This week we have a pitcher from Minnesota not named Liriano, a guy in Oakland who is making less than five percent of Ben Sheets’ salary, and a young man in Detroit who has already been to the minor leagues and back this season. It’s just another crazy week in fantasy baseball, and here at FBS we do the hard work so you don’t have to.
1.Yovani Gallardo, SP MIL: 7-3, 2.36 ERA 1.21 WHIP 115 K
Gallardo has been absolutely brilliant this season, showcasing to the world why the people in Milwaukee have been so excited about him. He is the Major League leader in strikeouts and has been absolutely dominant of late. In fact, he has 49 strikeouts over his last six starts and has only given up six ER total over that span, which dates back to his last start in May (28th). As a two-start pitcher this week with his first coming against Houston, Gallardo has the potential to rack up double digit Ks again and lower his already sparkling ERA.
2.Cliff Lee, SP SEA: 6-3, 2.39 ERA 0.91 WHIP 76 K
The Mariners knew that they were getting a good pitcher when they acquired Lee in the offseason, but they couldn’t possibly have predicted this type of performance. I’m not sure what’s more impressive, his 76:4 K:BB ratio or the fact that he’s already pitched four complete games. Despite having only six wins, Lee has been especially brilliant over his last six starts, going at least seven innings in each one. He’s coming off of back-to-back complete game wins and is a two-start pitcher this week.
3.Stephen Strasburg, WSH: 2-1, 1.78 ERA 0.95 WHIP 41 K
The kid is human. After watching Strasburg suffer his first loss in his professional career last time out against KC, it will be interesting to see how the phenom bounces back. He hasn’t dealt with a ton of adversity over his career and heads into the week scheduled to pitch in two inter-division games this week. Having said that, Strasburg still struck out nine in the outing and hasn’t struck out less than eight batters in a game since his promotion. As long as he keeps his pitch count down, Strasburg has a very good chance to keep the dominance rolling, so fantasy owners should not be worried.
4.CC Sabathia, SP NYY: 9-3, 3.49 ERA 1.15 WHIP 89 K
Despite some labeling this a “down” year for the hefty lefty, Sabathia is on pace for another 15+ win year. Sabathia is the definition of a workhorse and is arguably the best lefty in the game right now other than Cliff Lee. He’s gone at least seven in all of his last four starts and is 4-0 over that span, so when he takes the bump against the lowly Mariners at the end of the week, one would have to think that trend will continue. Sabathia hasn’t registered double-digit strikeouts in quite some time, but that’s about the only thing we can think to possibly harp on.
5.Jake Peavy, SP CHW: 7-5, 4.71 ERA, 1.22 WHIP 86 K
Peavy got off to an absolutely atrocious start to the 2010 campaign and many thought that the he was a lost hope in the AL. However, Peavy has been remarkably better over his last three starts, getting stronger as the season is getting deeper. If Peavy can figure out a way to keep it going and prove that he can recapture his form from his San Diego days, he could be a very dangerous weapon for a ChiSox team that could desperately use him. Fantasy owners could look to pry him away from an owner but the window to buy-low may be very quickly closing.
6.Matt Cain, SP SF: 6-6, 2.72 ERA, 1.10 WHIP 70 K
Despite getting absolutely hammered in his last start against Houston, Cain has been far too good this season to not take advantage of him. Even though he gave up seven runs in 2.2 IP in that outing, his ERA remains spectacular on the season. Perhaps the most surprising thing about Cain this season has been his somewhat low strikeout numbers, but his overall effort has been outstanding. Cain limits the number of hits that he allows which aids in his effectiveness. He’s a two-start pitcher this week and looks like he’s lined up for a solid week ahead.
7.Carl Pavano, MIN: 9-6, 3.33 ERA 1.03 WHIP 59 K
The ‘stache isn’t trash when it comes to Pavano, as that hairy upper lip has seen a ton of success lately. Pavano has pitched back-to-back complete games and has gone at least seven innings in nine of his last ten games. He’s won four consecutive outings and is on fire for the Twins. With his next start scheduled at home this week against a TB squad that just got no-hit (again!), Pavano will look to keep his most recent success rolling. He definitely should not be available in your league, but double check just to make sure.
8.Max Scherzer, SP DET: 4-6, 5.26 ERA 1.46 WHIP 75K
One look at his season stats and fantasy owners may think I’m crazy for recommending him, but let me explain. As most know, it’s been a tale of two seasons in the first half for the young flamethrower. After being sent to the minors to work out his early season kinks, Scherzer has returned with much more expected results. While it’s possible that he still may struggle from time-to-time, expect him to deliver consistent strikeout results each time out. He has 49 K over his last six starts since coming back up, the same number as league-leader (and # 1 on our list) Yovani Gallardo.
9. Trevor Cahill, SP OAK: 7-2, 2.88 ERA 1.08 WHIP 52 K
Cahill has snuck under the fantasy radar for most of the season pitching in Oakland, but he’s simply been too good to ignore. He’s yet to allow a first-inning run this season and hasn’t allowed more than three ER in a start since the end of April. He hasn’t lost since May 16th and has become a really solid play in mixed formats. His fantasy value is slightly limited by his low strikeout totals, but I like everything else about him.
10.Shaun Marcum, TOR: 7-3, 3.14 ERA 1.13 WHIP 81 K
Marcum has been just about as good as the Jays could’ve prayed for at the beginning of the season. He’s been absolute gold for fantasy owners who saw his success coming and decided to take a flier on him coming into the year. His stuff definitely won’t blow any opposing hitters away, but his ability to locate his pitches consistently has really paved the way for his success. He’s sporting a 2.00 ERA over his last three starts and looks to be a promising option for the upcoming week.