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Who's Hot, Who's Not - Pitching August 16

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Don't start thinking about your upcoming NFL draft just yet. Paying attention to the final few weeks of the fantasy baseball season can be rewarding as there are bargains still to be had and championships still to be determined.

Who's Hot

Ivan Nova, New York Yankees - Nova has been pitching well since May, but based on his ownership level (47%) it appears than fantasy players have yet to notice. Nova hasn't lost since June 3rd and in that time is 7-0 in eight starts with an ERA of 3.10 and a WHIP of 1.146. He has improved his sub-par strikeout ratio from 4.35 strikeouts-per-nine innings to 6.53. With the Yankees providing an unreal 10.01 runs-per-nine innings in run support, Nova should be good for plenty of wins down the stretch.

Ryan Dempster, Chicago Cubs - Like Nova, Dempster got off to a poor start and many fantasy owners forgot all about him. That was a mistake as he's gone 9-5 with an ERA of 3.40 and a WHIP of 1.264 since the end of April. He's always been a strikeout pitcher and that hasn't changed with 140 Ks in 147.1 innings pitched. Dempster is 3-0 in his last three starts, he's still available in one out of every four leagues (75% owned) and faces the light-hitting Houston Astros today.

Ian Kennedy, Arizona - Kennedy is finally showing the talent that made him the New York Yankees' first- round pick in the 2006 draft. After an average 2010 (9-10, ERA 3.80, WHIP 1.201) Kennedy has shined in 2011 with a stellar 15-3 record, an ERA of 3.12 and a WHIP of 1.110. The Diamondbacks' right-hander has won his last six starts.

Who's Not

Josh Collmenter, Arizona - Kennedy's rookie teammate, Collmenter, was a high volume waiver claim guy earlier in the year when the team turned him into a starter. However, he's struggled since mid-June, going 3-6 with a high ERA of 5.56. It's time to look elsewhere for pitching help...at least for the rest of this season.

Jonathan Sanchez, San Francisco - Sanchez has been a high-strikeout pitcher for his entire career (career 9.4 Ks-per-nine innings) which has kept his name on the fantasy radar since coming up in 2006. But he's struggled with control and his 1.459 WHIP is the highest its been in four seasons. Unless you are desperate for the Ks and can absorb the high ERA and WHIP, you should not be starting Sanchez.

Anibal Sanchez, Florida - He's improved his strikeout totals (2011 9.4-per- nine innings pitched vs. 7.4 for his career) to the point where he can be a valuable asset in your rotation. Though Anibal Sanchez is currently struggling (0-3, ERA 6.86, 1.762 WHIP in his last four starts), you shouldn't waive him. Instead hold him on your bench until he re-discovers how to pitch.





Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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