Fantasy Baseball Tonight May 31

Todd Farino@truegurufarinoCorrespondent IJune 1, 2009

Jon Lester has been frustrating his fantasy owners, but I believe that he will bounce back and have many more games like he did on Sunday.

Lester allowed just one run over six innings and struck out a season high twelve guys. He still has an ERA over 5.50, but I have confidence that he will get that under 4.00 before the end of the season.

Lester was always a high ranking prospect in the Red Sox system, so it isn't like his success last season was a fluke. He is a great buy low candidate for the rest of the year.

Edwin Jackson is starting to turn my head...a few weeks after I think he turned a lot of yours.

On Sunday he threw eight shutout innings and struck out seven. Jackson has now only allowed more than three runs in two of his eleven starts. Jackson has been around for a while, and all the way back when he was a Dodgers' prospect he was supposed to be great.

It took him a little longer than most to figure it out, but now it looks like Jackson is ready to start realizing the potential that we were promised many years ago.

Phil Hughes was just okay against the Tribe on Sunday, but it doesn't seem like he's going back to the minors any time soon.

I have heard on the radio here in New York that Chien-Ming Wang is in the bullpen until manager Joe Girardi wants to move him back to the rotation. Hughes wasn't bad as he gave up four runs over five innings.

That isn't great by any stretch, but not terrible either.

If you own Hughes, continue to start him. If he is a free agent, I would definitely consider picking him up. Evaluate your team to see if there is anyone you can afford to lose.

Carl Pavano might not have gotten the win, but he did get the better of the Yankees on Sunday. Pavano allowed just three runs over 7.1 innings and struck out four.

For those of you looking for some pitching either short-term or long-term, I would say that Pavano is worth picking up in deeper leagues. For traditional 12 team leagues, I would still only pick him up against weak opponents, but he has allowed three runs or less in six of his last seven starts.

He is not an elite strikeout pitcher, but seems to have bounced back from his dismal career in New York.

Jhonny Peralta is still not hitting for any power whatsoever, but at least he drove in a few runs. Those of you who have been emailing me with an issue at shortstop have gotten advice from me to consider Peralta as an option.

Thus far he hasn't made me look very good.

Hopefully Sunday is the start of the hot streak I have been waiting for. Peralta had three hits (all singles) and drove in three runs, including the game winner. The next couple weeks should be telling ones for the future of Peralta who has been playing mostly third base.

Yovani Gallardo continues his great season.

He allowed just one earned run and struck out nine in just 5.1 innings. He is definitely showing what all the hype was about coming into the season, and is having a fine season at that.

Gallardo is a great strikeout pitcher on a good team. He should win 15-17 games if he stays healthy, and could strikeout close to 200 batters. Start him every time out regardless of the matchup.

Kris Medlen recorded his first major league win on Sunday and was pretty impressive in doing it. After being less than average his first two times out, Medlen allowed just one run over six innings and whiffed nine. He also kept his walks under control with just one.

Medlen has a ton of talent, so this isn't a huge suprise, but it is still up in the air how consistent he will be. He could have just gotten off to a slow start, but this could also be one good start in a line of subpar outings.

I think the next start for Medlen will be a big one. If he can put a good showing out, I will gain some confidence in him. If he's bad again, chances are he will have another line of struggles.

Frank Francisco finally allowed a run today and took a loss, but this is not something to be concerned about. It took until his 18th appearance before he gave up that run, and he has been striking out a batter an inning. It wasn't a blown save, as he came into a tie game, so he is still perfect in that area.

He was my sleeper closer heading into the year, and that is one call that is working out. Continue to have Francisco in your lineups; he is a guy that will far outperform his draft status.

Ervin Santana was AWFUL for the second straight start, and I'm sure his owners are starting to sweat...or at least wondering what is going on.

After only lasting one inning in his previous start, Santana allowed eight runs over 5.1 innings, and only a great rally by the Angels stopped him from taking a loss.

Before you go dumping Ervin to free agency, remember that he missed the first five or six weeks of the season. He is still working on getting himself back to normal. If he's bad for two or three more starts in a row, then I would start worrying.

Brad Lidge recorded a save for the third straight day, and even more important than that, again it was uneventful (that's a good thing). He didn't allow a hit on Sunday, and only gave up one hit over his last three saves.

It now appears that he has gotten over his struggles, and is safe to keep in your lineups.


Injury News

Grady Sizemore landed on the 15 day DL with his elbow issues. I haven't seen a timetable for his return, but hopefully it will just be the fifteen days. Also, hopefully the rest will get his average out of the .220s when he returns.

Joakim Soria is traveling with the team as they go to face the Rays, and he could be activated at any time. I would think about activating him for the upcoming week as he is one of the best closers in fantasy.

Josh Hamilton is about to undergo an MRI on his sore groin that he suffered running into the wall a few days back. He was able to pinch hit, and apparently isn't headed for the DL, but I just don't like the idea of him going for the MRI.

I have him in a weekly league, and I am SERIOUSLY considering sitting him for the week.


Mailing List

For those of you who are regular readers, or even new to the site, I would like to offer a new service. I am starting a mailing list. Sometimes I see news during the day, but I wait until this nightly article to pass it along to you guys. Prospects coming up, injury news, closer movement, etc.

Just send me an email to with “Mailing List” in the subject line and I will add you to the list.

Then, whenever I find news that I feel is breaking and important, I will send it to you as soon as I find out about it. Hopefully this is something that you all will find valuable to make a possible move before your competition.

Also, you can now follow me on Twitter for more updates. Go to

Got another mention on Steve Gardner's Fantasy Windup blog again on the USA Today site.

You can check out the post here.

It is a great blog, and they also have some good contests for you to check out. I know some of you have already started to participate in some of them and are enjoying it.

Attention League Commissioners!

If you are looking to spice up your league some, go and visit Fantasy Sports Trophies. Tom Harkins has put together a great site with all kinds of different trophies to give the winner of your league something besides just bragging rights.

There are trophies for fantasy baseball, football (check out the Beer League Fantasy Football Trophy), basketball, hockey, and auto racing. I invite you to take a look at the site and try them out.

As always, your comments and questions are welcome at

I guarantee a response within 18 hours. Also, don’t miss the “Fantasy Baseball Tonight” podcast four nights a week from Monday-Thursday. The Big Show on Wednesday is co-hosted by Todd Farino of, RC Rizza of and myself, Ryan Hallam at

To hear the show go to You can also hear me weekly on the Tuesday Night show. Join me with Jeff Mans every Tuesday night at 10pm EST for all the news, free agent pickups, minor leaguers, and injuries. A can’t miss if you plan on winning your league.


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