Determining which SP to start

It's the year of the pitcher. Yeah, right!

Tell that to the guy whose colon was "Bartolo'd" last week.

Starting even the upper-tier pitching options can bring anxiety when a tough matchup is on the docket, but deciding between two fringe options is the real challenge. You examine everything from Player A's head-to-head matchups to the length of Player B's fingernails in an attempt to determine which one will put up superior numbers in their single starts.

Forget BABIP and xFIP. As long as you can count to three, I can help you determine the best course of action to take regarding your starting-pitcher decisions. I'm going to show you how a relative unknown, Drew Smyly, can be a safer start than Jason Vargas, who is No. 23 among all pitchers on the Player Rater. I will show you why hot starters such as Jason Hammel are still risks, while slow starters such as Jon Lester can be "safe" starts even in tough matchups.