Last week provided a few unwelcome surprises with players like Jimenez, Pelfrey, and Silva getting knocked around, while the balance of everyone else remained on par.
Some of the more pleasant surprises were Wade Davis, Dice-K, and Brandon Morrow; two of which I advised as starters, with Morrow being one of my waiver wire mentions.
So let’s take a look at who’s on the mound this coming week, and what you can expect to gain by starting or sitting. Then we’ll delve into our Player Highlight of the Week.
The Top Five Starting Pitchers for Week 15 (7/27 to 8/1)
|1. Cliff Lee - TEX: The old boy seems to be fitting in just fine in Texas picking up his first win against the Angels. He faces an Oakland team where he is 4-2 with a 2.61 ERA and 6.6 K/9 rate lifetime.|
|2. Ted Lilly - CHC: The talk of the town in MLB trade rumors, and also an Astro killer. His last time against the Astros he held them to one run over seven innings while fanning six. Lifetime, Lilly is 7-1 with a 2.36 ERA and a 7.1 K/9 rate vs. the Astros.|
|3. Josh Johnson - FLA: The kid just won’t slow down and hasn’t allowed more than two runs in 13 outings…outings, not innings folks. He’s 10-3 with an amazing 1.61 ERA in 2010.|
|4. Adam Wainwright - STL: Wainwright has pitched 25 scoreless innings in his last four starts and is a five tool player that brings nothing but gold to the fantasy table each week making him a must start.|
|5. Chad Billingsley - LAD: There are a couple of pitchers who could arguably occupy the fifth spot, but Billingsley is fresh off of a nine inning shutout of the Giants, and is 9-4 with a 2.51 ERA, and an 8.7 K/9 rate lifetime against the Padres. His lifetime ERA at PETCO is 2.43.|
The Top Five Pitchers to Sit for Week 15 (7/27 to 8/1)
|1. Bruce Chen – CLE: The Twins beat up Chen the last time out, as he gave up five runs on ten hits. Chen has been marginal at best since taking over for Gil Meche, so don’t even think about giving him the nod.|
|2. Jon Niese – NYM: In his last four, Niese has gone 1-2 with 2.70 ERA while coughing up a disturbing 24 hits. Not the kind of stats you want following you around when facing the Cardinals. Give Niese the noose and don’t look back.|
|3. Jorge De La Rosa – COL: In his last three starts, De La Rosa is 0-1 with a 5.58 ERA. In his last 13.1 IP he has given up 13 hits, 14 runs scored, 5 homeruns, and has a 14/9 K/BB ratio. Doesn’t seem as if he is completely healed yet, does it?|
|4. Jamie Shields – TB: Anyone who allows four earned runs on eight hits against the Orioles should reevaluate themselves. It doesn’t get any easier against the Tigers this week, with or without Magglio Ordonez.|
|5. Edinson Volquez – CIN: Volquez has not had the type of return he, or owners, would’ve liked thus far. His control is still wild, and he is displaying more inconsistency than I would like to see at this point which makes him a sit candidate against the Brewers this week, or until he starts showing more consistency.|
Top Three Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 15 (7/27 to 8/1)
|1. Brett Myers – HOU: 2-0 in his last three starts with a 1.59 ERA, 17/3 K/BB ratio and a BAbip of .238 also in that time. Myers is easily reached in Yahoo leagues with a low 32% ownership, but is favored in CBS leagues at 75%.|
|2. Gio Gonzalez – OAK: Gio is 3-1 in his last four starts with a 3.80 ERA and a low 28% ownership in Yahoo leagues; 63% ownership in CBS leagues. Gio’s stock has risen as of late, so if you’re gonna grab him, do it now.|
|3. Gavin Floyd – CWS: Talk about rising stock, Floyd has been a hot commodity as of late, and a hot pitcher, going 3-2 with a 1.16 ERA in his last nine starts. He threw seven scoreless against the Mariners the last time out, and after Seattle, he’ll face Oakland where he is 2-0 with a 1.33 ERA lifetime.|
Pitcher Highlight of the Week - Yovani Gallardo - Milwaukee Brewers.
In his return from the DL on July 22nd, Gallardo put to rest any concern over his strained left oblique, by pitching six scoreless innings on five hits while fanning five against Pittsburgh.
Gallardo can throw some serious heat eclipsing 10 or more strikes on five separate occasions this year alone, and appears to be more than healed from an injury that has a tendency to hang around longer than your in-laws at Christmas.
Gallardo’s value is about to skyrocket in the next couple of weeks, as he gets ready to face Houston, Houston again, and Arizona. After that, he’ll face the Cardinals and the Dodgers before facing the Reds once again by month’s end.
Bottom line, Gallardo is one of the premier guys that should be started in all formats for the next month, and if you aren’t an owner, you might want to find some sort of trade deal to acquire him.
All starts are projected starts listed on MLB.com, and are subject to change throughout the week.