Fantasy daily notes for July 29
< JUL 28 | JUL 29 | JUL 30 >
NOTES | PITCHERS | HITTERS
Starting pitcher rankings for Jul 29
GSPitcherOPPERA /
WHIP
68T. Ross,
RHP, SD
StL2.65 /
1.16
66C. Hamels,
LHP, Phi
@NYM2.72 /
1.15
63J. Shields,
RHP, KC
Min3.58 /
1.27
63S. Strasburg,
RHP, Wsh
@Mia3.67 /
1.26
62H. Iwakuma,
RHP, Sea
@Cle3.09 /
0.99
60J. Samardzija,
RHP, Oak
@Hou2.80 /
1.10
60A. Cobb,
RHP, TB
Mil3.76 /
1.21
59A. Sanchez,
RHP, Det
CWS3.45 /
1.09
56M. Stroman,
RHP, Tor
@Bos3.21 /
1.10
54M. Garza,
RHP, Mil
@TB3.87 /
1.18
53L. Lynn,
RHP, StL
@SD3.05 /
1.32
52F. Liriano,
LHP, Pit
@SF4.18 /
1.43
52J. Weaver,
RHP, LAA
@Bal3.36 /
1.12
51C. Tillman,
RHP, Bal
LAA3.92 /
1.35
51J. Quintana,
LHP, CWS
@Det3.15 /
1.20
51T. Bauer,
RHP, Cle
Sea3.93 /
1.39
51T. Hudson,
RHP, SF
Pit2.65 /
1.13
51D. Gee,
RHP, NYM
Phi3.49 /
1.09
50J. Beckett,
RHP, LAD
Atl2.52 /
1.05
47M. Leake,
RHP, Cin
Ari3.73 /
1.27
47R. De La Rosa,
RHP, Bos
Tor3.54 /
1.22
46S. Feldman,
RHP, Hou
Oak4.60 /
1.44
46E. Jackson,
RHP, ChC
Col5.76 /
1.57
45T. Cahill,
RHP, Ari
@Cin5.72 /
1.71
45B. McCarthy,
RHP, NYY
@Tex4.49 /
1.35
43A. Harang,
RHP, Atl
@LAD3.31 /
1.37
43H. Alvarez,
RHP, Mia
Wsh2.62 /
1.23
40J. De La Rosa,
LHP, Col
@ChC4.19 /
1.28
40N. Martinez,
RHP, Tex
NYY4.73 /
1.62
35K. Gibson,
RHP, Min
@KC4.19 /
1.28
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)

My favorite pitcher for Tuesday is Cole Hamels visiting the New York Mets. Hamels has really thrived at Citi Field in his past five starts in Flushing, going 2-1 with a 2.90 ERA and 41 K's over 31 innings (11.9 K/9). Although 3B David Wright has a .616 slugging percentage and five homers in 79 plate appearances in this matchup, the rest of the current Mets roster has combined for 2 HRs in 238 plate appearances off Hamels. But the bigger reason to ride the lefty on Tuesday is because he's been consistently excellent since June 1, tallying a 1.74 ERA, which ranks sixth in the majors among qualified starters. You also have to love Hamels' win chances going up against a mound opponent like Dillon Gee, whom the Philadelphia Phillies have battered since 2011, saddling Gee with a 7.79 ERA, 1.69 WHIP and 11 homers in 49 2/3 innings.

I was a little surprised that Tyson Ross garnered the highest projected Game Score for Tuesday's schedule, which is packed with aces. But Ross is always an excellent play in Petco Park, where he carries a 1.94 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 8.6 K/9 and .283 opponents' slugging percentage in nearly 130 innings. You also have to consider just how well the right-hander has thrown in July, going 3-2 with a 1.03 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 10.5 K/9 and an impressive 41:5 K-to-BB ratio over 35 innings. On Tuesday, Ross will face the St. Louis Cardinals, who have scored just 27 runs in the past nine games due to a meager slash line of .234/.292/.359.

The best American League pitcher on Tuesday should be James Shields, who hosts the Minnesota Twins. This Twins squad is coming off a brutal 3-7 homestand in which it scratched across a mere 26 runs while producing a slash line of .210/.272/.323 and whiffing 78 times compared to 25 walks. The right-hander enters this matchup on a roll, posting a 2.03 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 28 K's in 26 2/3 innings spanning his past four starts. Shields not only has a golden win opportunity facing mound opponent Kyle Gibson (6-plus runs allowed in three of past five starts), but he also benefits from the absence of injured 1B Joe Mauer, who has a .349/.378/.512 slash line in 45 plate appearances against Shields.

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

Jeff Samardzija should rack up plenty of strikeouts in Minute Maid Park on Tuesday when he visits the Houston Astros, who have a majors-worst K rate of 23.6 percent. Prior to Monday's win, the Stros were on a five-game losing skid, posting a .225/.260/.325 slash line during that span. The right-hander has strong career numbers versus Houston (5-2, 3.20 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 7.6 K/9 and .652 opponents' OPS) and has pitched quite well over his past seven starts, going 2-2 with a 2.87 ERA, 0.96 WHIP and 7.9 K/9.

Alex Cobb has caught fire, and he should be able to stay hot on Tuesday when he hosts the Milwaukee Brewers. The right-hander hasn't lost this month, going 3-0 with a 2.59 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 24 strikeouts in 24 1/3 innings. Also consider the Brew Crew has been horrible on the road in July, going 2-6 with 21 runs (2.6 per game) and a horrific slash of .202/.262/.311. Cobb should also get some run support with his Tampa Bay Rays pounding out 50 runs and a .368 OBP over the past 10 games.

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

I continue to be perplexed on why Marcus Stroman (26 percent ESPN.com ownership) is available in nearly three-quarters of ESPN.com leagues. Of his 10 starts, eight have been quality outings, with six of those being starts in which he allowed fewer than two runs. Since joining the Toronto Blue Jays' rotation, he boasts a 5-2 record, 2.21 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and 8.1 K/9. Pitching at Fenway Park isn't usually a favorable situation for a young pitcher, but the last-place Boston Red Sox have managed just 14 runs and a .226 average during a 1-5 slide.

Francisco Liriano (28 percent ESPN.com ownership) has been settling in over the past couple of starts, in which he's allowed just one earned run over 12 frames while fanning a dozen batters. The left-hander will try to keep it going in spacious AT&T Park against a Giants team that has scored a total of five runs during its four-game losing skid with an alarming 40 strikeouts, six walks and just one extra-base hit in 128 at-bats (.203 SLG). You'll have to consider that San Francisco did hit Liriano hard in two starts last year, scoring eight runs on 17 hits over 10 innings, but I'd still keep him active in the majority of fantasy formats out there.

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