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First Half Fantasy Surprises Pt 2.- Pitchers

Posted By Trevor Stewart On Jul 19 2010 @ 1:59 am In Fantasy Baseball | No Comments

Pitchers are often a revolving door in fantasy baseball. You ride the hot streaks, then add and drop them like hot cakes, except for a few studs that either seem to never have bad games (i.e. Roy Halladay, Felix Hernandez, or Cliff Lee), or guys you know will bounce back and are worth the temporary slump in the end (i.e. Johan Santana, Francisco Liriano). But there are some pitchers you just did not expect to have such a consistently good year that you may have gotten at a bargain late in the draft, or picked up off the FA list and they have been one of your top pitchers on your staff. I have said it before and I’ll say it a million more times; “Fantasy sports are not won by the drafts, but they are won in the FA list pickups and well-executed trades.” First off let me revel in my genius and highlight a guy I drafted in the late late rounds to complete my starting pitching core, who has pitched superbly this season.

Cincinnati Reds SP Bronson Arroyo- Arroyo doesn’t have the best ERA at 3.96, but he goes deep into games and is playing for a vastly improved Reds team who can give him some run support. In 19 starts, Arroyo has pitched at least 6.0 innings in 16 of those starts. He just doesn’t get run from games early. Arroyo has pitched 7.0 innings in 11 of those starts, so when you break it down 58% of the time Arroyo is getting seven full innings in each start (Crap, now I have to admit to my math teacher that I would use that stupid math someday, but he probably will never read this, so I think I’m safe). That’s a great type of pitcher to have, especially if your league has a quality starts category in it. Amazingly, Arroyo is only owned 44% in Yahoo leagues despite all that and his 10-4 record. He does have a downside, but it hasn’t come back to bite him too badly this season; he walks a fair amount of batters, but what makes that look a little inflated is due to his low strikeout numbers. Arroyo is someone who can strike you out, but he’s not going to blow one by you. His specialty is that sinker, so he induces a lot of groundballs, which still gets the job done, so don’t let that hinder you from picking him up if you need another solid SP.

St. Louis Cardinals SP/RP Jaime Garcia- Garcia has hit a bit of a rough patch as of late, but he has posted an impressive 2.27 ERA this season and I am really drinking my own Kool-Aid, but again, I picked this guy up off the FA list sensing he had potential. The Cardinals starting pitchers seem to always be pretty decent, and after watching him pitch, I took a chance and picked him up. Garcia is 81% owned in Yahoo leagues and for good reason. He has a solid record of 8-4 and consistently goes 6.0-7.0 strong innings. In his last four starts, however, he has only gotten through six once, but his overall body of work still is something to marvel at. We’ll see how his next few starts go, hopefully he can rebound and get back on the winning track, and reassure his fantasy owners that he is a premier pitcher in the second half of the season.

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