Monday, April 11, 2011

Start or Sit: Justin Verlander vs Texas Rangers

Justin Verlander in April?

Hmmm, if you've paid even a moderately decent amount of attention to Fantasy Baseball in the past handful of years, you know that one of many yearly April ritual is to bench Verlander in April, right?


But then again, what of all this talk about how Verlander changed the way he approached this year's Spring Training and how he totally dominated in March?

Two words: Spring Mofo'ing Training.

Yeah . . . but . . .

Back in 2007 Verlander had a great April, to a tune of 2.79 ERA 1.24 WHIP .208 BAA in 29 IP, and 3.52/1.11/.211 in 30.2 IP the year before that, in his first season as a full-time major leaguer. So can we be so sure that Verlander's horrific April numbers in the past three years will continue this year?

Roll the dice. Despite an ugly 5.53/1.45 /.264 in 27.2 IP April last year, he ended the season at 3.37/1.16/.228.

But against the hot-hitting Texas Rangers?

Check out the career pitcher vs batter numbers. Only a single Ranger (Josh Hamilton) regular has an above-.300 AVG against Verlander and just three with an above-.300 OBP.

Despite the fact that Alexi Ogando looked great in his first-ever major league start, let's keep in mind that it was against the AAA bats of my Seattle Mariners.

The Call: Start
This is the year Verlander gets his April numbers straightened out.
Prediction: W 7IP 5H 2ER 1HR 3BB 8K

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