This past week in Cincinnati, Homer Bailey hurled a no-hitter against the Giants. Remarkably, it was his second time accomplishing the heralded feat in eight months, as he last fired a no-no at Pittsburgh in late September last year.
Even beyond the two historic gems, the late-blooming Bailey has shown plenty of signs over the past two years to indicate that he's on his way to becoming a top-tier pitcher in the majors. After putting up a 4.89 ERA over 436 MLB innings from 2007 to 2011, Bailey has not missed a start since the beginning of the 2012 campaign and has registered a 3.64 ERA and 1.18 WHIP during that span.
He entered this season with a career 7.1 K/9 rate but is now averaging a strikeout per inning, thanks in large part to a jump in fastball velocity (he was hitting 97 in the late innings against the Giants). The right-hander's 2.67 FIP suggest that he's significantly outperforming his solid 3.57 ERA.
Bailey will follow up his no-no with a pair of starts on the road this week. Needless to say, he's a highly recommended option.
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A few other notes on The Week Ahead...
* Ian Kennedy, whose last six starts have all come on the road, returns to Arizona for two starts. His ERA at home is nearly a full run lower than on the road.
* Max Scherzer will look to add to his winning streak and improve his record to 15-0, but he'll need to get through a couple tough match-ups (at Cleveland and home against Texas) to do so.
* Wei-Yen Chen is scheduled to return for the Orioles on Tuesday after missing nearly two months with an oblique injury. His numbers before landing on the DL were very good (3.04 ERA, 1.20 WHIP) but I always advise caution with guys coming back from long layoffs and he's facing a couple strong lineups.
* The Tigers and Phillies are both scheduled to face lefties in five of their seven games.
Derek Holland: @BAL (Feldman), @DET (Scherzer)
Felix Hernandez: BOS (Lester), LAA (Wilson)
Hisashi Iwakuma: BOS (Webster), LAA (Weaver)
Bartolo Colon: @PIT (Locke), BOS (Webster)
CC Sabathia: KC (Guthrie), MIN (Deduno)
James Shields: @NYY (Phelps), @CLE (Jimenez)
Justin Verlander: CWS (Quintana), TEX (Perez)
Max Scherzer: @CLE (Kazmir), TEX (Holland)
Martin Perez: @BAL (Chen), @DET (Verlander)
Chris Archer: MIN (Gibson), HOU (Bedard)
Roberto Hernandez: MIN (Deduno), HOU (Keuchel)
David Phelps: KC (Shields), MIN (Gibson)
Jose Quintana: @DET (Verlander), @PHI (Hamels)
Hector Santiago: CHC (Garza), @PHI (Lannan)
Ubaldo Jimenez: TOR (Johnson), KC (Shields)
Jon Lester: @SEA (Hernandez), @OAK (Griffin)
Wei-Yin Chen: TEX (Perez), TOR (Johnson)
Scott Feldman: TEX (Holland), TOR
At Your Own Risk
Josh Johnson: @CLE (Jimenez), @BAL (Chen)
Samuel Deduno: @TB (Hernandez), @NYY (Sabathia)
Kyle Gibson: @TB (Archer), @NYY (Phelps)
Jeremy Guthrie: @NYY (Sabathia), @CLE (Kazmir)
Scott Kazmir: DET (Scherzer), KC (Guthrie)
Allen Webster: @SEA (Iwakuma), @OAK (Colon)
Shelby Miller: HOU (Norris), @CHC (Wood)
Matt Cain: NYM (Gee), @SD (Stults)
Eric Stults: COL (Chacin), SF (Cain)
Jeff Locke: OAK (Colon), NYM (Harvey)
Cole Hamels: WAS (Jordan), CWS (Quintana)
Matt Harvey: @SF (Zito), @PIT (Locke)
Kyle Lohse: CIN (Bailey), @ARI (Delgado)
Homer Bailey: @MIL (Lohse), @ATL (Minor)
Tony Cingrani: @MIL (Hand), @ATL (Teheran)
Travis Wood: LAA (Williams), STL (Miller)
Matt Garza: @CWS (Santiago), STL (Lynn)
Julio Teheran: @MIA (Alvarez), CIN (Cingrani)
Mike Minor: @MIA (Nolasco), CIN (Bailey)
Ross Detwiler: @PHI (Lannan), @MIA (Fernandez)
Barry Zito: NYM (Harvey), @SD (Volquez)
Edinson Volquez: COL (Chatwood), SF (Zito)
Donovan Hand: CIN (Cingrani), @ARI (Kennedy)
Ricky Nolasco: ATL (Minor), WAS (Jordan)
Chris Capuano: @ARI (Kennedy), COL (Chacin)
Zack Greinke: @ARI (Delgado), COL (Chatwood)
Jhoulys Chacin: @SD (Stults), @LAD (Capuano)
Tyler Chatwood: @SD (Volquez), @LAD (Greinke)
Ian Kennedy: LAD (Capuano), MIL (Hand)
Randall Delgado: LAD (Greinke), MIL (Lohse)
At Your Own Risk
Taylor Jordan: @PHI (Hamels), @MIA (Nolasco)
John Lannan: WAS (Detwiler), CWS (Santiago)
The following pitchers are generally available in over 50 percent of fantasy leagues and have favorable match-ups this week:
Wednesday, 7/10: Joe Blanton @ CHC
Blanton has finally shown signs of pulling it together, with a 3.42 ERA and 46/5 K/BB ratio in 47.1 innings over his last seven starts.
Wednesday, 7/10: Felix Doubront @ SEA
Doubront has not allowed more than three earned runs in a start since May 8.
Wednesday, 7/10: Tyler Skaggs vs. LAD
Back in the rotation after replacing the injured Trevor Cahill, the talented young Skaggs is always an interesting streamer option.
Thursday, 7/11: Stephen Fife vs. COL
The righty has been extremely effective since rejoining the Dodgers rotation in early June, with a 2.21 ERA over six starts.
Thursday, 7/11: Kyle Kendrick vs. WAS
Kendrick has been a consistent producer for the Phillies, and he fired 7 2/3 innings of two-hit ball at home against the Nats last month.
5: HOU, LAA
6: BOS, OAK, TOR
7: BAL, CLE, CWS, DET, KC, MIN, NYY, SEA, TB, TEX
6: MIA, NYM, PIT, STL
7: ARI, ATL, CHC, CIN, COL, LAD, MIL, PHI, SD, SF, WAS
BAL: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
BOS: 7 vs. RHP, 0 vs. LHP
CLE: 6 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
CWS: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
DET: 2 vs. RHP, 5 vs. LHP
HOU: 4 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
KC: 4 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
LAA: 3 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
MIN: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
NYY: 6 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
OAK: 3 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
SEA: 4 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
TB: 5 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
TEX: 6 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
TOR: 5 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
ARI: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
ATL: 6 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
CHC: 6 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
CIN: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
COL: 4 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
LAD: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
MIA: 4 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
MIL: 4 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
NYM: 3 vs. RHP, 3 vs. LHP
PHI: 2 vs. RHP, 5 vs. LHP
PIT: 5 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
SD: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
SF: 5 vs. RHP, 2 vs. LHP
STL: 5 vs. RHP, 1 vs. LHP
WAS: 4 vs. RHP, 3 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:
Peter Bourjos: Out until mid-July (wrist)
Trevor Cahill: Out until late July (hip)
Johnny Cueto: Out indefinitely (back)
Dexter Fowler: Out until mid-July (wrist)
Paul Konerko: Out until late July (back)
Josh Willingham: Out until August (knee)