As we get set to enter Week 16, now is the perfect time to begin highlighting pitchers since the majority of your points come from the flame throwing mound residents. But instead of simply looking at a few names or a few hot players we thought we would differentiate the best from the worst and highlight the diamonds in the rough you need to know about.
Each week we will highlight the Top Five Starting Pitchers, the Top Five Pitchers You Must Sit, some Waiver Wire hotness and then I'll take a stab at the Pitcher of the Week that you might can pickup in your league.
So let’s get right down to business, shall we?
The Top Five Starting Pitchers for Week 15 (7/19 to 7/25)
|1. Ubaldo Jimenez – Rockies: Jimenez opens up the week against the Marlins where he is 1-1 with a 1.80 ERA, a 1.168 WHIP, with an astonishing 13.5 K/9 rate lifetime against the fish. Jimenez did have three bad outings prior to the AS break but righted his ship in his last outing against the formidable Cardinals, so don’t worry about the kid, all is well with the NL All-Star, and you can start him with confidence.|
|2. Wade Davis – Rays: The month of June was horrible for Davis, but July is showing itself to be a better month. For those of you who own Davis, now is the time to capitalize on his skill set as he’ll face the Orioles on Monday, and Indians on Saturday making him a two start pitcher for the week. Davis is 3-0 with a 1.57 ERA alongside an 8.8 K/9 rate against both teams combined lifetime.|
|3. Carlos Silva – Cubs: After starting the season 8-0, Silva ran into some turbulence as of late, but he is still one the better pitchers in the league. What you may not know, is Silva faces the Astros (Monday) and the Cardinals (Sunday) where he is 4-0 with a 1.95 ERA with an 8.6 K/9 rate against both teams lifetime….think about that one kids!|
|4. Johnny Cueto – Reds: Cueto had an impressive last outing against the mighty Phillies, and has altogether put a couple of really good outings together as of late as he heads into Monday to face the Nationals. Cueto has a great supporting cast around him, and can throw a ton of strikes. He would be higher on the list, but he hasn’t thrown as many as the aforementioned, but his value is still solid. He’ll face the lowly Astros after dealing with Washington.|
|5. Daisuke Matsuzaka – Red Sox: Dice-K has put together a nice season thus far in 2010, sporting a 6-3 record with a 4.56 ERA, a 1.39 WHIP with a 7.5 K/9 rate. He’ll face both the Athletics and Mariners this week (Monday and Saturday) where he is 5-2 with a 4.08 ERA and has an 8.9 K/9 rate.|
The Top Five Pitchers to Sit for Week 15 (7/19 to 7/25)
|1. Kyle Kendrick – Phillies: As it stands right now Kendrick is a great ”feel good” story, but lacks dominate command, and is too erratic which is why he is better suited this week on the bench as he will face the Cardinals and Rockies before Sunday hits.|
|2. Ben Sheets – Athletics: It’s very simple here: Sheets and company face the Red Sox and the White Sox before the week is through, and Sheets isn’t going to do jack against either of them. He simply isn’t as dominate as he once was and should be sat this week.|
|3. Anibal Sanchez – Marlins: Sanchez has little opportunity to provide fantasy owners anything other than headaches this upcoming week. His HR rate is through the roof, his WHIP is unimpressive and going against the Rockies and Jimenez isn’t exactly a prime situation for garnering a win.|
|4. Scott Baker – Twins: Baker is hard one to list as a sit, but he is 3-5 in his last 10 starts and while the Indians are a tasty matchup at first glance, their young scrappy hitters have a penchant for beating up struggling pitchers.|
|5. Mike Pelfrey – Mets: Some of you might not agree with putting a 10-4 pitcher on a sit list but hear me out. Pelfrey was literally blowing away teams earlier on in the season, but has come back down to earth failing to even get past the fifth inning in each of his last three starts, and hasn’t had a quality start in at LEAST his last four. Arizona isn’t a great team, but they can hit the long ball, so if you do disagree I still say you are taking a huge risk this week considering Pelfrey will face the Dodgers after the D-Backs.|
Top Three Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 15 (7/19 to 7/25)
|1. Jon Garland – Padres: 9-6 with a 3.45 ERA. Owned 45% in Yahoo, 47% in ESPN. Garland is a hot pickup off the waivers this week winning three of his last five, and seems to be getting hotter. He gets the Braves and Pirates this week.|
|2. Joel Pineiro – Angels: The Angels are 13-6 when he pitches and Pineiro is 8-1 with a 3.03 ERA from June first to the present day. He has an ownership of 52% Yahoo, 68% ESPN and should be grabbed if still available.|
|3. Brandon Morrow – Blue Jays: Morrow continues to heat up and currently sports 119 strikeouts in 107 innings pitched. He doesn’t walk many batters, doesn’t give up the long ball, and has a great supporting cast that gets him the win. He is also the owner of a sick 10.0 K/9 rate. Not enough? He is sporting a low ownership in both Yahoo (28%) and ESPN (22%). Go get him right now! Morrow faces the Tigers and Orioles in his next two outings.|
Pitcher Highlight of the Week: Brett Cecil – Toronto Blue Jays
Monday’s are always a hit or miss when it comes down to deciding on pitchers—especially for those of you in a weekly format—but among the slim pickings (most of them already mentioned) comes Brett Cecil.
Cecil is an interesting case in the sense that, he is becoming one of the biggest fantasy steals this year much like he was in 2009, where he finished with a 7-4 record alongside a 5.30 ERA and a 6.7 K/9 rate.
Now, in 2010, Cecil is once again quietly putting together a very nice season as he currently sits on an 8-5 record with a 3.97 ERA and a 6.5 K/9 rate. Despite his performance thus far, his ownership percents are pretty low 30% Yahoo, 17% ESPN.
For the upcoming week, Cecil will face two teams he has never dealt with before in Kansas City and Detroit, with another stint against Cleveland in the mix on July 30th tentatively.
Kansas City is primarily a right handed batting team, and righties are batting 2.87 against the youngster, but the Royals have been struggling all year against pretty much anyone, and are currently dealing with a five game losing streak at the time of this article which could be just the right time to start him. He gets the nod against the Royals on Monday.
Detroit is ranked third in team BA, but they are also dealing with their own five game losing streak and team hitting struggles. Detroit can go either way in regard to overloading a pitcher with righties or lefties with two of their primary starters being switch hitters (Carlos Guillen and Ramon Santiago).
His last start in the month of July will come against a Cleveland Indian team where he is 1-0 with a 0.86 ERA and a 10.7 K/9 rate. The Indians are scrappy, yes, and they can hit the ball well (at times) but dealing with a pitcher who has a penchant for strikes is where they struggle the most making this matchup very tasty.
At the end of the month—assuming he even wins two out of the three—Cecil will be a great candidate for those of you in keeper leagues, and/or a great sell high candidate for those of you always on the lookout for a quality deal, since the competition level significantly increases for Cecil in August with the Yankees and Red Sox being the first two teams he will face.
Got a question? Simply leave it below and we’ll answer anything you need and as always, good luck this week!
All starts are projected starts listed on MLB.com, and are subject to change throughout the week.