This week’s Top 10 boasts a few new names that are virgin to the list as well as some top dogs that have spent more time on the list than off of it. As we kick off August, it’s getting more and more difficult to unseat the top options, so let’s take a look at what this week has to offer.
1.Josh Johnson, SP FLA: 10-4, 1.96 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 151 K, 147.0 IP
Johnson remains number one on this list despite getting absolutely mashed in his most recent outing against the Padres. Johnson gave up seven hits, five ER, and even walked four in just 5.2 IP.
The overpowering righty has looked human over his last two starts, but he remains atop the list as this is simply a bump in the road. Even the best of the best experience a couple of rough starts throughout the season, so let’s hope that Johnson has gotten it out of his system. The fantasy ace takes the mound against the Cards & Adam Wainwright in his next start which promises to be another pitching duel.
2.Cliff Lee, SP TEX: 9-5, 2.51 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 118 K, 147.0 IP
Another outing, another complete game for Cliff Lee. Even in a loss this guy goes the whole way for his club as he’s proved he’s capable of pitching anywhere. Before getting “touched up” by the Angels for four runs today, Lee had previously thrown another complete game where he racked up 13 Ks against the A’s. Lee has now got seven CG to his credit on the season and leads the world in K:BB ratio with a ridiculous 118:9 ratio, something we may never see again in major league baseball. Depending on where he signs in the offseason, he may have very well elevated himself to first round pick status. Lee has walked just two guys since the July 18th edition of the Top 10, a span of two weeks.
3.Roy Halladay, SP PHI: 12-8, 2.21 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 149 K, 171.0 IP
Halladay would be number one on this list if he didn’t already have so many innings under his belt this season. Despite the increased workload, Doc hasn’t seemed to mind the transition to Philadelphia one bit, registering eight CG (including three shutouts) and a very impressive 148:20 K:BB ratio. Coming off a CG win against the DBacks, Halladay has increased value as a two-start pitcher with matchups against the Marlins & Mets. However, owners should take note that he’s on pace to throw over 265 innings this season which would be uncharted territory for the CY candidate.
4.Tim Hudson, SP ATL: 11-5, 2.40 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 74 K, 142.2 IP
Not a strikeout pitcher by any sense of the word, Hudson has found a way to become very fantasy relevant once again following his Tommy John surgery last season. Despite a rather poor K:BB ratio of 74:49, Hudson really does an excellent job of limiting opposing hitters when they’re facing him and doesn’t allow many runs to score. He’s a legitimate candidate for NL Comeback Player of the Year and has proved to be a fantasy steal for owners who gambled on him in the later rounds of the draft. He’s a two-start pitcher this week and is scheduled to begin the week by taking on the Mets whom he threw seven shutout innings against just three weeks ago.
5.Brett Myers, SP HOU: 8-6, 3.10 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 113 K, 145.0 IP
Myers was an afterthought in fantasy leagues by the end of his tenure in Philadelphia but seems to have been re-born with Houston this year, as we noted back in June. He is the only pitcher in the majors this season to last at least six innings in every one of his 21 starts. He’s having arguably the best season of his career and was recently handed a two-year contract extension as a reward. Another two-start pitcher this week, his next start is scheduled for Monday against the Cards who he’s enjoyed great success against this season, going 2-1 with a 1.71 ERA. Myers is coming off of a complete game of the Cubs where he registered 12 strikeouts.
6.David Price, SP TB: 14-5, 2.90 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 117 K, 133.2 IP
The former # 1 overall pick has blossomed exactly how Tampa envisioned when they selected him just three short years ago. With uber-prospect Jeremy Hellickson receiving a spot start Monday, Price loses his two-start status and thus drops in the rankings as a result. Despite making just one start this week, he remains an elite fantasy option in any and every format as his 14 wins and high strikeout rate make him far too valuable to ever bench. He’ll take on the Twins this week in a matchup against the inconsistent Scott Baker.
7.Clayton Kershaw, SP LAD: 10-5, 2.96 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 138 K, 130.2 IP
Fresh off serving his five-game suspension, Kershaw is currently in the middle of his start as I write this week’s edition of the Top 10. The enigmatic lefty has been sensational this season and has really honed his game and become a legitimate top of the rotation guy. At just 22 years old, it’s obvious to see the appeal that Kershaw possesses to fantasy owners, but he’s going to have to continue to work to cut down his K:BB ratio (138:56) if he hopes to regularly last longer into games. Fantasy owners wouldn’t mind seeing a few more wins for the youngster, either. He’s a must-start option against the Nats this week.
8.Wandy Rodriguez, SP HOU: 9-11, 4.49 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 95 K, 122.1 IP
I’ve been touting Wandy for weeks in my Top 10 so I hope fantasy owners have taken note. Rodriguez has been absolutely fantastic of late and has really seemed to re-gain his form from last season. In his most recent outing he pitched eight innings of shutout ball against the Brewers and struck out nine batters. Over his last seven starts, the true ace in Arizona is 6-1 wit a glimmering 1.91 ERA and has made owners that bought low look absolutely genius. His next start is scheduled for Friday at Milwaukee (again) and the lefty is 2-0 with a 0.60 ERA against them this season. Another solid outing and he could very well find himself in the top five next week.
9,Colby Lewis, SP TEX: 9-7, 3.40 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 125 K, 129.2 IP
The man from Japan (well, not originally) has been mowing down hitters all season long and has found a renewed since of confidence since his initial departure from the MLB. Lewis has been a fantasy find this season, a true waiver wire gem that has really been a model of consistency for owners throughout the campaign. Despite being just 2-2 in July, the Rangers haven’t exactly helped his cause scoring just two runs combined over his last two outings. Colby has emerged as a true strikeout pitcher with the potential to pitch deep into the game and rarely turns in a poor performance. He’s scheduled to make two starts this week, the first against the Mariners who he is 2-0 with a 0.78 ERA against this season.
10.Yovani Gallardo, SP MIL: 9-5, 2.77 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 130 K, 120.1 IP
Gallardo was absolutely horrendous in his last start as he didn’t even make it out of the third inning, but only a shortsighted owner would think about benching Milwaukee’s ace this week. Gallardo is in line to make two starts this week against the Cubs and Astros and could very well boast an impressive August stat line by the end of the week. There’s been a lot of complaint among Gallardo owners this season, but it’s fairly unwarranted as he’s on pace to have the best season of his young career. Gallardo should continue to be a solid option for the rest of the way.