Friday, June 17, 2011

Line of the Day: June 16th, 2011

Cliff Lee of the Philadelphia Phillies pitched a two-hit shutout against the Florida Marlins, striking out four and walking two. It was his 22nd complete game and seventh shutout of his career. He also had two hits and drove in a run in his own support.

Line: 9 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K; W, QS, CG, SHO

My fantasy perspective: Lee is 5-1 over his last six starts with a 2.18 ERA and 43 strikeouts over a span of 45.1 innings. Batters are hitting just .215 against him with a .271 BABIP. He looks to be in the zone. Over the last 30 days, Lee ranks as the 3rd-best starting pitcher in fantasy baseball behind Cole Hamels and Justin Verlander.

Overall, he's striking out batters at a career-best rate of 9.6 per nine innings. A deeper look into his numbers shows batters have a .313 BABIP, meaning there's room for him to be even better if some of those balls don't fall in. His ERA of 3.12 compared to his xFIP of 2.63, again, shows he's been even better than his traditional numbers are showing.

If you don't own Lee on any of your fantasy baseball teams, better luck next year. No owner in their right mind is selling a potential Cy Young candidate at this point in the season.

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