Taking a look around the league, here’s a recap of last night’s action and suggestions for your fantasy baseball team.
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Mr. Clutch (pitcher) – The lesson for today, don’t take Matt Harvey out of the game. Harvey murdered the Nationals going 7.0 innings, allowing just one run and striking out 11. With a comfortable three-run lead, the Mets bullpen imploded, capped off by Bobby Parnell giving up two runs in the ninth and taking the loss. After his blistering start to the year, Harvey has come back down to earth a bit, but continues to be one of the best fantasy pitchers in baseball, despite the shortcomings of his bullpen.
Mr. Clutch (hitter) – Miguel Cabrera mashed up the Rays last night, going 4-for-4 with two home runs. Cabrera continues to be far and away, the best fantasy player in the league as his batting average is now up to .377. Throw in 24 home runs, 62 runs, 82 RBIs and two stolen bases and you have what seems to be another MVP season for Cabrera. Can this ironman keep up his torrid pace? We are nearly at the halfway point, so if he were to keep his current pace, he would easily capture the triple crown and set all new career highs for himself. If you own Cabrera and wanted to get cute here, you could theorize that Cabrera will not keep up this pace, thus he may not return you number-one overall production from this point forward, so the best option would be to trade him for the king’s ransom.
Surprise, surprise! – Can I issue a formal apology to Eric Hosmer? Bro, I’m sorry I jumped ship on ya. Please forgive me; it won’t happen again. I swear. So why, you ask, am I back to driving the Eric Hosmer bandwagon? Well 3-for-4 nights with two home runs generally get people enthused. Though I do not like small sample sizes, something seems to have clearly changed in his approach to the plate. In May, Hosmer was batting .267 with only one home run and, in June, Hosmer is batting .297 with five home runs. He gives a lot of credit to the highly criticized hitting coach, George Brett. They seem to have found the right approach for Hosmer, and it continues to pay off. Going forward, I think Hosmer is a top-seven first baseman. If he is still available in your league, pick him up. I believe you could still get this guy for relatively cheap if you were to trade for him.
Here comes the heat – Who, you ask, has been a top-five pitcher the last month or so? Why it is none other than Julio Teheran. He cemented that with a brilliant performance against the Diamondbacks, scattering four hits in 6.0 innings while striking out 10. Though he struggled throughout the fist month of the season, he has really found his stride and is giving the Braves a very difficult decision to make once Brandon Beachy comes back from the DL.
Left out in the breeze – Johnny Cueto just cannot stay healthy this season and, again, for the third time this season, may find himself on the DL. Cueto made it through just one inning before being pulled due to right lat tightness. The good news is we get more Tony Cingrani. He has become an obvious handcuff for Cueto.
Who’s trending? – Is your team struggling? Well, help maybe on the way if you have had injury problems. Bryce Harper has been playing rehab games this week and has experienced no flare-ups in his knee. If this continues, he will rejoin the team Monday. David Price will throw a bullpen session today and, if all goes well, he is slated to take on the Astros next Tuesday. Troy Tulowitzki has resumed baseball activities and seems to be on schedule to come back in a couple of weeks. There was some fear that his rib injury would take six weeks, but unless he has a setback, he should be back soon. J.J. Putz will be activated today and thrusted back into the closer role. He is available in 20 percent of leagues. Finally, Carl Crawford should be back at the end of next week, which will cause playing time issues in the crowed Dodgers outfield.
Bench me, please? – Another 0-for-3 performance pushes Matt Wieters’ average down to .227. He has been a major disappointment this season, yet he is still 99 percent owned. It’s time to cut the cord and pick up Jason Castro who hit his 11th home run last night and is available in 75 percent of leagues.
The Streamer – This one is too easy. Eric Stults against Miami. After his game tonight, he will, more than likely, no longer be available to stream. Stults is after his seventh straight quality start tonight.