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May 9, 2008

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.

May 5, 2008

Greg Smith, unimpressive Sunday starts

When Greg Smith has the best pitching performance in 6 innings of work, you can tell it was a subpar day. And that's surprising considering some of the names out there.

Johan Santana met Dan Haren and they both pitched reasonably well but neither got the win or pitched deep in the game, as they were both up against good offenses. While there were just a few quality starts, Sunday was littered with several ugly starts.

Top SP Lines of the Day

Greg Smith (Oak) - 6 Innings, 3 hits, 1 run, 2 walks, 10 K's. Oakland always seems to know what they're doing with young starting pitchers coming up after the veterans (Zito, Hudson, Mulder, and now Haren) are sent packing. Greg Smith is a good example of this as he has had 6 solid starts this year, and his lone loss was an 8 inning 2 run 5 K effort. Is he ready to be owned in a 12 team league? Probably, and if not you have to be considering him for a daily pickup during his starts.

Johan Santana (NYM) - 6 Innings, 6 hits, 1 run, 4 walks, 8 K's. It's that Johan guy who makes a bit of money over there in New York. Despite a 3-2 record he is cruising along with a 2.91 ERA and 1.01 WHIP, right about where it belongs. Probably not going to win those 25+ games a few crazies predicted early on. He is still walking too many batters and 47 K's in 46.1 innings can be improved too, though it's certainly not poor.

Dan Haren (Ari) - 6 Innings, 3 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, 7 K's. This performance is probably better than Johan's actually. Haren's 0.99 WHIP has been lovely so far and his 36 K's in 43.1 innings is nice and about where he was last year (192 K's in 222.2 innings). Let's just hope that second half slide doesn't come, but again, he is with a contender in Arizona instead of a team known for faltering lately in the 2nd half (Oakland).

Aaron Cook (Col) - 7.2 Innings, 9 hits, 2 runs, 0 walks, 2 K's. As disappointing as the Rockies have been in 2008, Cookie has been a bright spot. He did not contribute much during the playoff run but has won his last 5 starts. He will never be a big K pitcher (22 in 48.2) but he can go deep in games with his sinkerball. Probably won't keep the 2.40 ERA and 1.15 WHIP but he will continue to be a consistent pitcher for a Rockies team that has to start playing better.

Roy Halladay (Tor) - 7.1 Innings, 3 hits, 1 run, 0 walks, 7 K's. Halladay continues to work deep into games and owners are probably upset he only went 7.1 innings! He already has 4 complete games this year and is striking out a solid amount of batters (38 in 57 innings). His 0.98 WHIP likely won't last but lets hope these workhorse stats continue to come, because towards the end of last year Halladay looked like he was on his last legs.

Gil Meche (KC) - 7 innings, 4 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks, 4 K's. This could be the best start of the day actually, giving up just 4 hits at Cleveland and getting the win. Unfortunately the 7 scoreless innings reduces his putrid ERA to 5.98 but it's at least more in line than the 7.22 he carried into the game. Last time against Cleveland he was shelled for 8 runs in 3.1 innings and has been bombed a few other times. You would think his stats would be switched with Greinke's, but look for Zach to come back to earth and Gil to have a few more starts like this as he has had 3 solid starts in his last 4.

Darrell Rasner (NYY) - 6 Innings, 5 hits, 2 runs, 0 walks, 4 K's. Just called up from AAA after Ian Kennedy has been sent down. Remember, the last few years he was a solid late season SP, granted it's a very small sample size. Not many K's but he could pitch 5-6 innings with just a few runs. Usually that's all you need in New York especially once Alex comes back.

silvasmacked.jpg
(AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

Worst SP Lines of the Day

Bronson Arroyo (Cin) - 1.1 Innings, 7 hits, 7 runs, 1 walk, 0 K's. This was amusing, because owners ran to pick him up after a solid win (his 1st of the year) at St Louis last start. Looks like the corner hasn't been turned. He has had a few good seasons in Cincinnati but if he cannot hit the switch at least the Reds have produced a few youngsters like Edinson Volquez and Johnny Cueto. As for Arroyo he actually has been striking batters out but he might want to improve that 1.95 WHIP and 8.63 ERA.

Carlos Silva (Sea) - 3 Innings, 11 Hits, 8 Runs, 0 Walks, 1 K. The dream is over. His first 7 starts were all solid, explaining his 3-0 record. But pitching at NYY is a whole different deal even with Alex Rodriguez. Silva does not really have powerful stuff, as evidenced by his K's, and playing teams like the Yankees he is prone to outings like this where he gets hit and hit hard. He is a much more attractive start in the cozy confines of Safeco Field.

Scott Kazmir (TB) - 4 Innings, 6 hits, 3 Runs, 3 Walks, 5 K's. Not a terrible outing but he generally pitches well at Boston surprisingly. It was his first back this year. Tampa Bay is better than in years past so Kazmir might be able to match or surpass his 13 wins from 2007. He probably will not reach 239 K's but few people strike out batters like Kazmir. His issues have always been being efficient enough to not have 100 pitches by 5 innings of work. Toward the end of last year he started going 7 and 8 innings impressively.

Steve Trachsel (Bal) - I can't believe this guy starts for a major league team.

Boof Bonser (Min) - 6 Innings, 8 hits, 5 Runs, 0 walks, 5 K's. Actually a pretty good start considering the circumstances. He gave up all 6 runs in the first inning and it looked like he'd be killing ERA / WHIP all around fantasy baseball. But he then went 5 scoreless innings to at least soften the blow. Despite having 4 losses he has really only has two bad games now. A good spot start if the time is right.

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.