rodriguez) -- Volquez was one of the best surprises of the first half, but he's wearing down. After a 3.45 ERA in June, he posted a 4.54 mark in July, including a 5.87 ERA in his last three starts. It's possible he'll experience a resurgence at some point in the coming months, but for now he's not a worthy option. Don't be surprised if he posts an ERA north of 4.00 in the second half.

Chris Young: @ NYM (Pelfrey); @ COL (Francis) -- In his first start since returning from the DL, Young hurled five shutout innings against the Diamondbacks, striking out eight in the process. That's definitely a good sign for the right-hander going forward, but a 6.58 road ERA this year (compared to a 2.18 mark at PETCO Park) means he should be left on the pine for the upcoming week.

Chris Carpenter: vs LAD (Billingsley); @ CHC (Dempster) -- Carpenter is back in the Cardinals rotation after being sidelined for roughly a year and half while recovering from Tommy John surgery. In his season debut on Wednesday, he tossed four innings of one-run ball, walking two and striking out two. Carpenter figures to have command issues as he continues to work his way into top form, so he has to be considered a risk fantasy proposition for at least the next couple of weeks.

Sean Gallagher: @ TOR (Richmond); @ DET (Robertson) -- Since coming over to the A's in the Rich Harden trade, Gallagher holds a nice 3.22 ERA. The problem is, that ERA is accompanied by a very dangerous 1.70 WHIP, which can be blamed at least partly on his horrid 6.1 BB/9 rate. Gallagher has good potential, but he'll be a risk until he gets a handle on his control problems.

Manny Parra: @ CIN (Arroyo); vs WAS (Lannan) -- The Brewers have been struggling of late, and so has Parra. In his three outings since the All-Star break, he's 1-2 with a 4.74 ERA and 1.63 WHIP. Not only that, but he hasn't fared well against the Reds and Nationals this year, having allowed 10 earned runs in combined 10.2 innings. He's best left on the bench this week.

Mike Pelfrey: vs SD (Young); vs FLA (Johnson) -- Pelfrey is a tough guy to dissect this week. On one hand, he boasts a 2.25 ERA and 1.14 WHIP at Shea Stadium, where he'll make both of his starts this week. On the other hand, he holds a 5.50 ERA in three starts since the All-Star break. Keep your expectations tempered.

Vicente Padilla: vs NYY (Chamberlain); @ BAL (Cabrera) -- After posting a 3.79 ERA in April and a 3.53 mark in May, Padilla stumbled to ERAs of 5.23 and 6.35 in June and July, respectively. On the bright side, he is 2-0 with a 3.60 ERA in three post-break starts, so perhaps he's turning things around. Still, he's a questionable start right now in anything but AL-only leagues.

Gil Meche: vs BOS (Buchholz); vs MIN (Hernandez) -- Meche's 4.22 ERA this year isn't particularly noteworthy, but that mark is largely inflated from a ghastly 7.81 ERA in April. Since then, he's posted a 3.28 ERA in 17 starts, including a 2.33 mark in his last four outings. The right-hander is an underrated option right now.

Matt Garza: vs CLE (Lee); @ SEA (Batista) -- Garza is coming off one of his best outings of the year, a complete game shutout against the Blue Jays on July 29. One might think that would be enough to make him a great option for the upcoming week. Not so fast. In 7.2 innings against the Indians and Mariners this year, spanning two starts, he's allowed 10 runs (11.69 ERA). Plus, one of his starts this week comes on the road, where he holds a 5.13 ERA this year.

Bronson Arroyo: vs MIL (Parra); vs HOU (Moehler)Wandy Rodriguez: @ CHC (Harden); @ CIN (Volquez)Jamie Moyer: vs FLA (Johnson); vs PIT (Herrera)Clay Buchholz: @ KC (Meche); @ CWS (Floyd) Josh Johnson: @ PHI (Moyer); @ NYM (Pelfrey)Livan Hernandez: @ SEA (Batista); @ KC (Meche)Edwin Jackson: @ CLE (Carmona); @ SEA (Dickey) Greg Smith: @ TOR (Halladay); @ DET (GalarragaTim Redding: @ COL (Cook); @ MIL (Sheets)John Lannan: @ COL (Francis); @ MIL (Parra)Jeff Francis: vs WAS (Lannan); vs SD (Young)Nate Robertson: @ CWS (Floyd); vs OAK (Gallagher)Brian Moehler: @ CHC (Dempster); @ CIN (Arroyo)Mike Hampton: @ SF (Sanchez); @ ARI (Webb) Miguel Batista: vs MIN (Hernandez); vs TB (Garza) Matt Harrison: vs NYY (Pettitte); @ BA (Sarfate)R.A. Dickey: vs MIN (Baker); vs TB (Jackson)Dennis Sarfate: @ LAA (Saunders); vs TEX (Harrison) Yoslan Herrara: @ ARI (Haren); @ PHI (Moyer) Scott Richmond: vs OAK (Gallagher); vs CLE (Lee)

The Twins have yet to make a move, but there are reports that Livan Hernandez will be designated for assignment today, opening up a rotation spot for Francisco Liriano, who started and won Sunday against Cleveland.

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