2013 Fantasy Baseball: 10 Starters That Will Breakout In Second Half
Top 10 Starting Pitchers To Rebound In Second Half
Several former All-Star pitchers, like R.A. Dickey, Matt Cain, Cole Hamels, and C.C. Sabathia, have not exactly pitched like themselves this season. Fantasy baseball owners put a lot of faith in these aces this off-season, but have since been completely burned. These hurlers have normally been fixtures at the All-Star game, so the fact that they were not voted in says a lot about how much they have struggled over the first half of the season.
Regardless of their struggles, though, some of these guys are simply too good to keep pitching 4.00 baseball and a short break may be just what the doctored ordered to get these perennial Cy Young contenders back on the right track.
This list also includes a couple of guys that are just returning from a nagging injury. When a player goes on the 15-day DL, or even worse, the 60-day DL, fantasy owners tend to forget about him. However, that doesn’t mean that the player won’t have value down the stretch.
To help you the rest of the way, here are the top 10 starting pitchers likely to breakout over the second half of the 2013 fantasy baseball season.
10. Anibal Sanchez, Detroit Tigers
Anibal Sanchez, Detroit Tigers - In his second start of the season, Sanchez lasted eight scoreless innings and struck out a jaw-dropping 17 batters. He has been a pleasant surprise all fantasy season and it was devastating when he went on the DL with a strained shoulder.
The fireballer is ready to get back to work and will be the first starter to take the ball after the All-Star break for Detroit. Sanchez is striking out a career-high 10.86 batters per nine innings of work this season and could be a huge addition to any fantasy rotation for the second half of the season.
9. Jarrod Parker, Oakland Athletics
Jarrod Parker, Oakland Athletics – Parker may have a 6-6 record and has not had a decision in his last four starts, but the righty is showing signs of coming around. Parker has 11 quality starts in his last 12 outings and has dropped his ERA from 7.34 all the way down to a respectable 3.95.
8. Chris Archer, Tampa Bay Rays
Chris Archer, Tampa Bay Rays – Archer has been a well-kept secret over the last couple weeks. He was called up from Triple-A Durham on June 1st and has been the most reliable pitcher in Tampa’s rotation since his arrival.
Over his last eight starts (47.2 innings), Archer has a sizzling 2.28 ERA and a 4-1 record. Even more impressive is that the right-hander has not allowed an earned run over his last two starts (15 innings). He will continue to deal over the second half of the season and will solidify his spot in a young, deadly rotation.
7. Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants
Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants – After throwing a no-hitter just prior to the All-Star break, many people will be picking Lincecum to rebound over the second half of the season. Even after his no-hitter, though, he still has a 5-9 record and a miserable 4.25 ERA, so he has been far from reliable this fantasy season.
Lincecum’s career game was at least a step in the right direction for the fireballer, and if anything else, it gives fantasy owners hope that he can bounce back. He will also become a free agent at the end of the year, and you can bet he will want to end on a high note. Expect Big Tim Timmy Jim to finish with more wins than loses over the second half of the fantasy season.
6. Clay Buchholz, Boston Red Sox
Clay Buchholz, Boston Red Sox – Buchholz currently has a 9-0 record with a 1.71 ERA and 1.02 WHIP. Unfortunately, he has been sidelined since June 8th with neck/shoulder problems and has not been progressing as quickly as expected.
However, he has been putting up Cy Young caliber numbers whenever he has been on the mound this season and will be looking to get back to work sooner rather than later.
5. Jered Weaver, Los Angeles Angels
Jered Weaver, Los Angeles Angels – Weaver currently has a 3-5 record and has been rather inconsistent this year. His 1.22 WHIP and 3.63 ERA are the highest they have been since 2009. Weaver has also allowed four earned runs or more in a start on five separate occasions. Not exactly the consistency you would expect from a guy that was elected to three straight All-Star games between 2010-12.
On the other hand, Weaver has had some gems this season. He has had seven starts in which he has allowed one earned run or less and has lasted at least six innings, including three of his last four starts.
4. R.A. Dickey, Toronto Blue Jays
R.A. Dickey, Toronto Blue Jays - After winning the 2012 NL Cy Young with the New York Mets, many expected Dickey to have another strong fantasy showing this season. However, the 38-year-old, knuckleballer has a miserable 8-10 record to go along with an even worse 4.64 ERA and 1.30 WHIP.
Dickey may be having an absolutely miserable season, but it honestly can’t get much worse for the knuckleballer. Expect Dickey to slowly start turning things around over the second half of the season.
3. Matt Moore, Tampa Bay Rays
Matt Moore, Tampa Bay Rays – Moore started off 8-0 with a 2.29 ERA through his first eight decisions of the season. After that, however, Moore didn’t win a decision in five consecutive starts and many owners started to lose faith in the young hurler.
The southpaw has since settled back down and has won five straight games. In his last four starts alone, Moore has allowed just four earned runs and struck out a very impressive 36 batters. He has once again looked like a strong fantasy starter and is ready to have an All-Star second half.
2. Matt Cain, San Francisco Giants
Matt Cain, San Francisco Giants – In his last start before the All-Star game, Cain failed to even get out of the first inning. He allowed three earned runs against the New York Mets and it was just the latest meltdown from the right-hander. Cain is actually 0-3 with a 6.38 ERA in his last five starts, including 11 earned runs in his last three innings of work.
Cain has thrown some bullpen sessions recently to try to get back into form, and manager Bruce Bochy reportedly seems very pleased with the results. Cain should benefit from the extra rest and start to pitch like a fantasy ace in the second half of the season.
1. Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Phillies
Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Phillies – Hamels has been one of the biggest disappointments over the first half of the season. He entered the All-Star break with a miserable 4-11 record, which is a far cry from his 10-4 record he had at the turn last season.
People have been beating up the southpaw all season, but Hamels has calmed down considerably this July. In his three starts this month, Hamels has a 1.56 ERA and has lasted at least seven innings in each outing. Hamels may not put up Cy Young numbers the rest of the year, but expect him to settle in as a solid number two fantasy starter.