Fantasy Baseball Pitching Primer: Must Start and Spot Start Options for Week of June 27, 2011

This week is one where you either have the solid two start pitchers or you don’t.  The good options this week are for the most part not around in free agency or on waivers in your league.

Two-Start Pitchers

Must Starts:

Jhoulys Chacin, Colorado Rockies

Chacin has surpassed Ubaldo as the Rockies ace this year.  He has been unreal in his last 4 starts going at least six innings with no more than one run.

zack-greinke-fantasyZack Greinke, Milwaukee Brewers

Greinke has been unlucky this year but has still provided great strikeout numbers.  Other than one poor start with the wind blowing out at Wrigley, Greinke has made 5 quality starts in his last 6 games.

Cliff Lee, Philadelphia Phillies

Lee gets Boston’s juggernaut lineup in his first start, but owners should not worry.  The lefty is an elite talent who has hit his stride in a big way in his last few starts.

Ian Kennedy, Arizona Diamondbacks

Kennedy has flown under the radar this season, but has still provided owners with great numbers.  This week, he gets two struggling offenses in Cleveland and Oakland, so look for him to continue his run of success.

Other Must Starts: CJ Wilson, Texas Rangers; Josh Beckett, Boston Red Sox; Erik Bedard, Seattle Mariners; Jeremy Hellickson, Tampa Bay Rays

Take a Chance:

Brandon Beachy, Atlanta Braves

Beachy was absolutely phenomenal in his return from the DL this week, striking out 11 in just 6 innings.  However, this was not his first great pitching performance this season.  This week, he has one start in Seattle and one at home against the Orioles.  Beachy owns a 3.22 ERA overall and can provide solid strikeout totals.  Another reason to believe in Beachy is that he owns a 1.45 ERA against non-NL East opponents.

Spot Start Options

Jason Vargas, Seattle Mariners

Vargas was masterful against the Phillies at home last week and for most of the year has been solid.  This week, he gets the punchless San Diego offense at home.  Two of his last three home starts have been complete game shutouts.  The Padres provide less offensive firepower than the struggling Phillies and Rays, whom he already shut out, so give him a chance.

Carlos Zambrano, Chicago Cubs

There are rumors that Big Z may finally be getting his head straight, which is dangerous for opponents.  Long overcome by emotional outbursts, Zambrano has settled in for his last two starts with consecutive starts of at least 7 innings and three or fewer runs.  This week, Zambrano gets the Giants at Wrigley, where he owns a sub-4.00 ERA.  To top it off, he owns a 2.38 career ERA against the Giants, including a 1.64 mark last season.


* – Zack Greinke photo credit: Morry Gash — Associated Press via

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