This week we have three pitchers from New York teams, surprisingly, only one is from the team you would expect and the other two are not name Johan. What’s more, is that the majority of this list is not even close to the 30-year old mark. With the likes of Ubaldo Jimenez and now Stephen Strasburg, this could be the best young pitching that we have ever witnessed.
1.Mike Pelfrey, SP NYM
Pelfrey has been nothing short of brilliant this season. In a make or break year for the former first rounder, Pelfrey has made a name for himself with emphasis. The 6’7” righty is 8-1 on the year with a 2.23 ERA and 1.17 WHIP. What’s most impressive about Pelf is his ability to pitch deep into games because he’s so economical with his pitches. He developed a new splitter in spring training that has really aided his development and made him a fantasy ace. He’s gone at least six innings in each of his last five starts and is 4-0 with a 1.19 ERA in that span. And in case you weren’t satisfied with that, he’s registered 11 quality starts in 13 tries, hasn’t lost in a month, and is increasing his strikeout rate as the season continues. I’d say he could help your team.
2.Ubaldo Jimenez, SP COL
Jimenez notched his 12th win of the season this week becoming the first pitcher in the MLB to do so. He allowed three ER in only six innings of work, but had to work through a torrential downpour, so the stats don’t really reflect his true performance on the mound. Despite his ERA rising to 1.16, Jimenez is off to an absolutely historical start. He’s lined up to start against Liriano (MIN) this week, but despite the tough matchup, Ubaldo gets my recommendation every time out. He’s on pace to win 31 games, and while that doesn’t seem realistic; anything is possible in Jimenez’s world.
3.Josh Johnson, SP FLA
It’s too bad that Jimenez & Strasburg are stealing headlines in every media outlet in the country, because Josh Johnson is having one stellar season. The talented righty in South Florida has been as dominant as he’s ever been on the mound, with a 7-2 record, 1.91 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, and 82 Ks in 85 IP. Over his last six starts spanning the last month, Johnson has given up two ER in 42 IP; that’s an ERA of 0.43. Johnson is a must-start pitcher with nothing but upside.
4.Stephen Strasburg, SP WAS
Despite his highly anticipated debut last week, I left him off my Top 10 list and he certainly made me pay for it. Strasburg was absolutely electric in his first start, striking out 14 batters over 7 IP. With a 98+ MPH fastball, a devastating curveball, and an unmatched presence on the mound, the Strasburg era has officially begun both in Washington and in the fantasy baseball world. He immediately impacts all fantasy leagues and if you’re lucky enough to have him as part of your squad, just sit back and enjoy the results.
5.Clay Buchholz, SP BOS
Buchholz has really proved that he’s belonged this season enjoying his most successful career as a professional. Through 12 starts, the lanky right-hander is 8-4 with a 2.52 ERA and 1.26 WHIP. He hasn’t backed down from any competition thus far, and appears to have found a new sense of poise on the mound. After being rather up and down since throwing his no-hitter in ’07, Clay has shown that he can be an integral part of Boston’s future as well as a fixture on your fantasy team. Start him with confidence in all formats.
6.Adam Wainwright, SP STL
Wainwright has a very favorable week upcoming with matchups against Seattle & Oakland on the horizon. He’s been his usual self this season, very quietly putting up some of the best stats in the league. With 91 Ks in 94 IP, a 2.30 ERA, and the ability to consistently pitch deep into the ballgame, it’s no wonder why Wainwright is so appealing to fantasy owners of all leagues. Capitalize on his interleague play, as he has the ability to record his (statistically) best week of the season.
7.Francisco Liriano, SP MIN
Liriano may be the most pleasant surprise to fantasy owners this season. For those that took the gamble on him, it’s certainly paid off in a big way. Despite only six wins, Liriano has been an absolute stud with 87 Ks in 80 2/3 IP. He’s been more impressive over his last four starts, where his K:BB ratio is 35:4. It’s not often on the Top 10 list that two SP facing one another both get recommended, but when it’s Jimenez v Liriano, you know it’s going to be special.
8.Andy Pettitte, SP NYY
Wasn’t this guy supposed to retire last year? And the year before that? Oh well, the Yankees are certainly glad to have him back. Pettitte is enjoying the best start of his career as he’s 8-1 with a 2.46 ERA. Despite his lack of overpowering stuff, Pettitte has found a way to make it work by really limiting the number of hits he allows. The 16-year vet from Louisiana will look to make it 9-1 this week against the Philllies and another ageless wonder, Jamie Moyer.
9.Jonathon Niese, SP NYM
Niese’s overall numbers are nothing to get excited about (especially his 1.43 WHIP), but since coming off of the DL two starts ago, he’s looked like a completely different pitcher. Niese is throwing all of his pitches for strikes, including a wicked Zito-esque curve and a devastating cutter. His pitches are clearly keeping the hitters off balance as he’s 2-0 with a 0.56 ERA since his return and 12 Ks. With a matchup next time out against Cleveland, Niese could very well make it three straight wins.
10.Tommy Hanson, SP ATL
After a rookie season that captivated most of baseball, Hanson has been somewhat of a forgotten man to everyone except his fantasy owners—and that’s just fine. Hanson has pitched extremely well, striking out better than a batter per inning to go along with a 3.69 ERA. He’s let up just seven runs in his last four starts and has been pitching fantastically of late. He’s a must-start in every format as he’s a career 3-0 with a 1.06 ERA in interleague play.