R.A. Dickey, New York Mets (7-1, 3.06 ERA)
How good is Dickey’s knuckler right now? Good enough to strike out 21 batters over his last two starts, which was the first time a knuckleball pitcher has posted consecutive 10-strikeout outings since Phil Niekro did it in 1978. Dickey walked just one batter over that span and hasn’t allowed more than three runs in his last seven trips to the hill.
Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Phillies (8-1, 2.43 ERA)
If Hamels is going to be dealt before the trade deadline, the price tag is skyrocketing. The lefty did give up a couple of homers and four earned runs Monday against the Mets, but also struck out six while walking one in eight innings of work to win his eighth straight decision. He has walked more than two batters in only two of his 10 starts this season.
Gavin Floyd, Chicago White Sox (4-5, 5.02 ERA)
Floyd picked up a win in his last start, but didn’t do much to deserve it. He was smacked for 10 hits and five earned runs while hitting three batters over five innings in a 12-6 Chicago victory against Cleveland. Manager Robin Ventura told reporters that his curveball was the main problem in that start. In his last three outings, the 6-foot-6 righty has allowed 28 hits and 21 runs, spanning over 14 2/3 innings.
Matt Garza, Chicago Cubs (2-3, 4.22 ERA)
Garza hasn’t picked up a win since puzzling the Phillies back on April 29. He gave up three homers and five earned runs in his last start after allowing two homers and seven earned runs in the start before that. Word out of the Windy City is that Garza could be available at the trade deadline for the right price.