Fantasy Baseball: Buy And Sell-Pitchers
Gavin Floyd, SP, Chicago White Sox- Floyd picked up his fifth win of the season on Thursday night, as he allowed run on five hits over seven innings against the Cleveland Indians. He is now 5-3 with a 3.88 ERA in nine starts (60.1 innings) this season. Floyd seems to alternate good outings with bad, at least over his last handful of starts. In his previous outing against the Oakland A’s, he lasted just 4.1 inning and allowed five runs on nine hits, but he has exhibited excellent control overall (just 15 walks all season) and that bodes well for sustained success. Things will not get any easier in his next start, slated for next Wednesday against the Texas Rangers, as Floyd has a 7.85 ERA in 18.1 innings of work against the Rangers in his career. But if you can put up with some inconsistency and deploy him in favorable matchups, Floyd can be a serviceable fantasy option in mixed leagues.
Derek Holland, SP, Texas Rangers- Holland pitched well despite getting a no-decision against the Kansas City Royals on Thursday night, as he carried a shutout into the ninth inning and ultimately allowed one run on nine hits. He has now allowed two runs or less in three of his last four starts, but has not gotten a win since April 22 as the Rangers’ bullpen has blown three potential wins for him this season. In nine starts this season, Holland is 3-1 with a 4.37 ERA and his next scheduled start will come next Tuesday against the Chicago White Sox at home. In five starts at home this season, he is 2-0 with 24 strikeouts while going at least five innings four times. AL-only league owners can find some value here, and a good possible buy-low candidate.
Alexi Ogando, SP, Texas Rangers- Ogando had another strong start on Wednesday night against the Kansas City Royals, as he went seven innings and allowed two runs on four hits while striking out five and walking one. He has now delivered a quality start in all eight of his starts this season, and is 4-0 with a 2.13 ERA in 50.2 innings of work. Ogando has successfully made the transition from the bullpen quite well to this point, and a previous blister issue on his pitching hand seems to be behind him. But he has already pitched more innings this season than he did all of 2010 and the Rangers may look to at least manage his workload down the road. So now may be the best time to maximize Ogando’s trade value, as the summer heat in Texas also stands to hurt his numbers.
Francisco Rodriguez, RP, New York Mets- Rodriguez picked up his 14th save of the season against the Washington Nationals on Thursday, and has not blown a save since his first opportunity of the season. He now has a 0.79 ERA and 23 strikeouts in his 22 appearances and he has not allowed a run over his last 18 innings of work. Rodriguez has now finished 16 games this season, which may become a factor down the road as he needs 55 games finished for his $17.5 million contract option for 2012 to vest. So the Mets may try to keep his workload down late in the season, assuming they do not become sellers at July’s trade deadline and trade him. In any case, Rodriguez’s role on another team may not be as the closer and if would seem prudent for the Mets to save themselves money by limiting his work late in the season.
Leo Nunez, RP, Florida Marlins- Nunez picked up his major league-leading 15th save of the season on Monday night against the New York Mets, and he has yet to blow a save this season. He has a 2.91 ERA and a 21:9 K/BB ratio over his 22 appearances (21.2 innings). Nunez appears to have the close role locked down for the Marlins, and 56 saves in 2009 and 2010 combines suggests he is suited to the role. That said, his peripheral numbers are not that of a shutdown closer and his fantasy value may never be higher than it is right now. Also keep in mind his poor end to 2010 (9.31 ERA in August). Fantasy owners that have sufficient bullpen depth and other holes on their roster should see Nunez as a “sell high” candidate.