2014 MLB Fantasy Fixer-Uppers Week 6
It is truly a sad day for fantasy owners and baseball fans everywhere. One of the game's most exciting young talents is most likely out for the year. In case you didn't know there are reports swirling about Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez having a torn UCL (Ulnar collateral ligament) which almost always leads to Tommy John surgery. That means the stud pitcher will likely miss the next year of competitive baseball. That also means the universally owned (I'm not checking but I mean, c'mon right?) pitcher is now lost for some owner in your league. Perhaps even you. Well, that probably means I should focus on starting pitching this week. So let's dive in and see who can help lessen the blow of losing an elite pitcher.
Ian Kennedy, SP, San Diego Padres (50% owned ESPN leagues)
Frankly I'm a little shocked that Kennedy is available in half the leagues out there but that's another story. Let's focus on why his ownership will be going up shortly. Pairing with Andrew Cashner atop the Padres rotation Kennedy has been pitching better than his 2-4 record would indicate. In his last four starts he has given up a total of six earned runs while striking out 33 batters in 25 innings. He doesn't walk many either with only 11 free passes in 49 innings on the season.Those are some serious quality numbers. The Padres haven't scored a lot of runs but if their offense wakes up the wins could start piling up for Kennedy to go along with his great secondary stuff.
Corey Kluber, SP, Cleveland Indians (47% owned)
Kluber made headlines last week when he broke an Indians record by striking out seven consecutive hitters. He finished that game with a career high 13 K's. How did he follow that up? With a nine strikeout effort in a victory over Tampa Bay. Kluber looks like he may be onto something after starting the year like the middle of the rotation starter we all assumed he would be and if there's a time to ride the hot streak it's now. His next start is in Toronto where he will look to exact some revenge for his loss on April 19th.
Josh Beckett, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers (37% owned)
Josh Beckett has been the best pitcher on a World Series winning team in Florida and was an integral part in helping Boston get their second ring this century. Then Boston tanked and he was part of the mini fire sale that landed him in LA. Last year he was largely ineffective and injured but this year things have changed. Beckett is pitching well but doesn't have any wins to show for it. He has given up two earned runs or less in four of his last five outings and is striking out nearly nine batter per nine innings which is in line with his career average. Beckett is on a good team so if he is healthy the wins will start coming his way. He should be rostered in far more leagues than he currently is.
Jordan Lyles, SP, Colorado Rockies (31% owned)
If the name sounds familiar that is because it should. Lyles was once a top prospect with the Houston Astros but struggled during his stint in their rotation. Part of that is on Lyles and part of that is on the fact that the Astros have been an MLB-calibur team by name only. Either way Lyles is now in Colorado which many people, including myself, did not think was going to work out. Well the early results are in and I was way off. Like, Samsonite way off. With a win Saturday he improved to 5-0 on the season and has been pitching well at Coors Field with a 1.25 ERA. That figures to go up as the season progresses but right now Lyles is looking like a bona fide front end of the rotation guy. Most fantasy owners aren't aware of this. Yet. So grab him now while you can.
Gavin Floyd, SP, Atlanta Braves (7% owned)
Floyd is only two starts in after coming back from Tommy John surgery but he has looked impressive thus far. He is averaging a strikeout per inning and has the luxury of pitching against some weaker teams in the National League East. Atlanta is a tricky team because when they are hot they are real hot but their bats are cold right now. Floyd could get zero run support one night and get 10 runs his next time out. If the Braves are running hot go with Floyd, if not, well, he's still a nice speculative add for some spot starts.