After getting rocked June 12 on the road against the Angels, Gaudin has stringed together three very nice starts. Sunday was his best performance of the year, as he cruised through eight innings against the Rangers in a cool 101 pitches.
If Gaudin can keep up his recent K-rate, he'll definitely be an option in fantasy leagues. His last three starts, he is averaging over nine strikeouts.
Matt Garza - Rays
W, 8 IP, 1 ER, 7 K, 3 H
It has been an up and down season for the Rays' 25-year old hurler. Garza hasn't made it out of the sixth inning in his last three starts, and Tampa Bay's offense hasn't given him much run support.
Maybe this outing will propel Garza going forward. His peripherals so far have been pretty good. His K-rate is way up from last year, and he's held opponents to just a .216 batting average. Expect big things in the second half from Garza.
Aaron Cook - Rockies
W, 7 IP, 1 ER, 4 K, 3 H
It's a bit shocking to think Colorado was in the World Series just two years ago. Now they sit nine games out of first in the NL West behind the Dodgers, but are still five games over .500. Cook is a big reason why.
He'll never be flashy, but when he's on the mound, Cook is always reliable. He doesn't get many strikeouts, but doesn't walk many either.
Felix Hernandez - Mariners
CG, 2 H, 0 ER, 6 K's
Is Hernandez finally fulfilling his enormous potential, or does yesterday's outing say more about the Padres' offense than Hernandez's development? Judging by his recent pitching lines, it looks like Hernandez has turned the corner.
In three starts in this month, Hernandez has two seven inning, one earned run outings under his belt. Add in what he did yesterday and you get a 2-0 record with a .78 ERA in June.
Hernandez is still walking a few too many (his K-BB ratio is only 2:1 this month), but it looks like he's for real. At 23, he's only getting started.
Cleveland's Cliff Lee drew all the headlines Sunday by taking a no-hitter into the 8th inning against the Cardinals, but Cain may have been even better against the lifeless A's. It shouldn't be a surprise. Lately, Cain has been the pitcher in the National League.
The win was Cain's ninth of the year, which ties him with Chad Billingsley of the Dodgers for the most in the league. Yesterday made it six straight starts that ended with a W next to his name.
To me, it seems like the first third of baseball's season went unusually fast. Maybe it's different for us Chicagoans because we had playoff hockey and basketball to distract us for a while. Don't you wish it could work that way every year? Instead of having thousands of Cubs fans ready to jump off the ledge after a poor Ted Lilly start in May, we got to suspend those baseball anxieties for a little bit longer.
Still, here we are, 1/3 of the way through the MLB season. We thought this would be as good a time as any to throw out some awards and recap the season so far.
It seems like every year baseball fans are ready to anoint the title of "best pitcher in the game" to a new guy. Maybe we should all calm down and try to appreciate how consistently great Harry LeRoy Halladay has been the last few years in Toronto.
Halladay was dazzling last night at home against Kansas City, which has pretty much been par for the course for him this season. He leads the majors in wins with 10 - the next closest guy sits at eight - and is fifth in the AL in ERA.
You have to wonder how long Halladay can continue to pitch at this rate. He's 32 and will hit the 2,000 innings mark later this year. He may not be a great bet for sustained success in keeper leagues, but for right now, there may not be a better pitcher alive than Halladay.
It's not early anymore. With two months in the books, our first ever official fantasy league is starting to take shape. After the jump, we'll take you through the standings, some key moves, and what to expect from here on out.
Joba Chamberlain - Yankees
W, 8 IP, 2 ER, 5 K
The big news - for Yankee fans but especially for fantasy owners (because, really, who cares about Yankee fans?) - is that Joba could be taking the 3:10 train to the bullpen shorty. If he keeps pitching the way he did yesterday though, it won't happen any time soon.
Fantasy owners better hope not. The Yankees desperately need an 8th inning guy - and Joba has had tons of success in that spot in the past - but the role would virtually make Chamberlain worthless in fantasy circles.
Hopefully New York finds a way to fill that void via a trade. Chamberlain is simply too good to waste away in the bullpen.