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Koji Uehara to the Rangers
Statistically he is one of the best pitchers in baseball with a stellar 1.69 ERA and even better 0.69 WHIP. In other words it’s rare that someone reaches base and even rarer that someone scores against Uehara. The bad news for his fantasy managers is that he will remain in the setup role while playing in a much more hitter-friendly stadium. Not a major impact, but not one for the better either.
Mike Adams to the Rangers
A lot of fantasy managers picked Adams up in a speculative move with hopes that he would close should Heath Bell get traded. As it turns out, it’s Adams who got traded while Bell stays in San Diego. Adams has been dominant this season with a 1.12 ERA, but again this is a pitcher moving from one of the most pitcher-friendly ballparks to a dangerous ballpark. I would drop him since he will remain in middle relief.
Ubaldo Jimenez to the Indians
This is a monster move by the Rockies and they scooped up a lot of young talents. What it comes down to is two things. First of all, Is Ubaldo more like the pitcher from last year when he almost won the Cy Young, or this season when his record is 6-9. The second part is whether Ubaldo will thrive now that he is out of Coors. At 27 years old, the Indians believe the gamble was worth taking since they are in need of an ace. I like the chances of this one working out for them as Jimenez boasts a 3.38 ERA and 1.08 WHIP on the road this season.
Erik Bedard to the Red Sox
The Red Sox were not able to come to terms for Rich Harden, so they settled for the next best injury-prone Canadian. Bedard, like Harden, has all of the talent in the world. However, the big question is whether he will be healthy enough for a playoff run. Just 31 years old, Bedard has pitched better on the road this season to the tune of a 2.16 ERA. On the other hand, for his career Bedard boasts a 6.99 ERA at Fenway.
Koji Uehara, RP, OriolesHe may not have any saves so far this season, but Koji Uehara remains the most underrated reliever in baseball. Why? How about a 2.20 ERA and startling 0.80 WHIP? Throughout his career, Uehara boasts 138 K’s to just 23 walks, and the ratio is 35:6 this season. He doesn’t let anyone on base, which minimizes the damage. He won’t help in wiuns or saves, but in ERA, WHIP, and K’s, Uehara is a must add.
Jon Niese, SP, MetsEveryone is talking about Mets rookie Dillon Gee and his splendid 7-0 record, but the better pitcher in my mind is southpaw Jon Niese. Ignore the 5-5 record, Niese has won four of his last five decisions. Over his last five starts Niese has surrendered just five earned runs, cutting his ERA from 5.03 to just 3.51 this season. Niese also gets plenty of K’s, making a solid fantasy pickup.
Bud Norris, SP, AstrosIf in need of a short-term pickup, get to know Astros right-hander Bud Norris. Despite a 4-4 record, Norris is a strikeout artist who averages a K per inning. He also has won his last two starts and on Tuesday has a favorable match-up against the Pirates. Norris is a fine start at home, where his record is 12-8 with a 3.76 ERA.
Carlos Villanueva, SP/RP, Blue JaysA long-time middle reliever for the Brewers, Carlos Villanueva is enjoying a second crack at starting with the Blue Jays. The 27-year old veteran enters the week with a 4-0 record and 3.09 ERA. Most impressively, Villanueva boasts a 0.99 WHIP due to a .196 opposing average. I don’t view this success as long-term, but more a result of the opposition not being familiar with the long-time National Leaguer.
Jonny Venters, RP, BravesWhile I pointed to Koji Uehara as the most underrated reliever in baseball, the best one these days is Braves eighth inning option Jonny Venters. The southpaw dominated last season to the tune of a 1.95 ERA and 93 K’s in 83 innings. He has actually improved this season, allowing just two runs to score in 40.2 innings. He has recently enjoyed some save opportunities with Craig Kimbrell struggling. He is a must-add in deep leagues, though odds are he has already been taken.