Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
When experts are asked to nominate the best current starting pitching in major league baseball, the Detroit Tigers, San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, Tampa Bay Rays and Washington Nationals reside in most of the top-five lists.
But none of those talented staffs have put up the numbers of the Milwaukee Brewers in the early going.
The 10-2 Brewers are pitching brilliantly to begin the season. As a group, they lead the league with a 2.42 ERA and have already posted nine quality starts in 12 contests.
And the best news is that many of them are still available in your fantasy league.
So it begs the question whether the quintet can keep pitching like this all season and which of the pitchers should be added to your roster?
Wily Peralta (5 percent owned) - The 24-year-old right-hander has made two starts with a 2.25 ERA and 1.083 WHIP. Most exciting is his strikeout-to-walk ratio which has jumped from a below average 1.77 last season (129/73) to 2.50 while facing two 2013 playoff teams (Boston and Pittsburgh). Having never performed at this level for an entire season, he's a bit of a risk.
Kyle Lohse (46 percent) - The "old man" of the staff at 35, Lohse has a 3.05 ERA, 1.113 WHIP and 21 strikeouts in 20 2/3 innings pitched. He was just a mediocre starter last season, but his first three outings in 2014 are conjuring up memories of his 16-3, 2.86 ERA, 1.090 WHIP masterpiece from 2012. If he's going to perform at that level, fantasy owners should be racing to their computers to add him to their roster. Put on your sneakers.
Marco Estrada (66 percent) - In his seventh season, but only his third as a full-time starter, Estrada has solid statistics to back up his quick start. Since becoming a starter, he's kept his ERA under 4.00 and WHIP under 1.150. Through his first two starts, he has a 2.31 ERA, 1.200 WHIP and 12 strikeouts in 11 2/3 innings. His start is an extension of a great spring training and he should be able to continue to perform at a fantasy-worthy level.
Yovani Gallardo (79 percent) - Gallardo has been the "ace" of the Brewers staff for a number of years, but he disappointed fantasy owners last season with a mediocre won-loss record and a high ERA and WHIP. He's a known quantity who will almost always give you 200-plus strikeouts with an ERA under 4.00 and a slightly below average WHIP. To expect more is to expect a leopard to change his spots. Gallardo's fast start (2-0, 0.96 ERA, 1.071 WHIP) is just that - a good streak which will eventually end and he'll return to normal soon enough. If your staff can withstand his high WHIP, he's a viable option.
Matt Garza (83 percent) - Garza pitched for the Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers last season with two distinctly different results. He was a stud in the Windy City and struggled in the heat of the Texas summer. Back in the National League, Garza is off to a good start and appears to be on top of his game with a 2.57 ERA, 0.929 WHIP and 11 strikeouts in 14 innings. We like him to continue his early success and he's still available in nearly one out of every five leagues.
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