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Fantasy Sports Fantasy Baseball

2013 Fantasy Baseball: Week 4 Spot Starters

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2013 Fantasy Baseball: Week 4 Spot Starters

Week 4
Jake Roth - USA Today Sports

The art of the spot start is an important factor in fantasy baseball leagues. Fantasy teams have their handful of set starters ready to go each week, but getting that extra quality start and strikeouts each week without hurting your ERA or WHIP can make a huge difference in both rotisserie leagues and head-to-head matchups.

There are a few factors that go into finding the right guy on the waiver wire to grab for the spot start. Owners obviously need to look at how that pitcher has been performing, but there are other things to look at as well. Matchups are key, as certain weak offenses usually yield solid fantasy starts from the opposing pitchers. Home and away games are also important as some pitchers do better in home games as opposed to away games. Also, there are obvious pitchers parks and some notorious hitters parks that factor into success.

With three weeks in the books already, there is enough evidence to see how pitchers are doing so far and even whom they’ve had success against. There are a few favorable matchups this week, including an early series with the Minnesota Twins and Miami Marlins. The Marlins also square off against the light-hitting Chicago Cubs later in the week.

This early in the year, some lesser-name starters have had some early success and are likely available on waivers in most leagues. Scour your leagues wire for a few of the following names that may be able to give you a solid spot start or two this week.

Rich Arleo is a fantasy sports expert with Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @Rarleo, ‘Like’ him on Facebook and add him to your networks on Google.

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Garrett Richards, Anaheim Angels

Kelvin Kuo - USA Today Sports

Filling in for the injured Jered Weaver, Richards dominated an impressive Detroit Tigers team with seven innings of two-hit ball while striking out eight.

On Thursday, Richards and the Angels travel to face the light-hitting Seattle Mariners. Seattle is ranked 27th in the league in runs scored so if Richards can shut down the likes of Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder he should be able to pitch well against the Mariners. He is currently owned in less than one percent of ESPN leagues.

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Ricky Nolasco, Miami Marlins

Brad Mills - USA Today Sports

The Marlins 'ace' has actually pitched reasonably well thus far this season with a 3.86 ERA and two quality starts out of four. He faces the Minnesota Twins who ranked No. 26 in runs scored on Monday. While he's not a great candidate for a win, he can certainly give you a quality start with six solid innings and a handful of strikeouts.

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Kevin Correia, Minnesota Twins

Jesse Johnson - Rant Sports

Correia is Nolasco's opponent on Monday and gets to face the worst offense in the league. He has already spun three quality starts and has pitched at least seven innings in all three starts so far. He has just eight strikeouts all season but can give you a QS and a win while helping out your ERA and WHIP this week. He likely faces a tough Texas Rangersthis weekend, but if you're feeling lucky, he has pitched very well at home this season.

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Kevin Slowey, Miami Marlins

Robert Mayer - USA Today Sports

Slowey, currently available in over 98-percent of ESPN leagues, has actually been fantastic in four starts this year with a 1.90 ERA and 15 strikeouts. He is 0-2 but at no fault of his own and may have a shot at a victory against the Chicago Cubs' 28th-ranked offense Thursday.

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Jason Marquis, San Diego Padres

Jake Roth - USA Today Sports

A name known to many, the 13-year veteran has pitched very well in three starts this season despite just one of those starts coming in the friendly confines of Petco Park.

Marquis gets to pitch at home Monday against a mediocre Milwaukee Brewers lineup. The veteran is getting it done and should be able to help your fantasy team this week.