On Thursday's News & Notes segment of Fantasy Baseball Today, Adam Aizer posed the following question to Scott White and me: "Did Tim Lincecum's no-hitter against the Padres move the needle for us in Fantasy?" We both answered with an emphatic "no," as we have all seen this movie before. Lincecum can go for stretches of several games showing some notable improvement, but he always returns to his previously-scheduled struggles, which usually involve poor control.
Lincecum is actually on a fairly good extended stretch. He has posted six quality starts in his last nine outings with a cumulative 3.70 ERA. It's not an overwhelming level of success, but that does constitute improvement over the bulk of the last two-and-a-half years. Even so, he has benefitted from a .224 BABIP over that stretch, which has masked an awful ratio of 48 strikeouts versus 25 walks over the 56-inning span.
I may have been just a little quick to dismiss Lincecum for Fantasy purposes, however, as I failed to take one important thing into account. Lincecum's no-hit mastery came against the Padres, who have the majors' weakest offense by far. He has a two-start week coming up in Fantasy Week 14 (June 30-May 6), and he will face the Cardinals and then, yes, these same Padres once again. The start alone makes Lincecum worth a flier in standard mixed leagues.
In recent weeks, the Padres have helped pitchers like Roenis Elias, Chris Young and Kyle Kendrick look like aces, so it shouldn't be surprising to see Lincecum enjoy success against them. He could have another strong start against them, and if you're worried about the recent struggles endured by Matt Cain, Tim Hudson and Mike Leake, they should enjoy the Padres bump in Week 14 as well.