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Cubs starting pitcher Jake Arrieta has been ignored long enough. It took his second consecutive near no-hitter to get the fantasy baseball world to notice him, and even with a bump in pick-ups following his Monday night gem against the Red Sox, Arrieta remains available in about 35% of Yahoo! leagues.
It's a bit of a mystery. Arrieta did miss the first month of the season with a shoulder injury, but since coming back, he's 5-1 with 74 strikeouts in 64 innings, a 1.80 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP. He's won four straight games, going at least seven innings in all four, with no fewer than nine strikeouts in each outing.
Meanwhile, his teammate Jeff Samarzdija is sitting at 2-7, and owned in 90% of Yahoo! leagues. Much was made early on of The Shark's lack of run support, but the honest truth is that he hasn't had much fantasy value over the last month, with an ERA of 5.45 during that span.
The concern with Arrieta, not insignificant or unwarranted, is his history of injuries. That concern may be compounded by the 120 pitches that it took him to hold Boston hitless for 7 2/3 innings. If you play conservative fantasy ball where injuries are concerned, I wouldn't blame you if you stayed out of the Arrieta market for another week until he makes another start. Just don't expect him to be quite so available if you do wait.
* Sporting News notes that fantasy value for Tim Lincecum remains low despite pitching an actual no-hitter.
* Bleacher Report has your top waiver wire pick-ups for this week (They actually bought into Arrieta last week, so points to BR for that one).
* CBS Sports.com evaluates Tigers outfielder JD Martinez, suddenly a hot fantasy commodity.
Dan O'Shea is our man in fantasyland. He welcomes your comments.