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Top 70 starters for Week 11

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Fantasy Week 11 (June 11-17) is yet another week with few two-start pitchers, so your waiver wire hunt may need to focus on quality one-start options.

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Jonathon Niese (30 percent activation rate), Dillon Gee (26 percent) and Jerome Williams (20 percent) don't start for many mixed league owners in typical one-start weeks, but in Week 11, each is a recommended start. A couple of pitchers who are normally more popular, Tim Hudson and John Danks, are not included in this week's top 70, as Hudson had his Sunday start pushed back as a result of bone spurs in his left ankle, and Danks (shoulder) is not a lock to return from the disabled list. Hudson could return to pitch on Wednesday against the Yankees, but without the certainty of an upcoming start in hand, owners should probably look to sit the sinkerballer this coming week.

Despite the dearth of two-start pitchers, owners in deeper leagues still have some intriguing options to consider. Chris Young may not seem like the most attractive of two-start pitchers, but this could be a surprisingly good week for him. The Mets' flyball specialist gets a road start against a Rays team that has been struggling offensively and a home start against the Reds, who own the fifth-lowest team home run per flyball ratio (HR/FB) on the road (8.9 percent) in the majors, according to Fangraphs.com. Among widely-available one-start options, Scott Diamond (36 percent ownership rate) is worth a pickup in deeper leagues, though standard mixed league owners should be wary of putting too much stock in his recent starts against the A's, Indians and Cubs, all of whom have not hit for much power.

Here's the skinny on each of the top 70 starting pitchers for Week 11.

Starting Rotation breakdown for Fantasy Week 11
Rank Player Start 1 Start 2 Stat of note
1 Zack Greinke @KC (Adcock) @MIN (Blackburn) .465 road BABIP
Greinke hasn't been good on the road this year, but given that he had a better BABIP on the road than at home last year, his struggles in away games this season look very fluky.
2 Madison Bumgarner HOU (Norris) @SEA (Hernandez) 32 Ks over last 27 2/3 innings
Bumgarner isn't a premier whiff-inducer, but he's getting enough called strikes to be a contributor in the strikeout category.
3 Felix Hernandez SD (Richard) SF (Bumgarner) 1.95 home ERA
With two good matchups at home, Hernandez would have probably been this week's No. 1 pitcher, if not for his recent back problems.
4 Justin Verlander COL (Friedrich) N/A No starts shorter than six innings
Verlander hasn't made it past the seventh inning in any of his last three starts, and for him, that constitutes a slump.
5 Cole Hamels @MIN (Walters) N/A 15 percent line drive rate, last five starts
Hamels' ERA has risen a bit over his recent starts, but he hasn't been allowing very many hard-hit balls.
6 Ian Kennedy @TEX (Lewis) @LAA (Richards) One start with more than 2 BBs
Even when Kennedy endured his brief skid last month, his control remained impeccable.
7 Matt Cain HOU (Happ) N/A 11.4 percent swinging strike rate
As Cain reaches his peak years, he continues to improve his ability to get batters to swing and miss.
8 Clayton Kershaw CHW (Sale) N/A At least 6 Ks in eight of last 10 starts
Though Kershaw has had a few low-K performances this year, he is still the reliable strikeout producer you drafted him to be.
9 Cliff Lee @TOR (Romero) N/A 4.2 runs of support per nine innings
The Phillies may be in the middle of the pack in runs scored, but when Lee has pitched, they've produced as if they were one of the majors' weakest offenses. That could change at any time.
10 Brandon Morrow WAS (Jackson) PHI (Kendrick) Career 3.05 interleague ERA
Morrow is having his best season to date, but even in past years, he has mastered his National League opponents.
11 Stephen Strasburg @TOR (Drabek) N/A Opponents' .178 batting average, last two starts
Strasburg completely stymied the Braves and Red Sox -- two of the majors' better-hitting teams -- in his last two games.
12 David Price NYM (Dickey) N/A Four straight starts with 1 ER or less
Price's recent schedule hasn't been easy, but he's made it look that way, getting one ground ball after another.
13 CC Sabathia @ATL (Minor) N/A 6 Ks or more in nine out of 12 starts
Sabathia hasn't had many games where he has completely shut down the opponent, but he's been steady, and he usually produces plenty of strikeouts.
14 Yovani Gallardo @MIN (Hendriks) N/A 3.38 ERA over last six starts
After a few early-season speed bumps, Gallardo has been the reliable Fantasy starter you drafted him to be, overcoming his occasional wildness.
15 Johnny Cueto CLE (Gomez) @NYM (Young) 0.5 home HR/9 since '11
Great American Ball Park is a notorious homer haven, but Cueto is practically immune to the long ball wherever he pitches.
16 Josh Beckett @MIA (Johnson) @CHC (Maholm) .059 flyball BABIP since '11
Beckett is not much of a ground ball pitcher, but he limits the damage done by flyballs that stay in the park.
17 C.J. Wilson @LAD (Eovaldi) N/A 8 BBs over last 28 innings
Wilson looked like he reverted to his wild ways earlier this season, but his control has been much better in his recent starts.
18 Josh Johnson BOS (Beckett) @TB (Cobb) 22 percent line drive rate, last six starts
Johnson's line drive rate is still slightly elevated, but he is not getting hammered the way he was earlier in the season.
19 Anibal Sanchez @TB (Shields) N/A 1.83 road ERA
Sanchez has had some apparent bad luck with his strand rate at home, but he has been unquestionably superb in his five away starts this year.
20 Chris Sale @LAD (Kershaw) N/A 2 ER or fewer in seven of last eight starts
As good as Sale was before his one-game bullpen stint, he has been even better since then.
21 Dan Haren ARI (Cahill) N/A 32 Ks, 4 BBs over last 33 innings
Haren at Coors Field: bad idea. Now with Saturday's slugfest behind him, he should have a productive week as he returns to his home park.
22 R.A. Dickey @TB (Price) N/A 12.9 percent swinging strike rate
Dickey has faced some of the majors' whiff-happiest teams in his string of recent starts, but it's getting hard to ignore the huge spike in his swinging strike and strikeout rates.
23 Adam Wainwright CHW (Quintana) KC (Adcock) 3.58 ERA over last five starts
Wainwright's ERA has been respectable over the past three weeks, and that's even if you include his seven-run meltdown against the Mets.
24 James McDonald @CLE (Masterson) N/A 3.22 xFIP (entering Sat.)
Even after taking strand and BABIP rates that are probably too good to be true into account, McDonald profiles as a pitcher who can be trusted week in and week out.
25 Jake Peavy @STL (Lynn) N/A 10 quality starts in 12 tries
After the inconsistencies of the previous two years, owners can now relax when Peavy takes the mound, as he has been far less volatile.
26 Matt Garza DET (Crosby) N/A 54 percent ground ball rate, last two starts
Garza went through a stretch where he was a bit flyball-prone, but he has recovered over his most recent pair of starts.
27 Jeff Samardzija BOS (Matsuzaka) N/A No homers allowed in eight of 12 starts
Samardzija got shelled by the Twins on Saturday, but it was yet another game in which he kept the ball in the stadium.
28 Chris Capuano LAA (Richards) CHW (Quintana) 0.88 home WHIP
Capuano hasn't just been less vulnerable to homers at Dodger Stadium; he's been averse to baserunners in general.
29 Johan Santana @TB (Hellickson) N/A 89.3 mph average fastball velocity, Fri. at NYY
Santana threw harder in Friday's collapse than he did during his no-hitter, so his poor performance may have simply been the result of his flyball tendencies getting him into trouble at Yankee Stadium. Shouldn't be an issue at the Trop.
30 Gio Gonzalez NYY (Hughes) N/A 17 percent line drive rate (entering Sat.)
Gonzalez has posted a below-average line drive rate in each of the last four seasons, so he offsets at least some of his tendency to walk too many batters.
31 Shaun Marcum @KC (Mazzaro) N/A 66 percent strikes thrown, last seven starts
Marcum was a little wilder than usual to start the season, but he's back to being a control artist.
32 Tommy Hanson BAL (Hunter) N/A 3.40 ERA over last seven starts
Since May 7, Hanson has had only one truly bad start, so any concerns about his health or new delivery can be put aside.
33 Wei-Yin Chen PIT (Lincoln) @ATL (Delgado) 10.9 percent swinging strike rate
Chen may not throw especially hard, but he has done a good job of getting hitters to fan.
34 Lance Lynn CHW (Peavy) N/A 2 ER or less in 9 of 12 starts
Lynn hasn't really gotten lit up yet, and if he could just become more efficient, he could turn into a No. 2 Fantasy SP.
35 Yu Darvish HOU (Harrell) N/A 18 BBs over last 20 2/3 innings
He is still ringing up strikeouts, but due to his recent loss of command, Yu has me a little worried.
36 Brandon Beachy NYY (Kuroda) N/A Allowed two flyball base hits on balls in play
Beachy leads the majors with an .024 flyball BABIP, which has allowed him to get away with poor command lately. He's still worth starting, but lower your expectations, as that rate is sure to rise.
37 James Shields MIA (Sanchez) N/A 16 percent HR/FB ratio
Shields isn't seeing the benefit of his pumped-up ground ball rate (59 percent), but eventually, his pace of home runs allowed has to slow down.
38 Jon Lester @CHC (Dempster) N/A 25 Ks, 5 BBs over last 31 2/3 innings
Lester has been pitching much better of late, but a .353 BABIP over his last five starts has given him the appearance of continued struggles.
39 Wandy Rodriguez @SF (Zito) N/A 3.42 career ERA vs. SF
Rodriguez has gotten torched over his last three starts, but the Giants should prove to be an easier matchup than the Rockies, Reds or White Sox.
40 Jason Hammel @ATL (Hanson) N/A 14 percent line drive rate
Hammel's sinker has received a lot of attention, but it's also helped that his four-seamer and slider have yielded fewer line drives.
41 Andy Pettitte @WAS (Zimmermann) N/A 60 percent ground ball rate
Pettitte extreme grounder rate looks like a small sample artifact, but he has rolled up big ground ball counts against flyball-hitting squads like the Mariners and Rays.
42 A.J. Burnett @CLE (Jimenez) N/A 1.86 ERA over last 29 innings vs. CLE
Burnett didn't have much success during his two last years with the Yankees, but the Indians provided him with some bright spots.
43 Edwin Jackson @TOR (Morrow) NYY (Nova) 2.66 ERA, last six starts
Jackson has been in a groove lately, as he continues to be stingy with walks (11 BBs over his last 40 2/3 innings).
44 Jeremy Hellickson NYM (Santana) N/A Seven quality starts in last nine tries
Poor command meant an early exit for Hellickson against Miami on Friday, but that kind of performance has been a rare exception.
45 Clay Buchholz @MIA (Buehrle) N/A 4 BBs over last 24 innings
Buchholz's owners are glad to say farewell to the version of him that walked more than a batter every other inning over his first nine starts.
46 Jordan Zimmermann NYY (Pettitte) N/A No starts fewer than six innings
Though Zimmermann has cooled off somewhat since April, he continues to be efficient and effective enough to avoid disastrous starts.
47 Ryan Dempster BOS (Lester) N/A 42 percent ground ball rate
Dempster has coughed up five homers over his last 30 2/3 innings, so a start against the slugging Red Sox will be an important test for him.
48 Bud Norris @SF (Bumgarner) @TEX (Lewis) 12 Ks vs. STL on Wed.
Norris' high K count in his last start should allay some fears about his recent hip injury, but a start at Texas deflates his value for this week somewhat.
49 Max Scherzer @CHC (Maholm) COL (Guthrie) At least one homer allowed in eight straight starts
Scherzer's stat of note might not look like much of a recommendation, but the good news is that he faces the power-deprived Cubs and the Rockies away from Coors (23 home runs in 26 road games).
50 Jason Vargas SF (Vogelsong) N/A 3.04 interleague ERA (entering Sat.)
Vargas not only has a good track record at Safeco Field, but he has generally held his own against NL competition.
51 Mat Latos CLE (Tomlin) N/A 69 percent strikes thrown, last four starts
Owners haven't had to worry about Latos issuing too many walks in recent starts, but having allowed eight homers the last four times out, he could stand to pitch out of the zone a little more.
52 Ricky Romero PHI (Lee) N/A 11 Ks, 2 BB over last 13 innings
In his last two starts, Romero's overall results haven't been impressive, but his command appears to be back.
53 Colby Lewis ARI (Kennedy) HOU (Norris) 3 HRs over last 33 2/3 innings
Since allowing five homers to the Orioles in a mid-May start, Lewis has been relatively difficult to go yard against. He's still a hardcore flyball pitcher, so that could change in any given start.
54 Alex Cobb NYM (Young) MIA (Johnson) 69 percent strand rate
Cobb probably deserves an ERA better than his current 4.13, as he has been stranding runners at a slightly subpar rate.
55 Jerome Williams @LAD (Harang) N/A 61 percent first-pitch strikes
Williams has done a good job getting ahead of batters, which has allowed him to get through plate appearances quickly.
56 Felix Doubront @MIA (Nolasco) N/A Five straight starts with 6 or more Ks
Doubront has been allowing too many extra-base hits, but he is becoming a reliable source of strikeouts.
57 Matt Moore MIA (Zambrano) N/A 11.8 percent swinging strike rate (entering Sat.)
Despite some early struggles with getting whiffs, Moore is putting up a world-class swinging strike rate.
58 Brandon McCarthy @COL (White) N/A 3 HRs in 32 road innings
McCarthy has never pitched at Coors Field, but his results are mixed at the two homer-friendly venues he's visited this year: BAL (7 INN, 2 ER, 0 HR) and TEX (5 1/3 INN, 4 ER, 2 HR).
59 Drew Smyly COL (Outman) N/A 12 percent popup rate
Smyly's flyball tendencies have caught up with him, but the flipside is that he can get out of jams with infield flies.
60 Kyle Lohse KC (Chen) N/A 1 BB or less in seven straight starts (entering Sat.)
Lohse's two walks against the Indians on Saturday qualifies as a wild night on the town for him. That's why you can count on him to keep his WHIP low.
61 Matt Harrison ARI (Miley) N/A 2 HRs in 30 1/3 home innings
Harrison routinely keeps the ball down, and that allows him to avoid trouble when pitching at Rangers Ballpark at Arlington.
62 Ryan Vogelsong @SEA (Vargas) N/A 1.39 road WHIP
Vogelsong gets a favorable matchup at Seattle, but because of his overall struggles away from AT&T Park, he doesn't rank higher this week.
63 Justin Masterson PIT (McDonald) N/A 3 BBs over last 19 innings
After some early-season wildness, Masterson seems to be settling down; now he just needs to get more run support.
64 Trevor Cahill @LAA (Haren) N/A 10 GDPs induced (entering Sat.)
Cahill is still too walk-prone, but plentiful grounders and a good infield defense behind him help to keep his ERA manageable.
65 Jonathon Niese CIN (Bailey) N/A Opponents' .275 SLG, last three starts
Niese seems to have moved beyond his May rough patch, as he's back to throwing strikes and getting ground balls.
66 Vance Worley @TOR (Hutchison) N/A 9 Ks over last 10 innings
After a less-than-impressive first start off the DL, Worley's Saturday start at Balitmore was far more reassuring, and he continues to help with strikeouts.
67 Daniel Hudson @TEX (Feldman) N/A 5 BBs over last 22 1/3 innings
Hudson got clobbered by the A's on Friday, and he has a tough test ahead, but he continues to demonstrate good control.
68 Erik Bedard @BAL (Arrieta) N/A Opponents' .369 SLG
Bedard not only provides owners with strikeouts, but his aversion to extra-base hits makes him a strong bet to keep helping with ERA.
69 Dillon Gee CIN (Arroyo) N/A Five straight quality starts
Gee didn't beat the Yankees on Saturday, but he reeled off yet another impressive start, cementing his case for standard mixed league viability.
70 Hiroki Kuroda @ATL (Hudson) N/A 79 percent strand rate since '11
Kuroda expects to make his start against the Braves despite sustaining a foot contusion in his last start, so owners should plan on taking a gamble on the revived veteran.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Al Melchior at @almelccbs . You can also e-mail us at fantasybaseball@cbsinteractive.com .

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Player News
Nationals sign pitcher Rich Hill to minor-league deal
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(8:26 pm ET) The Nationals signed pitcher Rich Hill to a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training, the team announced Friday night

Hill spent time with the Angels and Yankees in 2014 and posted a 3.38 ERA in 16 appearances. 

His career ERA is 4.72 over 10 years, which includes additional stops with the Cubs, Orioles, Red Sox and Indians. 


Tim Melville, Kyle Lobstein to start Monday and Tuesday for Tigers
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(8:18 pm ET) Tigers coach Brad Ausmus announced that pitchers Tim Melville and Kyle Lobstein, respectively, will get starts in upcoming games on Monday and Tuesday, according to MLB.com

Melville will start in an exhibition between the Tigers and college team Florida Southern. Lobstein will start in Tuesday's Grapefruit League game against the Orioles. 


Diamondbacks' Mark Trumbo more comfortable in right field
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7:55 pm ET) Diamondbacks general manager Dave Stewart decided after last season that Mark Trumbo would be better in right field than left, where he started the 2014 season, MLB.com reports.

"From what I understood from talking to [Trumbo's former manager] Mike Scioscia, he's a much better right fielder than he is in left," Stewart said.

Trumbo indicated that he feels more comfortable in right field.

"Just reads off the bat, what I feel more comfortable with," Trumbo said. "Being right-handed I've just found right field, especially with some of those balls coming in, it's much easier for me with that angle as opposed to the one in left."

Trumbo has seen most of his defensive work in his five-year career at first base but has made 65 appearances in right field. He hit .235/.293/.415 with 14 home runs and 61 RBI in 328 at-bats last season.


Padres, Tyson Gillies agree to minor-league deal
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7:49 pm ET) The Padres have agreed to a minor-league deal with outfielder Tyson Gillies, ESPN.com reports.

Gillies has spent time in the Seattle and Philadelphia organizations since being selected in the 25th round of the 2006 draft. He hit .214/.270/.289 with two home runs, 10 RBI and three stolen bases in 159 at-bats with Triple-A Lehigh Valley in 2014.


Pirates' Hurdle: Jose Tabata 'worked very hard' on swing leverage
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7:46 pm ET) Pirates outfielder Jose Tabata drove three balls over the left-field fence and onto the roof of the indoor batting cages, and manager Clint Hurdle said Friday that the team wants the outfielder to mash longer drives, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.

"We've talked to Jose about putting more leverage in his swing,” Hurdle said. “He worked very hard with that through the winter. He's shown a liking for it. It's something that takes time."

Tabata recreated his swing during a stint in the Mexican League and increased his power production. He had a conversation with Marlon Byrd about it this past offseason.

"He's always had a forward-down strike and a lot of ground balls have come off his bat," Hurdle said of Tabata. "We talked to him about hooking up with Marlon Byrd."

Tabata hit .282/.314/.333 with no home runs in 174 at-bats with the Pirates in 2014.


White Sox SP Jose Quintana ready to go after Friday session
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7:34 pm ET) White Sox starting pitcher Jose Quintana began his throwing program later than normal at the team's request but said Friday after throwing two simulated innings that he's ready to go, CSNChicago.com reports.

"I feel really good, my arm is good and I’m ready for the first day against the Dodgers," Quintana said. "I’m excited for opening day. It’s spring training, but it’s Opening Day, you know?"

The White Sox asked Quintana to delay his throwing program in the hopes of having him stronger and fresher if the team makes the postseason. After throwing 200 innings in each of the last two seasons, he hopes to feel strong long after he has in the past.

"It’s good for your arm because here you throw a lot, eight months throwing and you need a good rest," Quintana said. "I feel really good, better than last year. I hope this year I’m better."

Quintana went 9-11 with a 3.32 ERA and 178:52 K:BB ratio in 200 1/3 innings in 2014.


Rangers' Banister talks about Choo's move to right field
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7:27 pm ET) Rangers manager Jeff Banister spoke about moving Shin-Soo Choo from left field to right field for the first time Friday, MLB.com reports.

"We think he'll be more comfortable in right field," Banister said.

Choo spent six years in right field with the Indians but played center field with the Reds in 2013 and left field in most of his first season with the Rangers. He'll have less ground to cover in right field than left during Rangers home games.

"It doesn't matter to me where they put me. I can play all three positions," Choo said.

Choo is returning from elbow and ankle surgeries. He hit .242/.340/.374 with 13 home runs,40 RBI and just three steals in 455 at-bats last season.


Diamondbacks' Brandon Drury to split time at 2B, 3B this spring
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7:21 pm ET) Diamondbacks infielder Brandon Drury will split time at second base and third base this spring, the Arizona Republic reports.

Drury will pick up work at second base after the team signed Yasmany Tomas this offseason. He saw time at the position during the Arizona Fall League and also spent two games there with Double-A Mobile last season.

"I don't feel like I need extra reps at second to be game-ready there," Drury said. "I felt good there."

Drury approached starting second baseman Aaron Hill for advice during fielding drills Friday, impressing Hill with his ability to ask for help as well as the quickness of his adjustment to the advice.

"He made the adjustments easy. Easy," Hill said. "What's great, too, is when a guy is willing to ask question. He's a sponge and he wants to learn. I think it's awesome."

Drury hit .299/.362/.510 with 23 home runs and 95 RBI in 535 at-bats between high Class A Visalia and Mobile in 2014.


Blue Jays' Michael Saunders to miss 5-6 weeks after procedure
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7:05 pm ET) Blue Jays outfielder Michael Saunders underwent successful surgery on his knee Friday, and he is now expected to be sidelined for five-to-six weeks, the team announced.

Saunders was initially expected to miss half the season while recovering from a meniscus tear. He had 60 percent of the meniscus removed from his left knee Friday, MLB.com reports. The cartilage was unable to be repaired, which would have resulted in a longer recovery time for the outfielder.

On his new timetable, Saunders could be back in action by early-to-mid April if the team chooses not to have him open the season on the disabled list.


CC Sabathia not expected to be among Yankees' first spring starters
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7:00 pm ET) Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia is not expected to be among the team's first starters this spring as he continues to focus on his return from knee surgery, MLB.com reports.

"We're taking it slow with him, knowing that we don't really think that he's behind and he's got plenty of time," Girardi said. "We're not rushing it because of his knee, and we want to take it step by step."

Giradi also added that he has no issues with Sabathia continuing to wear his knee brace during the season, though he has yet to talk to the team's trainers about it.

"I've said all along, you're really not going to know until we get into the season and he's going every fifth day, how his leg is going to do," Girardi said. "I've said all along, it's a concern of mine. The fact that he's wearing a brace or not wearing a brace doesn't concern me anymore. If [trainers] feel that he'll stay healthier wearing the brace, then I would tell him, wear the brace."

Sabathia was held to just eight starts last season, going 3-4 with a 5.28 ERA and 48:10 K:BB ratio in 46 innings.


 
 
 
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