It’s been a crazy week in fantasy baseball for hurlers in both leagues. This week’s edition of the Top 10 features a youngster in SF who most still haven’t heard about, the weekly appearance by the big fish in South Florida, as well as an appearance from the spirited Wandy Rodriguez. Help us help your fantasy team by taking a gander at this week’s rankings.
1.Josh Johnson, SP FLA: 10-3, 1.61 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 141 K
Johnson continued to dazzle this week as he racked up an incredible 11 strikeouts in just 6.1 IP against Colorado but couldn’t escape with the win. Despite the elusive victory, owners have no reason to complain anytime he strikes out more than ten guys in an outing. Johnson has been absolutely fantastic this year and this makes 18 QS’s for the flamethrower. His July ERA is 0.68 and he is a two-start pitcher this week, just in case owners weren’t convinced that he’s numero uno.
2.Zack Greinke, SP KC: 6-9, 3.59 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 113 K
Greinke has pitched much better than his record indicates, a direct result of pitching for a pathetic Royals team. However, he has now won five of his last six decisions and looks to be really getting into a groove. In his past seven starts, Greinke has a very impressive 47:8 K:BB ratio. He’s also gone five straight starts without giving up a long ball, and while he won’t win another CY award, he can certainly propel your fantasy team to the top of the standings with a strong second half. He is a two-start pitcher against Minnesota & Baltimore this week.
3.Felix Hernandez, SP SEA: 7-6, 2.75 ERA, 1.11 WHIP 142 K
King Felix has been pitching absolutely outstanding over his last seven starts and hasn’t gone less than seven innings in any of them. Unfortunately for him and his owners, the only thing holding him back from top dog status is that he pitches for the lowly Mariners. Despite having just seven wins on the season, the dominant righty ranks in the top five in strikeouts this season and boasts well-above average value. He’s another two-start guy that has the chance to rack up the strikeouts in his two starts @CHW & @MIN.
4.Johan Santana, SP NYM: 8-5, 2.79 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 92 K
Santana has really righted the ship since his early season struggles and looks to have re-established his dominant form once again. Despite his noticeable drop in velocity, Santana is still a crafty pitcher and has really mixed up his pitches quite effectively of late. He’s not the strikeout pitcher that he once was, and while fantasy owners may be disappointed with the results that they’ve received this season, Santana has been much better of late and is a dominant second half pitcher. His next start comes against Jeff Suppan and the Cardinals.
5.Madison Bumgarner, SP SF: 4-2, 2.43 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 31 K
Bumgarner is just absolutely dealing right now and looks every bit like the highly touted prospect that we were expecting to see. He’s having little trouble with major-league batters and is 4-0 over his last four outings with a 1.35 ERA. While he’s cruising right now, his long-term outlook is limited by the coaching staff monitoring his innings count. Having said that, Bumgarner will still be very usable in next week’s matchup at home against Florida.
6.Adam Wainwright, SP STL: 14-5, 1.94 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 136 K
Wainwright hasn’t lost a game since June 24 and is nipping at Ubaldo Jimenez’s heels for the most wins in the major leagues. He is an absolutely elite option at the SP option and is scheduled to start Wednesday against an anemic Mets offense that hasn’t been hitting anyone at all. Wainwright is an underrated source of strikeouts and has one of the best ERA/WHIP combos in all of baseball. He’s tied with Josh Johnson & King Felix for MLB-best 18 QS’s as well.
7.Wandy Rodriguez, SP HOU: 7-11, 5.12 ERA, 1.52 WHIP, 79 K
The season stats are still pretty ugly for Wandy, but the recent results have been much improved. It’s time for fantasy owners to get back on the W Train coming out of Houston as he has seemed to turn his season around. Astute owners should take a look to nab him from an owner who hasn’t taken note of his recent resurgence as he’s been absolutely brilliant. He’s an attractive option heading into the week if you’re looking for someone to roll the dice on.
8.Clayton Kershaw, SP LAD: 9-5, 3,16 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 135 K
Kershaw has really got himself back on track after a rough start at St. Louis a couple of outings ago. After taking a no-decision against the Giants on July 20th, Kershaw came back to pitch eight innings of shutout ball in a win against the Mets on Sunday. With a scheduled start against fellow lefty Barry Zito this week, Kershaw could dominate a Giants lineup that has had some trouble with him in the past. He’s emerging as a particularly attractive option in keeper leagues.
9.Mat Latos, SP SD: 11-4, 2.48 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 106 K
While Latos’ upside is stunted by his innings limit, his season performance has been quite impressive to date. In fact, Latos is among the lead leaguers in WHIP and has really showcased what he’s capable of doing over a full season. At just 22 years old, the young Padres pitcher has a lot of success ahead of him if he can keep it up. As we here at FBS have said, Latos was highly deserving of the All-Star team and as a strikeout machine looks to be the real magoo. He’ll get Vicente Padilla & the Dodgers next time out.
10.John Danks, SP CHW: 10-7, 3.37 ERA, 1.15, 99 K
Danks has now won six of his last eight starts and looks poised to continue his success as the second half gets under way. Despite coming out of the break a little shaky, Danks has quickly righted himself and is back to the effective pitcher that he’s been for the majority of the season. Owners risk too much if they bench him, and with a two-start week upcoming against the Mariners and A’s, he’s especially attractive this week.