MLB Baseball Column: The Week Ahead
Francisco Liriano has been utterly dominant over his past two starts, notching 25 strikeouts over 14 innings while allowing only eight hits. Since returning to the bullpen in late May, he has posted a 2.84 ERA and 77/28 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings while holding opposing hitters to a .171 average.
His value may never be higher, which is why there's a good chance he won't make it through the next week in a Twins uniform. Minnesota is 12 games out in the Central and set to sell, and certainly there are plenty of contenders who could take an interest in the hottest pitcher in baseball.
Another two-start pitcher in position to potentially switch teams is Zack Greinke. He's set to return Tuesday after skipping a start, and with a hot trade market there's no guarantee he'll stick around in Milwaukee for his second start on Sunday, although it seems there's increased reluctance from buyers at this point.
Wandy Rodriguez and Clayton Richard are other two-start guys whose names have hovered on the trade market with the deadline approaching.
There's no telling whether the team acquiring any of these hurlers would keep them on regular rest, so their two-start statuses carry an asterisk.
Felix Hernandez: NYY (Garcia), KC (Smith)
Jeremy Hellickson: @BAL (Chen), @LAA (Wilson)
Francisco Liriano: @CWS, CLE (Jimenez)
C.J. Wilson: KC (Chen), TB (Hellickson)
Hiroki Kuroda: @SEA (Millwood), BOS (Doubront)
Roy Oswalt: BOS (Doubront), CWS
Bruce Chen: @LAA (Wilson), @SEA (Millwood)
Doug Fister: @CLE (Jimenez), @TOR (Cecil)
Justin Masterson: BAL (Hunter), @MIN (Deduno)
Ubaldo Jimenez: DET (Fister), @MIN (Liriano)
Tommy Hunter: @CLE (Masterson), OAK (Colon)
Wei-Yin Chen: TB (Hellickson), OAK (Blackley)
At Your Own Risk
Brett Cecil: OAK (Blackley), DET (Fister)
Kevin Millwood: NYY (Kuroda), KC (Chen)
Travis Blackley: @TOR (Cecil), @BAL (Chen)
Will Smith: @LAA (Williams), @SEA (Hernandez)
Felix Doubront: @TEX (Oswalt), @NYY (Kuroda)
Gio Gonzalez: @NYM (Dickey), @MIL (Greinke)
Jordan Zimmermann: @NYM (Young), @MIL (Wolf)
Adam Wainwright: LAD (Kershaw), @CHC (Samardzija)
Ryan Vogelsong: SD (Richard), LAD (Kershaw)
James McDonald: CHC (Maholm), @HOU (Harrell)
Roy Halladay: MIL (Wolf), @ATL (Minor)
R.A. Dickey: WAS (Gonzalez), @ARI (Saunders)
Zack Greinke: @PHI (Lee), WAS (Gonzalez)
Clayton Kershaw: @STL (Wainwright), @SF (Vogelsong)
Joe Kelly: LAD, @CHC (Wood)
Clayton Richard: @SF (Vogelsong), @MIA (Johnson)
Erik Bedard: CHC (Samardzija), @HOU (Rodriguez)
Chris Young: WAS (Zimmermann), @ARI (Kennedy)
Josh Johnson: ATL (Minor), SD (Richard)
Wandy Rodriguez: CIN (Latos), PIT (Bedard)
Mat Latos: @HOU (Rodriguez), @COL (Pomeranz)
Jeff Samardzija: @PIT (Bedard), STL (Wainwright)
Ian Kennedy: COL (Guthrie), NYM (Young)
Joe Saunders: COL (Pomeranz), NYM (Dickey)
At Your Own Risk
Randy Wolf: @PHI (Halladay), WAS (Zimmermann)
Lucas Harrell: CIN (Leake), PIT (McDonald)
Drew Pomeranz: @ARI (Saunders), CIN (Latos)
Jeremy Guthrie: @ARI (Kennedy), CIN (Cueto)
Mike Minor: @MIA (Johnson), PHI (Halladay)
The following pitchers are generally available in over 50 percent of fantasy leagues and have favorable match-ups this week:
Thursday, 7/26: Luis Mendoza @ SEA
The Royals righty continues to roll with five quality starts in his last six turns (and an impressive 31/9 K/BB to boot).
Thursday, 7/26: Jason Vargas vs. KC
If you're not interested in Mendoza, Vargas is a solid option in the same game. Over his past four starts, he has gone 2-0 with a 2.12 ERA, allowing only 22 hits in 29 2/3 innings.
Friday, 7/27: Scott Diamond vs. CLE
Diamond has picked up a win in three of his last four starts at Target Field and owns a 2.96 ERA on the season.
Tuesday, 7/25: Edinson Volquez @ SF
The hard-throwing righty tossed a one-hitter in his last outing and matches up favorably against the Giants.
Friday, 7/27: Ben Sheets vs. PHI
Sheets was outstanding in his debut. He's worth a look at home against the Phils.
6: BOS, CWS, DET, LAA, MIN, NYY, OAK, TB, TEX, TOR
7: BAL, CLE, KC, SEA
6: ATL, CHC, CIN, COL, MIA, PHI, SD, SF
7: ARI, HOU, LAD, MIL, NYM, PIT, STL, WAS
BAL: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
BOS: 4 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
CLE: 5 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
CWS: 3 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
DET: 5 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
KC: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
LAA: 3 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
MIN: 5 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
NYY: 4 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
OAK: 1 vs. RHP, 5 vs. LHP
SEA: 4 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
TB: 4 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
TEX: 4 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
TOR: 4 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
ARI: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
ATL: 4 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
CHC: 5 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
CIN: 3 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
COL: 5 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
HOU: 6 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
LAD: 6 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
MIA: 4 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
MIL: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
NYM: 4 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
PHI: 4 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
PIT: 4 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
SD: 5 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
SF: 4 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
STL: 4 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
WAS: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
You can get a full listing of injured players at Rotoworld's Injury Page but here's the latest on a few prominent players who have been out of action:
Robert Andino: Out until mid-August (shoulder)
Jason Hammel: Out until September (knee)
David Ortiz: Out indefinitely (heel)
Joey Votto: Out until mid-August (knee)
Gavin Floyd: Out indefinitely (elbow)
Drew Smyly: Out until late July (ribs)
Giancarlo Stanton: Out until mid-August (knee)
Chad Billingsley: Out until early August (elbow)
Matt Capps: Out indefinitely (shoulder)
Charlie Furbush: Out until early August (triceps)
Jose Bautista: Out until early August (wrist)
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