A.J. Burnett is one of three New York Yankee pitchers who looks set to step it up.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
Over the past two weeks we have investigated which hitters have a historical tendency to turn it on in the second half of the season. Now it's time to turn our attention to the pitching side of the ball and see who comes to play and who coasts through the end of the season.
Our first stop is in the American League East where it looks like the New York Yankees pitching staff is set to step it up. Three of their starters (C.C. Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Andy Pettitte) have significantly better second-half histories than first half.
Since the New Yorkers already sit atop the AL East standings, it bodes well for their late October plans. Meanwhile, rival Boston's starting five doesn't generally pick it up after the All-Star break.
Pettitte is owned in less than 50% of all leagues and should be looked at as a viable pitching option.
In Tampa, where the defending division champions play, Scott Kazmir is known to have better second halves, but Matt Garza cancels that out by pitching significantly worse after the All-Star break.
This might be the perfect time to acquire Kazmir. He's on the DL so his owner is probably frustrated and he'll likely be back before the All-Star break. I'd call it a decent gamble and it probably won't cost you much. He might even have been released as he's owned in just over 80% of most fantasy leagues.
For those fantasy owners with Roy Halladay on their rosters, he pitches a little better in the second half than the first, though he wins significantly less (win percentage in first half 72% vs 60% in second half).
In general, pitchers with less than two years starting experience were not considered because the sample size was too small.