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Rundown: The knuckler – floating butterfly, or stinging bee?

Scott Pianowski
Roto Arcade

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Getting close to the finish line. Consider every pitcher on this list to be tentative, as usual. I'll try to update this list over the weekend as new information becomes available.

Double-Dips, National League, Sept. 12-18
1. Cole Hamels (at Hou, Stl): It's ridiculous when this is your No. 3 starter
2. Matt Cain (SD, at Col): Ten career starts in Coors: 3.01/1.27
3. Brandon Beachy (Fla, NY): Surprisingly, sharper numbers on the road
4. Roy Oswalt (at Hou, Stl): He's missed bats in three of last four turns
5. Johnny Cueto (Chi, MIL): Heads up, Dontrelle Willis might push Cueto back
6. Ted Lilly (Ari, Pit): Whip-master (1.05) and strikeout ace in second half
7. Ryan Dempster (at Cin, Hou): Too late for bad luck to even out
8. R.A. Dickey (Was, at Atl): He's allowed 3 ER or less in nine straight turns
9. Aaron Harang (at SF, Ari): Generally you trust him in the big parks
10. Joe Saunders (at LA, at SD): Nothing daunting about this schedule
11. Dillon Gee (Was, at Atl): He's pitched like Wendell Gee for a while now
12. Eric Surkamp (SD, at Col): Didn't look bad in first two turns, but beware Coors
13. Brett Myers (Phi, at Chi): Likes it at Wrigley: 1.52/0.83 over 51 IP
14. Bud Norris (Phi, at Chi): Unlucky six wins despite solid profile
15. Chad Billingsley (Ari, Pit): One of the biggest teases on the circuit
16. Kyle Lohse (at Pit, at Phi ): One good spot, one messy one
17. Rodrigo Lopez (at Cin, Hou): No strikeouts, no interest
18. Chris Volstad (at Atl, at Was): Solid rookie year but he's flatlined since
19. Ross Detwiler (at NY, Fla): A six-inning man at most
20. Brad Lincoln (Stl, at LA): Ridgemont rules, Lincoln drools
21. Brad Hand (at Atl, at Was): Land of Truth and Liberty
22. Chien-Ming Wang (at NY, Fla): More walks than strikeouts, forget it {ysp:more}

Double-Dips, American League, Sept. 12-18
1. Justin Verlander (at Chi, at Oak): Start the Cy Young engraving
2. David Price (at Bal, at Bos): Tampa isn't out of the wild card race
3. Felix Hernandez (NY, Tex): Peripherals say he hasn't fallen at all this year
4. Gio Gonzalez (LA, Det): Does his best work in Oakland (2.80/1.21)
5. Justin Masterson (at Tex, at Min): Still needs a way around the LHBs (.277)
6. John Danks (Det, at KC): Hard to trust off two messy starts
7. Guillermo Moscoso (LA, Det): Another Oakland homer all the way (2.26/0.93)
8. Jeff Niemann (at Bal, at Bos): Rocky four-start stretch dims the buzz
9. Joel Pineiro (at Oak, at Bal): Good matchups, but he's a pitch-to-contact guy
10. Matt Harrison (Cle, at Sea): Returns to rotation after skipping a turn
11. Rick Porcello (at Chi, at Oak): Didn't take the leap in Year 3
12. Zach Britton (TB, LA): Hasn't allowed homer since July 8
13. Tim Wakefield (Tor, TB): Cut this guy a break, get him to 200 please
14. Bruce Chen (Min, Chi): Steady in August, but two messy September turns

Working the Schedule

-- Homeboys: Athletics 7, Dodgers 7, Reds 7, Red Sox 6, Orioles 6, Royals 6, Mariners 6, Braves 6

-- Awayboys: Marlins 8, Tigers 7, Rays 7, Yankees 6, Angels 6, Indians 6, Diamondbacks 6, Cardinals 6

-- Mixed Bag: Phillies 8, Cubs 7, Pirates 7, Mets 7, White Sox 7, Giants 7, Nationals 7, Rangers 6, Astros 6, Padres 6, Rockies 6, Twins 5, Jays 5, Brewers 5,

It's a funky schedule to digest, with the Phillies and Marlins getting eight games, while the Twins, Jays and Brewers play just five each. And it's interesting to note how most of the tentative double-dip pitchers are from the NL this week. The Athletics pitchers will appreciate the full slate in roomy Oakland (so will the visiting Los Angeles and Detroit pitchers), and the scuffling Red Sox get home at the right time. The lone doubleheader comes on Thursday, when the Marlins play two at Philadelphia.

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Around the Diamond: Jake Peavy isn't expected to make another start this year, according to beat writer Scott Merkin. Peavy hasn't been an ace since he left San Diego, dealing with injury problems and bloated ERAs. … Bobby Parnell picked up his fifth blown save (and sixth loss) on Saturday, though both of the runs were unearned: David Wright started the inning with a throwing error. Randy Wells and Chris Capuano both turned in strong seven-inning turns but had to settle for no-decisions. The Mets won Friday's game, despite Manny Acosta's blown save. … Jose Bautista and Brett Lawrie homered against Baltimore on Saturday and J.P. Arencibia won the game with a ninth-inning single against gasoline alley Kevin Gregg (it might be a good time to grab Jim Johnson, just in case). Adam Lind took the collar again and has been swinging at air in the second half (.193/.227/.349). … Omar Infante homered twice in Friday's win over Pittsburgh and he's not a bad emergency player to have down the stretch, given that he qualifies at four positions (second, short, third, outfield) in the Yahoo! game. … Josh Beckett says his ankle is on the mend and is hoping to miss just one start. As for Kevin Youkilis, he's expected to play through his hernia and hip discomfort, then look into possible surgery after the season. … Rickie Weeks (ankle) might start and play a few innings Sunday, but he's not ready for full duty yet. Keep in mind, the Brewers have a short slate for the coming week. … Chase Utley's post-concussion tests are coming back clean, but it's not clear when he'll be able to play again. The runaway train Phillies have no need to rush him back. … A sore hip kept Troy Tulowitzki out Friday but he was back for Saturday's matinee. … St. Louis held off Atlanta on Saturday with Fernando Salas working the eighth and Jason Motte closing in the ninth. Motte is still available in 71 percent of Yahoo! leagues. … We talked about Doug Fister and Javier Vazquez earlier in the week; they're both strong stream options (at 53 percent) if you can grab them for Sunday. Other weekend streamables: Josh Collmenter (51 percent) against San Diego, James McDonald (17 percent) against Florida, and longshots Henry Sosa (three percent) at Washington (though against Strasburg) and Zach Stewart (three percent) versus Cleveland. I'm not touching Edinson Volquez in Colorado, or Jake Westbrook against Atlanta.


R.A. Dickey image courtesy Associated Press

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