Fantasy Baseball: Buy And Sell-Pitchers
Here is our “Buy And Sell” for pitchers on the first Friday in May.
Chris Carpenter, SP, St. Louis Cardinals- Carpenter got a no-decision against the Florida Marlins on Wednesday night, as he allowed six runs (four earned) on 10 hits over six innings. Prior to that, he had allowed five runs over his previous three starts (20 innings) with 15 strikeouts and just five walks over that stretch. Carpenter has yet to pick up a win this season, and is 0-2 with a 4.19 ERA over seven starts. His next scheduled start is next Tuesday against the Chicago Cubs, against whom Carpenter is 10-6 with a 3.10 ERA in 22 starts in his career. Even at age 36, he is still can be a top tier fantasy starter when healthy.
Yovani Gallardo, SP, Milwaukee Brewers- Gallardo allowed five runs on nine hits over five innings against the Atlanta Braves on Monday night, as his recent struggles continued. He has allowed at least four runs in each of his last five starts, and is 2-2 with a 6.10 ERA overall this season. Gallardo is simply too talented to not turn things around soon, but his next scheduled start against the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday may not be the best opportunity to rectify things. If you’re in a league with an owner who is frustrated with his recent performance, Gallardo could come at a bargain price in a trade relative to how he can (and hopefully will) perform going forward.
Jake Peavy, SP, Chicago White Sox- Peavy (shoulder) threw 100 pitches over seven innings in his latest rehab start for Triple-A Charlotte on Thursday, allowed alll five runs he allowed in one inning and was perfect otherwise. He reported no issues with his right shoulder after the outing, so the White Sox may activate him from the disabled list as soon as next week. Given the setbacks Peavy has had with the shoulder already this year, fantasy owners should still be cautious before acquiring him and using him. He has also made just 33 starts over the past two seasons due to injuries, and has actually missed time in each of the past three seasons due to injury. That said, Peavy could come at a discount price in a trade and could even be available on the waiver wire in many leagues.
Francisco Liriano, SP, Minnesota Twins- Liriano came into his last start on Tuesday night against the Chicago White Sox with an ERA over 9.00, so to say it was surprising he threw the season’s first no-hitter is putting it mildly. He did walk six and struck out just two in the game, and is still just 2-4 with a 6.61 ERA overall this season. Liriano threw 123 pitches against the White Sox, leading manager Ron Gardenhire to consider pushing his next start back an extra day. He had originally been slated to start next Monday night against the Boston Red Sox, but it is possible Liriano will be pushed back to Tuesday against the Detroit Tigers when the Twins return home. In any case, now looks like the time to sell high on him on the heel of the no-hitter.
Jonathan Broxton, RP, Los Angeles Dodgers- Broxton was shut down earlier in the week with an elbow issue, and a subsequent MRI has revealed only a bone spur. He will reportedly not need surgery, but the Dodgers are still deciding if he will need a stint on the disabled list. Given his struggles since the first half of 2010, it’s easy to wonder how long Broxton has been injured. To this point in 2011, he is 7-for-8 in save opportunities along with a 5.68 ERA over 14 appearances. Dodgers’ manager Don Mattingly has professed that Broxton is his closer, but if he gets healthy and still struggles the leash may be short. Given that overall uncertainty, Broxton’s fantasy value may only go down from here.
John Lackey, SP, Boston Red Sox- Lackey struggled against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Thursday, as he allowed eight runs on 10 hits over four innings against his former team. He had pitched well in his previous three starts, allowing just three runs over 20 innings, but reverted back to the struggles of his first two starts (15 runs over 8.2 innings). That kind of inconsistency makes it hard for fantasy owners to rely upon him, and may make him trade bait. If you currently own Lackey and want to deal him, be sure to promote his solid finish to 2010 (3.97 ERA post All-Star break).