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Week 11 Pitching Forecaster

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Going into the weekend, young hitters Yasiel Puig and Anthony Rendon were garnering the most attention in Fantasy over the past week. That changed in a hurry.

Pitching prospects Tony Cingrani and Gerrit Cole will get called up in Fantasy Week 11 (June 10-16), and now they are both among the three most-added players in CBSSports.com leagues. Ever since his initial entry into the Reds' rotation and subsequent demotion earlier this season, Cingrani's return has been the topic of much speculation and anticipation. The arrival of Cole, the Pirates' top pitching prospect, has also been eagerly awaited.

Should they remain in their respective teams' rotations, both Cingrani and Cole figure to be two-start pitchers this week. As such, both made the cut in my top 70 starting pitcher rankings for the scoring period. Since both are already being added to leagues on CBSSports.com at a rapid pace, you may need to look for other two-start options to add. Wade Miley, Ricky Nolasco and Miguel Gonzalez are all currently unowned in at least 30 percent of our leagues, so you could have other viable choices at your disposal.

Three other pitching prospects may grab the headlines this week as well. Zack Wheeler probably won't make his major league debut until Fantasy Week 12 (June 17-23), but a rush to grab the Mets' prospect, who is still unowned in 27 percent of our leagues, could happen at any time. On a less positive note for Fantasy owners, Michael Wacha or Tyler Lyons could make waves by getting optioned, should the Cardinals activate Jake Westbrook (elbow) for their weekend series at the Marlins.

Not all of this week's top 70 pitchers may draw as much excitement or interest as Cingrani, Cole or Wheeler, but all have skill profiles that make them good enough to make active in your standard and shallow mixed leagues.

Monday update: In his Saturday start against the Angels, Clay Buchholz made an early departure due to a sore trapezius muscle. Buchholz told WEEI.com that he won't return until it's completely healed, so that turns starting him in Fantasy into a big gamble, so I removed him from this week's top 70. Should Buchholz sit this week out, that would probably mean a two-start week for Jon Lester, who would gain a start at Baltimore.

Though Anibal Sanchez (shoulder, back) was scratched from his last start, USAToday.com reported that he and Tigers manager Jim Leyland are confident that he'll return to face the Twins this week. According to the Washington Post, Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg (lat) will start as soon as he is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list, putting him on track to oppose the Indians on Sunday. His teammate, Ross Detwiler (oblique), is also expected back this week, as he is tentatively scheduled to start the final game of a series at Colorado.

Finally, Carlos Carrasco is serving a seven-game suspension, which has forced the Indians to shuffle their rotation. As a result, Corey Kluber will probably lose his two-start status, but Scott Kazmir will pick up a second start, as he will face the Rangers and Nationals.

My Top 70 Starting Pitchers for Week 11
Rank Player Start 1 Start 2
1 Clayton Kershaw ARI (Miley) @PIT (Cole)
2 Hisashi Iwakuma HOU (Keuchel) @OAK (Colon)
3 Justin Verlander @KC (Shields) N/A
4 Felix Hernandez @OAK (Griffin) N/A
5 Adam Wainwright @NYM (Harvey) N/A
6 Cole Hamels @MIN (Walters) @COL (Chacin)
7 Cliff Lee @MIN (Correia) N/A
8 Madison Bumgarner @ATL (Medlen) N/A
9 Shelby Miller @NYM (Gee) N/A
10 Yu Darvish TOR (Buehrle) N/A
11 Chris Sale TOR (Rogers) N/A
12 Max Scherzer @KC (Davis) N/A
13 Matt Harvey STL (Wainwright) N/A
14 Stephen Strasburg @CLE (Carrasco) N/A
15 Doug Fister @KC (Guthrie) N/A
16 Matt Cain @PIT (Burnett) N/A
17 Mat Latos @CHC (Samardzija) N/A
18 Jered Weaver @BAL (Garcia) N/A
19 Matt Moore KC (Mendoza) N/A
20 CC Sabathia @OAK (Colon) @LAA (Blanton)
21 Alex Cobb BOS (Lackey) KC (Guthrie)
22 Lance Lynn @MIA (Koehler) N/A
23 Zack Greinke ARI (Kennedy) N/A
24 Julio Teheran @SD (Marquis) SF (Lincecum)
25 Anibal Sanchez @MIN (Deduno) N/A
26 Josh Johnson @TEX (Grimm) N/A
27 Jeff Samardzija CIN (Latos) N/A
28 James Shields DET (Verlander) N/A
29 A.J. Burnett SF (Cain) N/A
30 Homer Bailey @CHC (Feldman) MIL (Gallardo)
31 Jordan Zimmermann @CLE (Kazmir) N/A
32 Hyun-Jin Ryu ARI (Corbin) N/A
33 Mike Minor SF (Gaudin) N/A
34 Kris Medlen SF (Bumgarner) N/A
35 R.A. Dickey @CHW (Axelrod) @TEX (Lindblom)
36 Derek Holland CLE (Kluber) TOR (Wang)
37 John Lackey @TB (Cobb) @BAL (Gonzalez)
38 Gio Gonzalez @CLE (Masterson) N/A
39 Jon Lester @TB (Hernandez) N/A
40 Tony Cingrani @CHC (Garza) MIL (Peralta)
41 Jose Fernandez STL (Lyons) N/A
42 Hiroki Kuroda @OAK (Parker) N/A
43 C.J. Wilson NYY (Phelps) N/A
44 Justin Masterson WAS (Gonzalez) N/A
45 Bartolo Colon NYY (Sabathia) SEA (Iwakuma)
46 Patrick Corbin @LAD (Ryu) N/A
47 A.J. Griffin SEA (Hernandez) N/A
48 Wade Miley @LAD (Kershaw) @SD (Marquis)
49 Kevin Gausman BOS (Doubront) N/A
50 Matt Garza CIN (Cingrani) @NYM (Hefner)
51 Francisco Liriano SF (Zito) N/A
52 Ryan Dempster @BAL (Tillman) N/A
53 Michael Wacha @NYM (Hefner) @MIA (Nolasco)
54 Paul Maholm @SD (Volquez) N/A
55 Gerrit Cole SF (Lincecum) LAD (Kershaw)
56 Jonathon Niese CHC (Feldman) N/A
57 Andy Pettitte @LAA (Hanson) N/A
58 Phil Hughes @OAK (Straily) N/A
59 Jarrod Parker NYY (Kuroda) N/A
60 Tim Hudson @SD (Cashner) N/A
61 Trevor Cahill @SD (Stults) N/A
62 Yovani Gallardo @MIA (Nolasco) @CIN (Bailey)
63 Miguel Gonzalez LAA (Vargas) BOS (Lackey)
64 Scott Feldman CIN (Bailey) @NYM (Niese)
65 Shaun Marcum CHC (Jackson) N/A
66 Ricky Nolasco MIL (Gallardo) STL (Wacha)
67 Scott Kazmir @TEX (Lindblom) WAS (Zimmermann)
68 Dan Straily NYY (Hughes) N/A
69 Travis Wood CIN (Leake) N/A
70 Mike Leake @CHC (Wood) N/A

Two-Start Options to Consider

Julio Teheran, Braves (@SD, SF): Teheran followed up a superb May by nearly throwing a no-hitter in his first June start. The 22-year-old is still not providing many strikeouts, but much like Jordan Zimmermann, you can keep him in your rotation each week, as he will deliver ERA, WHIP and wins. That goes for one-start weeks as well as two-start weeks like this one.
This week's rank: 24
My take: Solid standard mixed league start

Homer Bailey, Reds (@CHC, MIL): Though his 3.84 ERA doesn't reflect it, Bailey just keeps getting better. He still has great control, but this season, he's getting whiffs at a higher rate. Bailey has also whittled his flyball rate down to 24 percent, which has played a role in him limiting opponents to a .354 slugging percentage. While Bailey has a couple of good matchups, he doesn't need those for you to use him in a two-start week.
This week's rank: 30
My take: Solid standard mixed league start

Most Added Starters (as of 6/8)
Player % change
1. Bartolo Colon, SP, Athletics 24
2. Tyler Skaggs, SP, D-Backs 23
3. Gerrit Cole, SP, Pirates 17
4. Mike Leake, SP, Reds 16
5. Eric Stults, SP, Dodgers 15
6. Tony Cingrani, SP, Reds 14
7. Julio Teheran, SP, Braves 11
8. Michael Wacha, SP, Cardinals 11
9. Dillon Gee, SP, Mets 11
10. Ricky Nolasco, SP, Marlins 10

R.A. Dickey, Blue Jays (@CHW, @TEX): Dickey had already been making progress in reducing his walks, and in his most recent start versus the Giants, he was more effective at limiting flyballs and line drives. The knuckleballer himself told reporters that he has been feeling healthier, so perhaps Dickey can build on this successful outing. He's been inconsistent this year, so owners should take the cautious route and not treat him as a top-of-the-rotation pitcher, but he is certainly worth starting this week.
This week's rank: 35
My take: Solid standard mixed league start

John Lackey, Red Sox (@TB, @BAL): After enduring two of the worst years of his career and missing a year recovering from Tommy John surgery, Lackey looks to be on his way to one of his best seasons ever. He's whiffing batters and throwing strikes at his highest rates since joining the Red Sox and getting ground balls more frequently than he ever has. Having allowed more than three runs only once in nine starts, it's not as if Lackey's padding his stats with a few good starts. He's legit and worth starting every week until he gives us a reason to do otherwise.
This week's rank: 37
My take: Solid standard mixed league start

Tony Cingrani, Reds (@CHC, MIL): With Cingrani set to make his return Tuesday at the Cubs, he lines up for a two-start week. Though he floundered in his last three starts before getting sent back to Triple-A Louisville earlier this year, Cingrani still provided strikeouts, and he has shown the potential to dominate in his other major and minor league starts this season. Especially with a couple of decent matchups, there's no reason to sit Cingrani this week.
This week's rank: 40
My take: Solid standard mixed league start

Bartolo Colon, Athletics (NYY, SEA): In his current string of five straight quality starts, Colon has shown few signs of succeeding through good luck. Though he stranded more runners than one ought to expect, he has put very few runners on in the first place, posting a 1.03 WHIP. He's just been doing what he does best -- throwing strike after strike and piling up innings. Even if Colon has the inevitable dropoff, he will still be good enough to start.
This week's rank: 45
My take: Solid standard mixed league start

Wade Miley, Diamondbacks (@LAD, @SD): Since the beginning of May, Miley has struggled his way to a 6.80 ERA over seven starts. He hasn't been inducing many whiffs, but that's probably not what you drafted Miley for anyway. During his slump, Miley has been pitching with command, and if not for a low strand rate, his ERA would be far more respectable. A pair of matchups against lesser lineups can't hurt, so this is a good week to trust Miley, despite what his recent Fantasy stats say.
This week's rank: 48
My take: Marginal standard mixed league start

Matt Garza, Cubs (CIN, @NYM): Garza has had some ups and downs in his first four starts, but he has emerged as more flyball-prone than he has been in his first two seasons with the Cubs. The Reds have not been a good power-hitting team on the road, and the Mets have struggled to get extra bases at home, so the matchups and venues could work in Garza's favor.
This week's rank: 51
My take: Marginal standard mixed league start

Michael Wacha, Cardinals (@NYM, @MIA): Wacha's control has been outstanding in his first two starts, but the Diamondbacks showed that the rookie can be hittable. Still, with two outings that include a visit to Miami, Wacha would appear to be a safe start. The biggest factor in Wacha's value, though, lies outside his control, as the Cardinals could demote him to make way for Jake Westbrook (elbow). Should the team activate Westbrook from the 15-day disabled list, Wacha could miss out on his start against the Marlins. That renders him more of a marginal option in standard mixed leagues.
This week's rank: 53
My take: Marginal standard mixed league start

Gerrit Cole, Pirates (SF, LAD): Cole will make his major league debut Tuesday against the Giants. The former overall top draft pick has fared well this season at Triple-A Indianapolis, even though his K/BB ratio has been an unimpressive 1.7. Given this season's mediocre skill ratios, Cole is a risky proposition, but still one with the potential for ample reward. I'd rather take my chances with him than with some of the less inspiring options further down this week's list.
This week's rank: 55
My take: Marginal standard mixed league start

Yovani Gallardo, Brewers (@MIA, @CIN): Though he has picked up his strikeout pace of late, starting the man whom some call YoGa has been anything but a blissful experience. Gallardo's spotty command has worsened this season, and having allowed line drives at a 30 percent rate, it's a wonder his 1.47 WHIP isn't even higher. It may be tempting to start Gallardo given his matchup with the Marlins, but he has struggled with even some of his lesser opponents this season. He's a borderline option at best.
This week's rank: 62
My take: Marginal standard mixed league start

Miguel Gonzalez, Orioles (LAA, BOS): Gonzalez has recovered from a disappointing April, racking up a 3.52 ERA and 30 strikeouts over 30 2/3 innings since the beginning of May. He's actually been much better than Gallardo for the last month-plus, and if he had more favorable matchups on his docket, Gonzalez would rank higher than his Brewers counterpart this week.
This week's rank: 63
My take: Marginal standard mixed league start

Scott Feldman, Cubs (CIN, @NYM): With an xFIP that is nearly a run higher than his ERA, Feldman has probably overperformed this season. Then again, a pitcher who can post an ERA in the upper 3.00s when luck isn't on his side can still be useful in a two-start week. According to BrooksBaseball.net, Feldman has been getting more grounders with his sinker and cutter this year, so he should be able to curtail extra-base hits like he has all season.
This week's rank: 64
My take: Marginal standard mixed league start

Ricky Nolasco, Marlins (MIL, STL): It's a shame that Nolasco pitches for the Marlins, as the majors' lowest-scoring team has provided their opening day starter with the worst run support in the majors. He's improved this season, getting more called strikes and strikeouts, and he hasn't reverted to the homer-happy ways that haunted him in the past. Nolasco may struggle to pick up a win, but there's a good chance he will pitch well enough to get one given that he will have two chances.
This week's rank: 66
My take: Marginal standard mixed league start

Scott Kazmir, Indians (@TEX, WAS): Kazmir's results have been inconsistent, but there's a lot to like about his underlying stats. His fastball velocity in several recent starts has averaged in the 92-to-93 mph range, and he's getting just over a strikeout per inning. Meanwhile, Kazmir has issued three or more walks only twice, and he has yet to hand out more than four walks in a game. He's pitched decently in recent starts against the Yankees, Reds and Red Sox, so Kazmir should be fine to use against the Rangers and Nationals.
This week's rank: 67
My take: Marginal standard mixed league start.

Jeremy Guthrie, Royals (DET, @TB): As many owners might have expected going into this season, Guthrie has been solid in his home starts, but away from pitcher-friendly Kauffman Stadium, he's been a mess. Owners could look at Guthrie's Week 11 schedule as if it included two home starts, as Tropicana Field is also a difficult venue for hitters. Still, Guthrie allows a lot of contact, and that could be dangerous against two of the majors' better hitting teams. With better options available on waivers, Guthrie is still best left for your deeper league teams.
This week's rank: N/A
My take: Deeper mixed league start

Corey Kluber, Indians (@TEX, WAS): With a K-rate approaching 10.0 and a walk rate below 2.0, it seems like Kluber should be in high demand in Fantasy, but a 4.56 ERA has left his ownership rate in CBSSports.com leagues well below 30 percent. Kluber's high ERA is no fluke, as he has been ineffective with men on base both this season and last. Not surprisingly, Kluber has had chronic problems with stranding baserunners. He's not without his virtues, so Kluber is worth using in anything deeper than a standard 12-team mixed league, but Ks and a decent WHIP alone won't be enough to justify using him in standard and shallow formats.
This week's rank: N/A
My take: Deeper mixed league start

Tim Lincecum, Giants (@PIT, @ATL): Lincecum has had his occasional good starts, like Tuesday's outing against the Blue Jays, but even in those, he hasn't been throwing a lot of strikes. If that generally worked for Lincecum, that wouldn't necessarily be a problem, but his 4.0 BB/9 rate and 1.39 WHIP suggest otherwise. A start against an aggressive Pirates lineup just might be enough, though, to make Lincecum worth using in deeper mixed leagues.
This week's rank: N/A
My take: Deeper mixed league start

Dylan Axelrod, White Sox (TOR, @HOU): Axelrod hasn't been much of a strikeout pitcher, especially as a starter, though maybe he can be one for a day when he faces the Astros. Whatever value he gains through Ks, he could lose by way of the home run against two lineups that can hit the ball out. Axelrod is just too contact-prone and doesn't do enough to make up for it for owners outside of AL-only leagues.
This week's rank: N/A
My take: AL-only start

Jason Marquis, Padres (ATL, ARI): Marquis' 3.73 ERA suggests that he just might be handy as a two-start pitcher. His 4.80 xFIP and 1.2 K/BB ratio suggest otherwise. The .149 batting average on grounders and 81 percent strand rate that have helped Marquis to pad his stats are highly unlikely to last, and when they start to crumble, so will his Fantasy value. Avoid him in any format if at all possible.
This week's rank: N/A
My take: NL-only start

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
Red Sox's Pablo Sandoval leaves game with neck injury
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(8:40 pm ET) The Red Sox announced that third baseman Pablo Sandoval left Monday's game against the Blue Jays due to neck soreness, according to the Boston Herald. 

Sandoval was 2 for 2 at the plate with a solo home run. He went yard in the fourth inning and also had a two-run single in the first. Sandoval is now hitting .294/.392/.412 for the season. 


Indians trying to be patient with Jose Ramirez
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(8:14 pm ET) Despite struggling to open the season, the Indians want to be patient with shortstop Jose Ramirez, reports MLB.com.

"I would encourage [fans] to take a look at Jose Ramirez's body of work," Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said, per MLB.com. "Not only what he did last year at the Major League level, but the way he played and performed throughout our development system, because he's a guy that's produced at each level and played very well at each stop he's been at -- including the Major Leagues."

Ramirez is hitting .196 with one home run in 51 at-bats this season and the team has prospect Francisco Lindor waiting in the minor leagues.

"Admittedly, he's had a rough start to the season -- offensively, especially -- but he's the same guy that came up last year, struggled initially and then figured things out the second time and performed pretty well and was a big part of our team's success in the second half," Antonetti said. 


Astros outfielder George Springer working on body control at the plate
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(7:43 pm ET) Astros outfielder George Springer has spent the past few days in the batting cage, trying to work on the mechanics of his swing, according to the Houston Chronicle.

"These last six or seven days, I've been trying to be a slow as I can and decrease the effort, but still have the same swing," Springer said over the weekend. "You just got to stick with that and you know, carry over into the game."

Springer is hitting just .188 with two home runs in 69 at-bats this season, but is batting .231 on 26 at-bats on Houston's current road trip. Manager A.J. Hinch thinks it's just a matter of time. 

"George is coming around," Hinch said. 'He's very hard on himself, and that's not always a bad thing. I think players need to hold themselves pretty accountable, be tough on themselves. But for him to get timely hits (Friday) and begin the one rally with the double, and then come through with the tack-on run (in the 11th inning Friday) that proved to be very important is a good sign.

"George works on controlling his aggression. With George, it's in overdrive sometimes, and he's been trying to control the pace of his swing, and understand he doesn't have to over-swing to do damage. He can do enough damage just at 80, 85, 90 percent."


Phillies second baseman Chase Utley trying to snap out of funk
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(7:39 pm ET) Phillies second baseman Chase Utley remains the No. 3 hitter in Philadelphia's lineup despite hitting just .121 so far this season. It's been a battle for Utley at the plate, but manager Ryne Sandberg thinks he's close to putting it all together, reports MLB.com.

"He's just a series or two away from getting hot and getting to where he wants to be," Sandberg said. "He's stung the ball."

Utley has two home runs and nine RBI on 58 at-bats this season.


Dodgers' Brandon McCarthy has torn UCL, out for season
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(7:27 pm ET) Dodgers pitcher Brandon McCarthy got the news he feared. 

McCarthy has a torn ulnar collateral ligament and will miss the remainder of the 2015 season, the team announced. This injury is usually accompanied by Tommy John surgery. 

McCarthy said he will aim to return before the 2016 MLB All-Star break

McCarthy previously said he was hoping for the injury simply to be tendinitis. Initial tests came back negative, though now a tear has been confirmed. With McCarthy immediately sidelined, Scott Baker will receive a start either Friday or Saturday. 

McCarthy was 3-0 in four games this season with a 5.87 ERA. He struck out 29 batters, walked four and allowed 24 hits in 23 innings of work. 


Mariners' Hisashi Iwakuma (lat strain) does light throwing
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(7:20 pm ET) Mariners pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma was able to do some light throwing and strength exercises on Monday, according to the Seattle Times

Iwakuma has a Grade 1 lat strain that he's recovering from. It is a positive sign that Iwakuma is able to throw this early into his recovery. 


Astros DH Evan Gattis not in Monday's lineup
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(7:17 pm ET) The Astros held designated hitter Evan Gattis out of Monday's lineup against the Padres, the team announced.

The Astros are going against right-handed pitcher James Shields, who Gattis has never faced. Gattis has four hits in nine at-bats over his last two games.

The Astros are the underdogs (+115) at San Diego on Monday.


Pirates right fielder Gregory Polanco scratched from lineup Monday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(7:08 pm ET) Pirates right fielder Gregory Polanco was scratched from Monday's game against the Cubs with groin tightness, the team announced.

Polanco will receive treatment and be re-evaluated during the game, according to the report. Andrew Lambo will replace him in the starting lineup and bat second. Lambo is hitting .056 with one hit in 18 at-bats this season.


Reds place pitcher Homer Bailey on DL with right elbow sprain
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(6:55 pm ET) The Reds have placed pitcher Homer Bailey on the 15-day DL with a right elbow ligament sprain, retroactive to April 24, and recalled pitcher Carlos Contreras, the team announced Monday.

Bailey came off the disabled list April 18 and made two starts before landing back on the DL. He posted an 0-1 record with a 5.56 ERA and three strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings. Contreras has posted a 1-0 record in six appearances with a 1.08 ERA for Triple-A Louisville.


OF Domonic Brown, Phillies not on same page regarding return
by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(6:54 pm ET) Although Domonic Brown told reporters that he'll return to the Phillies from the disabled list on Wednesday, manager Ryne Sandberg said he doesn't know if the outfielder is ready to come back and added that no official decision has been made, per MLB.com. 

The Phillies must activate Brown, who's been on a rehab assignment (tendinitis in left Achilles), Wednesday from the disabled list and either send him to the big club or keep him in the minors.

Brown is batting .129 (4-for-31) with one double, two RBI and six strikeouts in eight games on his Triple-A rehab assignment.

 “Maybe it’s just not enough at-bats,” Sandberg said about Brown’s struggles during his rehab stint in Triple-A. “He’s had some fly ball outs. He just hasn’t connected and hasn’t hit for average, which you’d like to see.” 


 
 
 
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