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April 29, 2008

Starting Pitchers April 28th Garland, Javy Vazquez

Only a few games on Monday night, but a few aces were dealing on the mound. Johan Santana was supposed to pitch today but the game against Pittsburgh was postponed. He will pitch tomorrow.

Top SP Lines of the Day

Javier Vazquez (CHW) - 8 Innings, 1 Run, 4 hits, 1 walk, 7 K's, no decision. Javy has really broke out since joining the White Sox. His ERA and WHIP are still a little high for the year but he was bombed against NYY recently. Vazquez is a borderline fantasy #1 and will prey on the AL Central (and other weak teams like Baltimore).

Dan Haren (Ari) - 7.2 Innings, 3 Runs, 5 hits, 1 walk, 5 K's, win (4-1). The Diamondbacks have a loaded starting pitching staff. Remember though that he has been a beast the last few first halves but tailed off. With Arizona's team though that isn't likely to happen.

Chad Gaudin (Oak) - 6 Innings 1 run, 5 hits, 2 walks, 4 K's, win (3-1). Gaudin has 4 straight solid games and the last two were spectacular. He is prone to control problems but has also demonstrated decent K potential with 19 in 24 innings. His success / failure will likely hinge on whether or not Oakland continues to be a solid team throughout the summer; if so, Gaudin will have spot start value.

Not much else for quality pitching. Mike Mussina got an ugly win. Bronson Arroyo redeemed himself a little for his crappy past few games with his first win of the season. Matt Cain earned his first win of the year also and gave up no runs but in 5 innings he had 4 hits / 5 walks and 3 k's, none of which are good.

Worst SP Lines of the Day

Jon Garland (LAA) - 6 Innings, 7 runs, 10 hits, 3 walks, 5 K's, loss (3-3). He has had some solid outings and is on a lot of fantasy rosters but has the potential to bomb like this. Anytime you have a guy striking out 4 batters in 30.1 innings, you are asking for trouble unless it's Chien Ming Wang (from 2 years ago). Garland struck out 5 amazingly in this one game, but continues to have an awful 1.65 WHIP.

Franklin Morales (Col)
- 4.1 Innings, 4 runs, 6 hits, 5 walks, 1 K, loss (1-2). Like Ubaldo Jimenez, Franklin is not getting it done in the big leagues. He has the stuff to do so but is still putting too many batters on base. He had a good first start against Arizona but it's been pretty ugly since. Unless you are in a deep league though this guy is probably not owned.

Chris Sampson had a good game last outing but was thrashed today. Daniel Cabrera's counterpart struck out 7 batters so Cabrera matched him by walking 7 batters. And Aaron Laffey in Cleveland pitched okay but still lost to the Yankees.

April 28, 2008

April 27th Jame Shields Padilla Shutouts

A lot of #1 pitchers went on Sunday April 27th. In turn there were a bit of complete games, and solid pitching efforts in general.

Overachievers

Top SP Line of the Day

James Shields (TB) - 9 Innings, CG, SO, 0 Runs, 3 BB / H, 7 K's. With apologies to Vicente Padilla, this award on this date has to go to James Shields. A 3 hit shutout even at home against the Red Sox requires mentioning. And Shields is 3-1 with only a few bad starts, and the starts where he gave up 4, 5, and 5 runs only about half of them were earned. Before the season people had a hard time giving this guy the benefit of the doubt over K Machine but also injury-riddled Scott Kazmir. Shields though looks like a more consistent ace and as TB's ascension to being a decent team continues, Shields will likely be leading the way. He may not be elite, but he is getting close and is a top 10 AL starter.

Vicente Padilla (Tex) - 9 Innings, CG, SO, 0 Runs, 9 BB / H, 2 K's. A pretty ugly shutout, but a shutout is a shutout. I love getting that CG and SO category with a nice cheap shutout like Vicente's against Minnesota. Vicente is anything but consistent, but you could say that about any Texas SP. But Vicente has been known to have crazy games from time to time, and the Minnesota lineup is not that scary. This guy will probably stay a stream start but if the matchup is right, Padilla can still pitch effectively. Would have liked more than 2 K's in 9 innings though!

Chien Ming Wang (NYY) - 7 Innings, 0 Runs, 6 BB / H, 9 K's. Lots of lines close to this one, but Wang gets the benefit of the doubt shutting down Cleveland at Cleveland. Of course he is pitching deep into games but that's what Wang does. He is now 5-0. What's more, he's striking people out this year. If this continues watch out, because that was the only thing Chien Ming did not do well in previous years. Few can shut down an offense and win games like Wang.

CC Sabathia (Cle) - 8 Innings, 1 Run, 5 BB / H, 8 K's. Tough loss for CC. He won the start before with 11 K's in 6 innings and now this effort against NYY, so it's clear things are turning around for the big fella. If you can still buy low on CC from an owner in your league, I would do so. But you are running out of time.

Paul Maholm (Pit) - 9 Innings, CG, 1 Run, 6 BB / H, 2 K's. Another Padilla-like CG on this strange day. Maholm shutting down Philly? It will take more than this and his last win against Florida to make owners believe but it seems like he could be another spot starter if the matchup is right (though I wouldn't consider the Phillies a team to stream pitchers against).

Jake Peavy (SD) - 7 Innings, 2 Runs, 7 BB / H, 9 K's. Tough loss for Peavy going up against his rival Brandon Webb. Peavy still has a 2.09 ERA with a 38 / 14 K / BB ratio. Still one of the top 3 SP's if not #1.

John Lannan (Wash) - 7 Innings, 0 Runs, 8 BB / H, 3 K's. One more ugly yet solid outing from a lesser known commodity. It was a solid Cubs lineup in what has become more of a hitter's park over in Washington. Lannan though has shut down CHC, ATL and the NYM to the tune of 20 Innings, 1 Run, 18 K's. Will it last? At the very least this guy has to be considered as a top stream SP pickup.

Jesse Litsch (Tor) - 7 Innings, 1 ER, 5 BB / H, 4 K's. Not really a great outing but he got the win. This is important as even though it was Kansas City, it was a rare road effort from Litsch who is usually just a good pickup for home matchups.

Josh Beckett (Bos) - 7 Innings, 1 Run, 5 BB / H, 13 K's. Tough luck loss for Beckett as he is 2-2 but is striking people out and is backed by a solid offense. He will get that 4.10 ERA up and he has 29 K's in 4 games so it looks like his stuff is intact.

Brandon Webb (Ari) - 6 Innings, 0 Runs, 9 BB / H, 5 K's. Ugly WHIP and just 5 's, but he got yet another win. 6-0 is Brandon Webb, playing for those dominating Arizona Diamondbacks. Don't be surprised if this guy wins over 20 games considering his consistency and the Diamondbacks potential for really busting out as a 100+ win team. Oh and he has a 1.98 ERA.

Edinson Volquez (Cin) - 7 Innings, 1 Run, 8 BB / H, 10 K's. Last but definitely not least for the great SP starts of 4-27-2008 is Edy Volquez in Cincinnati. Granted this was at San Francisco so this is probably the best matchup you could have. But 10 K's in 7 Innings is something. This is a young guy that never flourished in Texas, but he has a 1.23 ERA, 33 K's in 29 innings, and is 4-0 for Cincinnati.

Underachievers

Worst SP Line of the Day

Barry Zito (SF) - 3 Innings, 8 Runs, 10 BB / H, 1 K. Is there a worse SP in the league right now than Barry Zito? When you consider he is one of the highest paid SP's as well, it is just embarrassing that he is stealing money from the San Francisco Giants. Granted he has one of the worst lineups to support him, but he has a great park. But he just does not have stuff anymore. The K's aren't there, he's walking people and inefficient, and he has more walks than K's. There are still people owning him based on his name yet Jonathan Sanchez has a K per inning on the same team but is not touched because he's not making 150+ million dollars over the next 6 or so years.

Livan Hernandez (Min) - 2.2 Innings, 7 Runs, 10 BB / H, 2 K's. Livan has avoided these this season, until this one. He started off 3-0 without giving up many runs. The K's weren't there but they never were, and owners would have been happy if he just kept his ERA down. But now it shot up to 5.05 and you have to wonder if the old Livan is coming back. He is a workhorse no doubt but is another veteran lacking in stuff and when you can't miss bats you are bound to get lit up eventually.

John Smoltz (Atl) - 4 Innings, 4 Runs, 9 BB / H, 5 K's. I got this guy in a bunch of leagues and this was sad to see. The Mets are a great offense but he is probably hurt to some extent. Even with this crappy outing, he has 36 K's in 27 Innings with a 2.00 ERA. Hopefully this ace is healthy because when he is you are looking at one of the more underrated studs.

Brett Myers (Phi) - 5 Innings, 4 Runs, 9 BB / H, 5 K's. Not a terrible effort from Myers but it needs to be pointed out that his return to the rotation has not gone as smoothly as hoped. He had two good starts against Houston and Chicago at home but is giving up runs and not striking batters out in the other four. We know from 2004-2006 that he can start and strike out a batter an inning in about 200 innings. Remember though that he closed most of last year and was injured too. I have him in a million leagues so I have to hold onto him and ride it out.

Not really any other crappy pitching lines from April 27th 2008, Sunday. Good job guys.

April 26, 2008

April 25th Starting Pitchers

Summary from day before: Not the best SP lines from 4 - 25 - 2008.

Overachievers

Top SP Line of the Day

Jonathan Sanchez (SF) - 8 Innings, 1 run, 5 BB / H, 10 K's. I have been keeping my eye on this guy even since his first game. He gave up 7 runs in 4 innings but had 8 K's. Missing bats is the most important thing for a pitcher because more balls in play leads to more probability that the batter will get a hit. So when a raw young player has a lot of K's per inning, you have to watch. Sure enough his next game he went 6 innings for o runs and 10 k's. So if anything this 8 inning 10 K start today might not even be his best one this season so far. Do you keep watching for more sample size or pick him up? I am almost at the point on some teams where I am sitting through Blanton types who I think will recover but a young stud striking out a ton of guys named Jonathan Sanchez is still only 30% owned in leagues.

Aaron Harang (Cin) - 7.1 Innings, 2 Runs, 9 BB / H, 8 K's. One of my favorites. Everyone expects this guy to start pitching poorly or for his arm to fall off from all the innings in recent years, but instead he just looks solid. And he always strikes out more guys than you'd think, along with pitching deep into games. He is always a CG / SO leader, at least the last few years. This guy is right there with the Smoltz / Haren types and I like him more than similar players like Zambrano. Worst thing going for him is the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati but he seems to have gotten the hang of it over the years. His 1-3 record will even out soon enough.

Ryan Dempster (Chc) - 7 Innings, 2 Runs, 7 BB / H, 5 K's. Dempster continues his solid move to the rotation. He did not pick up the win but has a 2.90 ERA in this early season, with tolerable K totals. The Cubs have one of the top teams in the league and especially NL; it is teams like this you want to watch, because the 3 - 5 starters become valuable like Dempster here.

Odalis Perez (Wash) - 6 Innings, 2 Runs, 9 BB / H, 7 K's. Okay big Odalis has had a superb comeback year so far. He has had some tough luck as the #1 starter for Washington and is 0-3, but only has had one really bad game. And he has had a few 6, 7 K games. If he is not walking too many people and staying healthy, here is another sleeping candidate as a good stream SP or maybe even a good player at the end of a roster in a 12 team league.

AJ Burnett (Tor) - 7.1 Innings, 3 Runs, 11 BB / H, 6 K's. AJ has started off poorly but veteran fantasy players know about him. He has always had a top K rate with great stuff. But he has always had control issue and health issues. That said you probably did not have to draft him too high; he is a solid end of the roster starter because of his K's but his walks can be disastrous at times. Stick with him though.

Zach Greinke (KC) - 7 Innings, 1 Run, 6 BB / H, 4 K's. Not a K machine but this guy is slowly turning into a must-own in all leagues. He can pitch deep into games and has a 1.25 ERA in 5 games started. Though he has not given up more than 2 runs all year so you may see some bad games to even out his stats soon enough. Still, it looks like he has returned from his personal issues from a few years past.

Shawn Chacon (Hou) - 7 Innings, 1 Run, 11 BB / H, 3 K's. Kind of an ugly outing with the 6 walks and no one will mistake Chacon for a fantasy stud. But he does have a 2.45 ERA and has pitched 6 innings in all 5 games he has pitched. He also has 5 no decisions in those games.

Braden Looper (Stl) - 7 Innings, 0 Runs, 3 BB / H, 2 K's. Hmm. Braden got absolutely lit up the start before but now an ace-like performance without the strikeouts. 3 BB / H will help your WHIP a ton. This guy will never strike anyone out and can have awful games like his last one, but also is pitching for an overachieving STL team
.
Big Unit Randy Johnson (Ari) - 6 Innings, 1 Run, 5 BB / H, 7 K's. Randy got overlooked in drafts this year in general, but has performed solid since his return from injury. When he plays he is solid and if he can stay healthy you may see a really good year out of him with Arizona, probably the best NL team.

Dana Eveland (Oak) - 5.1 Innings, 3 Runs, 7 BB / H, 3 K's. This young Oakland SP is 3-1 with a 2.48 ERA so far. Had 13 K's in his first two starts but not much since. That said he has not been shelled yet and looks like a consistent cog in an Oakland rotation starving for some consistency with Joe Blanton struggling.

Scott Olsen (Fla) - 7.1 Innings, 0 Runs, 9 BB / H, 0 K's. What a strange game from a guy who has been solid this year. 0 K's but no runs. 5 Walks is a lot and he has the potential to walk too many guys, but if not he can be a solid workhorse. Has gone 7 innings each game except the first where he went 6, and he is 3-0 for the surprising Marlins. Don't expect that to last but again, this is a guy to look at for a stream start.

Yovani Gallardo (Mil) - 7 Innings, 0 Runs, 8 BB / H, 5 K's. One of my personal favorites, I swear I get him in almost every league I am in. He is not in that elite category but he is hovering right below it in my humble opinion. Dude has a 0.64 ERA so far and was solid last year. If not for a debacle in Colorado we are talking a sub 3.00 ERA, and he pitches for a decent team with a decent offense. Oh, and he's young. This guy is a stud plain and simple.

Jair Jurrjens (Det) - 6 Innings, 3 Runs, 6 BB / H, 4 K's. This guy is a true breakout candidate. Coming from Detroit last year this guy is 3-2 with a 3.45 ERA. He has tamed the NY Met lineup and his only "bad" game (4 runs 7 innings 3 K's) was at Colorado. If he is available in your league you may want to pick him up. Either that or he is one of the top stream-type pitcher you can find.

Matt Garza (TB) - 5 Innings, 3 Runs, 8 BB / H, 1 K. Another guy who could arguably be in the bad SP list, but it was decent enough and would have got the win if JP Howell did not blow it. Plus he was playing Boston and coming off an injury. A young stud like this (traded to TB for Delmon Young) has breakout potential but you may wish to watch him do it a few more time to be sure.

Ervin Santana (LAA) - 6.1 Innings, 3 Runs, 8 BB / H, 4 K's. Gotta start off with Erv. He is now 4-0 with a 2.97 ERA and he is pitching on the road (after one of the craziest home / road splits in baseball history in 2007). Ervin always had the stuff as evidenced by his mid 2000 years where he was nearly an ace. Now that he is pitching on the road (against a solid Det lineup no less) he is probably a must own in 10 team leagues and up.

Nate Robertson (Det) - 7 Innings, 4 Runs, 7 BB / H, 3 K's. Okay he didn't have that great of a night but a 1.00 WHIP and a few K's is okay. Got the loss and is 0-3 with a 6.91 ERA. Another SP you check the matchups for. At least he has been consistent, giving up 4-5 runs per game with 5-6 K's per game.

Underachievers

Andy Pettitte (NYY) - 5 Innings, 4 Runs, 11 BB / H, 3 K's. Not the worst game ever, especially considering he was pitching against Cleveland. He still has a 3.23 ERA and the potentially the best run supporting team around. Veterans like Andy are consistent enough to win 14-16 games with tolerable strikeout totals.

Paul Byrd (Cle) - 5.2 Innings, 4 Runs, 6 BB / H, 0 K's. Typical Paul Byrd. He gets the win, but no strikeouts. 4 Runs in almost 6 innings is not even that bad against NYY. Expect good control from Byrd; not a lot of BB's, not a lot of K's, and his poor stuff may lead to huge games against him, but he is a cagey veteran. Watch the matchups with him.

Adam Eaton (Phi) - 3.2 Innings, 3 Runs, 7 BB / H, 3 K's. He should not be owned in any league save for an extremely favorable matchup and even then you are risking your ERA plus this guy does not get K's.

Zach Duke (Pit) - 6 Innings, 6 Runs, 10 BB / H, 2 K's. Remember his rookie year? It's been all downhill since, he was supposed to be an ace for the Pirates but as of now he is still unowned in most fantasy leagues.

Tim Wakefield (Bos) - 6 Innings, 3 runs, 11 BB / H, 1 K. Pretty generic game from the 40+ year old. You never know what you'll get from the knuckleballer. He is risky but he can also win a lot of games with that team / lineup, and on occasion will come away with a CG / SO too. Don't expect K's but he can be useful.

Mike Pelfrey (NYM) - 5.1 Innings, 5 Runs, 13 BB / H, 1 K. Yikes. And to think this guy was to be included in the Johan Santana trade. Either way he had two good initial starts but has bombed since.

Nick Blackburn (Min) - 6 Innings, 5 Runs, 12 BB / H, 3 K's. Has been a sleeper of sorts at the back end of the Twins rotation, but a matchup at Texas like this never bodes well even in Texas' current state. He still has a 3.45 ERA so if the matchup is right he may give you a nice start.

Kevin Millwood (Tex) - 6 Innings, 5 Runs, 11 BB / H, 6 K's. I used Millwood as a spot start against Minnesota but ran into trouble when he gave up a Grand Slam to Justin Morneau. 6 K's is not bad but he has had more efficient outings to say the least.

Randy Wolf (SD) - 4 Innings, 5 Runs, 7 BB / H, 3 K's. This guy is always a favorite of mine since his Dodger / Phillie days. Always underrated and started off this year fine as well. Despite this bomb of an outing he has a 3.68 ERA and plays in Petco Park . May not get run support but his ERA should stay below or around 4 with decent K totals (assuming he actually stays healthy this year!)

Miguel Batista (Sea) - 1 Inning, 3 Runs, 7 BB / H, 2 K's. He left the game with a strained right groin, but this was not a good start from the beginning. Miguel is another guy who does not strike out a lot of batters but playing in Seattle his ERA should be decent depending on the matchup. The game before this he almost went 8 innings with 8 K's and no runs so he is someone to watch when he comes back healthy.

Hiroki Kuroda (LAD)
- 6 Innings, 5 Runs, 11 BB / H, 2 K's. His other four starts have been solid enough but certainly not spectacular. Seems to be a good control pitcher that is good for just a few K's. Fortunately he has matchups with the light hitting San Diego and SF often in his division.

Worst line of the day
Ubaldo Jimenez (Col)
- 2.1 Innings, 6 Runs, 10 BB / H, 1 K. Ubaldo and Franklin Morales are not performing like they are expected to. They have the stuff but it has not translated to the big leagues. Ubaldo has had a bunch of crappy starts and even his lone win he gave up 3 runs in 6 innings with more walks (4) than K's (3). He is walking too many people, leading to big innings. He may go to the minors before he gets better.