The Red Sox are finally starting to get their money's worth out of John Lackey and Josh Beckett for the 2011 season. After a horrific start from both hurlers, the Red Sox have gotten a combined 6 quality starts out of the last seven trips to the mound for these two. They both have favorable matchups this week and are worth owning in any league at this point.
The White Sox staff gets to face the offensively challenged Mariners this coming weekend and the back end of the Athletics' rotation gets to feast on the slumping Royals. There are several good pitching matchups this week, you just need to know where to look.
Wednesday, May 4
Josh Beckett faces the Los Angeles Angels at home. Beckett is coming off his first non-quality start in four tries but he's poised to get back on track. before giving up 4 runs in 6 innings to Baltimore last week Beckett had allowed just 3 eraned runs in his previous 23 innings. His WHIP so far is 0.85 and he is striking out a solid 8.47 batters per nine innings. The Angels are 4-6 in their previous 10 games while the Red Sox are 6-4 in that time. The Sox are streaking and are looking to take advantage of the inconsistent offense of the Angels.
Michael Pineda takes his second turn against the Texas Rangers in 2011 and Tristan Cockcroft wonders if that is a good thing. Pineda's worst start came against Texas, but that was his major league debut and it wasn't all that bad: 6 innings, 3 earned runs, 4 K's. Texas is coming off a losing trip in Oakland and is vulnerable, look for Pineda to improve upon his first time against the Rangers.
Thursday, May 5
A.J. Burnett suffered his first loss as a Yankee in April, now he goes against Miguel Cabrera and the Detroit Tigers on Thursday. I expect the real Burnett will show up and show us why we didn't draft him this season, he is the face of inconsistency in fantasy baseball. Historically he isn't that bad in May, but a trip Detroit might not be a good thing. The Tigers are slumping, but all they need is one bad start from Burnett to get back on track. I would drop or at least not start Burnett against Detroit.
Friday, May 6
John Lackey is rebounding from his terrible start to the year. He has given up just 3 earned runs in his last 20 innings and has walked just 6 batters during that time. He is facing Minnesota who is without Delmon Young, Joe Mauer and a producing Justin Morneau. Lackey might not end up being a top fantasy option by the end of 2011, but right now he is on fire and should be started in any format.
Edinson Volquez gets a nice trip to Wrigley this week as he takes on the Cubs on Friday. Volquez wasn't stellar in his last two starts, but the Cubs are 23rd in baseball in runs scored and are asking to be taken advantage of. Volquez has struck out 11 batters in his last 10.2 innings and is in need of a dominant performance. He is a great spot start option if he isn't owned in your league.\
Sunday, May 8
In his second start of the year Tyson Ross threw seven scoreless innings against the Angels and racked up 3 K's on April 27. now he faces Kansas City over the weekend. In deeper formats he is a good option because he pitches for a good defensive team, he is playing against a poor offense, and he has very strong strikeout potential.
Erik Bedard is healthy, for now and looked strong in his most recent outing against Detroit. He went 7 innings, giving up just 1 earned run with 3 K's and no walks. In his first four starts of the season he allowed 11 walks, but by walking none in his last start he showed us his control issue might be behind him. He's a must start in deeper formats and will garner a look in standard mized leagues soon.