Five Pitching Prospects in Fantasy Baseball to Ease the Injury Blues

If you own Roy Halladay, Jered Weaver, or Ted Lilly on your fantasy baseball team, you’re probably looking for starting pitching—at least in the short-term as we wait on more information about each of these pitchers’ injuries.

Hopefully you took our advice a couple of weeks ago and jumped all over James McDonald of the Pittsburgh Pirates while he was still only owned in less than a quarter of Yahoo fantasy baseball leagues.  If he’s somehow still available in your league, run—don’t walk—to the waiver wire and grab him.

R.A. Dickey of the New York Mets is another one you’ll want to snag if he’s available (65 percent owned).  Jason Vargas of the Seattle Mariners (47 percent owned) has been pretty good so far, too, especially at home.

But if you’re playing in a competitive fantasy baseball league where the other managers aren’t asleep at the wheel, you’ll probably need to dig deeper for help at the starting pitcher position.

No worries.  We’ve got you covered.  Here are five potential fill-ins that are probably available in your league.

No. 5:  Tommy Milone, Oakland A’s (23 percent owned)

Only use Milone when he pitches at home.  Do not—we repeat, do NOT use him on the road.  His ERA at home:  0.98.  His ERA on the road:  7.16.  Wins are going to be hard to come by, since Oakland has no offense with which to give Milone run support, but if you use him only in his home stadium, he should give you a good ERA and WHIP with a few strikeouts on top.

No. 4:  Scott Diamond, Minnesota Twins (20 percent owned)

Diamond got off to a blazing start to the season—14 innings of shutout work and three consecutive wins—but has cooled off a little in his last three starts.  He’s probably playing over his head a little bit, but in the short term, enjoy the ride.  In five starts, he’s 3-1 with a 2.27 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, and 21 strikeouts in 31.2 innings.

No. 3:  Felipe Paulino, Kansas City Royals (20 percent owned)

Be careful with Paulino because when he’s on, he’s dynamite.  But when he’s not … ugh.  Over his last five starts, the Orioles and the White Sox got to him for a total of 7 earned runs over 11.1 innings, but his other three starts were 19.2 innings’ worth of shutout ball—two wins over the Yankees and a no-decision against Baltimore.

Paulino has a 2.03 ERA and 1.26 WHIP with 34 strikeouts in 31 innings.  Up next for him is the offensively anemic A’s.

No. 2:  Wade Miley, Arizona Diamondbacks (38 percent owned)

Miley was called up in April when Daniel Hudson went down, and he was expected to head back to the minors when Hudson came back.  Funny how a 6-1 record and 2.41 ERA in Hudson’s absence changes things.  Hudson is back, and Miley’s still in the bigs.  His spot in the rotation is still a little shaky, so there’s some risk there, but he has won his last three starts and has pitched well overall.

No. 1:  Felix Doubront, Boston Red Sox (19 percent owned)

Doubront sports a 5-2 record, a 3.86 ERA, and 59 strikeouts in 56 innings.  He also qualifies at both SP and RP in Yahoo fantasy baseball leagues, giving you nice flexibility in your roster.  On Memorial Day, he silenced the Detroit Tigers with two earned runs over 6 innings, including 6 K’s, to post his fourth win in his last five outings.  He’s not going to be owned in only 19 percent of leagues for long.