Ricky Nolasco, SP (FLA): Ricky Nolasco has had a fantastic recent run but his strong streak of starts has actually lasted two months. Entering May, Nolasco was 1-2 with an ERA of 5.79. After today's start, Nolasco is now 9-4 with an ERA of 3.96. He has seven wins in his last nine outings.
His strikeout to walk ratio has improved every month. In April, it was 12:8. In May, it was 25:13. In June, it was 29:7 and in his most recent start on Wednesday, Nolasco pitched seven innings and allowed no walks and struck out eight batters. He's worth a look for all of those former Brett Myers' owners.
Brett Myers, SP (PHI): Speaking of Brett Myers, what is all the panicking about? Fantasy owners shouldn't be nearly as worried as his real owners, the Philadelphia Phillies. Sure, he's allowed the most home runs in the majors and the Phillies are only 1-11 in his last 12 starts, but if you have been reading this blog for a while know, Myers has actually been helping your fantasy team. Early in the season, I said you should start him at home and sit him on the road.
Road: 0-6, 47.1 IP (9 Starts), 8.18 ERA, 2.03 WHIP, 31 K, 24 BB, .353 BAA
Home: 3-3, 54.1 IP (8 Starts), 3.81 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 57 K, 20 BB, .214 BAA
That 1-11 stat really rings out, but keep in mind that the Phillies are 3-3 in his last six home starts. His problems only surface away from home.
Scott Baker, SP (MIN): Scott Baker has quietly been an effective fantasy pitcher this year. He's given up three runs or less in 11 of his 12 starts this year. His 5-2 record is so-so, but he did spend a month on the disabled list. Since returning (June 5), Baker has allowed 13 earned runs in 36 innings of work (3.25 ERA) with 28 strikeouts versus only five walks. Three of his five wins have come from his last three starts.
Baker is a good source for strikeouts, ERA and is decent for innings pitched and WHIP. While the Twins are hot, he'll continue to pile up wins if he keeps on pitching this way.
Kevin Slowey, SP (MIN): The Twins are flying high right now with 13 wins in their last 15 games, so it's not a bad idea to pick up some of their pitchers if you need wins. Kevin Slowey has been very productive of late, notching wins in three of his last four starts.
His numbers across the board are legitimate. On the year, his ERA is 3.47, his WHIP is 1.09 and his strikeout to walk ratio is 54:9. I like that he doesn't allow many base-runners, which obviously keeps his ERA down. He's a good pickup right now.
Damaso Marte, RP (PIT): Significant fantasy news broke when the Pittsburgh Pirates announced that closer Matt Capps will miss two months of the season after an MRI on his right shoulder revealed bursitis and showed an internal rotational deficit. Capps has 17 saves, which ranks him seventh in the National League.
Damaso Marte figures to be the closer, although Tyler Yates might get some opportunities. This is an interesting situation because Marte has been bandied about in trade rumors. For now, though, Marte is the pitcher you want to add if you are looking for saves.
Dan Wheeler, RP (TB): Troy Percival left Tuesday's game with a hamstring injury, which will land him on the disabled list until the All-Star break. Dan Wheeler should be in line to benefit the most, but keep in mind that he didn't benefit so much the last time Percival landed on the DL. Wheeler picked up a couple of saves and a win. At this point, if you need saves, you have to take a chance with him. The Rays are a good team so he should see a decent amount of closing opportunities.