TORONTO, CANADA - SEPTEMBER 05: Henderson Alvarez #37 of the Toronto Blue Jays delivers a pitch during MLB game action against the Boston Red Sox September 5, 2011 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Brad White/Getty Images)
Henderson Alvarez - It’s one thing to dominate the free swinging Orioles, but Alvarez’s performance vs. the Red Sox was impressive. The rookie allowed three hits while striking out four, over six innings without allowing a run. In his last four starts Alvarez has gone the minimum of six innings and in that span he’s allowed five earned runs over four starts. Alvarez is the opposite of teammate Brandon Morrow, he is a control/ground ball monster, with an improving fastball that gets just below 94MPH. Alvarez’s walk rate of 1.74 in AA has transitioned to the majors, so the Blue Jays are looking at a viable starter for the future. Going against a Baltimore team he shutout less than two weeks ago, Alvarez gets the green light on Saturday.
John Lannan – When it comes to fantasy starters, Lannan isn’t a popular name for his lack of strikeouts. While the Ks don’t pile up, he’s been a quality starter at home this season with a 2.94 ERA. This weekend Lannan is at home vs. a sub-par Astros lineup so for fantasy owners in h2h leagues in need of a win, Lannan is worth taking a flier on. Houston has 85 HRs which is second fewest in the majors, so expect a lot of ground-balls as Lannan will utilize his circle changeup. Lannan is far from sexy, but it’s the playoffs in h2h leagues, and sexy doesn’t always get it done.
Alex Rios – A fourth round pick to start the season, Rios has been a top 10 fantasy disappointment in 2011. Playing on a team full of wasted draft picks (Adam Dunn, Matt Thornton), Rios has finally started to turn it around as the White Sox are on their last leg for a playoff push. In the month of September, Rios has a .375BA, 500SLG and 846OPS, making him an interesting play going forward. The damage has been done with what Rios did to you the first five months of the season, but he’s a five tool player who is looking to finish strong. Rios is owned in fewer than 50% of leagues, so adding him against the Indians as you’re fourth outfielder would be a stealthy move.
Doug Fister – It would have been improbable to imagine this before April, but Fister was the missing piece to get the Tigers a top the AL Central. Since getting traded to the motor city, Fister has impressed with a 2.64ERA and a 1.03WHIP. Like the previously above mentioned Lannan, Fister isn’t a hot commodity in rotisserie leagues, but in h2h he’s a solid bet for three categories. Now in Detroit, Fister has a swagger about him that I don’t think they make in Seattle. Add Fister for his start against the Twins, as the Tigers look to go back to the playoffs.