If you play weekly fantasy baseball, here are some pitchers you ought to pay attention to before you pick them up for your fantasy league:
Brandon Beachy, Atlanta Braves
Beachy returned July 29 after Tommy John surgery had kept him out since June 16, 2012. In 13 2012 starts, Beachy had a 2.00 ERA and 0.96 WHIP. In 25 starts in 2011, Beachy had a 10.7 K/9. So Beachy’s return was eagerly awaited by weekly fantasy baseball fans. But in his first game, at home against the Rockies, Beachy had his worst career performance, allowing seven earned runs in 3 3/2 innings.
Since then, however, Beachy has been much better. In 20 1/3 inning over three starts, Beach has allowed five ER on 14 hits. On August 9 against Miami, Beachy pitched eight scoreless innings, allowing just three hits. Granted, it was against Miami, and Beachy’s other two recent starts were against the Phillies. Beachy’s ERA for the season is 4.50, but his WHIP is 1.08 and he has a 19-4 K/BB in 24 innings.
Alex Cobb, Tampa Bay Rays
Through 13 starts, Cobb was having a breakout season with a 3.01 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 8.2 K/9. But on June 15, Cobb was hit in the head by a line drive off the bat of Kansas City’s Eric Hosmer. Cobb suffered a concussion and was out two months. During his rehab, a blister delayed his return.
When Cobb came back August 15 at home against Seattle, he rewarded fantasy owners who had held on to him during his absence. Cobb allowed one earned run and three hits in five innings, striking out six and walking two, and looked ready to resume his breakout season.
Ryan Vogelsong, San Francisco Giants
After posting a 2.71 ERA in 2011 and a 3.37 ERA in 2012, Vogelsong had a 7.19 ERA on May 20 when he broke his pitching hand in a game in which he had finally started pitching well, allowing no earned runs and three hits in five innings against Washington. Vogelsong missed over two and a half months, returning on August 9 to face Baltimore at home.
In Vogelsong’s first game back, he allowed two earned runs and six hits in six innings, walking three and striking out four. But he did not make it out of the fourth inning in his second game. In 3 2/3 innings at Washington, Vogelsong allowed three earned runs, six hits, three walks and struck out three. For the season, Vogelsong now has a 6.75 ERA and 1.75 WHIP.
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Jon Lewin writes for a variety of fantasy sports sites.