There are not three different pitchers than Carlos Silva, Max Scherzer and Octavio Dotel in 2010.
Based on preseason expectations, Silva started out as a huge surprise, Scherzer was a huge disappointment from the beginning and Dotel started poorly but has turned into a solid underrated source of saves. This week, all three were among the most productive and available pitchers in fantasy baseball.
The top 10 most productive and available pitchers in the last week. Ownership rates in Yahoo and ESPN leagues are included in parentheses:
Carlos Silva (48% Yahoo, 58% ESPN) — It’s fitting that Silva’s at the top of this list. The one pitcher that everyone was waiting to turn into a pumpkin, Silva did over the course of two starts, giving up nine runs and allowing 22 baserunners and four homers in just 10 innings. Since then he’s been decent, but this week he struck out 11 in seven shutout innings against the Cardinals. His season ERA is still 3.12 and he’s got a 1.10 WHIP. Yes, it’s a risk to own and start Silva, but if he’s back to early-season form, you want that on your fantasy pitching staff.
Anibal Sanchez (29% Yahoo, 34.6% ESPN) — If you’re keeping score at home, that’s the second consecutive waiver report mention for Sanchez. Last week, he won two starts, striking out 13 in 13 innings with a 1.38 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP. The wins the last two weeks came against the Phillies, Braves, Cardinals and Mets. He’s lowered his season ERA to 2.89 (after a two-game start that had it at 6.75). He’s at least a spot starter, if not someone who should be rostered in your league.
Max Scherzer (35% Yahoo, 45.8% ESPN) — Looks like somebody found his fastball in the minors. Scherzer struck out 14 in just 5.2 shutout innings of a win this week. It was his first start since May 14 after a demotion to AAA. The 14 strikeouts were a career high and the highest total in baseball this season. In less than six innings. He’s a must-own. You might not want to start him until you believe it’s real, but he needs to be rostered in your league.
Luke Gregerson (16% Yahoo, ESPN 2.1%) — If your closer is in trouble, Gregerson is a good option as an RP. He’ll get you strikeouts — he had six in four shutout innings this week. He also didn’t allow a single baserunner. He’s one of the best setup options in baseball. If you’re in a league that records holds, you’ve already read about him and know why he’s probably not available in your league.
Takashi Saito (11% Yahoo, 2.9% ESPN) — Saito, another top setup option who isn’t quite as hold-happy as Gregerson, struck out seven in 3.2 innings. Like Gregerson, he swiped a win this week. He’s got a 0.00 ERA and a 0.27 WHIP.
John Axford (12% Yahoo, 13.8%) — His double-digit ownership rate reflects the rumors that Axford — who got his second save this week — has slid ahead of Trevor Hoffman and Carlos Villanueva as the Brewers closer. He also swiped a win and struck out three in two shutout innings. He didn’t allow a baserunner either. Is he the new closer? Your guess is as good as mine, but I’d own him on any team with an expendable roster slot.
Brett Cecil (18% Yahoo, 18% ESPN) — Since a disastrous start on May 14, Cecil has won three games in a row and lowered his ERA down to 3.89. This week he struck out seven in an eight-inning win. He’s got a 1.05 WHIP and batters are hitting .216 against him. He should be owned more than 18%.
Trevor Cahill (4% Yahoo, 3.2% ESPN) — In a two-start week, Cahill won twice and had a 1.46 ERA in 12.1 innings. The rub with Cahill is that he doesn’t get any strikeouts — he only has 20 Ks in more than 41.2 innings. Since giving up eight runs, six earned, in a bad loss to Toronto he’s lowered his ERA from 10.80 to 3.02.
Octavio Dotel (59% Yahoo, ESPN 95%) — Struck out three in two innings to earn two saves. Dotel’s season ERA is a ridiculous 5.31, but he’s allowed just one earned run since May 4 dropping it by almost five runs. He struck out 16 and allowed 10 baserunners in 11 innings over the stretch. He’s probably not available in your ESPN league, but check your Yahoo wire.
Freddy Garcia (2% Yahoo, 0.9%) — You may have taken notice that Freddy Garcia struck out seven in seven innings this week with a 2.57 ERA and a 0.86 WHIP. You may have also noticed that it came against the Rays. He hasn’t pitched more than 58 innings since 2006, but Garcia was a serviceable spot starter that season, going 17-9 with a 4.53 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP. At best, he’s a spot starter.
If you came here looking for the top hitters on the waiver wire, you can find them here.