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Fantasy Baseball: Has Brian Matusz Turned the Corner?

BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 22:  Starting pitcher Brian Matusz #17 of the Baltimore Orioles throws to a Boston Red Sox batter during the first inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on May 22, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images
Ryan LesterSenior Writer IJune 7, 2012

Brian Matusz started the season with a 7.98 ERA after three starts. It was still 5.91 through six starts. After five straight quality starts his ERA is now down to a manageable 4.41.

Over those five starts his ERA is 2.87 and his WHIP is 1.09. Aside from getting blasted by Texas, which is a forgivable offense, he has been pretty rock solid over his past eight starts (3.71 ERA).

Matusz has been better on the road (4.15 vs. 4.64 ERA). Given that Oriole Park at Camden Yards is a top-ten home run producing park, it’s not surprising that he has performed better elsewhere.

Matusz started off the season pitching more like last year when he had an appalling 10.69 ERA. Now that he’s back on track he is pitching more like the pitcher that had all that promise in 2009 and 2010.

Brian’s strikeout rate (7.1 K/9) isn’t quite what it was in ’09 and ’10, but it’s been 8.0 over his past five starts while his walk rate has been 2.6. With improved control, he certainly can do a betterj ob at keeping the big innings away.

Matusz is owned in 9.0 percent of Yahoo! and 5.9 percent of ESPN fantasy baseball leagues.

As long as he is going to pitch the way he is, he’ll easily get into the double-digits in fantasy ownership. I’d still use him with caution as he could blow up on you, but he definitely is worth keeping an eye on and potentially using him as a streaming option.

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