1. Lance Lynn (SP - Cardinals) - While R.A. Dickey improved to 11 wins on Monday, Lynn tried to match it on Tuesday. Lynn was unsuccessful in his pursuit as he allowed 5 ER and 9 H for the loss to bring his record to 10-3. It was just his 4th non-QS of the year in his 14 starts. Despite a tough outing against the Cardinals (and probably his worst of the season), Lynn remains a must start this year as he has been one of the best pitchers in the NL. His next two starts against the Royals and the Pirates are favorable.
2. Edinson Volquez (SP - Padres) - Volquez had a rough night allowing 6 ER in 5.0 IP with 4 BB against the Rangers. It was the second start this month and the 2nd time in his last three trips to the mound that he has allowed 6 ER. After a hot start, Volquez is just 3 for his last 7 in QS and his ERA has gone from 2.79 to 4.11 and WHIP from 1.24 to 1.59 during those 7 starts. These past few weeks have looked a lot like his old days with the Reds, so you might want to consider keeping him on your bench for his upcoming starts against the Mariners at home (Seattle ranks third in the league in runs scored on the road) and the Rockies on the road. Both look unfavorable for the struggling Volquez.
3. John Axford (RP - Brewers) - Axford blew another one on Tuesday, but manager Ron Roenicke said his job is not in jeopardy. How can that be? He has 4 blown saves in 16 opportunities and is posting a 5.60 ERA, 1.57 WHIP, and a BB/9 of 5.6. Not exactly dominant closer stuff. That is quite the change from last year's 46-for-48 in saves with a 1.95 ERA and 1.14 WHIP. Nothing in his Pitch F/X data would reveal a potential injury or drop in velocity. In fact, his velocity is up this year. He may be using the slider a little less, but I doubt that has anything to do with this blow-up. If you don't believe the word of Roenicke, former closer Francisco Rodriguez would be the backup plan for depth chart purposes.
4. Wandy Rodriguez (SP - Astros) - Wandy received no run support on Tuesday as he went 7.0 IP and allowed just 2 ER, 6 H, and 2 BB while recording 3 K's. He is now 6-5 on the season and 10-for-15 in QS. Rodriguez is historically a big K pitcher, coming into 2012 with a 4-year K/9 of 8.2. But the K's are down this year with a K/9 of just 5.7, mostly due to a cold June that has yielded just 11 K's in 23.1 IP. I think the K's will bounce back a bit, but he is definitely using his fastball and curveball less over the last few years. While that has improved his QS%, it has definitely led to a decline in K's this year. A lack of run support from a team that ranks 10th in the NL in runs scored and a decline in K's definitely hurts Wandy's value.
5. Barry Zito (SP - Giants) - Zito's fantasy value is crumbling quickly. Through his first 11 starts of the year, Zito was 7-4 with a 2.98 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP. Over the last two starts, he has allowed 13 ER in 8.1 IP against the Astros and the Angels to inflate his ERA to 4.35 and WHIP to 1.41 fairly quickly. In fact, Zito has just 2 QS in the last 7 outings and is just 50% in QS this year in his 14 trips to the mound. Zito has the benefit of pitching in a pitcher-friendly ballpark (which is evident in his home/away split ERA of 3.83 at home versus 4.93 on the road), but a K/9 of just 5.0 keeps me away from aging pitchers like Zito. The good news for his owners in head-to-head leagues is that he has two starts at home next week, but the opponents will not be easy with the Dodgers earlier in the week and the Reds on the opposite end. Both teams are in the top half of runs scored in the NL.
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