Description: Cleveland starter Danny Salazar had another solid start Friday, throwing six innings and allowing one unearned run on four hits against the Rangers.
Insight: Salazar was demoted after posting a 5.53 ERA in his first eight starts and he got off to a rocky start in the minors, but he's figured things out. In three starts since he was recalled, he's gone 3-0 with a 2.00 ERA and 17 Ks in 18 innings.
Description: Reds starter Mat Latos has found success his season despite striking out just 5.68 batters per nine innings.
Insight: Latos, who allowed one run on five hits over seven innings in a win at Miami on Friday, is 3-3 with a 3.07 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP in 58 2/3 innings. However, his ERA could rise as his .211 BABIP does. His stuff hasn't been as sharp, possibly because he had a flexor mass strain in his elbow earlier this season. Batters are offering at and making contact with a higher percentage of his pitches out of the strike zone, which has led to the drop in K rate.
Description: Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander allowed two runs on eight hits, struck out five and walked none in eight innings Friday night against the Rockies.
Insight: It was Verlander's best start since April and just the second time all season he didn't walk anyone. The right-hander has thrown a quality start in six of his last eight turns and is 10-9 with a 4.66 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP. He's still not striking many batters out, however.
Description: Orioles starter Wei-Yen Chen went 4-0 with a 2.92 ERA over four starts in July and he won his fifth straight start Friday against the Mariners.
Insight: Chen (3.76 ERA, 1.24 WHIP) threw 7 1/3 innings and allowed one run on five hits while striking out eight. He's now tied for second in the majors with 12 wins. The left-hander has allowed more than a hit per inning and 1.30 HR/9 this season, but he's balanced it out with 1.52 BB/9.
Description: Phillies starter Roberto Hernandez held the Nationals to one unearned run on five hits over eight innings Friday night.
Insight: Over his last four starts, the 33-year-old Hernandez has gone 3-0 with a 1.88 ERA and a 0.80 WHIP despite striking out 2.51 batters per nine innings in that span. He's 6-8 with a 3.87 ERA, a 1.35 WHIP and a 75/55 K/BB in 121 innings this season.
Description: San Francisco right-hander Ryan Vogelsong threw a complete game two-hitter Friday in a 5-1 win against the Mets.
Insight: It was his second career complete game and first since 2011. Vogelsong had a 7.71 ERA in his first four starts of the season, but he's pitched to a 3.15 ERA with a 1.18 WHIP and 95 Ks over his last 111 1/3 innings.
Description: Twins starter Ricky Nolasco (elbow) will return on Aug. 15 barring a setback, according to Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Insight: That means Nolasco, who has been out with a flexor pronator injury in his elbow since July 7, will make two rehab starts. He has had a miserable season, going 5-7 with a 5.90 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP in 103 2/3 innings. Among pitchers with 100 innings this season, only one player has an ERA higher than Nolasco's.
Description: Twins starter Ricky Nolasco (elbow) will begin a rehab assignment next week, according to Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Insight: Nolasco has been out with a flexor pronator injury in his elbow since July 7. He's had a miserable season, going 5-7 with a 5.90 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP in 103 2/3 innings. Among pitchers with 100 innings this season, only one player has an ERA higher than Nolasco's.
Description: According to John Hickey of the Bay Area News Group, the Athletics have moved Jesse Chavez to the bullpen.
Insight: Jason Hammel is 0-4 with a 9.53 ERA in four starts since he joined the A's in a trade from the Cubs, but Chavez was chosen to move to the bullpen instead. Chavez never threw more than 67 1/3 innings in his career prior to 2014 and he appeared to be wearing down. He lasted less than six innings in five of his last six starts and had a 5.51 ERA in that span.
Description: The Indians have designated right-hander Zach McAllister for assignment. Because McAllister is more than three years removed from his MLB debut, Cleveland needed to secure optional waivers on him before they could send him to Triple-A and in order to do that it had to designate him. The Indians can pull him off waivers if anyone claims him, so McAllister will end up with Triple-A Columbus. SOURCE: Cleveland Plain Dealer
Insight: McAllister has imploded the past seven starts, going 0-4 with a 9.88 ERA in 27 1/3 innings. The right-hander had a 3.75 ERA in 2013 and his FIP this year is 4.04, so he could turn things around if he gets another shot.
Description: According to Alex Pavlovic of the Bay Area News Group, Giants right-hander Matt Cain is expected to undergo season-ending elbow surgery.
Insight: Cain doesn't have ligament damage, but he needs to get bone chips removed from his elbow. He's reportedly been dealing with the condition for the past decade and is finally in enough pain to require surgery. He'll be ready for spring training next year.
Description: Justin Masterson will make his Cardinals debut on Saturday against Milwaukee.
Insight: Masterson was shipped from Cleveland to St. Louis earlier this week. He went 14-10 with a 3.45 ERA and 195 Ks in 193 innings a year ago, but he's 4-6 with a 5.51 ERA and a 1.65 WHIP in 98 innings this year. His 4.06 FIP suggests he'll improve, and St. Louis' defense should help the ground-ball pitcher. Cleveland ranks last in baseball in UZR this season while the Cardinals rank eighth.
Description: John Lackey will make his Cardinals debut Sunday against the Brewers.
Insight: Lackey was acquired from the Red Sox Thursday for Allen Craig and Joe Kelly. He has been in the AL his entire career and should get a boost from joining an NL team. He's 11-7 with a 3.60 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP this season.
Description: The Cardinals have sent Carlos Martinez to Triple-A Memphis.
Insight: St. Louis gave the 22-year-old a chance to start in June, but he was limited to fewer than 90 pitches in all seven starts (4.45 ERA). He gave up two runs in 1 1/3 innings Wednesday in his return to the bullpen. The Cardinals acquired John Lackey and Justin Masterson the past two days so their five rotation spots are currently filled, but they could be sending Martinez down to get stretched out as insurance in case Michael Wacha doesn't return and someone else gets hurt.
Description: Miami right-hander Henderson Alvarez has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation.
Insight: Alvarez threw seven scoreless innings Tuesday against the Nationals and ranks fourth in the NL with a 2.48 ERA. Jacob Turner, who was going to be replaced by Jarred Cosart in the rotation, will take Alvarez' spot.
Description: Royals starter Jason Vargas (emergency appendectomy) will start Saturday against Oakland, according to mlb.com.
Insight: Vargas, who last started on July 8, has gone 8-4 with a 3.31 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP in 125 innings this season. He threw 60 pitches in a simulated game on Tuesday, so he's not likely to throw more than 80-85 pitches Saturday.
Description: Jarred Cosart, Enrique Hernandez and Austin Wates have been traded from the Astros to the Marlins for Jake Marisnick, Colin Moran, Frances Martes and a 2015 compensation pick.
Insight: The 24-year-old Cosart is the only player in this trade that fantasy owners need to worry about this season, and he's 9-7 with a 4.41 ERA, a 1.46 WHIP and 75 Ks in 116 1/3 innings. In other words, he's really not someone fantasy owners need to own.
Description: Angels lefty Tyler Skaggs was cruising along through 4 2/3 hitless innings Thursday night, but he left with tightness in his left forearm, according to Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register.
Insight: Forearm soreness can sometimes be indicative of a ligament issue. Skaggs has a 3.55 FIP this season, but his ERA is 4.30 because he's stranded just 63.9 percent of baserunners.
Description: Angels lefty Tyler Skaggs was crusing along through 4 2/3 hitless innings Thursday night, but he suffered an apparent injury, according to Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register.
Insight: Skaggs appeared to gesture at his forearm and didn't even throw a warm-up pitch before leaving. The left-hander has a 3.55 FIP this season, but his ERA is 4.30 because he's stranded just 63.9 percent of baserunners.
Description: Phillies starter Cliff Lee left Thursday's game with an apparent arm injury.
Insight: Lee threw a pitch and immediately reacted as if he knew something was wrong. He waved for the trainer and gestured toward his elbow, according to Jim Salisbury of csnphilly.com. Lee missed two months with a strained elbow before returning on July 21 and he likely aggravated the injury. The slim chance the Phillies had of trading Lee before the Aug. 31 waiver trade deadline probably just went out the window.
Description: According to Andrew Baggarly of csnbayarea.com, Giants right-hander Matt Cain (elbow) doesn't have ligament damage in his elbow.
Insight: Cain's initial MRI didn't reveal ligament damage and he checked out fine in his meeting with Dr. James Andrews. However, he has "loose bodies" in his elbow and the Giants are discussing a plan of action. He's unlikely to return this season.
Description: Cubs starter Jake Arrieta gave up three hits and a run over seven innings Thursday against the Rockies.
Insight: Arrieta has been downright dominant this season, throwing 98 innings and posting a 2.11 ERA, a 0.99 WHIP and a 106/28 K/BB. Since June 8, he's allowed a measly 34 hits, 15 walks and 13 earned runs in 68 innings (1.72 ERA, 0.72 WHIP).
Description: Cardinals right-hander Shelby Miller has given up four runs on six hits and posted an 8/0 K/BB over 11 2/3 innings since he rejoined the rotation.
Insight: Miller allowed three home runs in that span but the damage was limited because he kept runners off the basepaths. He walked at least one batter in every game this season prior to the past two starts. The right-hander is 8-8 with a 4.14 ERA, a 1.39 WHIP and a 81/55 K/BB in 121 2/3 innings.
Description: Padres right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne has walked six batters and allowed 11 runs (eight earned) on 15 hits in his last 9 1/3 innings.
Insight: Despaigne defied logic by posting a 1.31 ERA and a 0.90 WHIP in his first 34 1/3 innings after recording a 7.61 ERA in 23 2/3 innings for Triple-A El Paso, but the league has caught up to his slow breaking stuff.
Description: The Tigers have sent Drew Smyly to the Tampa Bay Rays in the David Price trade.
Insight: Smyly is promising, but he's been inconsistent this season. In 105 1/3 innings, he's gone 6-9 with a 3.93 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP. He could be better down the road, but his fantasy fortunes this season won't change much after the trade.
Description: The Athletics deadline-day trade for Jon Lester could cost Jesse Chavez his spot in the rotation.
Insight: Jason Hammel is 0-4 with a 9.53 ERA in four starts since he joined the A's in a trade from the Cubs, but Chavez is still expected to move to the bullpen instead. Chavez never threw more than 67 1/3 innings in his career prior to 2014 and he appears to be wearing down. He's lasted less than six innings in five of his last six starts and had a 5.51 ERA in that span.
Description: The Rays have traded David Price to the Tigers in a three-team trade that also includes the Mariners. The Mariners will get Austin Jackson and the Rays will receive Drew Smyly, Nick Franklin and shortstop prospect Willy Adames.
Insight: Price comes to Detroit red hot, having gone 7-4 with a 2.03 ERA and a 105/15 K/BB over 93 1/3 innings his last 12 starts. He'll have a much better offense behind him in Detroit and will get to pitch in a bunch of favorable parks in the AL Central.
Description: The Athletics have traded left-hander Tommy Milone to the Twins for Sam Fuld.
Insight: Milone went 6-0 with a 2.62 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP over his last 11 starts but was sent down when Oakland traded for Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel. He was moved further down the starting pitcher hierarchy when Oakland acquired Jon Lester from Boston on Thursday. It's surprising the A's couldn't get more than Sam Fuld, who's a strong defensive outfielder but isn't a good hitter. Oakland waived Fuld in April but needed him back with Coco Crisp (neck) hurting and Yoenis Cespedes moved in the deal for Lester.
Description: In a blockbuster move, the Red Sox have traded left-hander Jon Lester and outfielder Jonny Gomes to the Oakland Athletics for Yoenis Cespedes.
Insight: Lester (10-7, 2.52 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 149 Ks) has picked a great time to have his best season, as the 30-year-old will be a free agent at season's end. He'll join one of the top teams in baseball and get to pitch in one of the best pitcher's parks. He's made it known he's willing to rejoin the Red Sox, but they'll have to offer more than the $70 million over four years they proposed during spring training. Either Jason Hammel or Jesse Chavez will lose their spot in Oakland's rotation as a result of the trade.
Description: Tigers right-hander Max Scherzer won his 13th game of the season Wednesday night against the White Sox.
Insight: Scherzer allowed one run on five hits and struck out six in seven innings. He has gone 5-0 with a 2.08 ERA, a 1.01 WHIP and 56 Ks in 47 2/3 innings since he gave up 10 runs on 10 hits in four innings on June 17 against the Royals.
Description: Blue Jays starter Mark Buehrle picked up his first win since June 1 Wednesday at Boston.
Insight: Buehrle allowed one run on six hits in 6 2/3 innings. The left-hander gave up 28 earned runs on 64 hits (8 HR) in his previous 47 innings (5.36 ERA). He's still 11-7 with a 3.11 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP because he started out 10-1 with a 2.10 ERA.
Description: Orioles closer Zach Britton earned his 21st save of the season with a scoreless ninth inning Wednesday against the Angels.
Insight: Since the beginning of June, Britton (1.65 ERA, 0.90 WHIP) has had two rough outings, allowing four runs on June 20 and three on July 18, but he wasn't scored on in his other 24 appearances during that stretch. The 26-year-old left-hander was a failed starter, but he's found success as a reliever this year.
Description: Orioles starter Kevin Gausman held the Angels to three runs on three hits in seven innings Wednesday night.
Insight: Gausman was perfect through 4 2/3 innings before walking three straight batters and giving up a two-run single and an RBI double, but he struck out Mike Trout and threw two more scoreless frames. The former first-rounder has been solid in his first extended chance at a starting job. He's gone 5-2 with a 3.12 ERA since the start of June.
Description: Cleveland right-hander Corey Kluber tossed the first shutout of his career, a three-hitter against the Mariners, Wednesday night.
Insight: Kluber two-hit the Royals and allowed one unearned run over nine innings his last time out and has posted a 28/1 K/BB in 26 2/3 innings his last three starts. The right-hander has turned into a dominant ace for the Indians this season, going 11-6 with a 2.61 ERA, a 1.08 WHIP and a 170/33 K/BB in 158 1/3 innings.
Description: Padres right-hander Andrew Cashner (shoulder) threw a bullpen session Wednesday and could begin a rehab assignment next week. SOURCE: Will Laws, mlb.com
Insight: He was able to throw sliders without soreness. Cashner (2-6, 2.36 ERA, 1.19 WHIP) was placed on the disabled list with shoulder soreness in June. He's been on the disabled list twice this season due to arm injuries.
Description: The Red Sox have traded left-hander Felix Doubront to the Chicago Cubs for a player to be named later.
Insight: Doubront said earlier this week that he wanted to be traded if Boston didn't plan to give him his starting job back, and he then went out and gave up six runs on six hits over 2/3 of an inning in relief on July 28. It's unclear if Doubront will get a chance to start with Chicago, as Kyle Hendricks and Tsuyoshi Wada ave pitched well lately.
Description: Mariners left-hander James Paxton (lat, shoulder) is expected to start Saturday at Baltimore, according to mlb.com.
Insight: The young left-hander went on the DL with a strained lat on April 9th and he began experiencing shoulder inflammation in May. Paxton went 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA and a 0.67 WHIP in his first two starts this season and should be added in all leagues.
Description: Los Angeles left-hander C.J. Wilson (ankle) could be back Saturday against the Rays, according to Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register.
Insight: Wilson has been out with a right ankle sprain and hip tightness since July 10. He threw a bullpen session Wednesday and said he's ready to start. For the season he has a 4.33 ERA and 1.332 WHIP, and he had a 6.81 ERA over his last eight starts before the injury.
Description: T.J. House will replace Justin Masterson in Cleveland's rotation, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Insight: Masterson was traded to the Cardinals on Wednesday. House will serve as Cleveland's No. 5 starter behind Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer, Danny Salazar and Zach McAllister. House isn't a good fantasy option.
Description: Jeff Samardzija has done pretty well in his transition to the AL, but Jason Hammel has been terrible since the two pitchers joined the Athletics in a trade from the Cubs.
Insight: Hammel allowed eight runs on seven hits (2 HR) over 4 1/3 innings Wednesday at Houston. In four starts with Oakland, he has gone 0-4 with a 9.53 ERA and a 2.12 WHIP in 17 innings. He was 8-5 with a 2.98 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP in 108 2/3 innings with Chicago.
Description: Astros starter Dallas Keuchel threw a complete game four-hitter in an 8-1 win over the Athletics Wednesday afternoon.
Insight: Keuchel could be a trade target for contenders and he showed how valuable he can be by shutting down one of the top offenses in the league. The left-handed ground-ball artist has a 2.97 ERA, a 1.22 WHIP and 104 Ks in 136 1/3 innings.
Description: Arizona starter Wade Miley won his seventh game of the season Wednesday at Cincinnati after throwing 6 2/3 scoreless innings.
Insight: Miley gave up seven hits, walked four and struck out just one, but he worked out of jams in the first, third, fourth and sixth innings. The 27-year-old lefty has found a way to keep the ball in the park lately, giving up just one homer in his last 44 1/3 innings (0.20 HR/9) after serving up 17 in his first 101 1/3 (1.51 HR/9).
Description: According to Peter Gammons of MLB.com, the Cardinals will acquire Justin Masterson from the Indians for prospect James Ramsey.
Insight: Masterson is on the disabled list with a knee injury, but he is ready to return. He went 14-10 with a 3.45 ERA and 195 Ks in 193 innings a year ago, but he's 4-6 with a 5.51 ERA and a 1.65 WHIP in 98 innings this year. His 4.06 FIP suggests he'll improve, and St. Louis' defense should help the ground-ball pitcher. Cleveland ranks last in baseball in UZR this season while the Cardinals rank eighth.
Description: Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester has officially been scratched from Wednesday's start due to ongoing trade discussions, according to Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com. Brandon Workman will start in his place.
Insight: Rob Bradford of WEEI reports that Lester could be traded as soon as Tuesday night. Lester (10-7, 2.52 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 149 Ks) has picked a great time to have his best season, as the 30-year-old will be a free agent at season's end. Even if he's traded before the deadline he's made it known he's willing to rejoin the Red Sox.
Description: Brewers right-hander Matt Garza held the Rays to one run on five hits in seven innings Tuesday.
Insight: Garza (7-7, 3.74 ERA, 1.17 WHIP) allowed five runs in 1/3 innings on July 19, but he gave up four runs in 31 2/3 innings (1.14 ERA) in his other four starts this month. The right-hander has gone 5-3 with a 2.72 ERA since the start of June.
Description: Phillies starter Cole Hamels won his fourth straight decision Tuesday against the Mets with eight scoreless innings.
Insight: Hamels struck out eight, walked none and gave up six hits. Amidst all of Philadelphia's problems, Hamels has returned from a preseason shoulder injury to have a fantastic season. He's 6-5 with a 2.55 ERA, a 1.13 WHIP and 133 Ks in 130 1/3 innings. In his last 16 starts, he's posted a 1.90 ERA and 119 Ks in 113 2/3 innings.
Description: Reds starter Mike Leake tossed a gem Tuesday against the Diamondbacks, striking out eight and allowing five hits over 7 2/3 scoreless innings.
Insight: In his first five starts this month, Leake allowed 48 hits and 17 earned runs in 31 2/3 innings (4.83 ERA, 1.71 WHIP). He'll go into August with a 3.53 ERA, a 1.24 WHIP and a 114/29 K/BB in 147 2/3 innings.
Description: Cleveland starter Justin Masterson (knee) will return from the disabled list Friday against the Rangers, according to mlb.com.
Insight: Masterson went 14-10 with a 3.45 ERA and 195 Ks in 193 innings a year ago, but he's 4-6 with a 5.51 ERA and a 1.65 WHIP in 98 innings this year. His 4.06 FIP suggests he'll improve, but he hasn't shown any signs of that yet. He's set to be a free agent after the season.
Description: Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester is expected to be scratched from Wednesday's start due to ongoing trade discussions, according to Jon Morosi of FOX Sports.
Insight: Lester (10-7, 2.52 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 149 Ks) has picked a great time to have his best season, as the 30-year-old will be a free agent at season's end. Even if he's traded before the deadline he's made it known he's willing to rejoin the Red Sox.
Description: New York starter Michael Pineda has been cleared to start a rehab assignment, according to Bryan Hoch of mlb.com.
Insight: Pineda threw a simulated game Tuesday and manager Joe Girardi said the session was "really good." Pineda will throw 60-65 pitches in his first rehab start and likely will need one or two more after that before he's ready to rejoin the Yankees' rotation.
Description: Pittsburgh right-hander Gerrit Cole (right lat soreness) threw five scoreless inning in his first rehab start Monday.
Insight: More importantly, he appears to have come out of it healthy. Cole has been on the disabled list twice since June 3, first with shoulder fatigue and lat strain. He should make another start or two in the minors before returning to the bigs.
Description: New York starter Michael Pineda is expected to throw about 45 pitches Tuesday in a simulated game.
Insight: Fantasy owners should have moved on a long time ago. With all the setbacks he's been having, it's unlikely we'll see Pineda (2-2, 1.83 ERA) on the mound before the third week in August ... at best.
Description: Los Angeles left-hander C.J. Wilson (ankle) threw 81 pitches at Double-A Arkansas Monday and came away healthy.
Insight: Wilson has been out with a right ankle sprain since July 10, but should be ready to go by the weekend or early next week. For the season he has a 4.33 ERA and 1.332 WHIP, though his ERA was 6.81 over his last eight starts before the injury.
Description: Since he struck out 12 in a three-hit shutout on July 13, Boston starter Clay Buchholz has given up 23 hits, eight walks and 15 earned runs in his last 17 innings. The Blue Jays had seven hits, four walks and seven runs against him in five innings Monday night.
Insight: Buchholz posted a 23/1 K/BB, a 2.73 ERA and a 0.71 WHIP in his first 29 2/3 innings after returning from the disabled list, but his struggles from earlier this season have returned. He's 5-7 with a 5.87 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP in 96 2/3 innings.
Description: Miami starter Nathan Eovaldi has allowed 18 runs on 21 hits over 16 1/3 innings his last three starts.
Insight: Eovaldi had a 3.05 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP in his first 13 starts, but he's been tagged for 64 hits and 38 earned runs over 53 1/3 innings in his last nine (6.41 ERA, 1.44 WHIP). His ERA and WHIP stand at 4.37 and 1.26, respectively, after he allowed five runs in 5 1/3 innings Monday against the Nationals. Eovaldi throws as hard as anyone in the league, but he doesn't have the secondary stuff to generate strikeouts.
Description: Tampa Bay starter Jake Odorizzi won his third straight start Monday against the Brewers.
Insight: Odorizzi was dominant, walking none, striking out five and allowing one run on three hits in seven innings. The right-hander has been terrific in his last 15 starts, going 6-5 with a 2.83 ERA, a 1.12 WHIP and a 102/28 K/BB in 86 innings.
Description: Allen Webster will make another start for the Red Sox Saturday against the Yankees, according to mlb.com.
Insight: Webster allowed two runs on three hits, struck out four and walked five over 5 1/3 innings Sunday at Tampa Bay to win in his first start of the season. He had a 3.10 ERA and 100 Ks in 122 innings for Triple-A Pawtucket before his call-up and is one of Boston's top pitching prospects.
Description: According to Adam Rubin of ESPNNY.com, Mets manager Terry Collins mentioned an innings cap of roughly 185 for rookie right-hander Jacob deGrom this season which leaves another 60 innings or so, but the team has no plan of skipping him now.
Insight: If deGrom pitched every five games for the rest of the season, he would have 11 starts remaining, but if he made all of them the team would have to limit him to less than six innings per start. He's gone 4-0 with a 0.66 ERA and a 30/5 K/BB in 27 1/3 innings over his last four starts, so the Mets won't skip him now. They'll either let him pitch until he hits the cap and shut him down or find the right time to skip him down the road.
Description: Mariners left-hander James Paxton (shoulder) made what is expected to be his final rehab start Sunday, going 4 1/3 IP at Tacoma )PCL)
Insight: The young left-hander went on the DL with a strained lat on April 9th and is expected to return to the mound against Baltimore Saturday. Paxton has a quality fastball topping out at around 95 mph and was 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA and 0.667 WHIP when he last pitched. If available you should add him to your roster.
Description: Tigers right-hander Rick Porcello allowed one unearned run on five hits, struck out six and walked none over seven innings Sunday against the Angels.
Insight: After stranding less than 70 percent of his baserunners every year from 2010-13, Porcello has stranded a career-high 74.7 percent in 2014 and it has resulted in a career-low 3.24 ERA. He's gone 4-1 with a 2.18 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP over his last eight starts and is tied with Masahiro Tanaka, Sonny Gray and teammate Max Scherzer for first in the AL with 12 wins.
Description: Seattle left-hander Roenis Elias gave up one run and struck out six over five innings Sunday against the Orioles.
Insight: Elias' first three starts of July were miserable. He allowed 11 earned runs over 8 1/3 innings in the first two and left his last start with a forearm cramp. The Cuban rookie has a 4.31 ERA, a 1.27 WHIP and 110 Ks in 123 1/3 innings this season.
Description: Braves starter Mike Minor beat the Padres Sunday, but it wasn't exactly an encouraging start for the left-hander.
Insight: Minor allowed three runs on eight hits (2 HR) in 6 2/3 innings to the light-hitting Padres. The 26-year-old has given up 76 hits (10 HR) and 39 earned runs in his last 49 innings (7.16 ERA, 1.86 WHIP). Minor entered Sunday's start with a 26.5 percent line-drive rate and he now has a 15.2 percent HR/FB. It's safe to cut him in re-draft leagues.
Description: Cleveland starter Danny Salazar has given up four runs on 13 hits and struck out 13 in 12 innings since being recalled on July 22. He held the Royals to three runs, struck out seven and walked none in seven innings Sunday.
Insight: Salazar was demoted after posting a 5.53 ERA in his first eight starts and he got off to a rocky start in the minors, but he figured things out at the end of June. His upside is immense.
Description: Brewers right-hander Jimmy Nelson allowed two runs on five hits and struck out six in seven innings Sunday against the Mets.
Insight: Nelson is the Brewers' top prospect. He's been very good in three of his four starts this season but got bombed in the other and holds a 4.30 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP in 23 innings. Nelson had a 1.46 ERA and 114 Ks over 111 innings in the hitter-friendly PCL, so he's worth a look in most leagues.
Description: Astros starter Collin McHugh (fingernail) allowed four runs and struck out nine in 6 1/3 innings Sunday against the Marlins.
Insight: McHugh hadn't pitched since he left his start on July 6 after one of his fingernails ripped off. The right-hander has struck out 102 batters in 88 2/3 innings this season and has a 3.45 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP.
Description: Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks was strong again Sunday against the Cardinals (6 1/3 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 2 K, 0 BB) and is 1-1 with a 2.33 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP after his first three starts in the majors.
Insight: Hendricks had a 3.59 ERA and a 97/23 K/BB over 102 2/3 innings for Triple-A Iowa this season prior to his call-up earlier this month. He'll likely be in the rotation for the rest of the season.
Description: Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright fired seven scoreless innings in a win over the Cubs Sunday afternoon.
Insight: Wainwright gave up six runs (four earned) on six hits and walked four batters in 4 2/3 innings his last start, but he's gone 3-1 with a 1.62 ERA in July. He's posted an ERA south of 2.00 in three of the four months this season.
Description: Phillies starter Roberto Hernandez beat the Diamondbacks Sunday for his fifth win of the season.
Insight: Hernandez has allowed six runs in 20 2/3 innings over his last three starts to lower his ERA from 4.48 to 4.14, but he struck out just five batters in that span and 10 in his last five starts.
Description: Padres starter Ian Kennedy will miss his start on Monday due to left oblique soreness, but he won't go on the disabled list yet. SOURCE: Dennis Lin, San Diego Union-Tribune
Insight: The injury likely assures that Kennedy will still be with the Padres after the trade deadline, which is good news for fantasy owners. He's been very good for San Diego this year, going 8-9 with a 3.66 ERA and 143 Ks in 135 1/3 innings.
Description: Twins starter Phil Hughes (shin) will not miss a start, according to the Star Tribune.
Insight: Hughes was hit in the shin by a comebacker in his last start. After posting a 6.31 ERA in his last seven starts, Hughes has the second largest disparity in baseball between his FIP (2.71) and his ERA (4.10).
Description: One reason the Giants traded for Jake Peavy Saturday is their concern for Matt Cain's elbow.
Insight: Cain's MRI ruled out ligament damage, but he's still out indefinitely and possibly may not return this season. That news probably won't kill fantasy owners who haven't gotten much from Cain in 2014.
Description: Red Sox RHP Jake Peavy has reportedly been traded to San Francisco.
Insight: Peavy is just 1-9 this season with a 4.72 ERA and 1.427 WHIP. Perhaps the Giants hope his return to the NL will spark a revival. He has a career record of 14-2 with a 2.21 ERA and 0.962 WHIP versus the division rival Dodgers.
Description: Mets right-hander Zack Wheeler struck out nine batters and allowed two runs (one earned) over 6 2/3 innings Friday at Milwaukee.
Insight: Wheeler has had an outstanding month, recording a 1.40 ERA and a 26/7 K/BB in 25 2/3 innings. His ERA is down to 3.64, and he's struck out exactly one batter per inning this season (121 Ks in 121 IP).
Description: Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo struck out eight batters, walked none and gave up four hits in 7 2/3 innings Friday against the Mets, but he walked away with nothing to show for it.
Insight: Gallardo is just 5-5 this season even though he has a 3.57 ERA and the Brewers are 58-46. Gallardo is no longer the 200-strikeout guy he was from 2009-12, but he's cut down on his walks this season and has been much better than he was in 2013.
Description: Astros starter Dallas Keuchel threw his best start since June 11 Friday against the Marlins.
Insight: Keuchel (9-7, 3.11 ERA, 1.26 WHIP) was due for a rough patch after starting out 8-3 with a 2.38 ERA, but it lasted longer than we would have liked. He had a 6.07 ERA over his previous five starts before holding Miami to two unearned runs over seven innings (7/0 K/BB, 9 H).
Description: In what may have been his final start with the Rays, David Price struck out 10, walked none and allowed three runs over eight innings against the Red Sox.
Insight: Price has won six straight starts and pitched to a 1.88 ERA and a 99/13 K/BB in his last 11. In that span, he's thrown at least seven innings in all 11 starts and averaged nearly eight innings per outing. The Rays have won eight straight and are now 50-53, so they may just decide to keep Price.
Description: Blue Jays starter Mark Buehrle allowed six runs on nine hits (2 HR) in three innings Friday at New York.
Insight: Buehrle is now 1-12 with a 6.15 ERA in his career against the Yankees (108 1/3 IP). He's lost six straight decisions after starting out 10-1 and has recorded a 5.36 ERA in his last eight starts.
Description: The Yankees will start Chris Capuano Saturday against the Blue Jays, according to Bryan Hoch.
Insight: He'll replace Chase Whitley in the rotation. New York picked up Capuano from the Rockies for cash on Thursday. He had a 4.55 ERA in 31 2/3 innings as a middle reliever for the Red Sox earlier this season and isn't likely to be fantasy-relevant in standard leagues.
Description: Cubs starter Edwin Jackson left in the sixth inning of Thursday's game with a cramp in his right hand.
Insight: Jackson wasn't pitching that well anyway, having given up seven hits and five earned runs when the trainer made a visit. He has no fantasy value the way he's throwing this season (5-10, 5.61 ERA, 1.56 WHIP entering today's game).
Description: Twins starter Phil Hughes left Thursday night's game after being hit with a ball off the bat of Adam Dunn.
Insight: Hughes will get an X-ray and then we will know the extent of the injury. The right-hander had given up five earned runs in each of his last two outings heading into tonight and five or more earned runs in five of his last six so likely wasn't in any lineups.
Description: For the second consecutive outing and third in the last four, Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels has yielded just one earned run.
Insight: Having thrown 116 pitches and leading 2-1 heading into the ninth inning the Phillies replaced Hamels with Jonathan Papelbon who finished the game 1-2-3. Hamels evened his record at 5-5. Other teams have asked about Hamels availability but he's not likely to be moved.
Description: CC Sabathia had knee surgery Wednesday and will miss the rest of the season.
Insight: Sabathia had experienced renewed swelling in his knee when he tried to return earlier this month. The left-hander's first four years with New York were excellent, as he went 74-29 with a 3.22 ERA, a 1.18 WHIP and one World Series title. However, he's recorded a 17-17 record, a 4.87 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP in the last two seasons.
Description: Braves starter Ervin Santana struck out 10 batters and allowed one run on six hits over 7 1/3 innings in a win over the Marlins Wednesday night.
Insight: Santana (9-6, 3.87 ERA) has a career-high chase rate and a career-low contact rate, which have resulted in his best K/9 since 2008 (7.81). He's allowed just 0.66 HR/9 after giving up at least 0.93 HR/9 in every season in his career.
Description: Mariners right-hander Taijuan Walker allowed just two hits in five innings Wednesday against the Mets, but he walked six batters and hit Ruben Tejada in the head with a pitch.
Insight: Walker allowed two runs and struck out five in the loss. The prospect was demoted back to Triple-A after the game. With James Paxton expected back in early August and Erasmo Ramirez coming off a great start, it may be a while until Walker gets another chance with the Mariners. This will likely go down as a lost season for the 21-year-old, who missed the first two and a half months with shoulder inflammation.
Description: Rockies starter Jorge De La Rosa struck out a season-high 11 batters over 7 1/3 innings Wednesday against the Nationals.
Insight: De La Rosa (11-6, 4.19 ERA, 1.28 WHIP) allowed two runs (one earned) on eight hits over 7 1/3 innings. He's won five straight decisions and has recorded a 1.78 ERA in July after putting up a 7.11 ERA in June.
Description: Kansas City starter James Shields has recorded a 2.02 ERA, a 1.01 WHIP and a 28/3 K/BB in 26 2/3 innings over his last four starts.
Insight: Shields lasted seven innings and allowed one run on six hits while striking out seven in a no decision Wednesday at Chicago. He's back on track after getting roughed up in eight starts from May 24 to July 1 (5.66 ERA, 1.62 WHIP).
Description: Brewers starter Kyle Lohse held the Reds to one run on four hits in 6 2/3 innings Wednesday to win his 11th game of the season.
Insight: Lohse has turned into a very good starter on the back end of his career after recording a 4.79 ERA in his first 10 seasons. In his last four years, the 35-year-old has gone 52-25 with a 3.17 ERA, including 11-4 with a 3.07 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP this year.
Description: Cardinals right-hander Shelby Miller will start Saturday against the Cubs, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Insight: The Cardinals have decided to move Carlos Martinez back to the bullpen and will replace him with Miller, who was moved to the bullpen for rest on July 18. Miller has gone 0-3 with a 7.30 ERA in his last five starts and sits at 7-8 with a 4.29 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP this season.
Description: Mariners right-hander Erasmo Ramirez made a strong bid to keep the fifth spot in the rotation with 10 Ks over seven innings (5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB) Tuesday against the Mets.
Insight: Ramirez has posted a 1.33 ERA in 27 innings over his last five starts, but he's walked 18 batters during that span. Taijuan Walker, who will start Wednesday, is also an option for the No. 5 spot. However, James Paxton is expected to return in early August so both Walker and Ramirez could be out of luck.
Description: Braves starter Mike Minor was roughed up again Tuesday against the Marlins. He gave up 10 hits and six runs in three innings.
Insight: Over his last eight starts, Minor has allowed 68 hits (8 HR), 14 walks and 36 earned runs in 42 1/3 innings (7.65 ERA, 1.94 WHIP). The 26-year-old was excellent last season, going 13-9 with a 3.21 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP, but nothing's gone right in 2014. He began the season on the disabled list with a shoulder injury and has gone 3-6 with a 5.32 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP.
Description: The Mariners plan to recall Taijuan Walker for Wednesday's start. SOURCE: Bob Dutton, Tacoma News Tribune
Insight: Seattle pushed back Hisashi Iwakuma and Felix Hernandez one day each, so they need a spot starter Wednesday and Walker was on schedule to start Wednesday for Triple-A. If he pitches well, the prospect could remain in the rotation ahead of Erasmo Ramirez, who will start Tuesday in the fifth rotation spot. However, James Paxton (lat) is nearing his return and could take that spot.
Description: Cleveland starter Danny Salazar has been called up to start Tuesday against the Twins.
Insight: Salazar entered this season with a lot of buzz but posted a 5.53 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP while allowing eight homers in 40 2/3 innings. He's recorded a 4.02 ERA and a 67/28 K/BB in 53 2/3 innings since his demotion to Triple-A, and he's been very good since he returned from a triceps strain on June 15 (3.07 ERA, 52/20 K/BB in 41 IP).
Description: Dodgers left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu improved to 11-5 with a victory over the Pirates Monday.
Insight: Ryu allowed two runs on five hits, walked one and struck out five over seven innings. He's given up seven hits and two runs over 13 innings in two starts since he was bombed for seven runs on 10 hits in 2 1/3 on July 8 at Detroit.
Description: Los Angeles left-hander C.J. Wilson (ankle) threw a bullpen session Monday, according to Alden Gonzalez of mlb.com.
Insight: Wilson has been out with a right ankle sprain since July 10. He had a 6.81 ERA in his last eight starts before going on the DL. Wilson says he'll probably need a rehab assignment, so he likely won't be back before early August.
Description: Miami right-hander Henderson Alvarez (shin) has been cleared to start Thursday against the Astros, according to the Miami Herald.
Insight: Alvarez took a comebacker off the left shin Saturday and had to exit his start. He's gone 6-5 with a 2.64 ERA, a 1.26 WHIP and 75 Ks in 122 2/3 innings this season. Fantasy owners might want to sell high; because his K/9 is just 5.5 and he doesn't get a lot of run support from the Marlins, his value relies heavily on his ERA.
Description: Athletics left-hander Tommy Milone has asked the team to trade him, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
Insight: Milone went 6-0 with a 2.62 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP over his last 11 starts but was sent down when Oakland traded for Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel. The A's are not eager to move him because he may be needed as a replacement later this season. Milone has an ERA of 2.96 at O.co Coliseum and 4.52 on the road in his career, so a trade could hurt his fantasy value depending on where he lands.
Description: Cardinals starter Michael Wacha (shoulder) could begin a throwing program in two weeks, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Insight: Wacha had an MRI and CT scan Monday and GM John Mozeliak said the results were positive. He's been out since June 17 due to a stress reaction in his right shoulder and the best-case scenario for a return is early September.
Description: Phillies starter Cliff Lee (elbow strain) is expected to be activated from the 60-day disabled list for Monday's scheduled start against San Francisco.
Insight: Lee has been out since May 18 due to an elbow strain. He was 4-4 with a 3.18 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP prior to his injury. He's likely to get two starts before the trade deadline and could be pitching for a contender by August 1.
Description: Mets starter Jon Niese (shoulder) was activated from the 15-day disabled list for Monday's scheduled start against Seattle.
Insight: Niese (5-4, 2.96 ERA, 1.21 WHIP) left his last start on July 4 after getting drilled in the back with a line drive, and he was placed on the DL two days later due to left shoulder inflammation. Seattle has lost three of their last four while the Mets have won eight of 11 so Niese may be a viable option Monday.
Description: Diamondbacks pitching prospect Archie Bradley struck out 10, walked one and allowed two runs on three hits over seven innings for Double-A Mobile Saturday night.
Insight: It was Bradley's most dominant effort of the year. The right-hander dealt with an elbow injury earlier this season, but he's allowed five runs on 17 hits in 25 1/3 innings since he returned to the Double-A rotation. He could be ready to jump back to Triple-A, where he had a 5.18 ERA in 24 1/3 innings before the injury.
Description: Cleveland starter Justin Masterson (knee) allowed two runs on five hits, struck out six and walked two over five innings in his rehab start for Triple-A Columbus on Sunday.
Insight: Masterson could be ready to rejoin the Indians rotation on Friday at Kansas City. The right-hander went 14-10 with a 3.45 ERA and 195 Ks in 193 innings a year ago, but he's 4-6 with a 5.51 ERA and a 1.65 WHIP in 98 innings this year. His 4.06 FIP suggests he'll improve, but he hasn't shown any signs of that yet.
Description: Padres right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne took a no-hitter into the eighth inning and ended up allowing one run on two hits in 7 2/3 Sunday against the Mets.
Insight: San Diego is still the only franchise in Major League Baseball without a no-hitter in its history. Despaigne, meanwhile, has defied logic by posting a 1.31 ERA and a 0.90 WHIP in his first 34 1/3 innings after recording a 7.61 ERA in 23 2/3 innings for Triple-A El Paso this year. The league should catch up to the 27-year-old Cuban soon.
Description: Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda gave up one run (zero earned) on three hits and struck out six in 6 2/3 innings Sunday against the Reds, but he took a no decision after Dellin Betances gave up a home run to Todd Frazier.
Insight: Kuroda is the king of tough-luck losses. He's 74-76 in his career even though he has a 3.44 ERA. This season, he's gone 6-6 with a 3.88 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP.
Description: Tigers left-hander Drew Smyly returned to form Sunday against the Indians after giving up 13 runs on 23 hits in his last 14 1/3 innings.
Insight: Smyly held Cleveland to one run on four hits and fanned six batters in seven innings to win his sixth game of the season. With a 3.80 ERA, a 1.33 WHIP and 76 Ks in 94 2/3 innings, he's been a low-end fantasy option this year.
Description: San Francisco starter Tim Lincecum continued his resurgence Sunday at Miami.
Insight: Lincecum allowed three runs on five hits and struck out seven in seven innings. The right-hander has recorded a 0.96 ERA and a 0.70 WHIP in his last five starts to lower his ERA from 4.90 to 3.68.
Description: Kansas City starter Yordano Ventura had a rough afternoon Sunday at Boston.
Insight: Ventura walked four, didn't strike out a batter and gave up six runs on nine hits in 4 1/3 innings. The right-hander has struck out just 29 batters in 50 1/3 innings (5.19 K/9) since his elbow scare on May 26. He had a 9.26 K/9 in his first 57 1/3 innings this season.
Description: Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester dominated the Royals Sunday for his 10th win of the year.
Insight: Lester struck out eight and gave up four hits over eight scoreless frames. The left-hander has a career-low 2.50 ERA and his 9.33 K/9 is his best since 2010. He's allowed one earned run on 21 hits while recording a 33/4 K/BB in his last 31 innings.
Description: Cleveland right-hander Corey Kluber posted another 10 strikeouts Saturday against the Detroit Tigers
Insight: Kluber has arguably been the surprise of the year, delighting fantasy owners with a 2.95 ERA, 152 strikeouts and 33 walks. His 9.7 Ks per nine innings pitched is the best since he became a starter in 2012. He needs one more win to tie last year's career high of 11.
Description: Rangers starter Yu Darvish struck out 12 batters over 6 2/3 innings Friday at Toronto.
Insight: Darvish gave up one run on five hits to get his ninth win. The right-hander has a 2.88 ERA, a 1.21 WHIP and 154 Ks in 122 innings this season, so he's been exactly what fantasy owners expected.
Description: Mariners left-hander James Paxton (shoulder) is expected to throw a bullpen session Saturday, according to Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune.
Insight: Paxton will make a rehab start Tuesday if he gets through the bullpen without an issue. The young left-hander went on the DL with a strained lat on April 9th and began experiencing shoulder inflammation near the end of May.
Description: Cincinnati right-hander Homer Bailey (knee) is expected to start Tuesday against the Brewers, according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Insight: Bailey left his last start on July 10 due to soreness in his right patellar tendon. The right-hander has gone 5-2 with a 3.26 ERA, a 1.13 WHIP and a 0.54 HR/9 over his last 66 1/3 innings after going 3-3 with a 5.44 ERA, a 1.58 WHIP and a 1.58 HR/9 in his first 51 1/3.
Description: Mets starter Jon Niese (shoulder) threw a bullpen session Friday and said he's ready to start Monday against the Mariners.
Insight: Niese (5-4, 2.96 ERA, 1.21 WHIP) left his last start on July 4 after getting drilled in the back with a line drive, and he was placed on the DL two days later due to left shoulder inflammation.
Description: Padres right-hander Andrew Cashner (shoulder) hopes to resume his throwing program on Saturday, according to Jeff Sanders of the Union-Tribune.
Insight: Cashner (2-6, 2.36 ERA, 1.19 WHIP) was placed on the disabled list with shoulder soreness in June. He's been on the disabled list twice this season due to arm injuries and the Padres are not going to rush his return.
Description: San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said Friday that Matt Cain's elbow "has been cranky." SOURCE: Alex Pavlovic, Bay Area News Group
Insight: The Giants have pushed Cain back to the fifth game of the second half to get him extra rest. Cain has posted a 1.86 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP in his last three starts. He'll be on 12 days of rest when he starts Tuesday against the Phillies.
Description: Cardinals right-hander Shelby Miller will move to the bullpen indefinitely for rest purposes, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Insight: The Cardinals can use four starters and still keep everyone on regular rest for the remainder of July. Miller's poor fielding-independent numbers -- he had a 3.42 ERA over his first 14 starts, but his FIP was 4.68 in that span -- have caught up with him. He's gone 0-3 with a 7.30 ERA in his last five starts and sits at 7-8 with a 4.29 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP this season.