The Washington Nationals have overtaken first place in the National League East. The pitching has been on point and the batting lineup has come together to drive in a lot of runs. The one pitcher that has stepped up has been sophomore Tanner Roark. His next matchup will be against the lowly Chicago Cubs, so add him to your lineup right away.
Roark has pitched a phenomenal June so far. He has won his last four starts and can have that streak continue on Friday. In his five June starts, Roark has a 4-1 record with a 1.44 ERA in 31.1 innings pitched. He has allowed just four earned runs while striking out 22 batters.
Roark earned the final rotation spot at the end of last season after being a long reliever. He went 3-1 in 31.0 IP with a 1.74 ERA and .90 WHIP in his five September starts. In 15 starts so far in 2014, Roark has a 7-4 record with 72 strikeouts, 2.79 ERA and 1.11 WHIP.
He is a key piece to the Nationals rotation. After Stephen Strasburg, the Nationals don’t have that dangerous No. 2 pitcher. Roark can be that guy. At just 27 years of age, Roark and Strasburg can be a nice one-two combo for Washington.
Roark will continue his winning ways against the Cubs on Friday. The Cubs are one of the worst-hitting teams in all of baseball. They have 271 RBI (25th) and a .233 average (29th). Roark is currently owned in 80.7 percent of ESPN.com leagues, an increase of 22.7 percent. If he’s still available, find a disposable bench player in order to make room for Roark.