Flamethrowers: A Look at Fantasy Pitchers

Nick AllenCorrespondent IApril 20, 2009

SURPRISE, AZ - FEBRUARY 22:  Zack Greinke of the Kansas City Royals poses during photo day at Surprise Stadium on February 22, 2009 in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Hot pitchers:

Zack Greinke – Kansas City Royals

Greinke is, without a doubt, the hottest pitcher in the MLB right now. In three starts this season,  he is 3-0 with a league best 0.00 ERA. Greinke has thrown 26 strikeouts, which is only second to Johan Santana with 27. He has not allowed a run through 20 innings this season, and a Royals record 34 innings going back to last season. In Greinke's last start he tossed a complete game shutout against the Texas Rangers. Greinke is looking very impressive so far.

Roy Halladay – Toronto Blue Jays

Halladay is also 3-0 on the season. Through 21 innings he has allowed 19 hits, seven runs, while striking out 17 batters. Halladay is, and has been, a stud his whole career. The only worry coming in to this year was wins due to a rebuilding Blue Jays offense, but that doesn't seem to be a problem as the Blue Jays are 10-4 and atop the AL East.

Chad Billingsley – Los Angeles Dodgers

Billingsley, another 3-0 pitcher, is on a roll. In his three starts he has allowed 11 hits, six runs, struck out 21 batters, and has an ERA of 2.84. Billingsley has elevated himself to one of the best pitchers in the National League, and solidified himself as the Dodgers ace. He is only 25 years old and has a bright future ahead of him.

On the rebound:

Cliff Lee – Cleveland Indians

After two rocky starts where he combined for 17 hits, 11 runs, and 10 strike-outs, his last outing helped lower his ERA to 6.75. He went six innings giving up seven hits, one run, four strike-outs and got the win against the Yankees. Lee seems to be getting it together, and I believe he will return to last years form.

Kevin Slowey – Minnesota Twins

Slowey was roughed up in his first two starts, but got it together in his last start. He went seven innings, giving up six hits, and two runs, while striking out five. In his first start, Slowey went six innings giving up nine hits, and five runs, but still got the win due to good offensive support. Slowey is 25 years old and very promising.

Tim Lincecum – San Francisco Giants

Lincecum was back to his dominant self in his last start, tossing eight scoreless innings and striking out 13. Just like last season he got the no decision because of the helpless Giants offense but, otherwise he was back to his Cy Young form. This is an improvement from his previous starts where he gave up a combined 14 hits, and seven runs while striking out ten. Lincecum is a stud but needs more offensive support, which is the only thing holding him back. Lincecum is also 25 years old and he has a long promising career ahead of him.

Struggling pitchers:

Chien Ming Wang – New York Yankees

Wang is probably struggling the most of all the pitchers. Through three starts, Wang is 0-3. In six innings he has given up 23 hits, and 23 runs, while walking six and striking out two. He has an ERA of 34.50. At this point, I've given up all hope in Wang. There are better options out there at pitcher.

Jason Motte – St. Louis Cardinals

Motte was named the closer before the season, and he has not proven worthy of that role. In six innings he has allowed eight hits, and five runs. He has one loss, one blown save, and no saves. There are better options out there on the waiver wire.

Kevin Gregg – Chicago Cubs

Gregg won the closing job before the season started and so far has one save, one loss, and a blown save. In six innings he has given up six hits, four runs, and has an ERA of 6.00. Gregg better step it up if he wants to keep the closing job, because he has competition in Carlos Marmol pushing for the job.

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