Tyler Anderson held the suddenly anemic Giants offense to two runs over 7.1 innings in his last outing. That’s three outings in which he has allowed four runs after being beaten for nine runs over 10 frames the two starts previously. He’s only struck out seven men his last 13.2 innings, but he’s also walked just four. He continues to impress with his reverse splits. By that I mean he’s pitching much better at home (5-1, 3.04 ERA, 1.27 WHIP) than on the road (0-4, 4.21 ERA, 1.01 WHIP). Oddness.

Matt Boyd hasn’t won either of his last two starts, but he’s allowed just two earned runs each time out. In fact, over his last 11 outings he’s allowed three or fewer runs each time out on his way to a 2.56 ERA. He’s also struck out 52 men in 56.1 innings and his 2.56 BB/9 rate is very solid. The only negative, well there are two, are his homer rate (1.44 per nine) and the fact that he isn’t always going deep into games (six of 11 times he’s thrown less than six frames). Pitching well is he.

Clay Buchholz is set to pitch Sunday against Mr. Sanchez of the Jays who will be discussed below. He’s 6-10 with a 4.99 ERA as he continues to frustrate his owners. Well, maybe not so much of late. He’s actually pitching better recently for the Red Sox. Over his last 12 outings he has a 2.20 ERA and 1.04 WHIP. He’s only made four starts in that time, but each of his last three starts have lasted six innings and he’s allowed a single run each time out. I’m not going to say I fully trust him after years of struggles, but right now he’s pitching really well.

Luis Cessa is set to face the Rays Sunday after a 4th straight start of three earned runs or less for the Yankees. He continues to avoid the free pass, just seven walks his last seven starts, but he’s also not providing much of anything in the strikeout column as has 26 strikeouts over 42 innings and not once has he struck out more than five batters including a total of five his last two outings. Kinda just a guy, though he is pitching well while avoiding the blowups.

Dillon Gee continues to pitch effectively. Over his last four starts he’s allowed three or fewer runs each time out, and over his last 25.1 frames he’s the owner of a 2.84 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP. He’s also walked just two batters. Rather remarkable really. Alas, he was beaten for three homers last time out, and the big fly continues to be his bugaboo (22 homers over 112 innings). Goodness that 1.77 HR/9 mark is huge, even for a guy with a 1.15 mark for his career.

David Price is on a nice run to finish out the season. Robbie Ray is striking out batters but is still hard to trust. Jose Quintana has been a model of consistency over the past few years. DAILY DIVE VIDEO

Miguel Gonzalez returned from a stint on the DL for a groin issue without skipping a single beat. Over 6.1 frames against the Tigers Gonzalez allowed six hits, didn’t walk a batter and permitted no runners to cross the plate. His skills are extremely moderate, no way around that, but how do you argue with the success he’s tossed out there of late? Since July 1st he’s made nine starts. He may only have two wins in that time but it’s not his fault as he’s tossed out a 2.38 ERA and 1.06 WHIP. Dealing is he as he’s allowed three of fewer earned runs in all nine outings. He’s also walked just nine batters while allowing four homers. He cannot pitch better. It’s the point where you can roll him out there in mixed leagues with just a little bit of fear of paying for that decision.

Jason Hammel cannot pile up innings. Can’t. He has never thrown 180-innings in a season in a career that stretches back to 2006. He’s currently at 151.2 making it nearly certain he will fail to get there again. He’s also in one hell of a terrible stretch right now. Over his last four trips to the hill Hammel, who is 14-8 with a 3.50 ERA and 1.19 WHIP, has been obliterated. Hammel has lost three games with a 0.35 ERA and 2.19 WHIP in his last four trips to the bump. Moreover, he’s actually allowed five unearned runs as well-meaning he’s permitted 23 runs over 17.1 innings. He cannot be started now, despite what his overall numbers say, in any format.

Ricky Nolasco tossed seven shutout inning against the Athletics. Mike Scioscia left him out there too long as he loaded the bases in the 8th and was removed. Of course, the bullpen allowed all three runs to score so Nolasco ended the outing with three earned runs allowed over seven innings. That’s three runs his last 16 innings, or 15 frames without an allowed run his last 16 innings. Been saying it with him forever – you can’t trust him – but right now he is in a nice little groove.

James Paxton has made 16 starts with a 4-6 record, 4.03 ERA and 1.40 WHIP. I continue to wonder why folks keep asking me about him. Over his last three outings things have gotten really bad as he’s allowed 24 hits over 14.1 frames leading to a 6.91 ERA and 1.81 WHIP. He’s been a league average arm this season with a little bit extra in the strikeout column (8.44 K/9), and when that’s the case, and you’re also always an injury risk as Paxton is, why bother?

Aaron Sanchez hasn’t pitched terribly his last five starts, but a 3.90 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and 6.00 K/9 ratio all point to a guy who isn’t in the groove. It’s obviously fair to wonder if the innings are wearing him down?

Luke Weaver has made five starts for the Cardinals. He has 31 strikeouts over 25 frames. That’s impressive. He’s only won one of the five games and his 3.96 ERA and 1.36 WHIP are league average kinda stuff despite allowing three runs or less every time out. The biggest issue has been the big fly as he’s allowed one every game he’s pitched.


Ray Flowers can be heard Monday/Tuesday and Thursday/Friday, 8 PM EDT, Wednesday 7 PM EDT on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87). You can also hear Ray Sunday nights at 11 PM on the channel talking fantasy sports. Follow Ray’s work at Fantasy Alarm and on Twitter (@baseballguys).