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Shields, Sabathia, studs on Friday

shieldsshutout.jpg AP Photo / Mike Carlson

James Shields pumps out a 1 hit shut out against the Toronto Blue Jays on May 9th 2008, Friday. Other starting pitching studs were on display like CC Sabathia, Dan Haren, Ted Lilly, Roy Halladay, etc.

Top SP Lines of the Day

James Shields (TB) - 9 Innings, 1 hit, 0 runs, 0 walks, 8 K's. This is Shields' second shutout in 3 games pitched. Against Toronto and Boston no less. But the game sandwiched in between, he got lit up in less than 4 innings of work. Since it was at Boston it can be excused to a certain extent, but after his second shutout fantasy owners must take notice. This young stud must be rated higher than Scott Kazmir.

Ted Lilly (CHC)
- 7 Innings, 3 hits, 1 run, 2 walks, 10 k's, win. Before this start it was hard to imagine Lilly was 15-8 with 200 innings / 175 K's and a 3.83 ERA in 2007. Lilly started this year with a 2-4 record and a 6 ERA but this spectacular start helps those numbers. He has always been a quality starter who can strike batters out but is prone to walking people and the long ball. Going against the top team in baseball, this is an impressive start and could be the beginning of Lilly turning his game around for 2008.

CC Sabathia (CLE) - 7 Innings, 6 hits, 1 run, 2 walks, 9 K's, win. Unbelievable that CC was 1-5 going into this matchup. After his ERA reached 13.50 about 5 starts ago, CC has been on a quest to get that back down with 3 great starts in his last 4 games. The K's are back and the workhorse mentality is back. While you might not rank CC at the very top like he was considered coming into the year, he is at least getting close to that performance.

Ricky Nolasco (FLA) - 6 Innings, 4 hits, 1 run, 2 walks, 6 K's, win. How many good starts has Nolasco had this year? Try one - just this one. Even his other win he gave up 5 runs in 5 innings. But I mention him here because remember in 2006 especially early that year where he was a quality stream start? From the end of May to early August he was a quality, consistent starter. He has been thrust back into the rotation and it has not paid dividends but if this is the start of a decent streak you may wish to pick him up based on the matchup.

Roy Halladay (TOR) - 6 Innings, 6 hits, 4 runs, 3 walks, 9 K's, loss. The complete game king has 111 pitches in 6 innings in this one. Cleveland does have a powerful lineup so it is hard to efficiently mow through them for pitchers. Not surprisingly Halladay has more walks and strikeouts this game than any other, so he clearly had to expend more pitches. He is now a tough-luck 3-5, a perfect example of a guy who has pitched well but his win-loss record does not indicate it. I was a believer that he was done after last year - this year though he looks healthy and if so he is one of the best workhorse type starters available anywhere.

John Garland (LAA) - 8 Innings, 4 hits, 0 runs, 3 walks, 2 K's, no decision. When John Garland has good starts, this is how they look. Not a lot of K's but he can pitch deep into a game and he'll put the ball in play. Usually when he has 3 walks like in this game this leads to trouble for him, but he survived and scattered 4 hits along with 3 walks. Too bad he was going against James Shields who threw a 1 hit shutout. Garland is probably owned in most 10 or 12 team leagues as an end-of-the-bench starter. If not check him out, you could do worse. Be warned that he can have games get away from him (two starts ago against Oakland and then ugly Texas / Seattle games).

Worst SP Lines of the Day

Kei Igawa (NYY) - 3 Innings, 11 hits, 6 runs, 0 walks, 0 K's, loss. Well his return to the rotation was not Aaron Small-like. With Hughes injured and Kennedy unable to perform, the Yankees need some other starters to step up. Since coming over to the Yankees in 2007 though, Igawa has been Irabu-like. He had a few decent starts in April 07 but could not sustain it and was out of the rotation. Will he last in the rotation this year? He has the stuff to succeed and strike batters out, but you are taking a big gamble if you are using him on fantasy rosters at this point.

Gil Meche (KC) - 5 Innings, 6 hits, 5 runs, 2 walks, 2 K's, loss. Gil Meche is now 2-5 with a 6.31 ERA after a solid 2007. Now how does that 10 million a year contract look? Meche has had an awful 2008 start and really one has had one solid start, his last one at Cleveland of all places (7 innings 4 hits 0 runs 4 k's). Clearly you should stay away from this guy, I made the mistake of thinking at home versus Baltimore was a good matchup but I got burned!

Tim Redding (WASH) - 5.1 Innings, 4 hits, 5 runs, 4 walks, 3 K's, loss. Another guy who I thought was a good start at home vs. Florida but once again I got burned. Redding has a 3.20 ERA with solid strikeout totals and a 4-2 record. Maybe I am underestimating Florida as they are hot and in first place. They might not last but their hitting is respectable. Redding meanwhile is hard to figure out, as he had not had a start where he gave up more than 4 ER in one game. But the walks are a problem and lead to games like this. Still, keep Redding on your radar for future stream starts.