'John Lackey' photo (c) 2011, Keith Allison - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/Yesterday I wrote my first half review of Hitters. Obviously that left half of the equation on the sidelines, an issue I will rectify today as I discuss how hurlers performed in the first half. For those of you wondering yes, I'm still boozing it up today as well. It's tough when there are no games to cover... what does one do with their free time? One of the things I did was going to The Pez Museum on a date. Never let it be said that I don't know how to treat a lady.

FIRST HALF DISAPPOINTMENTS

Matt Cain has a 1.18 WHIP and his highest K/9 rate (8.28) since 2006. He's also 5-6 with a 5.06 ERA. Still a prime buy low candidate as the Giants continue to insist that he's healthy.

R.A. Dickey is 8-10 with a 4.69 ERA and 1.30 WHIP. In his last 10 outings he's allowed six or more earned runs five times. He's killing his owners with ineffectiveness. I have nothing to apologize for. I told everyone his follow up to last season would be less than memorable.

Yovani Gallardo = disaster. He's 7-8 with a 4.83 ERA and 1.43 WHIP while his K/9 mark, over a batter an inning the past four seasons, is languishing down at 7.21 per nine this season.

Roy Halladay has thrown all of 34.2 innings and is at a career crossroads due to shoulder surgery. He was pathetic before going to the DL with an 8.65 ERA and 1.46 WHIP.

Cole Hamels has a strong 8.23 K/9 mark, his K/BB ratio is 3.47 and his WHIP is 1.22. Those are all solid numbers. Unfortunately he's also 4-11 with a 4.05 ERA on the season. The lefty version in the NL of Matt Cain – a guy who has actually performed better than it looks on the surface.

Edwin Jackson has looked much better the last three times he's taken the hill but don't tell that to the folks that have been running him out there all year long as he's got a 5.11 ERA and 1.44 WHIP for the Cubs.

Tim Lincecum has five wins, a 4.26 ERA and 1.33 WHIP. That's no good, at all. But there are signs of things improving, and I'm not talking about just the no-no.

Stephen Strasburg is 5-7 for the Nationals and his K/9 mark of 9.06 is 13th in baseball. Entering the season that mark was 11.21 for his career.

Jered Weaver has deal with injury that limited him to 67 innings in the first half, though he has been solid when out there with a 3.63 ERA and 1.22 WHIP. He wasn't drafted to be solid though, and that 3-5 record does him no favors.

Justin Verlander has a 3.50 ERA and 1.34 WHIP? The last two years he's been at 2.52 in the ERA column and 0.99 in the WHIP category.

Ryan Vogelsong was really solid the last two years. Before he was DL'd this year he was flat out hideous with a 7.19 ERA and 1.73 WHIP over 46.1 innings.

FIRST HALF SURPRISES

Bartolo Colon... I'll just let the numbers speak for themselves: 12-3, 2.70 ERA, 1.11 WHIP.

Patrick Corbin went from the waiver-wire to the penthouse in the first half. Not only does he have 11 victories but he's somehow been able to pitch his way to a 2.35 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. Can't expect it to continue, but I've been saying that for two months.

Jose Fernandez was a surprise addition to the Marlins' roster given that he's like 11 years old. He may only have five wins, but that 2.75 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 103 Ks in 104.2 innings are elite levels of production.

We knew Matt Harvey would be good, but elite right off the hop? A 2.35 ERA and 0.92 WHIP, along with 147 Ks in 130 innings paint him as one of the best hurlers in the game at the All-Star Break.

We knew that Hisashi Iwakuma could have a good season this year, and though he's been bombed of late overall the guy has a 3.02 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 113 Ks in 131.1 innings. A remarkable first half really.

John Lackey is just like the man below him, a total out of nowhere performer that NO ONE predicted would have success. Lackey has a 2.78 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 8.34. The last time he pitched this well was 2007. Look it up. He's never had an ERA or WHIP this low.

Francisco Liriano has been dynamic for the Pirates with nine victories, a 2.00 ERA and 1.19 WHIP with 80 Ks in 76.2 innings in his firsts season in the NL. The last time he pitched like this? It was a few years ago, 2006 to be accurate.

Shelby Miller was viewed as a #1 SP at some point, but no one thought he would be that this season. He has been with nine victories, a 2.92 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 112 Ks in 104.2 innings.

Edward Mujica from unwanted middle reliever to a must own, dominating force in the fantasy game. He's been as good as any reliever in the game with a 2.20 ERA, 0.73 WHIP and 26 saves.

Like Colon above, I'll just let the numbers speak for Travis Wood: 2.79 ERA, 1.04 WHIP. Might as well list a few other hurlers that have been crazy good.

Kevin Gregg: 2.97 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 17 saves Mike Leake: 2.69 ERA, 1.12 WHIP Jeff Locke: eight wins, 2.15 ERA, 1.13 WHIP Mark Melancon: 0.81 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, 46 Ks in 44.1 innings

For more on some players I think you might consider adding to your squad in the second half check out SECOND HALF TARGETS.

 *** For more on my mid-season thoughts make sure you pick up a copy of the 2013 BBGuys Mid-Season Rankings.

By Ray Flowers




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About Ray Flowers

The co-host of The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87: Mon-Fri 7-10 PM EDT), Ray also hosts his own show Sunday night (7-10 PM EDT). Ray has spent years squirreled away studying the inner workings of the fantasy game to the detriment of his personal life. Specializing in baseball, football and hockey, some consider him an expert in all three.

Ray Flowers on Twitter

RT @SultanofStat: Chris Carter's 9 HR in August are two more than the #BlueJays have hit in the month (7).

#mlb ARTICLE for @FantasyAlarm - BVP data for Weds, August 29th - http://t.co/venauM9MIO

RT @zuckermancsn: For all the angst (plenty of it justified) over Strasburg, he's now got a 3.41 ERA and a 198/38 strikeout/walk ratio.

RT @chasehughescsn: At 3-for-4, Ian Desmond has also raised his average to .251 tonight. Was .246 entering this game. #Nats #NationalsTalk