|Fantasy Baseball: Nine Men – Hot Pitchers Worth a Gamble|
Written by Daniel Paulling (Contact & Archive) on August 20, 2008
The season is moving slowly to September, which means pitchers’ arms are getting a little fatigued. Take a look at these nine pitchers who are achieving a bit of success as of late and probably aren’t owned in your fantasy league. (Note: Don’t drop a great pitcher for any of these guys, but you can use them to play matchups or replace that interchangeable fourth starter on your team.)
Gil Meche, Kansas City Royals – The overall statistics are pretty grisly, but Meche is turning things around the last month. Over that time span, he has a 2.33 ERA and four wins. Perhaps the most important thing is his strikeouts. Meche has 41 over his last 38.2 innings. He looked awful earlier in the season, but don’t be afraid about picking him up. The worst has passed.
Jorge Campillo, Atlanta Braves – Campillo has received little or no press, but he is quietly putting up a pretty solid season. His five earned run performance against the Giants bumps his ERA to 3.29, but that’s still pretty good. He’s not much of a strikeout guy, and with the Braves’ malaise he won’t win many, but he could be a valuable starter in the ratio categories. There still is time to lower those.
Paul Byrd, Boston Red Sox – He was pretty good in his last four appearances with the Cleveland Indians, which made him a good trade target for the Red Sox. Byrd definitely won’t strike out many hitters, but he does a good job of just pitching to contact. That may be dangerous in Fenway Park, but he’ll get some wins. Somebody has to.
Brett Myers, Philadelphia Phillies – That trip to the minor leagues must have done Myers some good. He’s allowed only eight earned runs in 32-2/3 innings since returning from Class AAA ball. It seems as if Myers, a high strikeout/quality fantasy pitcher, is back. Don’t let someone else pick him up.
Jeff Karstens, Pittsburgh Pirates – In four starts and 28 innings with the Pirates, Karstens has allowed only seven earned runs. That comes out to a 2.25 ERA. That figure will climb – his 1.11 WHIP hints at that – but perhaps National League hitters will continue to be fooled by Karstens. They have only hit .225 against him so far.
Joel Hanrahan, Washington Nationals – A former quality prospect in the Giants’ system, Hanrahan has been given the Nationals’ closer’s role. There won’t be many games for him to save, but he has looked all right in the process. He could walk a few less hitters, but it’s hard to find a better option right now.
Julian Tavarez, Atlanta Braves – Yes, he has been exiled by two different major league teams so far this year, but something’s up with Tavarez. In his last 15-2/3 innings in relief, he has a 1.72 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP. Those are pretty solid ratios. This probably won’t last for the remainder of the season, but he could help you out in H2H leagues for the time being.
Paul Maholm, Pittsburgh Pirates – It’s never wise to own a Pirates’ pitcher, but maybe Maholm could help you. He threw seven innings Monday, which was the 19th consecutive time he’s gone six or more innings, the longest for a Pirate since 1992. Maholm also strikes guys out. Heck, his ratios have been pretty good so far this year.
Jamie Moyer, Philadelphia Phillies – When you pick up Moyer and summon the courage to insert him your starting lineup, he’s guaranteed to produce that “why-in-the-world-did-I-do-that,” slap the forehead response. Well, in his last 13 outings he has allowed three or fewer earned runs. And he looked pretty good last Friday in shutting down the San Diego Padres, though a lot of pitchers can say that.