Taking a look around the league, here’s a recap of last night’s action and suggestions for your fantasy baseball team.
Mr. Clutch (pitcher) – Chris Sale flirted with destiny last night as he took a perfect game into the seventh inning. He finished with a complete game, one-hit shutout in which he had seven strikeouts. Chis Sale has been very solid thus far and has only had one bad outing in eight starts. His biggest problem has been the drop-off in strikeouts. He is down 7.83 K/9 whereas last season, his K/9 was 9.0. This is the only thing holding him back from being one of the elite fantasy pitchers.
Mr. Clutch (hitter) – Jose Bautista led the charge against the Red Sox Sunday night going 2-for-4 with two home runs, three runs, three RBIs and a walk. Bautista may never have another monster season like he did in 2011, but with nine home runs already on the season; he should power his way to 30+ home runs. The batting average looks to be a concern, but he should finish north of .260 when it is all said and done.
Surprise, surprise! – There was a time when Tim Lincecum was clutch, now when he goes 7.0 innings allowing two hits, zero earned runs, three walks while striking out seven, you are more surprised than anything. If you own Lincecum, this is the kind of start you have been looking for to try and sell him high. Tim is back! At least that is what I am going to be telling my league mates when I try to trade him.
Here comes the heat – Though Adam LaRoche only went 1-for-4 against the Cubs last night, He is now on a nine-game hitting streak, which has put his batting average all the way up to .211. This is what happens when you start the season off batting .136. Now that he is making contact, LaRoche needs to start hitting a few home runs. I expect the power to come around as well. LaRoche was dropped in a lot of leagues, and now could be the time to consider picking him up if you are in need of a first baseman.
Left out in the breeze – Kris Medlen continued his struggles last night going 5.1 innings allowing eight hits, three earned runs, five walks while only striking out one. Needless to say, Medlen has been awful this year. Strikeouts are down, walks are up, HR/FB has doubled to 11.9 percent, and GB% has dropped off from 53.4 to 43.3. With a 3.44 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP, Medlen is more of a streamer at this point. His FIP of 4.77 and xFIP of 4.66 do not really scream “buy low” either.
Who’s trending? – Kyle Kendrick was impressive Sunday against Arizona, going 7.0 innings allowing six hits, two earned runs while striking out four. He is now 4-1 on the season and has been one of the few bright spots for the Phillies. There should be some regression, but I am buying Kyle Kendrick stock.
Bench me, please? – Will Middlebrooks went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts last night, dropping his batting average all the way down to .206. The six home runs, 16 runs and 13 RBIs on the season have been nice, but the ISO is down and the K% is up from last season. If you still own Middlebrooks in a 12-team mixed league, it maybe time to look for other options.
The Streamer – Sooner or later Trevor Bauer is going to quit walking people. He has the ability to strike some people out and I think he gets the job done against the Yankees Monday. Deploy with confidence!