The Reds signed Raisel Iglesias out of Cuba last summer to a seven-year, $27 million deal. At the time, they were taking a risk on an unproven 24-year-old arm, but it hasn't taken long for their decision to start paying off.
Iglesias made his major-league debut in a spot start on April 12th, and became a full-time member of the Cincy rotation a month later. His results were initially spotty, and he entered the All-Star break with a 5.90 ERA, but since that point he has turned up the heat in a huge way.
In nine starts dating back to the Midsummer Classic, Iglesias has posted a 2.78 ERA and a stellar 70-to-17 K/BB ratio over 58 innings, holding opponents to a .172 average. He has tallied five or more strikeouts in all but one of those outings, and has put up double-digit K totals in each of his last three. He has made seven starts since the beginning of August – all quality – and hasn't allowed more than four hits in any of them.
Right now, Iglesias is one of the most dominant starting pitchers in baseball, and he's available in about 50 percent of Yahoo leagues. He's lined up to pitch twice at home in the coming week, albeit against the two best teams in the National League. It should be a good test, but with the way he's been going lately, I'm confident in labeling him a "Strong Play."
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* Mike Leake has a 1.98 ERA dating back to the start of July, and has pitched well since being traded to the Giants. He opens the week with a tough match-up in Arizona but then gets the Padres at home.
* We're liking what we've seen from Aaron Nola in Philly. The rookie has picked up wins in five of his nine starts and is holding opponents to a .236/.291/.409 slash line. He's got two home starts on the docket, including one against a Braves team that ranks last in the NL in scoring. Nola is owned in only 29 percent of Yahoo leagues.
* Another rookie that is making a fast impact in the National League is Milwaukee's Taylor Jungmann. In 15 starts the righty is 8-5 with a shiny 2.48 ERA and 83 strikeouts in 90 innings. He has allowed only three homers all year. With two starts on the road, he's not quite as appealing as Nola this week, but he's a quality option and available in lot of leagues.
* Yovani Gallardo is 4-0 with a 2.78 ERA since the start of August, and he draws very favorable match-ups next week against the Mariners and A's.
* It's too soon to make any emphatic proclamations, but man, Rick Porcello has looked like a different guy since returning from the disabled list in late August. In his first start back he blanked the White Sox over seven innings and in his most recent turn he punched out a career-high 13 batters over eight frames against the Yankees. He's available in 70 percent of Yahoo leagues and looks like a sneaky good two-start play, although a date with the Blue Jays looms.
Cole Hamels: @SEA, OAK
Yovani Gallardo: @SEA, OAK
Masahiro Tanaka: BAL, TOR
Matt Shoemaker: LAD, HOU
Dallas Keuchel: @OAK, @LAA
Yordano Ventura: MIN, @BAL
Chris Sale: CLE, MIN
Marco Estrada: @BOS, @NYY
Wei-Yin Chen: @NYY, KC
R.A. Dickey: @BOS, @NYY
Drew Smyly: @DET, BOS
Taijuan Walker: TEX, COL
Michael Pineda: BAL, TOR
Trevor Bauer: @CWS, DET
Cody Anderson: @CWS, DET
Rick Porcello: TOR, @TB
At Your Own Risk
Roenis Elias: TEX, COL
Tommy Milone: @KC, @CWS
Randy Wolf: TB, @CLE
Matt Boyd: TB, @CLE
Max Scherzer: NYM, @MIA
Mike Leake: @ARI, SD
Francisco Liriano: @CIN, MIL
Aaron Nola: ATL, CHC
Matt Harvey: @WAS, @ATL
Clayton Kershaw: @LAA, @ARI
Raisel Iglesias: PIT, STL
Ian Kennedy: COL, @SF
Taylor Jungmann: @MIA, @PIT
Justin Nicolino: MIL, WAS
Jon Gray: @SD, @SEA
Anthony DeSclafani: PIT, STL
Jason Hammel: @STL, @PHI
Dan Haren: @STL, @PHI
Patrick Corbin: SF, LAD
At Your Own Risk
Colin Rea: COL, @SF
Jeff Locke: @CIN, MIL
Aaron Harang: ATL, CHC
Jon Niese: @WAS, @ATL
Zach Davies: @MIA, @PIT
Kyle Kendrick: @SD, @SEA
Matt Wisler: @PHI, NYM
Williams Perez: @PHI, NYM
The following pitchers are generally available in over 50 percent of fantasy leagues and have favorable match-ups this week:
Tuesday, September 8: Andrew Heaney vs. LAD
Outside of one clunker against Toronto's stacked lineup in August, Heaney has a 2.37 ERA for the Halos.
Tuesday, September 8: Carlos Rodon vs. CLE
Rodon has been inconsistent for the most part but is capable of posting double-digit K's on any given day and has rattled off five straight quality starts.
Friday, September 11: Wade Miley @ TB
Since the start of August, Miley has a 33-to-7 K/BB ratio. He held the Rays to two runs over 6 2/3 when he last faced them.
Wednesday, September 9: Tom Koehler vs. MIL
Koehler has a 3.06 ERA at home this season, compared to 4.92 on the road. The Brewers have a 684 OPS on the road.
Wednesday, September 9: Adam Morgan vs. ATL
Morgan has been quality in four of his past six starts and definitely deserves consideration in
this home tilt against the NL's worst offense.
Thursday, September 10: Charlie Morton vs. MIL
Morton has notched six or more strikeouts in five of his past six starts, and has a 3.00 ERA at PNC Park.
6: BAL, BOS, CWS, HOU, KC, LAA, MIN, OAK, TB,
7: CLE, DET, NYY, SEA, TEX, TOR
6: ARI, LAD, MIA, SF, WAS
7: ATL, CHC, CIN, COL, MIL, NYM, PHI, PIT, SD, STL
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:
Mike Foltynewicz: Out indefinitely (illness)
Miguel Gonzalez: Out until late September (shoulder)
Hanley Ramirez: Out until mid-September (shoulder)
Corey Kluber: Out until late September (hamstring)
Mark Teixeira: Out until late September (shin)
Desmond Jennings: Out indefinitely (knee)
Denard Span: Out for the season (hip)