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Insider

Bits: Is Scherzer worth ERA, WHIP risk?

5/21/2012

Detroit Tigers right-hander Max Scherzer fanned 15 Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday, winning his third game in nine starts. Scherzer allowed two runs in seven innings and lowered his ERA to a still-unsightly 5.73. Scherzer, who had given up six runs (five earned) earlier in the week, remains risky to a fantasy team's ERA/WHIP but is worth investing in for the potential 200 strikeouts. He began Sunday owned in only 72.3 percent of standard leagues.

Then there's Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Henderson Alvarez, who is quite the opposite; he allowed six runs on nine hits in five messy innings Sunday, his worst outing of the season. Alvarez entered play with a 2.62 ERA and 1.15 WHIP but also having averaged a measly 2.5 strikeouts per nine innings. Alvarez began Sunday with 15 strikeouts in 55 innings, which Scherzer matched Sunday! Alvarez has been a clear sell-high option for weeks.

Milwaukee Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy homered twice, scored three times and knocked in a career-high seven runs Sunday. Lucroy, now hitting .342 and on pace for 107 RBIs, is the second-most added catcher in ESPN standard leagues but is readily available. Lucroy is closing in on top-10 catcher consideration but isn't there yet.

New York Yankees outfielder Raul Ibanez homered again Sunday, his second of the weekend and ninth of the season. Ibanez, the most added player in ESPN standard leagues over the past week, is on pace for 36 home runs and 107 RBIs. Although that's optimistic, he is a reasonable own for even 10-team leagues at this point.

Atlanta Braves right-hander Tim Hudson held the Tampa Bay Rays scoreless for 7 2/3 innings Sunday, allowing four hits and two walks. Hudson's first May outing was an ugly one, but since then, he boasts a 1.24 ERA in three starts. Hudson and his 3.03 ERA should be owned in all leagues.

St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams singled on his first major league pitch Sunday, finishing his debut at Dodger Stadium with two hits in four at-bats. Adams should see plenty of playing time with Lance Berkman on the disabled list, potentially for a long time. (Berkman's MRI is scheduled for Monday.) Adams was hitting .340 with nine home runs at Triple-A Memphis, and he brings 30-homer upside and should hit for average. Consider him in leagues deeper than 12-team mixed.