RotoWire Partners

Pitching Value Meter: No Taming this Tiger

David Regan

David Regan

David Regan is a five-time Fantasy Sports Writers Association award winner, and was named the 2010 Fantasy Baseball Writer of the Year.

Quick hits for the week:

Good week to start all Arizona pitchers with the team traveling to San Diego and Los Angeles. Might be the only time I ever recommend Joe Saunders (two starts).

I wish all 150-plus guys were this easy to rank:

- Luke Hochevar - @BOS
- Justin Verlander - @CHW, LAA

Hiroki Kuroda allowing a two-run homer to John Lannan doesn't exactly bolster his trade value.

The Tigers could have Justin Verlander and Clayton Kershaw at the top of their rotation right now, but instead of drafting Kershaw No. 6, they went with the "polished college lefty" Andrew Miller.

I'm calling this trade: Heath Bell and Ryan Ludwick to the Phillies in exchange for Jarred Cosart and a couple other prospects not named Trevor May.

For the week July 25-31

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Start 'Em

1. Cliff Lee - SD, PIT
2. Clayton Kershaw - COL, ARI
3. Tim Lincecum - @PHI, @CIN
4. Roy Halladay - PIT
5. Tommy Hanson - PIT, FLA
6. Cole Hamels - SF
7. Chris Carpenter - HOU
8. Dan Hudson - @SD
9. Jaime Garcia - HOU
10. Zack Greinke - CHC
11. Johnny Cueto - NYM, SF
12. Ian Kennedy - @SD
13. Ubaldo Jimenez - @SD
14. Tim Hudson - PIT, FLA
15. Jair Jurrjens - PIT
16. Jeff Karstens - @ATL, @PHI
17. Vance Worley - SF, PIT
18. Juan Nicasio - @LAD, @SD
19. Tim Stauffer - COL
20. Ricky Nolasco - @WAS, @ATL
21. Ryan Dempster - @MIL, @STL
22. Matt Cain - @PHI
23. Yovani Gallardo - HOU
24. Joe Saunders - @SD, @LAD
25. James McDonald - @ATL, @PHI
26. Javier Vazquez - @WAS
27. Matt Garza - @STL
28. Chad Billingsley - ARI
29. Hiroki Kuroda - COL
30. Mat Latos - ARI
31. Madison Bumgarner - @CIN
32. Jonathon Niese - @CIN, @WAS
33. Josh Collmenter - @LAD
34. Cory Luebke - ARI
35. Jordan Zimmerman - FLA
36. Mike Leake - NYM, SF
37. Ryan Vogelsong - @PHI
38. Homer Bailey - NYM
39. Anibal Sanchez - @ATL
40. Jason Hammel - @SD
41. Shaun Marcum - CHC
42. Paul Maholm - @ATL
43. Rubby De La Rosa - COL
44. R.A. Dickey - @CIN, @WAS

Borderline Depending on League Format

45. Dustin Moseley - ARI
46. Chris Narveson - CHC, HOU
47. Derek Lowe - PIT
48. Jhoulys Chacin - @LAD
49. Ted Lilly - ARI
50. Carlos Zambrano - @MIL
51. Brandon Beachy - FLA
52. John Lannan - FLA
53. Randy Wolf - HOU
54. Bud Norris - @STL
55. Dillon Gee - @WAS
56. Wandy Rodriguez - @STL
57. Jake Westbrook - HOU, CHC
58. Jordan Lyles - @MIL
59. Brett Myers - @STL, @MIL
60. Aaron Harang - @PHI, COL
61. Chris Capuano - @CIN
62. Dontrelle Willis - SF
63. Kevin Correia - @ATL
64. Livan Hernandez - FLA
65. Bronson Arroyo - NYM
66. Charlie Morton - @PHI
67. Kyle Kendrick - SF

Extreme Caution Advised

68. Mike Pelfrey - @CIN
69. Rodrigo Lopez - @STL
70. Jason Marquis - NYM
71. Kyle Lohse - CHC
72. Kyle McClellan - HOU, CHC
73. Clay Hensley - @ATL
74. Chris Volstad - @WAS
75. Tom Gorzelanny - NYM
76. Chien-ming Wang - NYM
77. Randy Wells - @MIL
78. J.A. Happ - @STL, @MIL
79. Micah Owings - @LAD
80. Aaron Cook - @LAD
81. Barry Zito - @CIN

Notes: Jhoulys Chacin
is still the best Chacin in baseball, but he's scuffling lately -- 6.75 ERA in his last five starts. He's also walked six or more in three of six starts, so there's some reason for concern. Chacin is at 127.2 innings this year versus 173 in 2010, so simply saying he's fatigued is baseless; unless we see a pronounced dip in velocity, just chalk this up to a rough patch. ... It's sounding more and more like Tommy John surgery for Joe Blanton, leaving Vance Worley owners pleased. ... Jordan Zimmermann is set up to start twice this week, but it appears Chien-ming Wang has a great chance at returning from a shoulder injury for his first big league start in more than two years, so we'll hedge on Zimmermann. ... The Dbacks have "undecided" as their No. 5 starter, so for now I'm penciling in Micah Owings. Probably best to avoid this slot unless the Dbacks make a trade. Barry Enright and Zach Duke, and countless others, are possibilities to fill that slot. Meanwhile, top prospect Jarrod Parker has allowed one run or less in each of his last four starts in his first full year back from Tommy John surgery. Guessing here that Parker gets a look in August.... Jeff Karstens had a 5.07 career ERA in 339-plus innings prior to this season, a year in which he now ranks fifth in baseball with a 2.28 mark. He'll pitch in Philadelphia (and Atlanta) this week, so we'll see how he does against a tough Phillies offense. ... James McDonald has allowed three runs or less in each of his last 11 starts, posting a 2.84 ERA in that span. Looks like he's bought into whatever program pitching coach Ray Searage has laid out. ... Anibal Sanchez has been scuffling a bit, posting a 7.20 ERA in four starts this month, but with 23 strikeouts in 20 innings, I'm not that concerned just yet. ... Johnny Cueto has a 2.30 ERA this month, but with an 8:11 K:BB in 27.1 innings. He has to be used with two starts this week, but watch the strikeouts totals and hope he's not suddenly lost the ability to miss bats. ... He's not thought of as a top prospect, but left-hander Tom Milone has an unbelievable 113:8 K:BB in 110.1 innings for Triple-A Syracuse. Fellow Washington farmhand Brad Peacock (133:25 K:BB in 103 innings) has been getting more attention, but Milone deserves praise as well.. ... I'll certainly be curious to see Johan Santana's (shoulder) stat line from his first rehab start on Wednesday, but I'm not holding out much hope he'll be fantasy relevant until 2012 (if then). ... I thought this was interesting: the hardest throwing starter in July has been Rubby De La Rosa with a 96.1 mph average fastball. Other than Michael Pineda, there aren't a whole lot of rookie starting pitchers who I'd bank on having a better career.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Start 'Em

1. Justin Verlander - @CHW, LAA
2. CC Sabathia - SEA, BAL
3. Jered Weaver - @CLE, @DET
4. Dan Haren - @CLE, @DET
5. C.J. Wilson - MIN, @TOR
6. James Shields - @OAK
7. Jon Lester - KC, @CHW
8. Josh Beckett - KC
9. David Price - @OAK
10. Gio Gonzalez - MIN
11. Jeremy Hellickson - @OAK, @SEA
12. Brandon Morrow - BAL, TEX
13. Derek Holland - MIN, @TOR
14. Felix Hernandez - @NYY
15. Justin Masterson - KC
16. Michael Pineda - TB
17. Freddy Garcia - SEA, BAL
18. Ricky Romero - BAL
19. Colby Lewis - MIN
20. Jeff Niemann - @SEA
21. Matt Harrison - MIN
22. Josh Tomlin - LA, KC
23. Alexi Ogando - @TOR
24. Francisco Liriano - @OAK
25. Trevor Cahill - TB
26. Mark Buehrle - DET
27. Ervin Santana - @CLE
28. Phil Hughes - SEA, BAL
29. Scott Baker - @TEX
30. A.J. Burnett - BAL
31. David Huff - KC
32. Rick Porcello - LAA
33. Erik Bedard - TB
34. John Danks - DET
35. Brian Duensing - @TEX
36. Jason Vargas - @NYY, TB
37. Bartolo Colon - BAL
38. Max Scherzer - @CHW

Borderline Depending on League Format

39. Gavin Floyd - BOS
40. Edwin Jackson - BOS
41. Duane Below - @CHW, LAA
42. Carlos Carrasco - LAA
43. Brandon McCarthy - TB, MIN
44. Nick Blackburn - @TEX, @OAK
45. Brett Cecil - TEX
46. Brad Penny - LAA
47. Tyler Chatwood - @DET
48. Fausto Carmona - LAA
49. Alexander Cobb - @SEA
50. Rich Harden - TB
51. Wade Davis - @OAK
52. Guillermo Moscoso - TB, MIN
53. Philip Humber - BOS
54. Jake Peavy - DET
55. Carlos Villanueva - TEX
56. Carl Pavano - @TEX, @OAK
57. Doug Fister - @NYY
58. Felipe Paulino - @CLE
59. Jeff Francis - @CLE

Extreme Caution Advised

60. Bruce Chen - @BOS
61. Danny Duffy - @BOS
62. Jeremy Guthrie - @NYY
63. Chris Tillman - @NYY
64. Zach Britton - @NYY
65. Jake Arrieta - @TOR, @NYY
66. Alfredo Simon - @TOR
67. Brad Bergesen - @TOR
68. John Lackey - KC
69. Andrew Miller - KC, @CHW
70. Tim Wakefield - @CHW
71. Jo-Jo Reyes - BAL
72. Kyle Davies - @BOS, @CLE
73. Luke Hochevar - @BOS
74. Joel Pineiro - @DET

Notes:
Can't imagine what it would cost the Tigers (Jacob Turner and more) to secure James Shields, but they are certainly interested. A Shields trade would in theory open the door for Matt Moore to make his big league debut. There may not be a better pitching prospect in the game right now than Moore (sorry Atlanta fans), so keep an eye on this one. ... Speaking of the Rays, Wade Davis is back off the DL after a forearm injury. Watch his strikeouts, as Davis' 4.1 K/9 inspires little confidence, though perhaps that rate was due in part to a sore arm. ... Zach Britton should be back with the Orioles this week after a minor league stint, as he'll try and recapture the form that had him in the rookie of the year talk earlier this year. The Baltimore rotation looks to be a crapshoot this week, but we'll slot Britton in for one of the games in Yankee Stadium. ... John Danks looked really good Wednesday in his return from an oblique injury, tossing seven scoreless innings in Kansas City. OK, so it wasn't the Yankees, but this should at least secure Danks' rotation spot. We'll continue to assume a six-man White Sox rotation until we hear differently. ... Justin Verlander is averaging 7.5 innings per start this year. Not sure he'll win the Cy Young, but hard to see anyone but he or Jered Weaver going home with that hardware. ... The Rangers have three starters - C.J. Wilson, Matt Harrison and Alexi Ogando - in the top 18 in the league in ERA. Just imagine where they'd be with Cliff Lee right now? ... Just saw on Twitter that the Rays will go with a six-man rotation for the time being, with Alex Cobb being the sixth starter. I can't help but wonder whether this is a new trend. Big impact for David Price owners this week, as he gets one fewer start. ... Clay Buchholz (back) is getting closer to a return, but I'd expect two or three rehab starts before we see him back in the Boston rotation. ... Derek Holland has averaged 93.7 mph (up from 92.1 over 2010) for the full year, and he's dialed it up a little (94.2 mph) in July. ... Brian Matusz's velocity remains in the 87-90 mph range in Triple-A, so he's likely going to need at least another couple starts before the Orioles bring him back. No word on why his velocity has dipped, but there hasn't been any word of an injury.

MIXED LEAGUE TOP 100

1. Cliff Lee - SD, PIT
2. Justin Verlander - @CHW, LAA
3. Clayton Kershaw - COL, ARI
4. CC Sabathia - SEA, BAL
5. Jered Weaver - @CLE, @DET
6. Dan Haren - @CLE, @DET
7. Tim Lincecum - @PHI, @CIN
8. C.J. Wilson - MIN, @TOR
9. Roy Halladay - PIT
10. Tommy Hanson - PIT, FLA
11. Cole Hamels - SF
12. James Shields - @OAK
13. Chris Carpenter - HOU
14. Jon Lester - KC, @CHW
15. Dan Hudson - @SD
16. Jaime Garcia - HOU
17. Josh Beckett - KC
18. Zack Greinke - CHC
19. Johnny Cueto - NYM, SF
20. Ian Kennedy - @SD
21. David Price - @OAK
22. Ubaldo Jimenez - @SD
23. Tim Hudson - PIT, FLA
24. Jair Jurrjens - PIT
25. Gio Gonzalez - MIN
26. Jeremy Hellickson - @OAK, @SEA
27. Brandon Morrow - BAL, TEX
28. Derek Holland - MIN, @TOR
29. Jeff Karstens - @ATL, @PHI
30. Felix Hernandez - @NYY
31. Vance Worley - SF, PIT
32. Justin Masterson - KC
33. Michael Pineda - TB
34. Juan Nicasio - @LAD, @SD
35. Freddy Garcia - SEA, BAL
36. Tim Stauffer - COL
37. Ricky Nolasco - @WAS, @ATL
38. Ricky Romero - BAL
39. Colby Lewis - MIN
40. Ryan Dempster - @MIL, @STL
41. Matt Cain - @PHI
42. Yovani Gallardo - HOU
43. Jeff Niemann - @SEA
44. Joe Saunders - @SD, @LAD
45. James McDonald - @ATL, @PHI
46. Javier Vazquez - @WAS
47. Matt Harrison - MIN
48. Matt Garza - @STL
49. Chad Billingsley - ARI
50. Hiroki Kuroda - COL
51. Mat Latos - ARI
52. Josh Tomlin - LA, KC
53. Madison Bumgarner - @CIN
54. Jonathon Niese - @CIN, @WAS
55. Josh Collmenter - @LAD
56. Alexi Ogando - @TOR
57. Cory Luebke - ARI
58. Jordan Zimmerman - FLA
59. Mike Leake - NYM, SF
60. Francisco Liriano - @OAK
61. Ryan Vogelsong - @PHI
62. Homer Bailey - NYM
63. Anibal Sanchez - @ATL
64. Trevor Cahill - TB
65. Mark Buehrle - DET
66. Ervin Santana - @CLE
67. Phil Hughes - SEA, BAL
68. Jason Hammel - @SD
69. Scott Baker - @TEX
70. A.J. Burnett - BAL
71. David Huff - KC
72. Rick Porcello - LAA
73. Erik Bedard - TB
74. John Danks - DET
75. Brian Duensing - @TEX
76. Jason Vargas - @NYY, TB
77. Bartolo Colon - BAL
78. Max Scherzer - @CHW
79. Shaun Marcum - CHC
80. Paul Maholm - @ATL
81. Rubby De La Rosa - COL
82. R.A. Dickey - @CIN, @WAS
83. Dustin Moseley - ARI
84. Chris Narveson - CHC, HOU
85. Derek Lowe - PIT
86. Jhoulys Chacin - @LAD
87. Ted Lilly - ARI
88. Carlos Zambrano - @MIL
89. Brandon Beachy - FLA
90. Gavin Floyd - BOS
91. John Lannan - FLA
92. Randy Wolf - HOU
93. Edwin Jackson - BOS
94. Bud Norris - @STL
95. Duane Below - @CHW, LAA
96. Carlos Carrasco - LAA
97. Brandon McCarthy - TB, MIN
98. Nick Blackburn - @TEX, @OAK
99. Brett Cecil - TEX
100. Brad Penny - LAA

Regan, a four-time Fantasy Sports Writers Association award winner, was named the 2010 Fantasy Baseball Writer of the Year.

Follow @vtadave on Twitter.