Oakland has, for the last several years, been known for its great young pitching staff's. With former top prospects Trevor Cahill, Brett Anderson and Gio Gonzalez pitching with the best of the MLB's best starters, things aren't much different from the A's teams of the early 2000's.
Trevor Cahill has been spectacular thus far in 2011 and he's getting better. After winning 18 games last season with a sub-3.00 ERA he is 6-0 in 2011 with a sparkling 1.72 ERA in 52 innings pitched. What has happened? Well, he figured out his curveball. His out pitch through college and the minor leagues was his curveball and it kept his K/9 much higher than his career mark of 5.32. His K/9 on this season sits at a much improved 7.74 and he has won 6 of his first 8 decisions including his last start where he went seven innings, allowing just one run to Texas and striking out seven. ESPN is even considering him to the the AL's best starting pitcher.
What other pitchers are on our radar for hot streaks? Here's a list of a few pitchers to look for to have good weekends in week six of the fantasy baseball season.
Thursday, May 12
Zach Britton gets to face the Seattle Mariners for the first time in his career. The Mariners who are 24th in baseball in runs scored recently cut the struggling Milton Bradley and are reeling for some offensive stability. This might be just what Britton needs to help him rebound from his recent loss to Tampa Bay where lasted just 5.1 innings and gave up 3 runs. The rookie is 5-2 with a sub-3.00 ERA and has potential to keep this up through the entire season and he should not have problems doing that against Seattle on Thursday.
Brandon Beachy has been spectacular in his rookie season with Atlanta. Beachy faces Washington for the first time in his career and hopes to keep the momentum from his recent dominance over Milwaukee. His 45 K's in 41.2 innings is very promising and is right in line with his minor league career K/9 of 9.9. Wins have been hard to come by for Beachy as he is just 1-1, but his 2.98 ERA and .97 WHIP make him a very useful fantasy asset.
Friday, May 13
Gavin Floyd has been nothing but inconsistent this season, but that should change after he faces Oakland on Friday. He has finally gotten his ERA under 4.00 after his last where he shut out Seattle over 8 innings while striking out 6. In his four starts this season where he's allowed 2 or less runs, he has struck out 6 or more batters. Even though he is typically a post-all star break stud, he has always had his flashes of brilliance in the first half of the season and his start against the punchless A's is sure to be one of those moments.
Prior to his last two starts, Ryan Dempster, had been awful, but he now gets to face San Francisco on Friday. He's given up just 3 earned runs in his last 14 innings while striking out 9 in that span. S.F. is without their best hitter (Pablo Sandoval) and took 9 innings to score one run last night against Arizona. All that is to say that the Giants have a had a hard time scoring runs this year. Look for Dempster to climb out of the dumpster this weekend and get back to fantasy relevance.
Saturday, May 14
Tyson Ross is the newest staple of the A's young and talented rotation and is one of four A's starters that is virtually untouchable. In his last three starts Ross has allowed just 3 earned runs over 19.1 innings. He hasn't struck out a ton of batters, but pitching for the great Oakland defense and getting a home start against Chicago should bode well for Ross and the A's.
Erik Bedard is slowly but surely getting back to his pre-injury form. His last start lasted just five innings against Chicago, but the nine strikeouts were an enjoyable number. He has allowed just five earned runs in his last three starts and the K's should keep coming especially against Cleveland in his next outing.