June 3rd, 2012
Mr. Fantasy Freak
Pitchers Surprising Lately
We all know about the big name pitchers that always give their team a chance to win. But when a not-so-expecting pitcher takes the hill and pitches with conviction, it really opens eyes. Pitchers get hot and cold just like hitters, but sometimes it isn't just a hot streak: they're becoming elite. These three American League guys have really impressed me this year, and I look for them to take the next step moving forward.
Chris Sale, LHP, ChiW.
There aren't too any guys hotter than this 23-year-old southpaw right now. A first round pick a couple of years ago, he was in the big leagues by the end of that season. So there were definitely expectations for Sale entering this season. To be honest, I saw him as more of a tough lefty closer, like Billy Wagner. He has earned a spot in the rotation, though, and never looked bad. Sale has a 7-2 record, sporting a sparkling 2.30 ERA. He also has 69 strikeouts in just 66.2 innings pitched. If he is still on the waiver wire in your league, it'd be a mistake to not pick him up.
Matt Moore, LHP, Tam.
Moore was spectacular last season as a dependable arm out of the 'pen in the playoffs. But he was tabbed as a starter for this season, to go along with power lefty arms like David Price. However, the season didn't start as he had hoped, and his ERA was overing around 6. Good news for fantasy owners, though: after giving up 8 runs against Oakland on May 6th, Moore has been dominate. Although his record in his last 5 starts is just 1-3, he has had a 1.80 ERA, with 35 strikeouts in 28 IP. I picked him up in my league and am now pleased with his efforts.
Felipe Paulino, RHP, KC.
The 28-year-old was picked up off waivers from the Rockies last year, as he had been giving up on. At 6'2", 260, Paulino always has had a big arm as a reliever, but the Royals and Ned Yost decided to tinker with him as a starter. The gamble has paid off as Paulino pitched great last year as a starter for the Royals and has carried his success into this season. After missing the first month with arm problems, he has come back on fire. He has a 3-1 record, with a 1.70 ERA. With velocity that sits consistently at 94-98 m.p.h., Paulino has mowed down hitters with 39 punch outs in 37 IP. He is only owned in roughly 39% of ESPN Fantasy leagues, so go pick him up as he is a very solid 3rd or 4th starter.