Fresh off a one-hitter, Johnny Cueto is sure to come off the waiver wires.
A pair of dominant pitching performances over the last week have fantasy owners at a crossroad.
One pitcher, who was — in due time — on his way to becoming a hurler everyone wants to own, did the unthinkable. The other, continued his impressive dominance at the lower ranks.
The two pitchers I’m referring to, of course, are Dallas Braden
and Stephen Strasburg. And while both Braden — who tossed the 19th perfect game in MLB history Sunday — and Strasburg — who tossed six hitless innings in yet another nearly flawless Triple-A start — present a ton of upside, fantasy owners are still unsure of how both will produce the rest of the year.
At this point, I think it’s safe to say that Strasburg’s potential dwarfs that of Braden. But, Braden is the one with 53 career starts and a 4-2 record this spring. Regardless, though, the jury is still out on just how well both Strasburg and Braden will perform at the Big League level over the next four-and-a-half months.
We’ll start this week’s Waiver Wire column with a few pitchers with a more proven track record likely to be available in your league.
Fresh off a one-hitter, Johnny Cueto’s
value is sure to rise. The Cincinnati Reds righthander is now 2-1 with a 4.07 ERA with 33 strikeouts and only 12 walks. After winning 11 games last year, Cueto is only owned by 38 percent of Yahoo fantasy leagues, but in all but two of his starts this year, he has pitched well despite only pitching past the sixth inning once — during Wednesday’s gem. Perhaps the Reds will let him loose a bit more after seeing just how dominant he can be when he is on.
Chicago Cubs hurler Tom Gorzelanny
is just 1-4, but he does have value and is sure to be available in most leagues. Gorzelanny’s 2.83 ERA and ability to get strikeouts could trump his lack of wins for certain owners. Also, Gorzelanny’s low WHIP (currently 1.20) should remain as he is now a fixture in the Cubs’ rotation and a return to the bullpen, where he spent the majority of his time in Pittsburgh, seems unlikely.
is another virtually-unknown pitcher who could bring your staff some value. The Washington Nationals lefty is 2-1 with a 3.51 ERA, 1.32 WHIP and 28 strikeouts. Owned in only seven percent of leagues, Olsen could provide some value providing the ERA remains under 4.00.
As for even more proven starters, one in particular will make his first start since April 29. Oakland A’s righty Justin Duchscherer
will come off the 15-day disabled list healed from the left hip inflammation that landed him there April 30. This should come as good news to Duchscherer owners as well as those looking for a solid pitcher off the waiver wire.
is yet another option for fantasy owners looking for short-term help on their pitching staff. Harden is 2-1 this year but boasts a 3.53 ERA with 34 strikeouts in the rugged American League West. While his 1.51 WHIP isn’t necessarily anything to write home about, Harden could continue to improve and provide a bit of value to your staff on the short term.
Finally, Daisuke Matsuzaka
showed Tuesday that he may be close to midseason form in a seven-inning masterpiece against the Blue Jays. Dice-K, who is 2-1 in his three starts since making his 2010 debut May 1, allowed three hits, struck out nine and allowed just one run. It was his best — and most efficient — start in recent memory and a sign that, perhaps, Matsuzaka is ready to have a solid year. His 6.35 ERA shouldn’t be much to worry about at this point after just three starts. Matsuzaka allowed seven runs on seven hits in his first start but has pitched well since. Keep an eye on him as he is owned in just 42 percent of leagues.
As part of our new weekly tradition, it’s now time for the Fantasy Waiver Wire Pickup of the Week. And this week, we’ll look at a player who once was a first or second-rounder and provided power across the board. Of course, we’re talking about Atlanta’s Troy Glaus, who has been on an absolute tear since starting the season poorly. After another home run Wednesday, Glaus upped his May average to .400 and RBI total to 13 — in just 10 games. On April 30, Glaus was hitting .194 with two home runs and nine home runs. He’s currently hitting .267 with four long balls, 23 RBI and 14 runs scored. It appears that Glaus has found his stroke
Ben Larsen is a fantasy baseball columnist for Rotoinfo.com. If you have an questions or comments feel free to email him at¬†firstname.lastname@example.org
Tags: Dallas Braden, Fantasy Baseball, Josh Beckett, Roy Halladay, Tim Lincecum, waiver wire