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Ahead of the Curve: All Killer, No Filler

He's baaaack.
He's baaaack.

It's been a crazy week for me, so no introduction this week. Instead, we'll go straight to what you came here for.


Shaun Marcum (@PIT, @CHC, @MIA, @STL, NYM)

Marcum last pitched in the majors on June 14th, so you can probably bank on a little rustiness from him out of the gate. On the other hand, it's tough to cherry pick a better first three match-ups to ease yourself back into things. I know there are those out there who advocate sitting pitchers in their first starts back from the DL, but I'm not one of those guys. A reasonably solid pitcher who threw well in his last rehab start, Marcum is a plug and play out of the gate if you're not a conservative owner.

Michael Fiers (@PIT, @CHC, @MIA, @STL, NYM, @PIT)

No, this is not going to be an all Brewers column. Fiers has had a very quick fall from grace after two rough starts, one of which was at Coors Field and one against a Philly offense that's been better of late. But remember that before these two unfortunate outings, he had NINE starts in a row where he gave up 2 ER or fewer and went 6 innings or more. In 10 days, he's dropped from nearly fully owned to 60% owned -- and if you're in one of the leagues he was dropped in, take advantage.

More non-Brewers coming up after the jump...

Jake Peavy (SEA, @BAL, MIN, KC, @MIN, @KC, CLE, TB)

Peavy's remaining schedule may be the AL's most attractive just by way of match-ups. The only potential downside is that he's pitching 6 of these 8 games in pitchers' parks, including 5 in his home ballpark -- though Peavy does not have much by way of home/road splits this year (3.21 ERA at home, 3.06 ERA on road). I was one of the many who thought Peavy would not make it this far into the season, but you have to ride him the rest of the way.

Scott Diamond (SEA, @KC, CLE, KC, @CLE)

Sometimes being in the AL Central has its advantages. This is one of those times. Kansas City and Cleveland are two of the best match-ups in baseball for a left-handed starter, so I expect Diamond to continue to put his smoke-and-mirrors on display for another few weeks.

R.A. Dickey (HOU, @MIA, @STL, WSH, PHI, MIA)

This is a reminder that even though the Mets are operating a six-man rotation, it applies to everyone but Dickey. The knuckleballer will take the mound every fifth day for the Mets so that he make a run at 20 wins. Unfortunately for him, the offense behind him will make that nearly impossible.

Other Potential Outperformers:

Ian Kennedy (SD, @LAD, @SF, LAD, SD)
Joe Saunders? (SD, @LAD, @SF, LAD, SD)
Felix Doubront (KC, @OAK, @SEA, NYY, @TB)
Bronson Arroyo (@ARZ, @HOU, HOU, @MIA, @CHC)
Justin Verlander (@KC, CLE, @LAA, @CLE, OAK, KC, @MIN)
Jordan Lyles (@NYM, SF, @PIT, CHC)
Dan Haren (@DET, @SEA, @OAK, OAK, @KC, CHW)
Liam Hendriks (SEA, @KC, CLE, KC, @CLE)
Matt Cain (@HOU, @CHC, LAD, @ARZ, COL, ARZ, @SD)
Kyle Lohse (@PIT, @WSH, MLW, @SD, HOU, @CHC, WSH)
Jake Westbrook (@PIT, @WSH, MLW, @LAD, HOU, @HOU, WSH)


Ubaldo Jimenez (NYY, TEX, @DET, @TEX, DET)

I know it's shocking, but Jimenez continues to be terrible. Sure, at least the strikeouts have been there lately, but it's come with a 6.09 ERA in July and 8.57 ERA in August. If you can get a bag of barbeque chips for him, I'd make that deal immediately. In fact, I'd even take sour cream and onion.

James Shields (@TEX, @TOR, TEX, @NYY, BOS, @BOS, @CHW)

There's not a team in baseball with a more difficult rest of season schedule than Tampa Bay, and Shields' schedule is a good representation of that. There's probably nothing you can do about it at this point, and Big Game James has shown a very real ability to dominate even the most potent of lineups in the past, but this is a gauntlet if I've ever seen one.

Clayton Richard (@ARZ, @COL, @LAD, STL, @ARZ, @SF)

I'm just going to come right out and say it. If you own Richard in anything but a deep mixed league (16 tm or deeper) or an NL-only league, you can safely drop him. I know he's been going pretty well, but he's as schedule dependent as any pitcher in baseball, and this schedule renders him drop-worthy.

Other Potential Underperformers:

Chris Tillman (CHW, @NYY, NYY, TB)
Tommy Hunter (CHW, @NYY, NYY, TB)
Max Scherzer (LAA, CHW, @LAA, @CHW)
Bruce Chen (@BOS, DET, TEX, @CHW, LAA, CHW, @DET)
Jeremy Guthrie (@BOS, DET, TEX, @CHW, LAA)
Blake Beavan (@CHW, @MIN, BOS, @TOR, @TEX, TEX)
Carlos Villanueva (@BAL, @NYY, BAL, @BOS, BOS, @TB, @BAL)


As you may know, I post a streamer of the day owned in less than 10% of leagues on a daily basis at @dynastyguru on Twitter. And as a staple of this column, I'm going to review my picks as the season goes on. Here are the final numbers for the past seven days of #streameroftheday picks:

2 wins, 2.52 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 23 K's in 39 1/3 innings.

And the details:

Date Pitcher Opp IP ER H BB K ERA WHIP Dec
17-Aug Hisashi Iwakuma MIN 7 1 4 1 6 1.29 0.71 W
18-Aug Eric Stults SF 6 5 9 0 1 7.50 1.50 ND
19-Aug Jeremy Guthrie KC 7 2/3 0 2 1 5 - 0.39 ND
20-Aug Kevin Millwood CLE 6 3 5 3 0 4.50 1.33 ND
21-Aug Brett Anderson MIN 7 1 4 0 6 1.29 0.57 W
22-Aug Hisashi Iwakuma CLE 5 2/3 1 6 3 5 1.59 1.59 ND
23-Aug Joel Peralta OAK Did not pitch

The streaking continues. Last week I said that if I were one of the basketball players in NBA Jam, my computer screen would explode into flames each time I hit typed a name into my "Compose New Tweet" box. If this keeps up any longer, I'm going to need a new fire extinguisher. Here's my updated track record since the All-Star Break:

22 wins (in 41 starts) with a 2.79 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 180 K in 251 2/3 IP.

What are you waiting for? Follow me on Twitter at @dynastyguru.