The absolute worst thing any avid fantasy baseball owner wants to see is a brawl involving his starting pitcher. Nothing good ever comes from fighting. You can easily end up bloody, broken and needing surgery on your broken left collarbone. Pitching alone can end a player’s season let alone going toe-to-toe with an angry mob of someone else’s teammates. Next thing you know as a fantasy baseball owner, you are sending angry tweets to Carlos Quentin and involving your league-mates in a bounty scandal.
Now, the big question on most fantasy baseball owners’ minds is who to pick up to replace my ace, who apparently never saw Nolan Ryan take down Robin Ventura. Even more, you might be in a world of trouble if you also happen to own Jered Weaver or Johnny Cueto, who are both on the DL. Or, quite possibly, you just picked the worst staff possible and are looking for some pickups. Either way, let’s toss some names out and see who sticks.
Jose Fernandez. I briefly mentioned him last week, and now he has another solid performance under his belt. He’s around 70 percent owned and could be an excellent fill-in who turns into a nice trade piece down the road.
Shelby Miller. He has been solid in his first two starts. He is clearly one of the favorites for Rookie of the Year and is quickly being grabbed by fantasy baseball owners. Like Fernandez, Miller could be a very good fill-in who becomes a nice trade piece later on.
Bud Norris. He has been an absolute gem in his first three starts; however, his FIP (4.07) and xFIP (4.36) do not mirror his unbelievable ERA (1.96). Even though Norris looks to be headed toward a colossal collapse, I would pick him up and continue to back him until things start to unravel.
Andy Pettitte. Back spasms aside, Pettitte has been impressive in his first two starts. Again FIP (3.77) and xFIP (4.41) do not resemble his ERA (1.20), but he’s hot now and could be a very serviceable fill-in.
The dropped guys
Dan Haren, Josh Johnson, Hiroki Kuroda, Homer Bailey, Tommy Milone and Trevor Cahill. If you are out there dying for starting pitching, pick these guys up. Good lord, any of these guys are better than the options listed above. Some of these guys are available in 25 percent of leagues!
Tony Cingrani. I mentioned this guy last week, and I am mentioning him again. He should be called up by the Reds to fill in for Cueto. If he kills it, he should stick in the rotation, taking Mike “I got rocked again” Leake’s spot.
Patrick Corbin. His peripherals look rough, but he has been getting it done, and I like that he’s in the NL West. If you are digging deep, you got to take a flier on a guy like this.