Who's Hot, Who's Not - Pitching June 28

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -

Who's Hot

Justin Verlander, Detroit - Through the first week of June, Verlander was 7-3 with an ERA of 2.89, a WHIP of 0.935 and a no-hitter on his resume. You may have thought "it can't get any better than this." You would have been wrong! In his three starts since, he's pitched 26 out of a possible 27 innings, yielded no more than four hits in each game, struck out 31 batters and won all three starts giving up just one run. He's the clear favorite to be the American League Cy Young winner. I wouldn't recommend it, but if you needed to rebuild the rest of your team, Verlander's trade value will never be higher... ever.

Tommy Hanson, Atlanta - Hanson was in the midst of a three-game winning streak when he was shut down for two weeks after feeling some discomfort in his right shoulder. His last outing was his best, going seven innings, yielding three hits and striking out 14 batters. Before he makes his next start might be the perfect time to make a trade offer to his owner in hopes he's more concerned than you about the injury.

Brandon Beachy, Atlanta - He's made just two starts in June, but both have been things of beauty. Beachy is 2-0 in those outings, going just six innings in each yet striking out a total of 20 batters while yielding two earned runs. He missed five weeks with an oblique strain, but he's healthy now and could be a valuable addition to your roster. He's owned in about half of all leagues.

Who's Not

Alexi Ogando, Texas - The love affair with reliever-turned-starter Ogando may soon be ending. As good as he was early in the season, yielding two runs or less in eight of his first nine starts, Ogando has gone in the other direction in his last three starts. He may have hit a wall as he's already pitched more than double the innings he did a year ago (91.0 vs. 41.2). In his last three starts he's thrown just 9.2 innings, yielding 19 hits and 15 runs, 10 of them earned while striking out just five batters. It's time to sit him on your bench until you see him find his second wind. It's possible that won't happen in which he'll be a prime candidate for replacement.

Jordan Walden, Anaheim - He's blown three saves in the last six days and despite a 100-m.p.h. fastball hasn't struck out a batter since his June 20th outing. His ERA has climbed from 2.45 to 3.12 in that time. He's not in danger of losing his job yet, but if this slump continues any longer, that might happen. If you have an open roster spot, consider adding Fernando Rodney as insurance, since he will return from his back problem in less than a week or setup man Scott Downs (5-2. ERA 1.69, WHIP 0.900).

Rick Porcello, Detroit - While the Tigers continue to run Porcello out every fifth day, it's time for fantasy owners to sit him down. Over his past three starts, Porcello is 0-2 with an 8.59 ERA and a 1.98 WHIP. That's ugly enough to sit him, but when you add his low strikeout totals (season rate of 5.1-per- nine innings) it's time to look in another direction.

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

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