Oakland starter Rich Harden won his 2011 debut against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday. He struck out 6 hitters in 6 innings of work and looks healthy for the first time in a while. He gets a chance to face his old team, the Texas Rangers, In Arlington, TX On Thursday, July 7 and may be a starter worth checking out. He has value going forward and deserves a chance in deeper leagues.
Here are the little owned starting pitchers who have good matchups in week 14:
Wednesday, July 6
Phil Hughes will be activated from the 60-day DL on Wednesday to make his first start since April 14. He faces the Cleveland Indians, but don't be so quick to hit the add button. Not only is Cleveland a hot, first place team, Hughes is fresh off a "dead arm" injury that forced his velocity to take a hit. His fastball velocity during his rehab hit 92-94 consistently, but if he doesn't have his location dialed in, he could be knocked around. Give Hughes a one to two start preview before jumping on him.
Bud Norris gets the three-games-over-.500 Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday and is a must start. This season Norris is 0-2 against the Pirates, but his ERA rests at a solid 2.57 against them and he has 18 K's in just 14 innings. Interleague play wasn't great to Norris, he allowed 7 earned runs in 11 innings, but he threw quality starts in five of last six starts against NL foes including a 7 inning, 1 ER, 9 K performance against Pittsburgh on June 14. He is owned in just 69.7 percent of ESPN leagues.
Thursday, July 7
Bartolo Colon was spectacular in his return from the DL on Saturday, he went 6 innings allowing just five hits and no earned runs. He didn't walk a batter and he struck out 6 on the way to his sixth win of the year. His ERA on the season now sits at 2.88 and his WHIP is 1.06. Owned in just 58.2 percent of leagues, Colon is a must add/start pitcher on Thursday against the Rays and for any start going forward.
This might come as a shock, but Barry Zito deserves an add this week for his start against San Diego on Thursday. He has won his two starts since being activated from the DL including a 6 inning/0 run, rain delayed effort on three days rest against Detroit. San Diego's lineup doesn't scare many and is 29th in baseball in runs scored. Zito is owned in just 2.9 percent of ESPN leagues.
Friday, July 8
Ervin Santana has been great over his last six starts. Despite losing four times, he threw four quality starts in those six turns and allowed over three runs just once in that span. He faces the Mariners (who are last in baseball in runs) at home, a place he has a 3.34 ERA at this year. In his only start against Seattle this year he lost, but he went 6.2 innings and gave up only 2 earned runs while striking out 7. He is owned in 42.4 percent of ESPN leagues and is a must start this week.
Sunday, July 10
Matt Harrison has been quietly putting together a solid season for Texas and his start against Oakland over the weekend should only add to his success. He has quality starts in three of his last four games and a 3.30 ERA on the season. The A's have a terrible offense and show no sings of improving. Harrison is owned in 26.3 percent of ESPN leagues.