It seems like everything the Atlanta Braves touch turns to gold -- when it comes to starting pitching, anyway.
The Braves lead all of baseball with a 2.92 ERA from their starters, and their rotation has been excellent from top to bottom. The most notable and surprising story has got to be Gavin Floyd, who has returned with a bang after missing nearly all of 2013 due to Tommy John surgery.
Floyd made his season debut exactly one month ago (May 6th) and since then he has put up a 2.80 ERA and 31-to-9 K/BB ratio over 35 innings in six starts. His velocity is right back where it was before surgery and his command has been very sharp. Floyd has even managed to keep the homers in check (only three allowed), which has typically been a struggle in the past.
The 31-year-old is slated to make two starts for Atlanta in the coming week, but his match-ups are not easy. First he'll face the Rockies in Colorado, and then he gets a potent Angels lineup at home. He's a little risky, but he's available in more than 90 percent of leagues and could prove to be a good long-term investment, especially if he can hold his own in these two tough outings.
Dig in below for some more notes on this week's two-starter crop, followed by a full list and plenty of other details to help you set your lineup.
* This week's recommended pick-up-and-play: John Danks. He's owned in just 3 percent of Yahoo! leagues but draws home starts against the suddenly struggling Tigers and the punchless Royals. Over his last three starts, the lefty has allowed just three runs on 13 hits over 22 1/3 innings.
* Taijuan Walker had been expected to take over Erasmo Ramirez's spot in the next turn through Seattle's rotation, but it looks like that timeline has been pushed back with Walker battling control issues in his rehab stint. That means Ramirez is likely to make one or two starts next week, but he's not a recommended option with an ugly 6.82 ERA.
* Justin Verlander owners are likely feeling a little nervous given the way he's pitched lately (6.75 ERA in his past five starts) but I think he gets back on track this week with division match-ups against the White Sox and Twins.
R.A. Dickey: MIN (Nolasco), @BAL (Norris)
David Price: SEA (Ramirez), @HOU (Peacock)
Hisashi Iwakuma: NYY (Tanaka), TEX (Martinez)
Masahiro Tanaka: @SEA (Iwakuma), @OAK (Chavez)
Garrett Richards: OAK (Chavez), @ATL (Minor)
Jason Vargas: NYY (Nuno), @CWS (Danks)
Justin Verlander: @CWS (Danks), MIN (Nolasco)
Rick Porcello: @CWS (Noesi), MIN (Deduno)
John Danks: DET (Verlander), KC (Vargas)
Corey Kluber: @KC (Ventura), @BOS (Workman)
Jesse Chavez: @LAA (Richards), NYY (Tanaka)
J.A. Happ: MIN (Correia), @BAL (Tillman)
Nick Martinez: CLE (House), @SEA (Iwakuma)
Brad Peacock: @ARI (Arroyo), TB (Price)
Jarred Cosart: @ARI (Collmenter), TB (Archer)
Hector Noesi: DET (Porcello), KC (Shields)
Brandon Workman: @BAL (Tillman), CLE (Kluber)
Chris Tillman: BOS (Workman), TOR (Happ)
Bud Norris: BOS (Peavy), TOR (Dickey)
At Your Own Risk
Erasmo Ramirez: @TB (Price), TEX (Saunders)
Vidal Nuno: @KC (Vargas), @OAK (Kazmir)
Ricky Nolasco: @TOR (Dickey), @DET (Verlander)
T.J. House: @TEX (Martinez), @BOS (Peavy)
Jake Peavy: @BAL (Norris), CLE (House)
Doug Fister: @SF (Bumgarner), @STL (Garcia)
Madison Bumgarner: WAS (Fister), COL (Nicasio)
Stephen Strasburg: @SF (Vogelsong), @STL (Miller)
Ryan Vogelsong: WAS (Strasburg), COL
Josh Beckett: @CIN (Leake), ARI (Arroyo)
Mike Leake: LAD (Beckett), @MIL (Estrada)
Mike Minor: @COL (Nicasio), LAA (Richards)
Gerrit Cole: CHC (Jackson), @MIA (Wolf)
A.J. Burnett: SD (Stauffer), CHC (Wood)
Marco Estrada: @NYM (Matsuzaka), CIN (Leake)
Dan Haren: @CIN (Cingrani), ARI (Collmenter)
Juan Nicasio: ATL (Minor), @SF (Bumgarner)
Tony Cingrani: LAD (Haren), @MIL (Gallardo)
Gavin Floyd: @COL, LAA (Wilson)
Josh Collmenter: HOU (Cosart), @LAD (Haren)
Francisco Liriano: CHC (Wood), @MIA (Alvarez)
At Your Own Risk
Daisuke Matsuzaka: MIL (Estrada), SD (Stauffer)
Travis Wood: @PIT (Liriano), @PHI (Burnett)
Edwin Jackson: @PIT (Cole), @PHI (Buchanan)
Bronson Arroyo: HOU (Peacock), @LAD (Beckett)
Tim Stauffer: @PHI (Burnett), @NYM (Matsuzaka)
The following pitchers are generally available in over 50 percent of fantasy leagues and have favorable match-ups this week:
Wednesday, 6/11: Trevor Bauer @ KC
The talented young righty has racked up 29 strikeouts in 22 innings over four starts, three of them quality.
Wednesday, 6/11: Chase Whitley @ SEA
The rookie has registered a 2.37 ERA in his first four starts, issuing a total of three walks during that span.
Friday, 6/13: Collin McHugh vs. TB
McHugh has been sensational, and the Rays are the only team in the AL averaging fewer runs than his Astros.
Wednesday, 6/11: Eddie Butler vs. ATL
Called up to replace Franklin Morales in the Rockies rotation, Butler doesn't draw the easiest match-up here but is worth a look after putting up a 2.49 ERA in 11 starts at Double-A.
Wednesday, 6/11: Brandon McCarthy @ HOU
McCarthy's W/L and ERA remain ugly, but his shiny K/BB ratio is hard to ignore and the Astros are averaging only 3.72 runs per game.
Friday, 6/13: Jake Arrieta @ PHI
Pitching deep into games has been a struggle for Arrieta, but he has a 3.00 ERA and solid K-rate through six starts. The Phillies don't pack much punch.
6: KC, LAA, MIN, OAK, TB, TEX
7: BAL, BOS, CLE, CWS, DET, HOU, NYY, SEA, TOR
5: MIA, STL
6: MIL, NYM, PHI, SD
7: ARI, ATL, CHC, CIN, COL, LAD, PIT, SF, WAS
BAL: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
BOS: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
CLE: 6 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
CWS: 4 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
DET: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
HOU: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
KC: 3 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
LAA: 3 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
MIN: 5 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
NYY: 4 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
OAK: 4 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
SEA: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
TB: 6 vs. RHP, 0 vs. LHP
TEX: 5 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
TOR: 7 vs. RHP, 0 vs. LHP
ARI: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
ATL: 6 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
CHC: 6 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
CIN: 6 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
COL: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
LAD: 6 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
MIA: 4 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
MIL: 4 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
NYM: 5 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
PHI: 5 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
PIT: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
SD: 5 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
SF: 4 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
STL: 4 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
WAS: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
You can get a full listing of injured players at Rotoworld's Injury Page but here's the latest on a few prominent players who have been out of action:
A.J. Pollock: Out until mid-August (hand)
Mike Carp: Out indefinitely (foot)
Jordan Lyles: Out indefinitely (hand)
Danny Valencia: Out indefinitely (wrist)
Jarrod Saltalamacchia: Out indefinitely (concussion)
Josh Reddick: Out until late June (knee)
Wil Myers: Out until early August (wrist)
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