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Starting Pitchers: May 31st

Updates on three AL rotation spots…

Brett Anderson | Athletics | 76% owned

After missing a total of 35 days with a strained flexor tendon, Oakland’s young lefty made his triumphant return to the mound on Saturday. Limited to 70 pitches, Anderson struck out four Tigers and allowed just three hits (two singles and a double) in 5.2 scoreless innings, throwing 70% of his pitches for strikes. Anderson’s ascent to greatness merely hit a speed bump with the injury, and ZiPS RoS projection sees a 3.54 FIP the rest of the way. He’ll be eased back into things over the next few weeks, but don’t hesitate to start him.

Max Scherzer | Tigers | 29%

One day after Anderson returned from injury, Scherzer returned from a minor league hiatus at the expense of Dontrelle Willis. To say the wake-up call worked would be an understatement. The former D-Back struck out 14 of the 24 men he faced, knocking close to ninth-tenths of a run off his ERA. Scherzer’s next two starts come at the Royals and at the White Sox, two pretty favorable matchups that should get him started on his way towards the 4.01 FIP and 8.47 K/9 ZiPS projects for the rest of the season. In an AL-only or deep mixed league, gimme gimme gimme. He’s a solid pickup in standard 12-team leagues as well.

Tim Wakefield | Red Sox | 4%

Josh Beckett‘s back continues to be an issue, so the 43-year-old knuckleballer will stay in the rotation for the foreseeable future. When it comes to fantasy, Wakefield’s only real value comes from wins, though you’ll occasionally luck into a six or seven or eight strikeout game. His next two starts come against the A’s (.310 team wOBA) and at Cleveland (generally awful), so there’s a chance for some cheap wins if you’re willing to live with the ERA and WHIP hits.

Ownership rates are based on Yahoo! leagues.