Buy or Sell: Hottest Pitchers in the Last 30 days

Guest Writer’s Week starts tomorrow as I will be away and without internet use (unless I want to shell out some big $$$). I think you’ll very much enjoy the trio of guest writers in the next few days. They are all extremely talented and smart in the ways of fantasy baseball (and real baseball for that matter).
 
But before we get to that, one quick buy or sell for the road. Using Yahoo!’s rankings, let’s take a look at the top pitchers over the last 30 days.
 

Josh Johnson (buy) – When asked to come up with the first half National League Cy Young winner, I chose Josh Johnson and it wasn’t close. He has done everything you want in a pitcher: High strikeouts, low walks, high ground ball rate and low home run total while missing plenty of bats along the way.

 
CC Sabathia (sell for a bat)- Sabathia is not the dominant pitcher he once was, as covered in the latest RAW Pitcher Ratings article. However, he has adjusted by adding more movement to his fastball, which has resulted in fewer line drives and more ground balls. Still, he is exactly the type of pitcher I would love to sell high for a proven bat for the rest of the season. A Twitter follower did just that, trading CC and Miguel Tejada for Ryan Howard.
 
Vincente Padilla (sell) – Also just covered in a recent article, Padilla is has pitcher brilliantly over the last month. However, his track record and declining strikeout rate suggest that this may be more of a hot streak than anything else.
 
Mat Latos (slight sell) – Holding in a sneeze may have sent Latos to the DL, but the decision to put him there was more about limiting his innings while freeing up a roster spot. Latos has done nothing but impress over the season’s first half and he should be very productive going forward. However, innings limitations will be an issue and represent a sell in non-keeper formats.
 
Carl Pavano (slight sell) – I am quite happy to have drafted Pavano in a few deeper leagues this season, but I am scared (expletive)-less just about every time he goes out there. It seems like he is either great or bad and, due to a strikeout rate lower than that of Carlos Silva, the risk will always be high. Pavano is a quality pitcher, but he’s not this good.
 
Adam Wainwright/Felix Hernandez/Jon Lester (buy) – all three are studs and should be fine the rest of the way.
 
Gavin Floyd (buy) – This is what we expected all season long from Floyd. What was a heck of a struggle early on has come around and turned into a top 15 fantasy pitching value. Floyd has kept very solid peripherals all season long and serves at the perfect example on how a pitcher can indeed be unlucky at times. His BABIP against in the month of May was .343 despite only allowing a 14.6 percent line drive rate and inducing ground balls 50 percent of the time. His BABIP against numbers have been much more in line with his line drive/ground ball rates over the last two months and there is no reason to think he’ll slow down, unless he gets unlucky again.
 
Max Scherzer (buy) – Since returning from triple-A, Scherzer has seen a big spike in strikeouts. Walks and home runs still hurt him from time to time, but he is definitely capable of a 3.50-.375 ERA the rest of the way along with the lofty strikeout numbers.
 
Trevor Cahill (sell) – Unlike Scherzer, strikeouts are not Cahill’s thing. What he does is get ground balls and plenty of them (over 55 percent). However, one has to wonder if a 14 percent line drive rate against is sustainable going forward. Due to a great ERA and low strikeout potential, you may be able to land a solid bat in exhange for a somewhat risky second half pitcher.
 
Bronson Arroyo (sell) – Yes, Arroyo has had a great last 30 days, but keep in mind that it has come along with an extremely low .196 BABIP against and an extremely high 98.6 percent walk rate. These are the exact;y the type of  numbers that analysts used to dispel Livan Hernandez earlier this season. Arroyo has one of the worst K/BB rates of any starting pitcher this season and should be viewed as a very risky pitcher going forward.