After the Break, Some Fly, Others Flop

by Moonlight Graham

Moonlight regular, Joe Mreczko, posed a question about pitchers that might be able to help his Fantasy Baseball team over the second half of the season.  It’s actually a two-sided question, as any Fantasy Baseball owner should be just as worried about the hurlers to avoid as the ones to target.  So, in order to help Joe work his way past all of the Phillie cheese steaks in his league, here’s a special, Moonlight, second half preview from sixty feet six inches.

Grab Bag

Any list of post All Star Break Studs has to begin with Johan Santana as the Mets’ ace is 64-19 over his career in the second half.  Don’t be fooled by his mundane 8-5 record, either. He’s suffered eight no decisions in which he’s allowed just nine runs.  Use his struggles to your advantage by grabbing him from J-Roller frustrated to this point.

Detroit’s Max Scherzer must have been given a magic elixir upon being sent to the minors a little more than a month ago as he suddenly discovered the velocity that had been missing through the early part of the season.  Since his return, Scherzer is 4-3 while averaging 7 K per start.  His numbers still appear unimpressive because of the slow start so, he may come cheap.

Javier Vasquez has spent half a season seeking the approval of ignorant Yankee fans convinced he didn’t belong in the rotation.  He’s the #2 starter now, (as predicted here in February), but may still be undervalued.  Go out and grab him.

In Colorado, Jorge de la Rosa has disappointed this year, languishing on the DL for more than two months with an injured finger. Keep in mind that he was the NL’s best lefty after the ’09 break.  His climbing strikeout totals over four starts give every indication he’s on that road again.

Drop Zone

While Tampa Bay’s David Price has enjoyed a first half solid enough to garner him the starting nod at the All Star Game, he may suffer a setback due to the Rays’ coddling of him during his Minor League career.  He’s soon to venture well above any total of innings pitched in his career; a situation.  Obviously, as a young stud, he can’t be traded in a keeper league but in a non keeper, I’d sell high.

Yankee pie man A.J. Burnett has had two stellar seasons in his career, each of them in the last year of his contract.  Sadly, that’s not the case in 2010 and Burnett is stinking up the Bronx for a second straight year.  Don’t expect a turnaround as the season winds down.

Over the season’s first two months, Mike Pelfrey gave the Mets every reason to think he was finally realizing the potential that made him a first rounder; ridding himself of the emotional demons that plagued his early career.  In the last month, however, he’s reverted back to the hand-licking, batting practice pitcher that’s afraid to throw a strike with a man on base. If you can find a taker, send him packing.

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