Fantasy daily notes for Sept. 2
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NOTES | PITCHERS | HITTERS
Starting pitcher rankings for Sep 2
GSPitcherOPPERA /
WHIP
88C. Kershaw,
LHP, LAD
Wsh1.73 /
0.84
65A. Wainwright,
RHP, StL
Pit2.59 /
1.06
63C. Carrasco,
RHP, Cle
Det3.01 /
1.00
62S. Gray,
RHP, Oak
Sea3.03 /
1.21
61J. Arrieta,
RHP, ChC
Mil2.88 /
1.05
58M. Minor,
LHP, Atl
Phi4.70 /
1.43
58M. Latos,
RHP, Cin
@Bal3.15 /
1.08
57Y. Petit,
RHP, SF
@Col3.44 /
1.00
56S. Greene,
RHP, NYY
Bos3.09 /
1.27
56K. Lobstein,
LHP, Det
@Cle3.09 /
1.11
56D. Holland,
LHP, Tex
@KC-- /
--
52R. Dickey,
RHP, Tor
@TB4.00 /
1.31
52D. Fister,
RHP, Wsh
@LAD2.55 /
1.11
52O. Despaigne,
RHP, SD
Ari3.24 /
1.24
50W. Miley,
LHP, Ari
@SD4.30 /
1.34
49C. Wilson,
LHP, LAA
@Hou4.46 /
1.43
49J. Paxton,
LHP, Sea
@Oak1.83 /
1.09
48B. Norris,
RHP, Bal
Cin4.00 /
1.24
47Y. Gallardo,
RHP, Mil
@ChC3.26 /
1.24
47J. Niese,
LHP, NYM
@Mia3.48 /
1.30
46J. Hellickson,
RHP, TB
Tor2.98 /
1.21
46B. Penny,
RHP, Mia
NYM5.40 /
1.80
45J. Guthrie,
RHP, KC
Tex4.43 /
1.33
45H. Noesi,
RHP, CWS
@Min4.75 /
1.39
45B. Peacock,
RHP, Hou
LAA5.13 /
1.59
44J. Locke,
LHP, Pit
@StL3.51 /
1.22
44J. Kelly,
RHP, Bos
@NYY4.14 /
1.40
43T. Milone,
LHP, Min
CWS4.21 /
1.37
42K. Kendrick,
RHP, Phi
@Atl4.97 /
1.37
42J. Lyles,
RHP, Col
SF4.08 /
1.34
GS: The pitcher's projected "Game Score," from Bill James' original formula, which accounts for past history (three years' worth as well as past 21 days), opponent and ballpark. A Game Score of 50 typically is typically regarded a quality start; anything over 70 is exceptional, anything under 30 poor. An asterisk notes that the game score has been adjusted by the analyst. Opp: The pitcher's opponent for the day. ERA: Pitcher's earned run average. WHIP: Pitcher's average number of walks plus hits surrendered per inning.

The Elite (ranked for use in daily cash games such as 50/50s and double-ups)

It's almost laughable how Clayton Kershaw's projected game score is 23 points ahead of all other pitchers on Tuesday's schedule. Of course, the left-hander is going to cost crazy bucks in whatever daily-league game you play in, but he's worth the steep price tag in this case. In addition to his current run of 14 straight quality starts, where he's 11-1 with a 1.12 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, .177 opponents' BA and a 10.4 K/9 rate, Kershaw also has dominated the Washington Nationals, his Tuesday opponent, recently. Over the past three seasons, the lefty has won all four starts versus the Nats, producing a 1.17 ERA, 0.69 WHIP, .168 opponents' BA and an amazing 35 K's and just two walks in these 30 2/3 innings.

Adam Wainwright was not his stellar self in August (5.17 ERA, 1.44 WHIP), but I think he'll start out his September on the right foot Tuesday when he hosts the Pittsburgh Pirates. The right-hander has had his way in this NL Central clash over the past two seasons, as evidenced by a 2.20 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, .221 opponents' BA and 8.1 K/9 rate over seven starts. The Bucs have been particularly baffled by Wainwright's curveball in these seven meetings, going 6-for-51 (.118 batting average) with 26 strikeouts on at-bats ending with the deuce. There's no denying how nasty that pitch has been for him this year, as he has held opponents to a meager .170/.206/.224 slash line with 83 strikeouts and eight walks in 233 plate appearances. Last year, Wainwright also had a poor August (4.78 ERA, 1.22 WHIP), but turned it on in the final month with a 2.85 ERA and 1.07 WHIP over six September starts, running his career September record to an impressive 17-9.

Solid (can be used in both daily cash games and tournament play)

If you want to save a few bucks by avoiding the top-flight aces, Sonny Gray is once again a favorable option for Tuesday when he hosts the Seattle Mariners. Gray usually pitches well at O.co Coliseum -- he's 11-5 with a 2.86 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, .232 opponents' BA and 8.0 K/9 rate in 21 career starts there -- but those numbers are nothing compared to what he has done in this AL West matchup. In five career starts versus Seattle, Gray is 4-0 with a 1.10 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 8.8 K's, holding the M's to an amazingly low .186 BA and .237 SLG. Of the 11 current Mariners that have faced the right-hander over a collective 92 plate appearances, only two have gotten extra-base hits, both doubles. Seattle is also in a bit of a free-swinging funk, closing out August with 34 strikeouts to only three walks over its final four contests of the month.

Jake Arrieta is a solid play hosting a struggling Milwaukee Brewers team that closed out August with five straight defeats based largely on a .187/.244/.277 slash line and 45 strikeouts in those games. Also, star outfielder Carlos Gomez is nursing a wrist injury and might not play in this matchup. But even if you include his solid 2-for-7 (one homer) career versus Arrieta, the right-hander still has gotten the best of the current Brewers, holding them to a collective .141/.187/.268 slash line in 75 plate appearances. The only time he faced Milwaukee this year was on Aug. 11 when he allowed just two runs and six baserunners in 7 1/3 frames, with four strikeouts. Although Arrieta was roughed up in a couple August road outings in Cincinnati (4 IP, 6 ER) and Colorado (5 IP, 9 ER), he hasn't had a bad Wrigley Field start all season, going 3-1 with a 1.86 ERA, 0.88 WHIP and an 8.2 K/9 rate while holding visitors to a .184/.232/.252 slash line.

Value Plays (best used in tournaments or on multiple-pitcher sites)

I was surprised to see that Carlos Carrasco (36 percent ESPN ownership) has the third-highest Game Score projection, but upon further review, that ranking is justified. He has been lights-out since rejoining the Cleveland Indians rotation, going 3-0 with a 0.73 ERA, 0.57 WHIP and 9.0 K/9 rate while holding opponents to a pathetic .131/.161/.179 slash line. He has pitched well at home all season, too, producing a 2.92 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 10.2 K/9 while limiting visiting hitters to a weak .213/.276/.311 slash. I am a little concerned about Carrasco's frightening 8.07 ERA and 2.20 WHIP over 29 career innings versus the Detroit Tigers, but he has handled them well this season, posting a 1.42 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 12.8 K/9 rate in four relief appearances. Also consider that Miguel Cabrera is still bothered by an ankle injury, and that Carrasco should get some run support from an offense with 81 hits during a 7-1 surge that is facing a mound opponent named Kyle Lobstein, who is making his second career start.

I don't usually recommend any pitcher taking the mound at Coors Field, but I'll make an exception for Yusmeiro Petit (8 percent ESPN ownership) on Tuesday. His unbelievable hitless streak might be over, but I really like how he continues to challenge hitters. Since mid-June, the right-hander has a 1.86 ERA, 0.72 WHIP, 51 K's and only five walks, equating to an 11.9 K/9 rate and 10.2 K/BB ratio. Petit has allowed just one home run to a current Colorado Rockies player (Corey Dickerson) over 111 plate appearances, which is a big reason for the Rockies' .324 slugging percentage against the right-hander. I also like Petit's win chances with his red-hot lineup (42 runs, .901 OPS during six-game win streak to end August) facing Jordan Lyles, the lowest-rated starting pitcher for Tuesday. Petit should be owned in the majority of fantasy leagues for as long as he remains in the San Francisco Giants' rotation.

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