A look at some of the pitchers who have pitched better than their ERAs show.
With July approaching and nearly three months of innings behind us, now is a good time to take a look and see who is pitching better than their ERA. We're far enough into the season that owners are likely to be discouraged by a poor first half, and will hope to sell in order to salvage something—basically, the optimism that existed earlier in the season may have faltered for many an owner, and you should take advantage of it. Here are some key names to keep in mind—this list includes the 10 pitchers with the largest disconnect between their ERA and their SIERA, meaning many of them may be in line for a rebound. Now, just because there is a disconnect doesn't mean they will rebound, as some pitchers give us reason to believe that things will not change for the better, as you will see.
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Which starting pitchers can give your fantasy baseball roster a boost?
Players added to the list
Hisanori Takahashi: Takahashi has faced two high-octane offenses -- the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees -- in his first two starts as a fill-in for the New York Mets and has yet to allow a run in 12 innings of work. In those 12 innings, he has struck out 11 and walked merely one batter. As a reliever, he missed a lot of bats but also missed the strike zone frequently. As you can see by the averages in the Value Picks table, that is simply par for the course. Also something to note is that the southpaw, in 38 innings, has a distinct platoon split which may be why he has held the Phillies and Yankees in check. His next start will come on May 31 against a weak Padres offense in their very pitcher-friendly ballpark. Get Takahashi while you can. Despite being available in 95 percent of ESPN leagues, he is being snapped up quickly after dominating the Phillies on Wednesday.
Which available starting pitchers may be able to provide a spark to your fantasy baseball team?
Added to the List
Brandon Morrow: Morrow can hit 100 MPH with his fastball. As you may expect, he racks up plenty of strikeouts -- 54 of them in 41 innings, a league-leading rate of nearly 12 per nine innings. "Great, where do I sign up?" you ask. As I am not a used car salesman, I must warn you about his control problems. He is averaging nearly six walks per nine innings this year, a problem he has had throughout his professional baseball career.
Which starting pitchers can help you jump ahead in your fantasy baseball league?
Added to the list
Craig Stammen: Stammen displayed great control in his brief time in the Majors with the Washington Nationals. In 142 and two-thirds innings, Stammen walked 32 batters, a rate of just over two walks per nine innings. However, he possesses below-average strikeout stuff. Stammen should help your ERA and WHIP stabilize, but you should look elsewhere if you are looking for punch-outs. If your league uses strikeout-to-walk ratio, he becomes an even better value as he should fall somewhere in the 2.5 area. Additionally, he does not have a platoon split, so he is someone you can feel confident starting him against anyone (except the Phillies, to whom he has allowed 11 runs in six and one-third innings this year).
The Indians pitcher talks about getting traded for the first time, and his future in Cleveland.
Justin Masterson is excited to be in Cleveland. Acquired by the Indians in the deal that sent Victor Martinez to Boston at last summer's trading deadline, the 6-foot-6 Beavercreek, Ohio native is not only pitching closer to home, but he also has a chance to become a mainstay in the Tribe's starting rotation. The 24-year-old right-hander has made 53 of his 78 big-league appearances out of the bullpen, but on a staff that lacks front-line starters, his power sinker just might be a perfect fit. Masterson talked about leaving behind old friends, as well as his early impressions of his new team, on the final weekend of the 2009 season.
The young Red Sox reliever discusses remaining humble and keeping it light.
One of the most charismatic players in the game, Justin Masterson knows how to win friends and influence people. The Red Sox right-hander also knows how to win games and induce ground balls. A 23-year-old native of Beavercreek, Ohio, Masterson had an outstanding rookie season in 2008, riding his slingshot delivery and bowling-ball sinker to a 6-5 record and 3.16 ERA in 36 regular-season appearances. Entrusted in the set-up role during the postseason, Masterson also excelled in October, allowing only two runs in nine and two-thirds innings. Masterson sat down late in the season to talk about staying humble while he learned on the job, clubhouse chemistry, and why he likes to toy with the Boston media.
I don't live in New England, so I don't know the answer to this for certain. Perhaps someone in the sizable contingent of Red Sox fans amid our readership can tell me: has Justin Masterson started appearing on milk cartons yet?