Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
With around 30 games left in the season, most of your starters will get five or six more starts. Make them good ones. Now is not the time to put your lineup on autopilot.
Doug Fister, Detroit - It's certainly a lot easier to pitch when the team behind you is scoring runs...just ask Fister. He came to the Tigers from Seattle in a late July trade and is 3-1 since putting on the Detroit uniform. The Tigers have scored 24 runs in his five starts (4.8 rpg) well above the support he was getting with the offensively-challenged Mariners. In his last two games, Fister has two wins, pitched 14 innings and yielded just one run while striking out 12 batters. Fister is only owned in one third of all leagues and should be a waiver claim candidate for your stretch drive.
Hiroki Kuroda, Los Angeles - Kuroda has won three games in a row and four of his last five. Despite a losing record for the season (10-14) Kuroda has pitched well (2.92 ERA, 1.186 WHIP) and was in demand at the trade deadline. He ended up remaining with the Dodgers and has thrown even better than before the trade rumors, going 3-0 with an ERA of 2.25 and a WHIP of 1.10 over his last three starts. He's still available in one out of every five leagues.
Cliff Lee, Philadelphia - When he's in a groove, he's untouchable, and he's in one now. Lee has won four consecutive starts in August including three games yielding zero runs. He's got 32 strikeouts in 31 innings and walked seven batters in those four games. It's a repeat of his historic June performance when he went 5-0 with an ERA of 0.21, a WHIP of 0.690. Obviously you can't trade for him at this point in the season, but you can avoid sending up your hitters against him while he's in an "other-worldly" streak.
Jair Jurrjens, Atlanta - Jurrjens has very good fantasy statistics this season, 13-5 with an ERA of 2.71 and a WHIP of 1.205, but he's not pitched well in August (1-2, 5.19 ERA, 1.846 WHIP). He actually pitched decently in his last start, so perhaps we should ignore the two previous outings as rust after a short stint on the disabled list (knee). Don't give up on him.
A.J. Burnett, New York Yankees - I am puzzled why this man a) still has a spot in the Yankees starting rotation and b) is still owned in 40% of all leagues. Isn't anybody watching him pitch? His season record in 9-11 with an ERA of 5.31 and a WHIP of 1.441 which is bad enough, but since the All-Star break he's 1-4 with an ugly 8.64 ERA and an equally sad WHIP of 1.992. Manager Joe Girardi may have to start him, but you shouldn't even have him on your roster much less in your lineup.
Rick Porcello, Detroit - So much talent, so little production. Don't be deceived by his 12-8 record, he's not pitching well. Porcello has a season- long ERA of 5.01 and a WHIP of 1.444. Fortunately, he's No.2 in all of baseball in run support at 8.76 runs-per-game. Is a win really worth the damage to all your other pitching categories? I say absolutely not!
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