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We are nearing the halfway point in the MLB season already, and it seems like just yesterday I was ranting about Josh Collmenter drawing an opening day start for the Arizone Diamondbacks. Needless to say, I don’t believe he has been recommended in my pitching planner thus far this season, and he most certainly will not be on my list this week.

Throughout the season, we have touched on a few various points. Target a lineup as opposed to a pitcher himself. Fade a lineup, even if the pitcher has been solid. As always, you avoid Coors Field. And right now, it may be wise to avoid “North of the Wall” or if you are not a Game of Thrones fan, just don’t pick a matchup against Toronto.

I, personally, have also learned that I have zero luck predicting Houston Astros games (thanks Prince Felix). Yes, he is Prince in my opinion until further notice. Friday night, that was a joke. Oh, and not the good Prince either (Fielder). I’m referring to the Prince that has 10 brothers and zero chance of ever wearing the crown. In retrospect, him getting blasted actually won me some money, as everyone was on him in my daily league, and I went with Kershaw.

Wow, I went a little more in detail on that one than initially planned. So, back to this week’s pitching planner. We are looking for five pitchers to sit, and five to start in the upcoming week.

A quick look at the week, and something to certainly note, Houston and Colorado play one of those strange 2 and 2 series, with the final two at Coors Field. Colorado then remains home for a three-game set with the Milwaukee Brewers (certainly something to make note of if trying to grab a two start week out of Kyle Lohse or Matt Garza. Granted, I’ll ask this one for you, why in H – E – Double Hockey Sticks would you do that in the first place?

Anyways, five to start and five to sit… NOW!

This Week’s Pitching Planner

5 Pitchers to Start

1. Carlos Martinez, SP, St. Louis Cardinals

Martinez draws the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday, and the wheels may finally be coming off on the Twins joyride. Minnesota is 27th in runs scored away from home and last in runs scored over the last seven days. Martinez, meanwhile, is 3-1 with a 3.12 ERA at Busch Stadium this season.

2. Tanner Roark, SP, Washington Nationals

The Nationals have been a mystery all season, but Roark gets Alex Colome and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on Tuesday in a match-up I feel is very appealing for him. The Rays strikeout a ton, which could give Roark some unexpected upside, and Colome should assist Roark in picking up a victory.

3. Drew Hutchison, SP, Toronto Blue Jays

I can’t figure out Hutchison, he shows signs of life, then gets obliterated. I like his match-up against the New York Mets though, despite being at the Rogers Centre on Wednesday. Plus, he opposes Jonathan Niese, whom the Blue Jays should have fun with.

4. Alex Wood, SP, Atlanta Braves

An Atlanta starter is always risky with their inadequacies at the plate, however Boston struggles against lefties and away from Fenway, both things working in Wood’s favor when he starts against Joe Kelly and the Red Sox on Wednesday. If only Wood could start accumulating some strikeouts, he would begin to look like the pitcher he was last year.

5. Joe Ross, SP, Washington Nationals

There’s always a chance Ross does not get the ball on Thursday, but if he does, I like his match-up at home against Tampa Bay. Ross showed promise in his debut and a start against a weaker lineup like the Rays could be when he puts it all together. Plus, he should be very cheap to start in daily leagues. The one concern, he will start against Chris Archer.

5 Pitchers to Sit

1. Julio Teheran, SP, Atlanta Braves

Teheran is 1-2 with a 6.94 ERA away from Turner Field. He gets the Boston Red Sox at Fenway on Tuesday, and Boston is seventh in team batting average at home this season, batting at a .273 clip. They have also scored nearly 4.5 runs per game at Fenway Park. Plus, Teheran just hasn’t looked good/healthy at all this season.

2. Kyle Gibson, SP, Minnesota Twins

I mentioned Minnesota’s struggles of late, and a series with the St. Louis Cardinals may finally sink the ship. Gibson starts on the road against Carlos Martinez (mentioned above). Gibson is 1-2 with a 3.82 ERA on the road, nearly a run higher than his ERA at Target Field.

3. Scott Kazmir, SP, Oakland Athletics

Kazmir has been a significantly different pitcher on the road this season (1-3 with a 4.29 ERA), and while Petco Park is notoriously nice to pitchers, the Padres lineup has been clicking of late with 9 home runs and 49 runs scored in their last 11 games entering Saturday.

4. Carlos Rodon, SP, Chicago White Sox

Rodon has been exceptional this season, but I think his wildness has been somewhat disguised due to luck of the draw in terms of opponents (two starts against the free swinging Houston Astros). He has yet to pitch more than 6.1 innings in any start this season, and walks far too many batters, something a team like the Pittsburgh Pirates could expose on Monday. A 1.55 WHIP and nearly 4.5 BB/9 is frightening, and eventually, something that will burn him in a major way.

5. Mike Bolsinger, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers

Bolsinger gets the San Francisco Giants at home on Friday. While the Giants have been awful at home, their offense leads the league on the road (160 runs scored in 31 games). In addition, while Bolsinger has had a lot of success this season, this will be his second start against the Giants in 2015. Bolsinger has had a similar task one other time this season against the Colorado Rockies. In his first start, he allowed zero earned runs in six innings with six strikeouts. His second start, granted at Coors Field, went for five innings, four earned runs and nine hits plus walks allowed. Plus, he will oppose Mr. DomiNoNo, Chris Heston.

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