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Fantasy Baseball: Midseason Pitcher Review 

Since we’re entering an All-Star shortened week with no 2 start pitchers, I’m going to give some pitchers to target for the 2nd half of the year.  At this point in the year, it’s time to focus on getting Ws in H2H matchups or playing matchups in roto leagues to bring yourself to glory.

Stud Pitchers

Josh Johnson – Oh, Josh Johnson. You’ve broken the hearts of many fantasy owners (including myself) with your recent injuries with the obligatory visit to Dr. James Andrews.  At this point in the season, if you own him, you have to consider if he returns in August he has about 10 more starts, which may work well for H2H leagues, but in roto leagues, I’d trade him away to fill a need.  If you need pitching help, try to get Josh Johnson for cheap.  It’s a risky play, sure.  If you need to take drastic measures, Johnson is most likely the easiest stud to obtain.

Ubaldo Jimenez – We may be seeing Ubaldo’s evil twin this year as opposed to last year.  He started off great last year vs. awful this year.  The 2nd half is looking promising for Ubaldo, and since June he’s sporting a 2.54 ERA & 1.11 WHIP.  It may be too late to grab him, but give it a shot.

Zack Greinke – Quite the disappointing season for the former AL Cy Young winner.  In Keeper leagues, you may want to hold on to him, but otherwise trade him away, and try to get as much value for him as you can.  That said, you can’t afford to trade him for dirt cheap, either.  His name still commands a high price.  If you do keep him, do NOT start him on the road.

Middle of the Road guys

Francisco Liriano – As much as you’d like to, you probably aren’t going to  steal away Michael Pineda or James Shields or Ian Kennedy, but go after the guys who have a high ceiling that may have been causing headaches for their owners.  Liriano has thrown a no-hitter, but is also sporting 5.06 ERA.  Career-wise he’s 25-27 before all star break, and 18-12 after all star break with an ERA almost .5 lower (4.27 to 3.85).

Matt Garza – Garza also falls into this category because of his inconsistency.  Especially after his disastrous 2 inning outing vs. WAS, some owners may be trying to get rid of him, and he’s one when playing matchups could do very well in the 2nd half.  He did throw a no hitter last year.

Bud Norris – He’s not a sexy name, but he is your classic home/away split pitcher.  He sports a 2.66 ERA in Houston and a 4.83 ERA on the road.  He threw (2) 1 hitters in June, and is on the verge of breaking out.  Mentioned him as a sleeper in my pre-season rankings, and still believe he can pay dividends if used correctly in matchups

Guys off the Radar

Here’s where you get creative, and unless you’re in a real deep league, these guys are worth keeping an eye on.  I wouldn’t pick some of these guys up right away, but keep in mind if you want to make a move.

Chien Ming Wang – Remember this guy?  Well, his fastball is back to where it was, and he has excelled in his minor league rehab starts (2 ER in 12 innings, allowing 7 hits and 2 walks).  He’s projected to reach the major leagues in late July.

Mets Pitching – huh?  Well, of course Mets pitching is not on your WW as such, but here are a few things to take note of: Johan Santana is starting his spring training.  There is no timetable for his return, but August is reasonable.  In the month of June, their NL east opponents are all in the bottom half of the league in runs scored (ATL 16,WAS 18, PHL 19, FLA 30).  Their starters have a 3.30 ERA in June, and Dillon Gee is the most owned @ 40% in ESPN leagues.  Oh, and they also pitch at quite the pitcher’s park @ Citi Field.

*Note by the same measure: Texas pitching faces: LAA 27, OAK 28, and SEA 29 in total runs scored.  Less options, but look at Matt Harrison & Derek Holland owned in < 50% of ESPN leagues.

A few other names ( < 5% owned in ESPN):

Rubby De La Rosa, Brian Duensing, Joe Saunders, Oakland A’s pitchers just returning from DL (Brandon McCarthy, Tyson Ross), and A’s pitcher that may keep Ross out of the rotation: Guillermo Moscoso

Well that’s all folks. If you have any questions, shoot me messages via Twitter @EightGamesBack, and good luck in the 2nd half!

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