Pitcher Stock Watch

Pitcher Stock Watch

By David Ferris
CSNChicago.com Contributor

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Wilton Lopez, RP, Astros: The ratios grab your attention first: 52 strikeouts against just seven walks, a 1.06 WHIP, tidy 2.24 ERA. And although Lopez is the closer for the worst team in MLB (by far), he still has a win and five saves over the last month. His handshakes are as good as anyone else's.

Jake Odorizzi, SP, Royals: The highly-touted KC prospect fashioned a 3.03 ERA and 130 strikeouts over 145 innings in the minors, covering two levels. The club wants to give him a cup of coffee in the show, so Odorizzi will get a shot against Cleveland on Sunday. That's a streamable turn to be sure, and Odorizzi might draw the same scuffling Indians the following week.

Andrew Werner, SP, Padres: He's been sharp in four of his first five turns, putting up three strikeouts for every walk and an acceptable 3.68 ERA and 1.13 WHIP. Most of the starts have come in offense-blunting Petco Park, but there's nothing wrong with trying Werner in San Francisco this weekend. The Giants hitters haven't seen him yet, either - advantage, Werner.

Martin Perez, SP, Rangers: He's one of the jewels of the Texas farm system, and he's getting a much-coveted start at Safeco Field this weekend. The Mariners couldn't touch Perez in a relief stint last week (4.1 IP, 0 H, 1 BB, 5 K); look for more of the same here.

Drew Smyly, SP, Tigers: Heads up if you need a Sunday fill-in - Max Scherzer (shoulder) might not be able to go, leaving Smyly as the Plan B. The opponent plays nice in this case: Minnesota is in town, with unheralded P.J. Walters throwing. Smile, you're at Mr. Smyly's.

Sell

Clayton Kershaw, SP, Dodgers: It's no sure thing he'll be able to start again this year - the team is being careful with Kershaw's sore hip - and even if the lefty does take to the mound, how confident can we be in his effectiveness? Roster spots have a currency at this time of year; if you need immediate reinforcements, you have our permission to drop Kershaw.

Tommy Hanson, SP, Braves: His walk and homer rates are heading in the wrong direction, and obviously a 4.33 ERA and 1.45 WHIP don't help anyone. Even with the best defensive outfield working behind him, Hanson can't keep the ball out of the gap (or in the park) consistently in 2012. He's been an overrated brand-name for years.  

Hold

Phil Hughes, SP, Yankees: He finally conquered his Fenway Park phobia - perhaps someone gave him a good look at the current lineup card in the Back Bay - and the Blue Jays and Rays are also putting out skeleton lineups at this time of year. For once, we can chase after non-elite AL East pitchers and not feel guilty about it.

Edwin Jackson, SP, Nationals: A bloated ERA over the last month might have some gamers off the scent, but Jackson still offers an acceptable WHIP (1.31) and 35 strikeouts over 29.2 innings. Don't sweat the unlucky hit rate of late; stay the course with this underrated righty. We'll use Jackson through the end of the year, even in shallow mixers.

Fast Break Morning Update: Blackhawks give up season-high seven goals

Fast Break Morning Update: Blackhawks give up season-high seven goals

Here are some of Saturday's top stories in Chicago sports:

Five Things to Watch: Bulls visit Bucks in final regular season meeting on CSN

Jonathan Marchessault's hat trick leads Panthers rout of Blackhawks

Javier Baez won’t change his style around Cubs after World Baseball Classic: ‘We’re not showing anybody up’

White Sox: Carlos Rodon feels reassured after clean MRI

Marian Hossa named Blackhawks' nominee for 2017 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy

Brett Anderson’s personality mixing well with Cubs: ‘I don’t hate anybody yet’

Former Bulls center Joakim Noah suspended 20 games for violating NBA's anti-drug policy

Rule 5 pick Dylan Covey takes advantage of showcase as White Sox down Indians

Joe Maddon breaks down the Matt Szczur vs. Tommy La Stella decision for Cubs

2017 NFL Draft Profile: Illinois OLB Dawuane Smoot

Five Things to Watch: Bulls visit Bucks in final regular season meeting on CSN

Five Things to Watch: Bulls visit Bucks in final regular season meeting on CSN

Watch as the Bulls take on the Toronto Raptors tonight on CSN and streaming live on CSNChicago.com. Coverage begins at 5:30 p.m. with Bulls Pregame Live. Then stick around after the final buzzer to watch Bulls Postgame Live for highlights and analysis.

Click here to watch the game or download the NBC Sports App, your home for live streaming coverage of the Bulls.

Five Things to Watch:

1. Can the Bulls get one on the Bucks? The Bulls are 0-3 against the Bucks so far this season and it hasn't been pretty. The Bucks have won the previous three meetings all by double digits and by an average of 19 points. The youth and athleticism of the Bucks has been a tough matchup for the Bulls so far.

2. Containing Giannis. There may be no stopping Giannis Antetokounmpo, but the Bulls can at least try to contain him. Antetokounmpo is averaging 23 points and nearly nine rebounds per game. In three games against the Bulls this year he has averaged 29 points, 10 rebounds and 7.3 assists per contest. If the Bulls are to stay in the game, they will need to keep him to numbers lower than that.

3. Playoff implications. The Bulls playoff hopes are still alive with nine games remaining, but things are looking a bit bleak. The Bulls are a game and a half out of the eighth playoff spot, but only 3.5 games behind two teams tied for the No. 5 seed, the Bucks and the Atlanta Hawks. The Bucks have won three in a row to improve their position.

4. Mirotic on a roll. Streaky play is nothing new to Nikola Mirotic, but he's on a good run currently. After scoring a season-high 28 points on Wednesday against the Pistons, Mirotic followed that up with 15 points against the 76ers. Since missing three straight games earlier this month, Mirotic has scored in double figures in five of the last seven games and is averaging 15.6 points during that stretch.

5. Beginning of a tough stretch. The Bulls' playoff hopes could be made or broken in the next three games. After taking on the Bucks, which occupy a playoff spot, the Bulls host two more Eastern Conference playoff teams in Cleveland and Atlanta. The Bulls need to string some wins together and this is not an easy stretch to do so against.

- Check out the latest stats and standings to make sure you're ready for action

- Channel Finder: Make sure you know where to watch

- NBC Sports App FAQ: All your questions answered

- Latest on the Bulls: All of the most recent news and notes

- See what Bulls fans are talking about before, during and after the game with Bulls Pulse