Deep Within the Bullpen…
When it comes to Fantasy Baseball, finding quality pitchers can make you feel like giving up fantasy baseball all together. Usually the route I go is one all-star SP(starting pitcher) anchoring my starters and that goes the same for closers. However if you’re in a head-to-head league or leagues that do not count the ‘maximum innings pitched’ rule then you really have no limit on starting pitchers and also the limit of closers you have. I would recommend you have around three to four closers in your staff to keep up in the standings. It’s always very easy to find a starter out there who can get you some quality innings or a closer if you need some saves. Here are some guys to consider right now that overlooked and undervalued:
1. Carlos Silva – SP- Chicago Cubs
-Currently 21% owned
Silva right now is only 21% owned and will become a hot pickup if he has another outing like his last start (7 innings of work with two hits and 11 K’s against the Cardinals on May 29th). Silva, started out in Philadelphia, eventually going to the bullpen when he struggled. Silva then signed a four year deal worth around $44-48 million by the Minnesota Twins from 2004-07 where he comprised a 47-45 W-L record and 4.44 ERA. Not bad but nothing more than mediocre. Last year Silva was shipped to the Cubs, and thus become their most complete pitcher along with Ryan Dempster in the rotation.
My suggestion is to go ahead and add Silva if he’s still available in your league. His worst performance this season came on May 1st against the Arizona Diamondbacks when he allowed five runs in five innings.
2. Ervin Santana – SP – L.A. Angels
-Currently 40% owned
A sizzling, hot pickup in all baseball leagues. I can understand why managers gave up on him after his horrendous 2009 performance (8-8, 5.03 ERA, 1.47 WHIP). But, the year before he was considered to be in the running for the AL Cy Young. Even though he did not win, he piled up nasty stats (16-7, 3.49 ERA, 1.12 WHIP with 214 K’s). So far this year he’s earning above average stats for a starter (5-3, 3.43 ERA). Unlike Silva, I think you’d have a better chance with Santana in terms of ‘investing’ in a starter for your staff.
3. John Axford - Closer – Milwaukee Brewers
-Currently 16% owned
Future Hall of Famer, Trevor Hoffman had another terrible performance Brewers manager Ken Macha brought him in for a non-save situation where Hoffman allowed three runs in one inning. I would say Axford’s job is safe right now. In his last four appearances, Axford has three saves and one win. Now I don’t think he will have the type of impact like Jonathan Papelbon had in 2006 (35 Saves, 0.92 ERA). However, my personal evaluation of Axford tells me that he could have similar stats to what Florida Marlin, Leo Nunez had last season (26 Saves, 4.06 ERA). Coincidentally, Nunez replaced the default closer last year, which is occurring with Axford. A superb pickup if you need some saves right now.
4. Anibal Sanchez – Starting Pitcher – Florida Marlins
-Currently 36% owned
Sanchez would be more than a adequate pickup if you need a 4th or 5th starter in your pitching staff. He hasn’t allowed more than two runs in a game since April 16th. In a way he’s been consistent more than anything.
5. Octavio Dotel – Closer – Pittsburgh Pirates
-Currently 57% owned
I would think most fantasy baseball managers know about Dotel by now. If you need a closer and he’s available, I don’t see why you wouldn’t grab him immediately. He has one win, and six saves in his last seven mound appearances. Oh yeah, in that seven game span he’s allowed one earned run. Dotel struggled tremendously in the month of April, with two blown saves. You can afford to take a chance on him, especially if you need saves.
Others to think about:
-Ian Kennedy (ARZ SP)
-Brett Myers (HOU SP)
-Justin Masterson (CLE SP/RP)
-R.A. Dickey (NYM SP/RP)