I was tempted to write about Brian Cushing and the whole PED issue as it pertains to football where drug use clearly isn’t taken seriously, but I have a date later tonight with a hot female friend and I didn’t want to get all worked up before it so I’ll save those comments for later in the week. Instead, I thought I would chronicle a handful of starting pitchers and give you my thoughts on whether or not they should be on your fantasy radar at the moment.
Bronson Arroyo has a 1.28 WHIP through seven starts, but that’s a dangerous number to pin your hopes on given his other numbers that include a 5.36 ERA and a 1.87 K/BB mark. In his two victories he has allowed three runs, and in his first start of the year he allowed one run to the Cardinals in eight innings, but he’s also had three outings in which he has allowed at least five earned runs making him a tough guy to roll with since you don’t know what you’re gonna get from start to start.
Luis Atilano is 3-0 with a 3.57 ERA through four starts for the Nationals. Don’t be swayed by the power of the darkside though as Atilano has clearly made the same deal with Mephistopheles that Livan Hernandez has worked out. Atilano has a 0.92 BB/K mark, and while more analysis is certainly needed before pronouncing sentence on someone, he clearly isn’t someone you should be counting on even in NL-only leagues.
Doug Davis is 1-4 for the Brewers through seven starts. The good is his fantastic 8.64 K/9 mark (that mark has been 7.04 or lower in each of the past four seasons). The bad is that he s still walking everyone – his BB/9 mark is 4.86. Considering that he is giving up hits at a rate of once every three at-bats, it’s no surprise that his WHIP sits at 1.98. Even when he’s doing something right such as striking people out, he still can’t be trusted in fantasy leagues.
Kyle Kendrick has but one victory in his seven starts on the year, hardly a surprise given a 5.89 ERA and 1.55 WHIP that have led to at least four earned runs in five of his seven outings. Kendrick’s K/9 rate of 3.93 is atrocious, though it’s right on his career mark (3.92), and the resulting K/BB mark of 1.14 scream out ‘I’m in big trouble.’ When you add in six homers for a HR/9 mark of 1.47 it’s clear that Kendrick is holding on by a thread.
Nate Robertson is 3-3 in his first seven starts in the NL for the Marlins. Like the other listed above him however, I’m clearly not high on his chances of being overly successful this season. Robertson’s K/9 rate of 5.80 is below his already poor 6.09 career mark, and just like last season when he walked everyone (5.07 BB/9), Robertson has walked an average of 4.54 batters per nine this season, well above his 3.28 career mark. You simply can’t have long-term success with the 1.28 K/BB mark that he currently possesses. A large portion of his success has been derived from a career low 15.5 percent line drive rate (career 18.9) and the fact that his HR/F ratio is 9.1 percent (career 12.6). Unless he throws a whole bunch more strikes, when those last two numbers correct themselves things could get ugly in Florida.
Reds’ starting pitchers allowed five hits the past two days to the sad sack Pirates. Homer Bailey allowed four hits in a complete game shutout on Wednesday while Johnny Cueto pitched a on hitter in his shutout on Tuesday. Both hurlers warrant consideration in mixed leagues, with Cueto clearly being the more intriguing play (he has 33 Ks in 42 innings and his 2.75 K/BB mark is solid). At the same time, don’t over value what either man has done the past two days – after all they were facing the Pirates.
Finally, what do I do when I’m not sitting here at the computer banging away reports and videos on the world of sports? Of course I run night time missions that need to be filmed by infrared cameras. Think I’m kidding? Give Jed Wars – Operation Flamingo a view.
By Ray Flowers