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Top 70 starters for Week 12

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Fantasy Week 11 was something like a horror movie for pitchers and their Fantasy owners. Injuries knocked out three-fifths of the Blue Jays' starting rotation in a five-day span, and by the weekend, only Ricky Romero and Henderson Alvarez had survived the onslaught. Then Josh Beckett was taken down by shoulder inflammation and placed on the 15-day disabled list on Saturday. Bud Norris (knee) had a start skipped this weekend, while Brandon Beachy (elbow) left his Saturday outing against the Orioles early, and he may be headed for some DL time as well.

These developments thinned out the pool of viable starters for Fantasy Week 12 (June 18-24), but there may be some quality reinforcements on the way. Jered Weaver (back) and Roy Oswalt could both get called into action this coming week, though neither makes the top 70 starters list, as their return is no sure thing.

Here are the 70 starters who are still healthy enough and good enough to start in standard mixed leagues in Week 12.

Starting Rotation breakdown for Fantasy Week 12
Rank Player Start 1 Start 2 Stat of note
1 Matt Cain @LAA (Williams) @OAK (McCarthy) 11 percent swinging strike rate, last six starts
Cain's perfecto was just the latest in a string of dominant starts.
2 Justin Verlander STL (Lynn) @PIT (Correia) Opponents' .157 batting average on grounders
With a shaky infield behind him, it's unclear how Verlander gets as many groundouts as he does, but he beat similar odds last season, too.
3 CC Sabathia ATL (Minor) @NYM (Dickey) .345 BABIP, last six starts
Sabathia's ERA has been inching up over the past month, but he has been missing bats as well as ever. A few too many hit balls have been finding the gaps.
4 Cole Hamels COL (Outman) TB (Price) 14 percent home run per flyball ratio, last four starts
Hamels' home run rate has been doing some regressing to the mean, but during his recent slump, the law of averages has been overcompensating.
5 David Price @WAS (Wang) @PHI (Hamels) 4 HRs allowed in 41 road innings
Price has been worse on the road than at home, but homers haven't hurt him away from pitcher-friendly Tropicana Field.
6 R.A. Dickey BAL (Arrieta) NYY (Sabathia) No earned runs, last 34 innings
Dickey's scoreless inning streak came to an end in Wednesday's one-hitter at the Rays, but his string of innings without an earned run is intact.
7 Clayton Kershaw @OAK (Parker) N/A .381 BABIP, last four starts
Kershaw's recent strikeout and popup rates have been sensational, so the biggest factor in his disappointing WHIP and ERA has been apparent bad luck on balls in play.
8 Cliff Lee TB (Shields) N/A No starts fewer than six innings
Though Lee was underwhelming on Saturday against the Blue Jays, he is practically a lock to pitch well enough to win (even though he hasn't yet).
9 Stephen Strasburg TB (Hellickson) N/A Opponents' .287 SLG vs. lefties
Strasburg has been especially tough against left-handers, and that will come in handy when facing a lefty-heavy Rays lineup.
10 Jake Peavy CHC (Garza) MIL (Wolf) 4.05 home ERA
It helps that Peavy is facing the offensively-challenged Cubs, but he still ranks a few notches lower than he would otherwise because his starts come at U.S. Cellular Field.
11 Ian Kennedy CHC (Maholm) N/A 11 percent swinging strike rate
Kennedy's whiff rate is up by two percentage points this year, so if he can get his called strike rate to rebound, owners could enjoy a bonanza of Ks.
12 Zack Greinke @CHW (Quintana) N/A 3.00 ERA vs. CHW since 2009
Greinke got rocked by the Sox often earlier in his career, but he has been solid against his former divisional foes over his last seven starts.
13 Lance Lynn @DET (Verlander) @KC (Sanchez) 2.32 road ERA
Lynn's sparkling stats aren't a product of Busch Stadium; he's actually allowed earned runs at a lower rate in his away games.
14 Madison Bumgarner @OAK (Colon) N/A 70 percent strikes thrown, last five starts
Owners have benefited from a recent surge in strikeouts, but they are also getting treated to some elite-level control.
15 Dan Haren SF (Vogelsong) N/A 48 percent flyball rate, last four starts
Haren has had some trouble keeping the ball down lately, but that shouldn't hurt him much against the Giants.
16 Chris Sale CHC (Dempster) N/A Eight quality starts in 12 tries
Sale got clobbered by the Dodgers on Friday, but it was the first time all season that he had allowed more than three runs.
17 C.J. Wilson SF (Zito) N/A 80 percent strand rate
Sure, Wilson leads the AL in ERA, but he doesn't rank higher on this list because he's unlikely to strand so many runners going forward.
18 Josh Johnson TOR (Cecil) N/A 2.70 ERA, last seven starts
Quietly, Johnson has rounded back into ace form over the past five weeks.
19 Matt Garza @CHW (Peavy) @ARI (Miley) 1.00 WHIP, last three starts
Garza has had some bouts of wildness and getting hit hard, but now he seems to be settling in.
20 Felix Hernandez @SD (Richard) N/A .415 BABIP. last six starts
Like Sabathia and Kershaw, Hernandez is yet another ace who has underwhelmed his owners, though largely through no fault of his own.
21 Yovani Gallardo TOR (Villanueva) N/A 14 BBs over last 38 1/3 innings
Gallardo's control was erratic early on this season, but over the past month, his walk rate has been more respectable.
22 Gio Gonzalez TB (Moore) N/A 62 percent strikes thrown
Gonzalez's strike-throwing rate is still mediocre, but it's a step forward from his days in Oakland.
23 James McDonald MIN (Hendriks) N/A 18 percent ground ball rate, last three starts
McDonald's flyball tendencies will get the better of him eventually, but he has the good fortune of getting a home start against the majors' least flyball-prone lineup.
24 Mat Latos @CLE (Lowe) MIN (Diamond) Opponents' .239 Avg, last eight starts
Latos has been much harder to hit since April, and if he can slow down Trevor Plouffe, he could get a week off from the long ball.
25 Adam Wainwright @KC (Mendoza) N/A 3.6 percent popup rate
Wainwright's rate stats look much like those from his two most recent seasons, but a dearth of easy flyouts is helping to keep his WHIP elevated.
26 Matt Moore @WAS (Gonzalez) N/A 1.06 WHIP, last six starts
Moore is starting to look scary-good, as is evidenced by a low WHIP that has withstood a mediocre walk rate.
27 Clay Buchholz MIA (Buehrle) ATL (Minor) 28 Ks, 6 BBs over last 31 innings
Buchholz isn't throwing many more strikes in recent starts, but he is getting far more whiffs, and that's making a huge difference in his results.
28 Daniel Hudson SEA (Ramirez) N/A 2 HRs allowed over last 29 1/3 innings
Despite weak ground ball tendencies, Hudson has a history of avoiding homers, and he's at it again after a rocky beginning this year.
29 Anibal Sanchez TOR (Romero) N/A 3.34 home xFIP (per Fangraphs.com)
Sanchez's 4.60 ERA at Marlins Park doesn't look impressive, but give him a normal strand rate, and his results there would look just fine.
30 James Shields @PHI (Lee) N/A Opponents' .244 road Avg
Strangely, Shields has been hittable at the Trop so far this year, but he has been able to keep batters in check on the road.
31 Andy Pettitte @NYM (Niese) N/A 8.5 K/9
Pettitte's strikeout rate has been a pleasant surprise, and it could grow further with a matchup against a Mets team that is piling up the Ks.
32 Matt Harrison @SD (Marquis) COL (Outman) Opponents' .290 SLG, last five starts
Harrison wasn't getting grounders consistently earlier in the season, but now he seems to be building on the gains he made last year.
33 Johan Santana BAL (Hunter) N/A 56 percent strikes thrown, last two starts
Santana has had problems finding the strike zone in his starts since his no-no. While it's a small sample, the magnitude of the problem is at least a mild concern.
34 Johnny Cueto MIN (Manship) N/A 51 percent ground ball rate
Earlier in the season, it looked like Cueto's high grounder rate in 2011 might have been a one-shot deal, but he's recaptured his form.
35 Jon Lester ATL (Beachy) N/A 10 percent swinging strike rate (entering Sat.)
After struggling to get whiffs earlier in the season, Lester now has his rate just above last year's level.
36 Brandon McCarthy LAD (Harang) SF (Cain) 3.45 P/PA
McCarthy has been even more efficient this year than last year, so as long as his shoulder holds up, he should avoid early exits.
37 Vance Worley COL (Francis) N/A .362 home BABIP
There is nothing alarming about Worley's batted ball and strikeout rates at Citizens Bank Park, so his 4.30 ERA and 1.52 WHIP at home look like bad-luck flukes.
38 Yu Darvish @SD (Bass) N/A 3 ERs or fewer allowed in 10 of 13 starts
Darvish walks too many hitters, but in spite of that, he hasn't had many meltdowns.
39 Shaun Marcum TOR (Chavez) N/A 20 percent called strike rate since May 1
Marcum isn't getting as many whiffs lately, but he has made up for it by getting hitters to look at strikes at a higher rate.
40 Doug Fister @PIT (Burnett) N/A 66 percent strikes thrown, Sat. vs. COL
Fister's control was just a bit below his usual standards before his DL stint, but in his first start back, he was in top form.
41 Wade Miley SEA (Noesi) CHC (Garza) Opponents' .190 Avg on grounders
Miley and Trevor Cahill are Arizona's premier ground ball specialists, and both are giving up hits on grounders at a low rate.
42 Jordan Zimmermann @BAL (Hammel) N/A 53 percent ground ball rate (entering Sat.)
No longer a flyball pitcher, it was just a matter of time before Zimmermann slowed down his homer pace; he held the Yankees homerless on Saturday.
43 Wandy Rodriguez KC (Hochevar) N/A 3.86 interleague ERA since 2011
Rodriguez has performed decently against AL opponents going back to last year, and the Royals have scored fewer runs than any other AL team in 2012.
44 A.J. Burnett DET (Fister) N/A Fewer than six innings in two of last five starts
Burnett has been on a roll, but a couple of short outings shows that he still may not be a reliable source of innings in points leagues.
45 Jeff Samardzija @ARI (Saunders) N/A 4.1 K/BB ratio vs. righties (entering Sat.)
Samardzija's command has been far stronger against right-handed hitters, and that should serve him well against the Diamondbacks.
46 Jerome Williams SF (Cain) LAD (Harang) 3 HRs allowed over last 40 2/3 innings
A Juan Rivera tater ruined Williams' most recent start, but in general, you don't have to worry about him getting taken out of the park.
47 Jeremy Hellickson @WAS (Strasburg) N/A 14 percent line drive rate, last two starts
Shaky command has gotten Hellickson into trouble his last two times out, but when hitters make contact off him, they rarely hit him hard.
48 Ryan Dempster @CHW (Sale) N/A .167 BABIP, last three starts
Dempster is on an impressive run, not allowing a run in any of his last three outings, but he has allowed a lot of contact and escaped due to some good fortune.
49 Ryan Vogelsong @LAA (Haren) N/A 1.31 interleague ERA since 2011
Vogelsong has been just so-so on the road this year, but given the Angels' pitcher-friendly park and a recent history of success against AL foes, Vogelsong should be safe to use.
50 Trevor Cahill SEA (Vargas) N/A 1.78 ERA, last five starts
Cahill has skated through a series of favorable recent matchups, and the Mariners are yet another club that has struggled at the plate, especially over the last couple of weeks.
51 Chris Capuano @LAA (Richards) N/A 14 percent line drive rate
Capuano has been surprisingly wild lately, but all season long he has kept his WHIP low by avoiding liners.
52 Justin Masterson CIN (Arroyo) N/A 10 straight starts of six innings or more
Despite not being a big strike-thrower, Masterson is highly efficient, so he is giving his owners innings on a consistent basis.
53 Felix Doubront MIA (Nolasco) N/A 16 BBs over last 47 1/3 innings
Doubront consistently posted subpar walk rates in the upper minors, so his recent 3.0 BB/9 rate is a nice bonus for his owners.
54 Mark Buehrle @BOS (Buchholz) TOR (Alvarez) 6.7 innings per start
Being an innings-eater is nothing new for Buehrle, but he is living up to his reputation in Miami.
55 Tim Hudson @NYY (Kuroda) N/A .204 flyball BABIP
The Braves' pitching staff has been the best in the NL at preventing in-the-park flyball base hits, but Hudson hasn't benefited from the incredible range of his outfielders. Though he's a groundball guru, his hit rate should improve going forward.
56 Colby Lewis COL (Guthrie) N/A 2.33 home ERA
Lewis has gotten by with a surprisingly high strand rate in home starts, but his success could stretch for one more start against a Rockies team that doesn't hit well on the road.
57 Tommy Hanson @NYY (Hughes) N/A 1.1 HR/9 rate since 2011
Hanson has seen the benefit of the aforementioned superb Braves outfield defense, but he's a big risk to have the ball leave the park altogether at Yankee Stadium.
58 Hiroki Kuroda ATL (Hudson) N/A 22 Ks over last 28 innings
It looked as if Kuroda was becoming a contact pitcher, but his K-rate is starting to inch up again.
59 Scott Diamond @PIT (Correia) @CIN (Latos) 62 percent ground ball rate
Diamond's minor league grounder rates hovered around 50 percent, but if he can somehow keep this up, he'll be useful in standard mixed leagues at least as often as not.
60 Dillon Gee BAL (Matusz) N/A 65 percent strikes thrown
Gee had been a reliable strike-thrower in the minors, but this season he's setting the bar even higher.
61 Max Scherzer @PIT (Lincoln) N/A 10 BBs over last 16 1/3 innings
Scherzer is going through one of his patented wild spells, but this week he will face one the majors' least selective teams, the Pirates.
62 Ricky Romero @MIA (Sanchez) N/A 5 BBs over last 23 innings
Romero's overall results haven't been great lately, but his control has been much better over his last four starts.
63 Jonathon Niese NYY (Pettitte) N/A 41 Ks over last 35 2/3 innings
Niese's strikeout rate had been creeping upward over the last two seasons, and now he is a bona-fide source of Ks in Fantasy.
64 Jason Hammel WAS (Zimmermann) N/A 0.91 ground ball-to-flyball ratio, last six starts (entering Sat.)
Hammel hadn't been getting grounders like he was earlier this year, though Saturday's one-hitter could represent a turning point.
65 Edwin Jackson @BAL (Chen) N/A 14 percent line drive rate
Jackson probably won't maintain such a low liner rate all season, but at least we can be reassured that last season's 25 percent rate was not a sign of more trouble to come.
66 Ivan Nova @NYM (Young) N/A 7.8 runs of support per nine innings
Even the Yankees probably can't give Nova this much support over a full season, but with a 3.92 road ERA, Nova can win this week, even with a little less backing.
67 Nate Eovaldi @OAK (Milone) N/A 89 percent strand rate
Eovaldi is clearly lucky to have a sub-2.00 ERA, but with a mid-90s heater than has the potential to generate whiffs and grounders, he's becoming a standard mixed league option.
68 Aaron Harang @OAK (McCarthy) @LAA (Williams) 0.7 HR/9
Harang is not exactly known for his ability to keep the ball in the park, but with starts in Oakland and Anaheim, he could have a five-game homerless streak by the end of the week.
69 Bronson Arroyo @CLE (Masterson) N/A 67 percent strikes thrown
The Indians are one of the best teams in the majors at drawing walks, but with his pinpoint control, Arroyo can take away one of their main weapons.
70 Francisco Liriano @PIT (Bedard) N/A Opponents' .247 SLG, last four starts
Liriano continues to be wild, but he's been effectively so, as he has been avoiding hard contact since returning to the rotation.

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
Braves to promote Hector Olivera on Tuesday
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(12:15 pm ET) The Braves are expected to call up Cuban prospect Hector Olivera on Tuesday, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman. Olivera, who came over from the Dodgers at the July 31 trade deadline, has been dealing with a hamstring injury for much of the season.

But he appears to be over the injury, and is primed to make his big-league debut for the Braves. Olivera will likely be the Braves' regular third baseman for much of the final month of the season.

The team has not officially announced the callup.


Brewers promote Zach Davies to start Wednesday's game
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(12:12 pm ET) The Brewers have recalled right-hander Zach Davies from Triple-A Colorado Springs. Davies, who was acquired from the Orioles in the Gerardo Parra deal, will start Wednesday's game against the Pirates, making his Major League debut.

Davies was drafted by the Orioles in 2011 as a 26th-rounder. This season, the righty went 6-8 with a 3.30 ERA in 24 appearances (23 starts) across the Orioles' and Brewers' Triple-A squads.


Dodgers get OF Chris Heisey back from Blue Jays in trade
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(11:37 am ET) The Dodgers announced that they have re-acquired outfielder Chris Heisey . Heisey began the year with the Dodgers after coming over in an offseason trade with the Reds.

But he struggled mightily, going 4 for 26 in 17 games with the Dodgers. He was released by the Dodgers at the beginning of August and latched on with the Blue Jays via a minor-league contract a week later. He did not make a big-league appearance for the Jays.

The Blue Jays will receive a player to be named later or cash considerations in exchange for the 30-year-old Heisey.


Slumping Adrian Gonzalez the walk-off hero for Dodgers Monday
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(11:22 am ET) Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez enjoyed a good night at the plate on Monday, as he went 2 for 7 with with three RBI in the 5-4 extra-innings victory over the Giants. 

Gonzalez blasted a two-run home run--his 25th of the season--in the sixth inning. Then, with the score tied 4-4 in the bottom of the 14th, he singled in A.J. Ellis to seal the walk-off win. 

The home run was Gonzalez's first since Aug. 15, and he is batting just .231 (9 for 39) with eight strikeouts and no walks over his last 10 games.


Phillies recall C Erik Kratz and two pitchers on Tuesday
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(10:52 am ET) The Phillies added three players to their active roster with Tuesday's roster expansion. Right-handers Dalier Hinojosa and Colton Murray , along with catcher Erik Kratz , were recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Matt Moore, four others recalled by Rays on Tuesday
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(10:43 am ET) The Rays have recalled left-hander Matt Moore and four others from Triple-A Durham on Tuesday. Moore, who missed the first three months of the season while recovering from Tommy John surgery, made six starts for the Rays earlier this season.

Moore struggled when he came off of the DL in early July. In the six starts, he allowed a total of 26 earned runs in 26 2/3 innings, leading to an 8.78 ERA. He has fared much better in five starts with Durham, going 2-1 with a 3.30 ERA in 30 innings. He also posted a 43:8 K:BB ratio, which includes a 16-strikeout outing two starts ago.

In addition to Moore, the Rays also summoned Mikie Mahtook , C.J. Riefenhauser , Richie Shaffer and Kirby Yates from Triple-A.


Dodgers' Brett Anderson escapes with no-decision on Monday
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(10:31 am ET) Dodgers starter Brett Anderson pitched decent on Monday, but was left with a no-decision in the extra-innings win over the Giants. The left-hander allowed three runs on six hits over five innings. He walked one and struck out one, in the 5-4 victory.

All three runs Anderson gave up came in the third inning, after the Dodgers had given him an early 1-0 lead. Anderson left the game with the Dodgers trailing 3-1, but the team rallied twice, en route to the win.

Anderson went 3-2 with a 4.41 ERA in six August starts, though only one of them was truly a bad outing--he allowed seven runs on 10 hits in five innings back on Aug. 10. Aside from that, Anderson allowed three runs or less in each of his August outings.


Giants' Jake Peavy can't hold lead, takes no-decision Monday
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(10:27 am ET) Giants starter Jake Peavy was handed a no-decision on Monday against the Dodgers. The veteran right-hander gave up four runs on six hits over 5 2/3 innings. He struck out four and did not walk a batter, in the eventual 5-4 extra-innings loss.

Peavy, whose ERA rose to 4.38, allowed a run in the first inning, but then settled down, while his mates nabbed him a 3-1 lead. But things fell apart for him in the sixth, when he gave up a two-run home run to Adrian Gonzalez and a solo shot to Andre Ethier, giving the Dodgers a one-run advantage. The Giants would later tie the game up, taking Peavy off the hook.

Peavy did not have a great month of August. In six starts, he went 2-2 with a 4.67 ERA, which included three outings of at least four runs allowed.


Angels SP Hector Santiago fails to go three innings Monday
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(2:00 am ET) Angels pitcher Hector Santiago struggled throughout his start Monday against the A's, which the Angels lost 11-5.

Santiago received the loss after allowing five runs on four hits over 2 2/3 innings. He also struck out four and walked three.

Santiago is winless in his last eight starts.


A's pitcher Felix Doubront earns win Monday
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(1:56 am ET) Athletics pitcher Felix Doubront did not receive a quality start Monday against the Angels, but he did receive the win.

Doubront allowed four runs on seven hits over six innings of work. He also struck out five, but walked four. He is now 2-1 with a 3.99 ERA.

Monday was his seventh start of the season and first win since July 7.


 
 
 
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