Fantasy Flamethrowers: A Look at Hot Pitchers

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Fantasy Flamethrowers: A Look at Hot Pitchers
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Starters

Yovani Gallardo

Gallardo has been impressive this season. So far, he has pitched 26.2 innings and given up 19 hits and 11 runs while accumulating 23 strikeouts, two wins, and an ERA of 3.71. That doesn't include his impressive outing today against the Pirates, in which he threw eight scoreless innings, gave up just two hits, and struck out 11 batters.

He has now managed to lower his ERA to 2.86 and boasts a 34:9 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Heck, he even hit a home run, which turned out to be the only run of the game.



Chad Billingsley

Billingsley has looked good in every game he has pitched in this season. He has pitched in 33.2 innings while giving up just 22 hits and eight runs. Meanwhile, he's struck out 34 and his ERA is 2.14.

Billingsley is 4-0 on the season, though he should probably have a fifth win. In his last start, he went seven innings and only gave up two runs while striking out eight, but Jonathan Broxton blew the save and the W.



Zach Greinke

Greinke is without a doubt the hottest pitcher in the MLB right now. He has yet to give up an earned run and has also pitched two straight complete games with at least 10 strikeouts in both.

He's struck out 36 and maintains a league-best 0.00 ERA. Kid was due for a breakout year, and this is it, no joke.



Johan Santana


Santana is off to a hot start this year. In the five games he has pitched, he has won three of them, although his numbers were good enough for him to win all five. In loss and no decision, he hasn’t had much run support.

Through four games, he pitched 25.2 innings while striking out 37 and posting an ERA of 0.70. He surrendered just 17 hits and two runs in that stretch.

In his start today, he went seven innings while giving up seven hits and two runs and striking out seven. He did not factor in the loss, so he is still 3-1 on the season.



Dan Haren

Haren has been putting up Cy Young award-like numbers, but he has gotten minimal run support through his five starts. He is 2-3 on the season but has pitched amazingly in his outings.

In his three losses, the D-Backs have combined for a whopping total of two runs. Hell, he was the first pitcher since 1980 to have a 0-3 record with an ERA under 2.00.

Through 35 innings, Haren has given up 21 hits and six runs while striking out 36 batters. His ERA is a good 1.54.


Cliff Lee

After starting off the season horribly, it looks like Lee is turning it around; each game he has gotten better.

In his first start, he went five innings and gave up seven runs. In his second, he went five and gave up four.

Then, in his third, he went six innings, gave up just one run, and got the win. His fourth was an eight-inning offering in which he allowed just two to score, and his fifth was a shutout eight-inning display that earned him a ND.

Looks like Cliff Lee is back; his next start is May 3 at Detroit, and I'm curious as to how he'll perform.



Josh Johnson

Johnson has been fairly impressive this year for the Marlins. His best game came against the Mets, in which he threw a complete game five-hitter. Through nine, he gave up a run and struck out seven.

He is 2-3 so far, but, like a lot of other pitchers, he lost a couple games due to lack of offensive support. Johnson is an up-and-coming pitcher with a bright future ahead of him.



Felix Hernandez

"King Felix" has been solid this season, putting up 36 strikeouts in 34 innings. He's 4-0 and also has a scoreless streak of 19 innings. His ERA is a nice 2.38.

In his last start, he threw ten ground-ball outs and allowed four hits, all of which were singles. I’m loving me some Hernandez this season.



Relievers

Heath Bell

Bell has been the best closer in the MLB so far. He has a league-leading eight saves, nine strikeouts, and an ERA of 0.00. He also has not blown a save.

He's looking to be a very reliable reliever.



Jonathan Papelbon

Papelbon has been working on a new delivery, but it doesn’t seem to be bothering him, as he is five-for-five on save opportunities so far. Batters are only hitting .229 off of Paps; he is always reliable.



Ryan Franklin


Franklin took over the closer role for the struggling Jason Motte in St. Louis, and he’s made the most of it. He has six saves, nine strike outs, and an ERA of 0.00.

He hasn’t officially been named the Cards' closer, but how can you not like what he’s doing?



Trevor Hoffman


After returning from the DL, Hoffman has gotten his first save opportunity and made the most of it. He threw a scoreless ninth along and posted a strikeout to record his first S of the season.



Frank Francisco

Francisco has impressed in the closing role this season. He has an ERA of 0.00 while striking out nine and has already notched six saves and a win.

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