A Fantasy Spin on the Indians’ Pitching Staff

26 04 2010

If you play fantasy baseball like I do (always contending for the Waiver Move Crown) then you are always looking for a hidden gem pitcher to stash at the bottom of your bench. These guys are always two stat monsters that, if given the right conditions, could deliver a Sunday start that wins you that week. If this is the case with your team then look no further then the Cleveland Indians and their pitching staff of waiver warriors:

  • Justin Masterson, SP– Before getting torched for seven runs in four innings yesterday (4/25) by the Oakland Athletics, Masterson bolstered 20 strikeouts through 15 innings. If you are looking for cheap Ks in a Roto-league or need a boost in the K category late in the week, Masterson should be atop you ‘watch list’.
  • Fausto Carmona, SP– Though his strike out numbers aren’t anywhere near Masterson’s, he is the winning-most pitcher on the Indians staff right now with 3 wins and has an ERA cruising around 2.95. Control has always been Fausto’s issue and as long as he is striking out more people then he is walking (12:6 in his last 3 starts) he should be a safe play for 6+ innings without blowing up your ERA for the week.
  • Mitch Talbot, SP– I’m not saying that Talbot is pick-up worthy right now but he is coming off of back-to-back starts in which he went the distance against the White Sox with no walks and a two hit effort through six innings in a win over the Twins. If he can keep getting run support in his starts, Talbot can be a solid fantasy option around the All Star break.
  • Chris Perez, RP– Kerry Wood still doesn’t have a time table set for his return so Chris Perez is still the man who gets the ball in the ninth. While control will always be an issue with Perez, he has not given up a run in his last five appearances and is looking very strong against the Tribe’s divisional rival: the Chicago White Sox- who Perez has picked up all 4 of his saves against (3.2 innings pitched, 3:1 K/BB).
  • Jensen Lewis, RP– Depending on the number of statistical categories you play with in your league, Jensen Lewis probably doesn’t even land on your radar, but if you are like me random relievers can impact the outcome of your week. Middle relievers have been lost in the fantasy world but they can contribute to your Holds and K/BB categories if you play with them. With a line of-  7.2 IP/2 W/1.17 ERA/ 2.33 K/BB- Lewis is becoming the go-to reliever when the Indians have a lead.

Now I’d like to take a break from the fantasy world for a minute to discuss something that is shouting out to me from the Indians 8-10 record so far this year:

  • I know it is as aparent to Many Acta as it is to us in Tribe nation, Shin-Soo Choo sets the pace for the Tribe offense.
  • Choo’s on base numbers directly correlate with their wins and losses so far this season. Choo has had 13 of his 18 strikeouts in Tribe losses and has 9 of his 13 walks is Tribe victories.
  • He is leading the team with a .313 batting average, 4 homeruns and 13 runs batted in so its hard to ask for more from him at this point but it seems that with the rise and fall of Shin-Soo Choo will directly correlate with the rise and fall of the Indians offense and the Indians in general.

– Dave