This week’s Top 10 Starting Pitchers highlight the strikeout kings, the rebound candidates, and the underappreciated in the fantasy world. We take a close look at a few guys that could very well be floating on your waiver wire, so read closely and take swift action. You don’t want to miss out on these starters this week.
1.Felix Hernandez, SP SEA: 6-5, 3.03 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 116 K
Hernandez should be at the top of every fantasy player’s wish list right now. He’s gone four straight starts of at least 8.2 IP and has an ERA under 1.50 during that span. He looks as if he’s back to the form that led him to win the AL CY Young last year, making him one of the most desired pitchers on the planet. The King has really settled into a groove and is one of those rare SP that keeps the ERA & WHIP low while keeping the K-rate very high. You want him on your team.
2.Jered Weaver, SP LAA: 8-3, 2.82 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 124 K
I don’t think anyone pegged Jered Weaver as the strikeout king of the MLB at the inception of the season, but that’s exactly what he’s become. The younger Weaver has really settled in as the ace of the Angels staff since the departure of John Lackey via free agency. Over his last six starts, the impressive righty has a ridiculous 50:6 K:BB ratio and has really excelled. He should be active in every fantasy lineup in every format on earth.
3.Jon Lester, SP BOS: 10-3, 2.76 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 118 K
He probably won’t get much consideration for it, but Lester should probably be starting the All-Star game for the AL. After a brief bump in the road in April, Lester has been absolutely lights out this season. He’s averaging more than a K/IP and is arguably the most dominant left-hander in the game right now. He has firmly implanted himself as the ace of a dynamic Boston staff and his numbers speak volumes about his performance.
4.Gavin Floyd, SP CHW: 3-7, 4.66 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 82 K
Floyd had been pegged as a breakout candidate by many this season, but never really seemed to live up to the hype—until recently. Despite being just 1-1 over his last five starts, he’s been exceptional. He’s only allowed five ER in those 35 IP but has been a victim of terrible run support. He’s especially appealing as a two-start pitcher this week, and has proved that he’s able to pitch well regardless of opponent. He won’t strike out a ton of guys, but he’ll definitely help in ERA & WHIP.
5.Mat Latos, SP SD: 9-4, 2.62 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 91 K
It’s too bad that so many eyes are on Stephen Strasburg, because San Diego has a SP phenom of its own. Latos has been outstanding this season and is striking out guys at an unforeseen clip. He doesn’t give up a ton of hits—at all, and although he may walk a few guys from start-start, his ability to strikeout guys more than makes up for it. He’s proven that he not only belongs at the MLB-level, but he’ll stick around for quite some while. Dynasty leaguers, take note. Acquire him immediately.
6.Carl Pavano, SP MIN: 9-6, 3.30 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 63 K
I’m a believer in the ‘stache. Pavano is enjoying an unbelievable stretch where he hasn’t allowed more than three runs in any of his last five outings, posting a 1.83 ERA in that span. It’s truly amazing that he’s been able to pitch this well considering his tumultuous tenure in New York, but fantasy owners should remember that Pavano was actually considered a heck-of-a-pitcher in Florida before he ever signed that contract with the Yanks.
7.David Price, SP TB: 11-4, 2.42 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 90 K
Price is illustrating why he was so highly touted as the #1 selection a few years back. He started the year an amazing 7-1, but has lost three of his last seven decisions. Despite that statistic, his ERA has risen from 2.41 to just 2.42 over that span of time. He doesn’t give up a ton of hits nor walk a ton of guys, but he does strike out guys at an electric rate with his power arm. Price has established himself as one of the most exciting young hurlers in the game and should continue this type of success for a long time. Enjoy his excellence.
8.Cliff Lee, SP SEA: 7-3, 2.45 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 78 K
The dude has five CG in his last twelve starts and a 78:5 K:BB ratio. His ERA is under 2.50 and his WHIP is below 1.00. There’s not much that I can say that better illustrates his utter dominance other than that. If you’re lucky enough to have him on your team, just realize that every fifth day is going to be a good one for you.
9.Trevor Cahill, SP OAK: 8-2, 2.74 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 56 K
Congratulations to Mr. Cahill on his first All-Star selection as he certainly deserves it. He’s won a ludicrous eight straight and has pitched amazingly over that span. He’s been especially brilliant over his last three outings, giving up just three ER over 20.2 IP. Despite the fact that he doesn’t strike out a ton of guys, his efficient style of pitching and his ability to last deep into the game greatly add to his already large fantasy value.
10.Wandy Rodriguez, SP HOU: 5-10, 5.30 ERA, 1.61 WHP, 61 K
Remember Wandy? He’s had a tough go of it this season, but may finally be starting to turn his season around. He’s 2-0 over his last two starts and has only given up one ER only 13 IP. He hasn’t enjoyed much success this season, but if he can continue to pitch like he has been of late, he could be a tremendously valuable asset down the stretch. He’s more than likely floating on your waiver wire, so definitely keep an eye on him.