Fantasy Baseball: Is Justin Masterson for Real This Time?

Kim Klement – USA Today Sports

When fantasy baseball managers look at the waiver wire for starting pitching help, in 28% of Yahoo! leagues, they see Justin Masterson at the top of the heap.

The right-handed side-winder has been a bright spot in an otherwise mediocre start for the Cleveland Indians. Through three starts and 22 innings, Masterson has allowed only one run while collecting 20 strikeouts. He has won all three of his starts.  His ERA is 0.41 and he has now pitched 19 consecutive scoreless innings.  In the process he defeated two Cy Young Award winners, R. A. Dickey and David Price.

In comparison to Masterson, two next two Tribe starters, Ubaldo Jimenez and Brett Myers have ERAs of 6.97 and 12.19, respectively. The New York Yankees scored 25 runs in two games against the Tribe. On the offensive side, the Tribe has scored one or fewer runs in four games.  Carlos Santana has missed a few games with a thumb injury.  So without Masterson’s superb start, things might be looking a little bleak for Terry Francona’s team.

Now before we nominate Masterson for the Cy Young Award, we need to remember that last year on opening day he went eight innings against the Toronto Blue Jays. He struck out 10 and gave up only one run in a no-decision game. But then he proceeded to finish the season with a 4.93 ERA and an 11-15 record. However, on the other hand, Masterson turned 28 this year, so the proponents of this theory would argue that this will be his career year. His next start comes against the Boston Red Sox. If he mows down the Sox, then maybe I will jump on the bandwagon.

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