I realize that I have been focusing on deep leagues a lot lately, and kind of skipping over the standard leagues. To be honest, I really only play in two standard leagues anymore, and that is because I have been in them for a decade. I usually do deeper leagues. Deeper leagues do take more work, and a quicker trigger finger, so I find myself focusing on them more. Sometimes my standard league teams suffer for it. So since I am analyzing my standard team rosters, I figure it is a good time to do the add/drops for you standard league players out there.
I will go position by position and give you players that can help your cause, and those that aren’t pulling their weight. All of the recommended adds are available in 30 percent or more of ESPN leagues. Of course, no one knows your league better than you do. If you can pull of a trade to ditch one of the drop candidates, then by all means, do that instead!
This piece will focus on the starting pitchers. The catchers are here. The first basemen are here. The second basemen are here. The shortstops are here. The third basemen are here. The outfielders are here.
Scott Kazmir, Athletics: He has had a stellar season overall, but he is just 1-2 with a 5.49 ERA in August. And his next opponent, the Mets, torched him for seven runs in three innings the first time he played them this year. The magic may be over for Kazmir.
John Lackey, Cardinals: I can admit, I was wrong. I thought Lackey would flourish in St Louis. Instead, he has a 6.16 ERA and 1.58 WHIP. His last start showed signs of promise, but it was against the lowly Padres. I wouldn’t trust him against Cincinnati.
Justin Verlander, Tigers: We all knew something was wrong. Players don’t usually regress that much, especially when he should still be in his prime. Call me a bit of a pessimist, but I don’t think that just rest will cure it. Meaning I will be very surprised if he misses only the one start. You can hang on to him if you like, but his 10-11 record and 4.76 ERA are not helping you anyway.
Kyle Lohse, Brewers: Lohse has given up 12 runs in 13 innings pitched this month. The wheels are coming off, folks! Time to move on.
Tim Hudson, Giants: He has lost seven of his last ten starts, and is not striking anyone out anymore. You can do better in standard leagues.
Francisco Liriano, Pirates: He is back on track. Liriano has not allowed more than three runs in his last ten starts, and he has only hit the three threshold once. He also has 30 strikeouts in his last 26 innings pitched. He looks to be safe for standard league consumption once again.
Chris Tillman, Orioles: He has not allowed more than three earned runs in 13 straight starts. Enough said.
Danny Duffy, Royals: He has given up one earned run or less in eight of his last ten starts, and has not allowed five since May 28th. He is a safe option in all formats right now, and he has not been allowing much for baserunners either. His season ERA and WHIP are 2.57 and 1.09 respectively. Those are standard league worthy numbers.
Brandon McCarthy, Yankees: He has only had one start with the Yankees in which he has struggled, and that was at Texas. He still won the game as well. His season numbers are not great, but he is 4-1 as a Yankee and has 43 strikeouts in 43.2 innings pitched, and has given up two runs or less in all but that one start.
Yordano Ventura, Royals: Yes, another Royal. Ventura has only had one bad start since the beginning of June. He has a 2.37 ERA and 1.21 WHIP since July 31st, and has struck out 20 batters in 19 innings over that span.
Come back tomorrow for the final installment, the closers!