Second Half Starting Pitching - NL Central

Roy Oswalt would be a good addition to any contending team, real or fantasy.
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 fifth stop is in the National League Central Division where three of the six pitchers with significant changes between pre- and post All-Star break performance reside in Cincinnati.

Bronson Arroyo should be a candidate to pickup as he is only on about 25% of all rosters. Arroyo historically drops his ERA by almost a full point and his WHIP from 1.41 to a more reliable 1.27. That is in direct contrast to fellow Reds Johnny Cueto and Edinson Volquez who faded in last year's summer heat. At just 23-years-old, Cueto is young and talented so you should note that with only a one-year "sample size," getting rid of the young righthander could be a mistake. Instead, try to spot him against favorable matchups the rest of the way. The same warning should be noted for Volquez who really only has one full year in the majors. He also struck out 206 batters last season, making him too valuable to simply drop.

Another young pitcher to keep a close eye on is Milwaukee righthander Yovani Gallardo. He's been great so far with a 6-3 record and 77 strikeouts in 78 innings, but his short history shows a big drop in second half performance - from 2.77 ERA to 3.69 and 1.13 WHIP to 1.28.

A pitcher that many contending teams would like to have as well as fantasy owners, Roy Oswalt, has a very good history down the stretch. A won/loss record of 67-20 over the second half (64-47 before the break) with a corresponding drop in both ERA and WHIP make him a great pickup for a title run.

And if only Rich Harden could stay healthy, he could certainly help out any fantasy roster.

First Half/Second Half Pitching Statistics for Selected NL Central Starters
First Half Second Half
Player Team W L WHIP ERA W L WHIP ERA
Roy Oswalt HOU 64 47 1.25 3.43 67 20 1.13 2.89
Adam Wainwright STL 20 15 1.26 3.64 12 5 1.31 3.13
Rich Harden CHC 21 14 1.26 3.38 24 8 1.17 3.28
Carlos Zambrano CHC 54 32 1.30 3.37 46 31 1.27 3.63
Yovani Gallardo MIL 7 3 1.13 2.77 8 4 1.28 3.69
Bronson Arroyo CIN 39 47 1.41 4.74 39 27 1.27 3.91
Mike Hampton HOU 75 63 1.47 4.08 70 46 1.38 3.96
Chris Carpenter STL 59 36 1.31 3.97 45 34 1.30 4.04
Braden Looper MIL 39 34 1.34 3.80 24 27 1.35 4.23
David Bush MIL 20 30 1.23 4.55 26 18 1.22 4.35
Ted Lilly CHC 57 50 1.31 4.29 41 29 1.29 4.37
Aaron Harang CIN 39 40 1.34 4.06 35 32 1.28 4.48
Jeff Suppan MIL 68 73 1.43 4.68 64 54 1.44 4.58
Kyle Lohse STL 48 47 1.39 4.66 34 37 1.41 4.62
Ryan Dempster CHC 50 53 1.44 4.46 30 31 1.53 4.64
Wandy Rodriguez HOU 28 25 1.38 4.37 14 20 1.42 4.96
Johnny Cueto CIN 13 12 1.22 3.69 2 5 1.52 5.05
Edinson Volquez CIN 16 5 1.26 2.90 8 14 1.68 5.91


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

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