Mike Leake didn't pitch especially well in his first couple outings for the Reds this season, putting up a 6.75 ERA and 6/6 K/BB ratio. Ever since then, however, the right-hander has been lights-out, exhibiting terrific control while consistently shutting down opposing lineups.
In his past 11 starts, Leake is 6-3 with a 2.07 ERA and 1.13 WHIP. Over 69 2/3 innings, he has issued only 12 walks while striking out 53. His needle is strongly pointing up right now; in his last six starts the righty is 4-1 with a 1.13 ERA.
Leake is scheduled to pitch twice in the coming week (his first start comes against another recommended two-start guy in Francisco Liriano) and is still available in a fair number of leagues.
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A few other notes on The Week Ahead:
* John Lannan is scheduled to return against his former team -- the Nationals -- on Monday and will face the Mets later in the week. He merits a look with those match-ups but, considering his lack of strikeout potential and his 6.14 ERA before going down, I'd wait and see.
* Are you a believer in Dillon Gee? After going 2-6 with a 6.34 ERA in his first 10 starts, the Mets hurler has experienced a stunning turnaround, with a 3-0 record, 1.29 ERA and 26/3 K/BB ratio in his last three turns. Tough to get much hotter than that. Then again, he's been complaining of elbow soreness so his health must be watched.
* The Diamondbacks are a perfect 13-0 in games started by Patrick Corbin this season. He'll look to extend the streak to 15 games with home starts against Miami and Cincinnati.
* Clay Buchholz is scheduled to pitch at home against the Rays Monday, lining him up for two starts, and with his MLB-leading 1.71 ERA he's obviously a must-play if he goes. He's somewhat iffy to make the start due to lingering soreness in his neck, however, so make sure to monitor him closely.
* With their double-header on Tuesday, the Mets and Braves are both scheduled to play eight games. Get their players into your lineup for extra production potential.
Yu Darvish: OAK (Parker), @STL (Wainwright)
James Shields: @CLE (Jimenez), CWS (Axelrod)
Bud Norris: CWS (Quintana), @CHC (Wood)
Justin Verlander: BAL, BOS (Verlander)
Max Scherzer: BAL (Hammel), BOS (Aceves)
Clay Buchholz: TB (Archer), @DET (Verlander)
Nick Tepesch: OAK (Straily), @STL (Miller)
Jarrod Parker: @TEX (Darvish), @SEA (Bonderman)
Dan Straily: @TEX (Tepesch), @SEA (Harang)
Phil Hughes: LAD (Ryu), TB (Hellickson)
Jerome Williams: SEA (Bonderman), PIT (Morton)
Jason Vargas: SEA (Harang), PIT (Liriano)
Jordan Lyles: MIL (Figaro), @CHC (Samardzija)
Dylan Axelrod: @MIN (Pelfrey), @KC (Shields)
Jose Quintana: @HOU (Norris), @KC (Davis)
Ubaldo Jimenez: KC (Shields), MIN (Pelfrey)
At Your Own Risk
Chien-Ming Wang: COL (De La Rosa), BAL (Hammel)
Jeremy Hellickson: @BOS (Doubront), @NYY (Hellickson)
Chris Archer: @BOS (Buchholz), @NYY (Sabathia)
Jeremy Bonderman: @LAA (Williams), OAK (Parker)
Aaron Harang: @LAA (Vargas), OAK (Straily)
Mike Pelfrey: CWS (Axelrod), @CLE (Jimenez)
Jason Hammel: @DET (Scherzer), @TOR (Wang)
Adam Wainwright: CHC (Samardzija), TEX (Darvish)
Shelby Miller: CHC (Wood), TEX (Tepesch)
Matt Cain: SD (Volquez), MIA (Slowey)
Francisco Liriano: @CIN (Leake), @LAA (Vargas)
Matt Harvey: @ATL (Maholm), @PHI (Lannan)
Hyun-Jin Ryu: @NYY (Hughes), @SD (Volquez)
Mat Latos: PIT (Morton), @ARI (Corbin)
Mike Leake: PIT (Liriano), @ARI (Kennedy)
Jeff Samardzija: @STL (Wainwright), HOU (Lyles)
Travis Wood: @STL (Miller), HOU (Norris)
Patrick Corbin: MIA (Turner), CIN (Latos)
Ross Detwiler: @PHI (Lee), COL
Dan Haren: @PHI (Lannan), COL (De La Rosa)
Barry Zito: SD (Cashner), MIA (Turner)
Andrew Cashner: @SF (Zito), LAD (Kershaw)
Dillon Gee: @ATL (Hudson), @PHI (Hamels)
Alfredo Figaro: @HOU (Lyles), ATL (Maholm)
Kevin Slowey: @ARI (Collmenter), @SF (Cain)
Jacob Turner: @ARI (Corbin), @SF (Zito)
Jorge De La Rosa: @TOR (Wang), @WAS (Haren)
Paul Maholm: NYM (Harvey), @MIL (Figaro)
Tim Hudson: NYM (Gee), @MIL
At Your Own Risk
Edinson Volquez: @SF (Cain), LAD (Ryu)
Charlie Morton: @CIN (Latos), @LAA (Williams)
John Lannan: WAS (Haren), NYM (Harvey)
The following pitchers are generally available in over 50 percent of fantasy leagues and have favorable match-ups this week:
Thursday, 6/20: John Danks @ MIN
Danks has been gradually adding velocity since returning to the Sox after last year's shoulder surgery. It showed in his last start, when he hurled eight innings of one-run ball.
Friday, 6/21: David Phelps vs. TB
With the exception of one disastrous outing against the Mets in which he allowed four earned runs and recorded only one out, Phelps has been very good recently, with five quality starts in his last seven turns.
Friday, 6/21: Hector Santiago @ KC
Santiago has pitcher well this season (3.12 ERA, 1.31 WHIP) and matches up favorably against the scuffling Royals offense.
Thursday, 6/20: Stephen Fife @ SD
So far so good for Fife, who has a 3.78 ERA and has averaged a strikeout per inning in three starts for the Dodgers this year.
Friday, 6/21: Jeremy Hefner @ PHI
Hefner is on a run of four straight quality starts. He has registered an excellent 21/4 K/BB ratio over that span.
6: BAL, CLE, KC, MIN, NYY, TOR
7: BOS, CWS, DET, HOU, LAA, OAK, SEA, TB, TEX
6: ARI, LAD, MIL, PHI
7: CHC, CIN, COL, MIA, PIT, SD, SF, STL, WAS
8: ATL, NYM
BAL: 6 vs. RHP, 0 vs. LHP
BOS: 6 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
CLE: 6 vs. RHP, 0 vs. LHP
CWS: 6 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
DET: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
HOU: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
KC: 4 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
LAA: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
MIN: 3 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
NYY: 5 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
OAK: 7 vs. RHP, 0 vs. LHP
SEA: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
TB: 3 vs. RHP, 4 vs. LHP
TEX: 6 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
TOR: 4 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
ARI: 6 vs. RHP, 0 vs. LHP
ATL: 6 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
CHC: 6 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
CIN: 3 vs. RHP, 4 vs. LHP
COL: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
LAD: 5 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
MIA: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
MIL: 4 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
NYM: 3 vs. RHP, 4 vs. LHP
PHI: 4 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
PIT: 6 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
SD: 3 vs. RHP, 4 vs. LHP
SF: 6 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
STL: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
WAS: 3 vs. RHP, 4 vs. LHP
You can get a full listing of injured players at Rotoworld's Injury Page but here's the latest on a few prominent players who have been out of action:
Zach McAllister: Out until early July (finger)
Ted Lilly: Out indefinitely (neck)
Aaron Hicks: Out until late June (hamstring)
A.J. Burnett: Out until late June (calf)
Cameron Maybin: Out until late July (knee)
Pablo Sandoval: Out until late June (foot)
Alexi Ogando: Out indefinitely (shoulder)