Matt Cain ($23) | Matt Harvey ($14): Two Matts: one coming off a Cy Young competitive year costing $9 more than the Mets' next big thing. Unfortunately Cain has been victimized by the bad innings, two of which were by the Cardinals, in separate games, where they scored 17 runs and picked up 27 hits, believe it or not. Meanwhile, Harvey might just be the best pitcher in the National League not named Clayton Kershaw or Jordan Zimmermann at present. Cain has a 4-3 record and a 5.45 ERA with 71 whiffs, while Harvey is 5-0, 2.17, with 89 whiffs and a 0.92 WHIP over 89 innings (Cain's is still a more than respectable 1.21, suggesting the profit margin should be there over the long haul).
Clay Buchholz ($8) | Justin Verlander ($32): I have to say I bit it on Verlander as the mainstay of my AL Tout rotation, and truth is his numbers are not awful. But a 3.70 ERA and 1.36 WHIP were not what I bargained for. But Buchholz's 8-0, 1.62, with 77 whiffs and a killer 1.02 WHIP, might not push me up to first, but boy it would get me a lot closer.
Casey Janssen ($9) | Fernando Rodney ($19): Rodney does have 11 saves and 29 punch-outs over his 22 2/3 innings, but he also has an awful 1.48 WHIP and 4.94 ERA. And while the ERA and ratio numbers won't destroy a team, thanks to the limited number of innings a closer gets, Janssen's 10 saves, 2.00 ERA, 19 strikeouts (18 IP) and 0.611 WHIP have got to fit better in the pitching totals of any team. I think the lesson here is there are those primo closers, and it is good to have them. And as Janssen and Jason Grilli remind us, the cheap-gamble closers can work pretty well, too. I am always big on getting a pair of them in deep leagues like Tout and LABR, but not always on getting the best. Just two potential save contributors, and adjust accordingly as the season progresses.
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About Lawr Michaels, MastersBall.com
Lawr Michaels has been a player in the fantasy baseball industry since he began writing for John Benson in 1993. He has written for STATS, Inc, was the first fantasy columnist for CBS Sportsline, and has appeared in numerous journals and on websites. In 1996, he founded CREATiVESPORTS, a staple for serious fantasy players, which he merged into Mastersball in 2010.
Over the years, Lawr has participated in a wide variety of playing formats and won numerous titles, including AL Tout Wars crowns in 2001 and 2009. Along with his Mastersball duties, Lawr works for MLB.com as a statistician.
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