Friday, July 30, 2010

Oswalt's value rises in Philly

Roy Oswalt is now a Philadelphia Phillie as another big-name pitcher has been traded to a contender.

Oswalt's enjoyed a fine 2010 so far. To steal a few telling stats from ESPN's Jayson Stark:

He ranks among the league leaders in quality starts (15 - as many as Ubaldo Jimenez), WHIP (1.11 - better than Chris Carpenter), opponent OPS (.652 - better than Tim Lincecum) and strikeout/walk ratio (3.53 - better than all but a half-dozen pitchers in the league). ...

He's allowing a lower opponent batting average (.229), on-base percentage (.280) and OPS (.652) than he has in any season in his fabulous career. His strikeout ratio (8.4 per 9 IP) is his best since his rookie year.

Yeah, Oswalt's been pretty good. The only thing lacking, from a fantasy perspective: Wins. He's 6-12, which is mostly a function of playing for the lowly Astros. Granted, the Phillies have had their offensive problems this year, but Oswalt should get a big boost in run support this summer. Philly is eighth in the league in runs with 481 - or 117 more than 28th-ranked Houston.

Now, there have been whispers that the 32-year-old was perhaps feeling his age - or that he was just disinterested in pitching for Houston - in recent weeks. But I believe you'll see the same old Oswalt now that he's in the thick of a pennant race. And that's a good thing for his fantasy owners.