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Pitching Value Meter: The Future is Bright

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

Pretty sure Carlos Zambrano will rethink his "retirement." With Brett Favre really retired now, meet your new top sports drama queen. Maybe Zambrano gets suspended for throwing at Chipper Jones on Friday, but retire? Yeah sure. ...

Not a week to use your KC starts (insert: "when it is ever?" comments below), with the Royals facing the Yankees and the Red Sox. ...

Bryce Harper got ejected this week for spiking his helmet after being called out on strikes. If the Nationals want to cut bait with this cancer, the Dodgers will listen. ...

Two-start starter of the week: Look at Henderson Alvarez in 12-team mixed leagues this week if you need a spot starter. Alvarez was solid at Double-A this year (2.86 ERA) and had a decent 5.2 innings of three-run ball in his big league debut this week. Reason to target: starts against Seattle and Oakland. ...

Pitcher I initially ranked low, but moved way up when I realized how well he's pitching: Vance Worley. ...

Downgraded significantly after I saw what he did last time out: Anibal Sanchez. ...

Stephen Strasburg watch 2011: Check out the High-A Potomac team Saturday, Aug. 13, and see Strasburg's second rehab start. I look for Strasburg to replace Jordan Zimmerman (innings limit) during the second week of September, if not earlier.

Email: vtadave@yahoo.com - I respond to these much quicker than tweets or the comments section.

Twitter: @vtadave

For the week Aug. 15-21

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Start 'Em

1. Cliff Lee - ARI, @WAS
2. Roy Halladay - @WAS
3. Madison Bumgarner - @ATL, @HOU
4. Zack Greinke - LAD
5. Tim Hudson - SF, ARI
6. Yovani Gallardo - LAD, @NYM
7. Johnny Cueto - @WAS
8. Clayton Kershaw - @MIL
9. Chris Carpenter - @PIT
10. Tim Lincecum - @ATL
11. Matt Cain - @ATL
12. Vance Worley - ARI
13. Mat Latos - NYM
14. Jaime Garcia - @CHC
15. Matt Garza - STL
16. Randy Wolf - LAD, @NYM
17. Mike Leake - @WAS, @PIT
18. Tommy Hanson - SF, ARI (scuffling / shoulder injection)
19. Roy Oswalt - @WAS
20. Ryan Vogelsong - @HOU
21. Cole Hamels - ARI ("dead arm" phase)
22. Ryan Dempster - @HOU
23. Dan Hudson - @ATL
24. Jair Jurrjens - SF (back from knee injury)
25. Cory Luebke - NYM, FLA
26. Shaun Marcum - @NYM
27. Jonathon Niese - @SD
28. Brandon Beachy - ARI
29. Javier Vazquez - @SD
30. Chad Billingsley - @MIL, @COL (two tough road starts)
31. Ian Kennedy - @PHI (great year, but IN Philly?)
32. Tim Stauffer - FLA
33. Jordan Zimmerman - CIN
34. Ricky Nolasco - @COL
35. R.A. Dickey - @SD, MIL
36. Wandy Rodriguez - SF
37. Dillon Gee - @SD
38. Carlos Zambrano - @HOU
39. Ted Lilly - @MIL, @COL (see Billingsley comment)
40. Edwin Jackson - @CHC (has to improve, right?)
41. Derek Lowe - SF
42. Brett Myers - CHC
43. Jordan Lyles - SF
44. James McDonald - STL, CIN (pitching better than this ranking, but 2 tough ones)
45. Dontrelle Willis - @PIT
46. Hiroki Kuroda - @COL
47. Bud Norris - CHC
48. Wade LeBlanc - FLA

Borderline Depending on League Format

49. Anibal Sanchez - @COL, @SD
50. Homer Bailey - @PIT
51. Jeff Karstens - STL
52. Jake Westbrook - @PIT, @CHC
53. Aaron Harang - NYM, FLA
54. Esmil Rogers - LAD
55. Nathan Eovaldi - @MIL (Mr. Eovaldi, Mr.'s Braun and Fielder...)
56. Bronson Arroyo - @WAS
57. Mike Pelfrey - MIL
58. Chris Capuano - MIL
59. Paul Maholm - STL
60. Jhoulys Chacin - FLA
61. Jonathan Sanchez - @ATL, @HOU
62. Kyle Lohse - @PIT
63. Clay Hensley - @COL, @SD
64. Charlie Morton - CIN
65. Aaron Cook - FLA
66. Rodrigo Lopez - @HOU, STL

Extreme Caution Advised

67. Josh Collmenter - @PHI, @ATL (better last time about against the Triple-A Astros)
68. Jason Hammel - LAD
69. Marco Estrada - LAD
70. Joe Saunders - @PHI
71. Henry Sosa - CHC, SF
72. Chris Volstad - @SD
73. Ross Detwiler - CIN, PHI
74. John Lannan - PHI
75. Chien-ming Wang - PHI
76. Livan Hernandez - CIN (don't really know what to do with this guy)
77. Randy Wells - STL
78. Kevin Correia - CIN
79. Jason Marquis - @ATL
80. Kevin Millwood - FLA, LAD

Notes: Chris Volstad
had a 4.42 ERA and 1.60 WHIP in his brief time in Triple-A, so now that he's back up in place of Brad Hand, he's still not NL-only worthy. ... This isn't quite along the lines of Sammy Sosa injuring his back sneezing, but Chris Narveson had to go on the DL after cutting himself with scissors while trying to fix his glove. How does one cut himself with scissors to the point where eight stitches are needed? He'll be replaced by Marco Estrada for three or so starts. ... In the last two weeks, the Rockies have lost Ubaldo Jimenez (trade) and Juan Nicasio (injured) and replaced them with Esmil Rogers and Kevin Millwood. Yeah, those are downgrades. ... He's not an ace, but Cory Luebke has a 20:4 K:BB in 19.1 innings this month and gets two starts at home this week. Start him with confidence. ... Jonathon Niese has a 37:8 K:BB in 36 innings since the All-Star break and represents one of a few bright spots when you look at the Mets' future. ... Jair Jurrjens appears set to return from a minor knee injury Tuesday at home versus the Giants. He'll replace Mike Minor. ... It was good to see Johnny Cueto notch nine strikeouts Thursday considering his K/9 coming into the game was just 5.5. Cueto now amazingly leads the NL in ERA at 1.93. A .234 BABIP is due some of that credit. ... Pirates pitchers have a great 3.70 ERA on the year, but just a 4.56 ERA since the All-Star break. Fatigue may be setting in, particularly with Kevin Correia. James McDonald has allowed a whopping seven homers over his last three starts but does have a 28:8 K:BB in 29.2 innings since the break. ... After six weeks on the DL with a biceps injury, Jonathan Sanchez has returned to allow nine runs in nine innings over two starts. He could be replaced by Barry Zito (foot) as early as this week, as Zito needs perhaps one more minor league rehab start before he's ready to return. ... Dontrelle Willis has quietly put up a very respectable 3.41 ERA in six starts, culminating in a 10-strikeout effort last time out against the Rockies. He's a solid deeper league option this week in Pittsburgh.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Start 'Em

1. Justin Verlander - MIN
2. CC Sabathia - @KC
3. Josh Beckett - @KC
4. Jered Weaver - TEX
5. Dan Haren - BAL
6. Ubaldo Jimenez - @CHW, @DET
7. Jon Lester - TB
8. James Shields - SEA
9. Felix Hernandez - @TB
10. Ricky Romero - @OAK
11. Ervin Santana - TEX
12. Justin Masterson - @CHW
13. David Price - @BOS
14. Derek Holland - @LAA, @CHW
15. Jeremy Hellickson - SEA
16. Colby Lewis - @LAA
17. Brandon Morrow - @SEA
18. C.J. Wilson - @LAA
19. Bartolo Colon - @KC, @MIN
20. Matt Harrison - @CHW
21. Gavin Floyd - CLE, TEX
22. Gio Gonzalez - BAL, TOR
23. Michael Pineda - TOR, @TB
24. Alexi Ogando - @LAA, @CHW
25. Brett Cecil - @OAK
26. Henderson Alvarez - @SEA, @OAK
27. Ivan Nova - @KC, @MIN
28. Rick Porcello - MIN, CLE
29. Max Scherzer - CLE
30. Mark Buehrle - CLE
31. Jeff Niemann - @BOS
32. John Danks - TEX
33. Brandon McCarthy - BAL
34. Rich Harden - TOR
35. Erik Bedard - TB, @KC
36. Josh Tomlin - @DET

Borderline Depending on League Format

37. Jake Peavy - TEX
38. David Huff - @DET
39. John Lackey - @KC
40. Doug Fister - CLE
41. Alfredo Simon - @OAK
42. Wade Davis - @BOS, SEA
43. Brian Matusz - @OAK
44. Fausto Carmona - @CHW
45. Blake Beavan - TOR
46. Freddy Garcia - @MIN
47. Phil Hughes - @MIN
48. Jason Vargas - TOR
49. Francisco Liriano - @DET, NYY (2.1 IP in last start vs. DET)
50. Tim Wakefield - @KC
51. Jeremy Guthrie - @LAA
52. Nick Blackburn - @DET, NYY
53. Tyler Chatwood - TEX, BAL
54. Charlie Furbush - @TB
55. Tommy Hunter - @OAK, @LAA

Extreme Caution Advised

56. Felipe Paulino - NYY, BOS
57. Philip Humber - CLE (tentative - could be Zach Stewart)
58. Trevor Cahill - TOR
59. Guillermo Moscoso - BAL, TOR
60. Brian Duensing - NYY
61. Andrew Miller - @KC
62. Brad Mills - @SEA, @OAK
63. Jo-Jo Reyes - @LAA (Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be right-handed)
64. Brad Penny - MIN
65. Luke Hochevar - BOS
66. Jeff Francis - BOS
67. Danny Duffy - NYY, BOS
68. Bruce Chen - NYY
69. Carl Pavano - @DET
70. Kevin Slowey - NYY
71. Garrett Richards - TEX, BAL

Notes: Brian Matusz
's velocity is back up in the 89-91 mph range in Triple-A, and after a shutout in his last start, he's close to returning to the big leagues. It appears that Matusz will start Tuesday in Oakland. He's worth grabbing immediately in deeper formats. ... The Red Sox will go with six pitchers this week due to Tuesday's doubleheader, with Andrew Miller as the probable No. 6 starter. ... The Yankees are transitioning back to a five-man rotation this week, meaning that either A.J. Burnett, Ivan Nova or Phil Hughes will head to the bullpen. Contracts say Burnett sticks, but I'm guessing he goes, as Nova is pretty much a lock to stick. It may all depend on how Hughes pitches Saturday against the Rays. ... Garrett Richards had a rough big league debut, but he was thrown into the fire against the Yankees, which is clearly a tough way to break in. He is scheduled to face another tough foe, the Rangers, on Monday. ... Ervin Santana is 4-0 with a 1.12 ERA in five starts since the break, giving the Angels perhaps the AL's top 1-2-3 rotation combination. Now if they can just get the back end figured out, where Tyler Chatwood and Richards are learning on the job. ... Danny Duffy has an impressive 7.5 K/9 and really just needs innings and confidence, and we could see that 4.4 BB/9 start to come down. He'll be around a while. ... Michael Pineda might be wearing down a bit, but when you see that 6.26 post-break ERA, also notice the 24 strikeouts in 23 innings. Expect Pineda to get skipped a couple times down the stretch. ... Philip Humber has allowed at least four runs in each of his last five starts, with a 7.52 ERA in that timeframe. He could be tiring, so keep an eye out for Zach Stewart, who could replace Humber if needed. ... Matt Harrison was thought to be the weak link in the Texas rotation, but all he's done this year is lead the team with a 3.06 ERA. Incidentally, the Rangers have received just three starts (all David Bush) from other than their current five starters. I doubt any other team in the league can say that. ... Kevin Slowey returns to the Minnesota rotation, and for him it's an audition for the 29 other teams, as he's a strong non-tender/trade candidate after this season. Slowey should be grabbed in deeper leagues, as he had a 38:6 K:BB in 50 Triple-A innings this year.

MIXED LEAGUE TOP 100

1. Cliff Lee - ARI, @WAS
2. Justin Verlander - MIN
3. Roy Halladay - @WAS
4. CC Sabathia - @KC
5. Josh Beckett - @KC
6. Madison Bumgarner - @ATL, @HOU
7. Jered Weaver - TEX
8. Zack Greinke - LAD
9. Tim Hudson - SF, ARI
10. Yovani Gallardo - LAD, @NYM
11. Dan Haren - BAL
12. Johnny Cueto - @WAS
13. Clayton Kershaw - @MIL
14. Chris Carpenter - @PIT
15. Tim Lincecum - @ATL
16. Ubaldo Jimenez - @CHW, @DET
17. Matt Cain - @ATL
18. Vance Worley - ARI
19. Jon Lester - TB
20. James Shields - SEA
21. Felix Hernandez - @TB
22. Ricky Romero - @OAK
23. Mat Latos - NYM
24. Jaime Garcia - @CHC
25. Matt Garza - STL
26. Randy Wolf - LAD, @NYM
27. Ervin Santana - TEX
28. Justin Masterson - @CHW
29. David Price - @BOS
30. Mike Leake - @WAS, @PIT
31. Derek Holland - @LAA, @CHW
32. Jeremy Hellickson - SEA
33. Colby Lewis - @LAA
34. Brandon Morrow - @SEA
35. C.J. Wilson - @LAA
36. Bartolo Colon - @KC, @MIN
37. Tommy Hanson - SF, ARI (scuffling/shoulder injection)
38. Matt Harrison - @CHW
39. Gavin Floyd - CLE, TEX
40. Gio Gonzalez - BAL, TOR
41. Michael Pineda - TOR, @TB
42. Alexi Ogando - @LAA, @CHW
43. Roy Oswalt - @WAS
44. Brett Cecil - @OAK
45. Ryan Vogelsong - @HOU
46. Cole Hamels - ARI
47. Ryan Dempster - @HOU
48. Dan Hudson - @ATL
49. Jair Jurrjens - SF (back from knee injury)
50. Cory Luebke - NYM, FLA
51. Shaun Marcum - @NYM
52. Jonathon Niese - @SD
53. Brandon Beachy - ARI
54. Henderson Alvarez - @SEA, @OAK
55. Javier Vazquez - @SD
56. Chad Billingsley - @MIL, @COL (two tough road starts)
57. Ian Kennedy - @PHI (great year, but IN Philly?)
58. Tim Stauffer - FLA
59. Ivan Nova - @KC, @MIN
60. Jordan Zimmerman - CIN
61. Ricky Nolasco - @COL
62. R.A. Dickey - @SD, MIL
63. Wandy Rodriguez - SF
64. Rick Porcello - MIN, CLE
65. Max Scherzer - CLE
66. Mark Buehrle - CLE
67. Dillon Gee - @SD
68. Jeff Niemann - @BOS
69. John Danks - TEX
70. Brandon McCarthy - BAL
71. Rich Harden - TOR
72. Erik Bedard - TB, @KC
73. Carlos Zambrano - @HOU
74. Ted Lilly - @MIL, @COL (see Billingsley comment)
75. Josh Tomlin - @DET
76. Edwin Jackson - @CHC (has to improve, right?)
77. Derek Lowe - SF
78. Brett Myers - CHC
79. Jordan Lyles - SF
80. Jake Peavy - TEX
81. James McDonald - STL, CIN (pitching better than this ranking, but two tough ones)
82. Dontrelle Willis - @PIT
83. Hiroki Kuroda - @COL
84. Bud Norris - CHC
85. David Huff - @DET
86. John Lackey - @KC
87. Doug Fister - CLE
88. Wade LeBlanc - FLA
89. Alfredo Simon - @OAK
90. Wade Davis - @BOS, SEA
91. Philip Humber - CLE
92. Brian Matusz - @OAK
93. Fausto Carmona - @CHW
94. Anibal Sanchez - @COL, @SD
95. Homer Bailey - @PIT
96. Jeff Karstens - STL
97. Jake Westbrook - @PIT, @CHC
98. Aaron Harang - NYM, FLA
99. Freddy Garcia - @MIN
100. Blake Beavan - TOR

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

Follow @vtadave on Twitter.

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