Friday is here and it’s time for fantasy baseball owners to do some planning.
Stocking your roster with hurlers who have favorable matchups can put your team in the driver’s seat.
The New York Mets’ Bartolo Colon and the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Bronson Arroyo are two ageless wonders who can help your fantasy baseball team this weekend and should be added if you need the pitching help.
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(Player ownership percentages are based on ESPN.com fantasy leagues)
» Bartolo Colon, Mets (32 percent owned): Make fun of Colon as much as you want. Sure, he’s fat as hell, looks like a a circus clown swinging the bat, and has been a topic in the PED conversation for the past three years. But at 41 years old, the guy can still pitch. Maybe it’s the performance-enhancing substances (testosterone and Twinkies?), but fantasy owners aren’t complaining. The 2005 Cy Young Award winner has had a few rough starts this season, but is sporting a 3-0 record with a 1.61 ERA and 23/7 strikeout-to-walk ratio over his past four games. The Mets will host the hapless San Diego Padres on Friday, who are dead last in baseball in batting average (.216) and runs scored (197). The second-to-last place team in scoring (the Cincinnati Reds) has still managed 24 more runs than the Padres — there’s that big of a gap. Colon has also been dynamite at home this year, with a 2.30 ERA compared to 5.40 on the road. Add and start Bartolo Colon with confidence.
» Bronson Arroyo, Diamondbacks (7 percent owned): Remember when Bronson Arroyo was that funky, long-haired wannabe rock star on the Red Sox? Well, he’s still pretty much all those things, except now he’s on the Diamondbacks. At 37, it may be time for Arroyo to hang up the guitar pick, but he can still bring it on the mound. The D-Backs’ pitching staff has been in disarray all season long, and while Arroyo hasn’t exactly been stellar, he’s been arguably their most reliable starter. He has a so-so 4.22 ERA on the season and won’t get you Ks (46), but he pitches deep into games (6+ innings in eight of his last nine starts) and doesn’t walk many batters (just 18 BB all season). Arroyo has fared much better on the road this season (3.68 ERA, compared to 4.86 at home), and will be matching up against the Dodgers in L.A. on Sunday, a team that has struggled mightily at their home stadium, winning just 13-of-32 games at Chavez Ravine. Bronson Arroyo is a great pickup this weekend if you are in a league that counts quality starts as a stat.