With the fantasy-trade deadlines coming up this week or next (I have four red-letter dates this Friday), it’s time for owners to make one last pitch for baseball’s elite categorical contributors.

AccuScore, a company that specializes in thorough game simulations, has made a few on-the-fly revisions to its seasonal projections.

These 50 starting pitchers, based on AccuScore projections (not mine), will register at least 55 strikeouts from this point forward (Aug. 7-Sept. 30):


Part I

1. CC Sabathia, Yankees—77
2. Justin Verlander, Tigers—75
3. Yu Darvish, Rangers—75
4. Cole Hamels, Phillies—72
5. Gio Gonzalez, Nationals—68
6. Adam Wainwright, Cardinals—68
7. Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers—68
8. Lance Lynn, Cardinals—67
9. Roy Halladay, Phillies—67
10. James Shields, Rays—67
11. Felix Hernandez, Mariners—67
12. Cliff Lee, Phillies—67
13. Marco Estrada, Brewers—67
14. Yovani Gallardo, Brewers—67
15. Francisco Liriano, White Sox—66
16. Madison Bumgarner, Giants—65
17. Zack Greinke, Angels—65
18. Tim Lincecum, Giants—65
19. Matt Cain, Giants—65
20. Mat Latos, Reds—64
21. Jered Weaver, Angels—64
22. Jeff Samardzija, Cubs—63
23. David Price, Rays—63
24. Stephen Strasburg, Nationals—63
25. Erik Bedard, Pirates—63


Part II

26. Felix Doubront, Red Sox—63
27. Ian Kennedy, Diamondbacks—61
28. Max Scherzer, Tigers—61
29. Anibal Sanchez, Tigers—61
30. R.A. Dickey, Mets—60
31. Ryan Dempster, Rangers—60
32. Jake Peavy, White Sox—60
33. Josh Johnson, Marlins—60
34. Ubaldo Jimenez, Indians—60
35. Jon Lester, Red Sox—59
36. C.J. Wilson, Angels—59
37. Chris Capuano, Dodgers—58
38. Bud Norris, Astros—58
39. Matt Harvey, Mets—58
40. Michael Fiers, Brewers—58
41. Josh Beckett, Red Sox—58
42. J.A. Happ, Blue Jays—57
43. Chris Sale, White Sox—57
44. James McDonald, Pirates—57
45. Drew Pomeranz, Rockies—57
46. Ryan Vogelsong, Giants—56
47. Jon Niese, Mets—56
48. Matt Moore, Rays—56
49. Edwin Jackson, Nationals—55
50. Hiroki Kuroda, Yankees—55



  • I’ll buy the “under” for CC Sabathia and 77 strikeouts. Since May 26, Sabathia (11-3, 3.53 ERA, 1.20 ERA, 133/34 K-BB) has averaged 6.8 strikeouts over 10 starts. So, if he should squeeze in another 10 outings before Sept. 30, he’ll have to improve upon his current pace of the last 13 weeks. On the positive side, Sabathia has four double-digit strikeout efforts for the season.
  • Clayton Kershaw has 69 strikeouts since June 15, with six or more K’s in nine of the last 10 outings. And compared to Justin Verlander (who bedazzled the Yankees for 14 strikeouts on Monday night), Kershaw will likely enjoy one more start than the Tigers ace from this point forward. Bottom line: I’ll buy the “over” on Kershaw and 68 strikeouts.
  • Stephen Strasburg (11.31), Max Scherzer (11.28), Yu Darvish (10.34) and Gio Gonzalez (10.02) are the only regular MLB starters to post K/9 ratios above 10 this season, and from a 30-day perspective, Scherzer, Strasburg, Darvish, Francisco Liriano, James Shields, Madison Bumgarner and David Price boast that honor. So naturally, they’re all good candidates for 60-plus strikeouts.
  • Roy Halladay has posted respectable results in his last four games with Philly—1-1, a 4.13 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 21/3 K-BB ratio. But the punch-outs aren’t necessarily coming at an accelerated rate, likely a consequence of his recent shoulder woes and subsequent absence from the Phillies rotation for June and half of July.
  • Noticeably absent from this list: A.J. Burnett, Dan Haren, Wandy Rodriguez, Vance Worley, Andrew Cashner, Johnny Cueto, Wei-Yin Chen, Jordan Zimmermann, Aaron Harang, Miguel Gonzalez, Zach McAllister, Chad Billingsley, Corey Kluber and Ricky Romero.
  • For what it’s worth, AccuScore projects Reds closer Aroldis Chapman for 48 more strikeouts in just 27.4 innings. For July, Chapman had a 0.00 ERA and 0.56 WHIP. He was also a perfect 13-for-13 in save opportunities. Chapman’s K/9 ratio for July was a mind-blowing 19.5, easily his best effort of the season.


Jay Clemons can be reached on Twitter, day or night, at @ATL_JayClemons.

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