Fantasy Baseball: Buy And Sell-Pitchers
John Danks, SP, Chicago White Sox- Danks pitched an eight-inning complete game against the Texas Rangers on Monday night, as he allowed four runs on nine hits and took the loss. He is now 0-7 with a 4.34 ERA in 10 starts this season and has been the victim of some tough luck as the White Sox bullpen and offense have not done him any favors. Danks has gone at least six innings in all but one start and his peripheral numbers are solid but not spectacular (6.1 K/9, 3.3 BB/9 this season). White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen has said he will keep him in the starting rotation despite his record, and Danks will attempt to get his first win of 2011 against the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday.
Javier Vazquez, SP, Florida Marlins- After a rough start to the season, Vazquez was much better in his last start against the Tampa Bay Rays. He pitched seven shutout innings, allowing just three hits, while striking out a season-high seven and walking just two in what was easily his best start of 2011. He is now 3-4 with a 6.41 ERA in nine starts (46.1 innings) this season, and is slated to take on the Los Angeles Dodgers in his next start on Friday night. Vazquez is 5-6 with a 3.92 ERA in 15 career starts against the Dodgers, so his chances of making it two straight good outings seems good. Fantasy owners that drafted him hoping for something close to his 2009 performance with the Atlanta Braves (15-10, 2.87 ERA, 219.1 innings) should at least hang onto Vazquez for a litttle while longer. And those looking to acquire a pitcher with virtually nowhere to go but up on the cheap may want to try and make a deal now.
Kyle Lohse, SP, St. Louis Cardinals- Lohse was excellent again in his last start on Monday against the San Diego Padres, as he allowed one run on five hits over eight innings. Over his last four starts (30 innings), Lohse is 2-1 with a 1.50 ERA and he is 6-2 with a 2.06 ERA in 10 starts (74.1 innings) overall this season. His next start is scheduled for Sunday against the Colorado Rockies on the road, and he is 1-3 with a 3.92 ERA in seven career starts at Coors Field. Fantasy owners will have a hard time not continuing to roll with Lohse given his recent performance, but his lack of strikeouts (4.9 K/9 this season) makes his margin for error very small. If you’ve benefited from his recent run, it may be time to at least dangle Lohse to the pitching-poor owners in your league.
Bartolo Colon, SP, New York Yankees- Colon has enjoyed a resurgence this season, but was hit hard in his last outing as he allowed six runs on seven hits in six innings of work against the Toronto Blue Jays. Overall this season he is 2-3 with a 3.77 ERA in nine starts (57.1 innings) with 56 strikeouts and just 15 walks. His next start is scheduled for Monday in what should be a favorable matchup against the Oakland Athletics, but fantasy owners that have benefited from his early season performance should have cause for concern given Colon’s recent injury history and the fact he was out of baseball in 2010. The 2005 American League Cy Young Award winner is one of the top “sell high” candidates going right now.
Josh Tomlin, SP, Cleveland Indians- Tomlin has been one of the biggest surprises on perhaps the most surprising team in baseball, as he is 6-1 with a 2.41 ERA and 0.82 WHIP over nine starts (59.2 innings) so far this season. He has not allowed more than three runs in any of his starts, and has walked zero or one in each of his last seven starts. But his strikeout total (30) is not impressive, and his batting average on balls in play (BABIP) of .183 suggests he has been extremely fortunate to this point. Barring a major improvement in striking out batters, when his BABIP rises to merely an average level his ERA stands to follow. Tomlin’s next start is scheduled for Friday night against the Tampa Bay Rays, and his fantasy value may never be higher than it is right now.