For the week June 7-13
Disclaimer: Rankings are based on information through Friday evening. We will update this piece with comments at the bottom of the article as new information becomes available but recommend keeping up to date with the latest player news.
Always appreciate comments on the rankings, and I expect some disagreement. I'd love to explain the rankings in more detail if you have specific questions, and if there's something in particular that you disagree with, feel free to comment below with your reasoning.
(Stephen Strasburg plus the rest of the) NATIONAL LEAGUE
Extreme Caution Advised
Projected No. 5 starters skipped: Cardinals No. 5 starter (Adam Ottavino)
Two-start starters: Derek Lowe, Kris Medlen, Chris Volstad, Mike Pelfrey, Cole Hamels, Kyle Kendrick, Stephen Strasburg, Ryan Dempster, Randy Wells, Johnny Cueto, Sam LeCure, Wandy Rodriguez, Bud Norris (tentative), Yovani Gallardo, Dana Eveland (tentative), Jeffrey Karstens (tentative), P.J. Walters (tentative), Chris Carpenter, Dan Haren, Edwin Jackson, Jason Hammel, Jeff Francis, Hiroki Kuroda, Wade LeBlanc, Clayton Richard, Barry Zito, Matt Cain.
Notes: He's heeeeeere!!! Stephen Strasburg makes his much-anticipated major league debut on Tuesday, June 8, at home against the Pirates. Much has been written, so no more will be said here other than if you've been rostering him all year, now is the time to cash in. As an added bonus, he gets two starts this week against seemingly favorable opponents. Homer Bailey (shoulder) is eligible to come off the DL on June 8, so I have him penciled in for two starts. That could easily change, with Sam LeCure possibly starting on Tuesday and Bailey on Sunday (6/13). I have P.J. Walters getting two starts in St. Louis, but if you saw Walters pitch lat time out, you know this is tentative as well. Adam Ottavino could get one or both of Walters' starts. A Super-Two type situation seems to be the only reason the Giants are keeping Madison Bumgarner in Triple-A. He has a 1.29 ERA in his last nine starts and should be replacing Todd Wellemeyer any day. I can't believe the Pirates are actually using Dana Eveland every fifth day. Brad Lincoln has a 2.03 ERA and 37:5 K:BB in his last six starts (40 innings) for Triple-A Indianapolis. I have to think Lincoln replaces Eveland, perhaps as early as this week. Bud Norris (biceps) is eligible to return June 8, and though I have him as a two-start starter, it's likely Brian Moehler gets one of those starts. Either way, that slot in the rotation is scheduled to pitch in Colorado and in New York against the Yankees, so don't use either of these guys this week. Tim Lincecum finished fourth in the NL in WHIP last year but is just 17th in 2010. Wondering if he's even going to be a top-10 NL starter this year. I could easily see him outside of the top 5. Clayton Kershaw has a 1.08 ERA in his last five starts. He won't win a Cy Young this year, but it's pretty easy to see him ripping off a couple in a row in the next five years. Adam Wainwright led the NL in strikeouts in May with 47. Safe to say he's taken another step forward in his development. Chris Capuano's return from Tommy John surgery is a nice story, and he'll get a real chance at securing a rotation slot despite his subpar first outing. After all, it's not like any of the non-Gallardo starters are doing much. I'm not sure I'm going out on a limb in saying that Kris Medlen is the Braves' second-best starter behind Tommy Hanson right now. Medlen doesn't strike out a ton of guys, but a 36:9 K:BB in 48.1 innings is still quite good. Kudos to you if you had patience with Edwin Jackson as he opened at 1-5 with a 7.44 ERA in his first eight starts. In his last four, Jackson is 2-1 with a 2.27 ERA, including nine shutout innings in a no-decision against the Dodgers.
Extreme Caution Advised
Projected No. 5 starters skipped: None
Two-start starters: Bradley Bergensen (tentative), Daisuke Matsuzaka, Tim Wakefield, Philip Hughes, Jeff Niemann, Brian Tallet (tentative), Gavin Floyd, Fausto Carmona, David Huff, Armando Galarraga, Kyle Davies, Kevin Slowey, Scott Kazmir, Jered Weaver, Ben Sheets, Vincent Mazzaro (tentative), Cliff Lee, Felix Hernandez, Scott Feldman, Colby Lewis
Notes: Even if Bradley Bergensen does start Tuesday, it's against the Yankees, so that should result in a performance that hastens a call to Triple-A Norfolk for Jake Arrietta. Arrietta has a 1.77 ERA in 11 starts and is the team's No. 1 pitching prospect still in the minors. Tim Wakefield has allowed 15 runs in 9.2 innings over his last two starts, so with Josh Beckett (back) out another 3-to-4 weeks, the Sox could turn to Boof Bonser. It being hard to see that going well, keep Michael Bowden in mind, though Bowden has a 5.10 ERA for Triple-A Pawtucket. With the return of Brett Anderson's troublesome left elbow, the A's are going to turn to either Tyson Ross or Vincent Mazzaro this week. Both have struggled recently, but I'll roll the dice on Mazzaro who seemingly has a bit more upside. Jason Vargas has a 9:9 K:BB in 25.2 innings over his last four starts. I have to think that 2.92 ERA is about to take a major hit. Jeremy Hellickson has a 1.08 ERA an 29:3 K:BB in 25 innings over his last four starts. There isn't a more major-league ready pitcher currently in the minors, but unless Wade Davis' 36:29 K:BB catches up to him, Hellickson is stuck waiting for a trade or injury. It's hard to not like the Detroit rotation right now.Its No. 5 starter was robbed of a perfect game, Max Scherzer struck out 14 in his return to the rotation and Jeremy Bonderman had a 1.33 ERA in May. Next to the Rays, this is the deepest rotation in the AL. Still wondering whether Ricky Romero is for real, but the jump in his dominance sure appears to be 9.2 K/9 vs. 7.1 a year ago. Shaun Marcum and David Price are scheduled to hook up Tuesday. Might watch that one around the Strasburg debut. Jesse Litsch (Tommy John surgery) struggled in his last Triple-A rehab outing and will need at least one more start there before the Jays consider him for their rotation. No structural damage for Derek Holland (shoulder), but he'll obviously be out awhile. I wouldn't expect much from his replacement, Tommy Hunter. Jon Lester was 5-0 with a 1.84 ERA and 45 strikeouts in May. Jered Weaver is probably the early AL Cy Young favorite, but Lester has plenty of time to make a run at the award.
TOP 100 (12-Team Mixed Leagues, assuming five starters per team)