Fantasy baseball pitcher stocks

Fantasy baseball pitcher stocks

By David Ferris

Mark Buehrle, SP, Marlins: He's very quietly collected eight wins, a 3.25 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP, and the story has been even more fun in the new park (2.77 ERA, 1.09 WHIP). Buehrle will allow a few souvenirs now and then (13 homers), but so long as he keeps striking out four men for every walk, he'll probably be successful. Buehrle has two favorable offenses waiting for him in the second half, the Nationals and Cubs.
Ryan Dempster, SP, Cubs: He only won four of his 13 starts in the first half, despite a sterling stat package across the board (1.99 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 70 strikeouts in 86.6 innings). The team-support problem is probably going to vanish this month, with the Cubs expected to move Dempster to a contender (the Dodgers are looking to make a move in the NL West and they have the perfect pitching backdrop for someone like Dempster). That pretty ERA isn't likely to last, but Dempster could easily rattle off 8-10 wins in the second half if his new club is decent.


Heath Bell, RP, Marlins: You can't say the Marlins weren't patient, but after watching Bell blow six saves (along with a 6.75 ERA and 1.82 WHIP) Ozzie Guillen is ready to try a committee. Steve Cishek will probably be part of the mix right away, and the former Leo Nunez (now known as Juan Oviedo) is expected to enter the fray in a couple of weeks. We'll be surprised if Bell records more than 10 saves in the second half.

Shaun Marcum, SP, Brewers: Things are going slowly with his elbow rehab, and we're talking about a pitcher who routinely needs about a month on the shelf every year. A 3.39 ERA and 1.17 WHIP are nice, but those aren't game-changing numbers in today's pitching-dominated environment. Let someone else play the waiting game here; don't waste valuable bench space on Marcum if you're in a league with short reserves.
Doug Fister, SP, Tigers: He's pitched better in the secondary stats than he has on the scoreboard (4.75 ERA, 1.45 WHIP), but he's not getting any favors from Detroit's horrendous infield defense (all of the starters in Motown have unlucky hit rates). Fister has also dealt with finger, side and upper body injuries, affecting his control and command somewhat. The Tigers thought Fister had a chance to be a solid No. 2 or No. 3 arm this year, but he really belongs further back in the rotation. In mixed leagues, you need to do better than this.

Derek Holland, SP, Rangers: What's the big deal with Holland again? His career ratios (4.78 ERA, 1.40 WHIP) are killers in today's context, and Holland is specifically having issues at home this year (6.38 ERA, 1.42 WHIP). And if his stuff is so nasty, why are lefties batting .286 against him this season? Something doesn't add up.

Casey Janssen, RP, Blue Jays: He's yet to blow a save since Sergio Santos went on the DL, reeling off 12 conversions in a row in addition to a 1.13 ERA and a .181 batting-average against. There's a lot to be said for throwing strikes in the ninth (Janssen has just four walks as the stopper), and he's also striking out a batter per inning. Why would the Blue Jays want to go back to Santos? No reason that we can see.

With Kyle Hendricks back in the mix, Cubs set rotation for Crosstown series with White Sox


With Kyle Hendricks back in the mix, Cubs set rotation for Crosstown series with White Sox

Kyle Hendricks is finally making his return to the Cubs' starting rotation.

Hendricks, last year's ERA champ who's been on the disabled list since June 5 with tendinitis in his right hand, will start Monday's series-opener with the White Sox at Wrigley Field, the first game of this season's Crosstown series.

Hendricks' return should provide a big boost to a rotation that struggled to find consistency during the Cubs' sub-.500 first half. Combined with the acquisition of Jose Quintana and the better-of-late pitching of Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta, Hendricks' return should make for a formidable starting five as the Cubs enter what could be a knock-down, drag-out, months-long race for the National League Central crown.

Hendricks' 2017 hasn't looked much like his 2016 — something that could be said for many Cubs players during this slow-to-get-going quest for a World Series repeat — with the righty boasting a 4.09 ERA in his first 11 starts. After finishing third in NL Cy Young voting last season, he surely won't come close to that this time around, but the Cubs are hoping simply for a return to normalcy, which would go a long way in stabilizing that starting staff, the inconsistency of which was likely the team's biggest problem through the season's first three months.

[CUBS TICKETS: Get your seats right here]

That rotation lines up like this moving forward: After Hendricks pitches against the White Sox on Monday, it will be John Lackey in the second game on the North Side, with Arrieta and Lester pitching the two Crosstown games Wednesday and Thursday on the South Side. Quintana won't pitch against his former team, throwing Sunday's series finale against the Cardinals and then, presumably, the first of next weekend's three-game set against the Milwaukee Brewers.

With Hendricks returning to strengthen the rotation, the bullpen also gets a boost with Mike Montgomery returning to the relief corps. He'll be available out of the 'pen as soon as Saturday, manager Joe Maddon said before the Cubs' second game against the visiting St. Louis Cardinals. The bullpen also received the addition of Felix Pena, called up from Triple-A Iowa on Saturday, with infielder Tommy La Stella sent down. The bullpen could use an immediate influx of assistance after Friday's nightmarish eighth inning, in which Carl Edwards Jr., Hector Rondon and Justin Grimm combined to yield nine runs.

Between Kris Bryant returning to the Cubs' lineup Saturday, Hendricks returning to the rotation Monday and the team's recent six-game winning streak that has them a game out of first place, things are starting to look a little more like they were expected to look for the defending champs.

34 Days to Kickoff: Chicago Christian


34 Days to Kickoff: Chicago Christian preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting Jul. 31, we’ll unveil the @CSNPreps Top 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 25.

School: Chicago Christian

Head coach: Nick Cook

Assistant coaches: Dan Chiarito (OC), Tom O'Connor (ST), Sean O'Connor (OL/DL and sophomore head coach), Zach Kuipers (RB/DL), Andy Boss (WR/DB)

How they fared in 2016: 3-6 (2-3 Metro Suburban Red Conference), failed to qualify for the 2016 IHSA state playoff field.

[MORE: 35 Days to Kickoff - Grayslake North]

2017 regular season schedule:

Aug. 25 vs. Chicago Bulls Prep

Sept. 2 @ Crossroads Christian Academy

Sept. 8 @ Wheaton Academy

Sept. 15 vs. IC Catholic Prep

Sept. 23 @ Walther Christian

Sept. 29 vs. Ridgewood

Oct. 6 @ Elmwood Park

Oct. 13 vs. Aurora Central Catholic

Oct. 20 vs. Guerin Prep

Biggest storyline: Can the Knights land a state playoff bid in 2017?

Names to watch this season: senior QB/DB Henry Light, junior WR/DB Jonathan Griffin

Biggest holes to fill: The Knights will need to reload on both the offensive and defensive line with just one starter back in senior Izaak Tanis (6-foot-2, 245 pounds).

EDGY's early take: The Knights bring back a nice core of returning starters this season and is a group with experience in the skills department. If Chicago Christian can get its line play to develop sooner, rather than later, they could find themselves battling for a state playoff spot in 2017.