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) – After 2012, the fantasy community had given up on Francisco Liriano. We had loved his upside; we “saw” something special. But year after year after year everyone, including the Twins, were just let down. Fast-forward to last night. Francisco Liriano shuts down the Athletics, scattering four hits in seven innings and allowing zero earned runs. He is now 8-3 on the season with a 2.20 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP. This guy, left for dead, is having an A.J. Burnett type of rejuvenation in Pittsburgh. If you own him, the wheels may eventually come flying off or they may not. Liriano is an enigma in fantasy baseball.
Mr. Clutch (hitter) – Robinson Cano continued his hot month of July by going 3-for-4 with a home run and a stolen base. In the past couple of weeks, Cano is batting .423 with five home runs, 11 runs and 17 RBIs. He is clearly the top second baseman in fantasy and has been worth his weight in gold as a top-tier pick this season. Look for him to stay red-hot heading into the All-Star break.
Surprise, surprise! – Josh Hamilton? Where have you been all season? Hamilton broke out the big-boy bat last night and crushed a couple home runs. It’s good to see that he can still do that from time to time. Still, even with those two home runs, he’s a far cry from the 43 home runs he put up last season. Consider it a big second half if he can get his batting average up to the .250 mark.
Here comes the heat – Another quality start for young Jeremy Hellickson as he gave up three runs on six hits over six innings against the Twins last night. This is now his fourth quality start in a row. Hellickson, as well as Hellickson owners, hope the momentum will carry on past the All-Star break.
Left out in the breeze – Matt Cain got lit up last night in the shortest outing of his career. He gave up two hits, three walks, and three earned runs in just 0.2 innings last night. Now, with back-to-back horrendous starts, his value could not be any lower. I still believe a little in Matt Cain and still think there is some buy-low value here. Hopefully, he comes back rejuvenated from the All-Star break.
Who’s trending? – Is Logan Morrison turning into a legit fantasy option this season? I have always felt owners gravitate towards him because of the name recognition, but in a small sample size, he has shown that he can produce. I still am not 100 percent buying what he is selling, but for now, he is a nice source of batting average and power.
Bench me, please? – The dream season has come to a crashing halt for young Jeff Samardzija. Another bad outing, this time, against the Angels. He lasted just 4.2 innings, allowing nine runs off of nine hits. He even made Josh Hamilton look like an All-Star. He definitely needs to be riding the pine, but I would not cut him, and I do not like selling low on players. Let’s see if he comes back strong after the All-Star break first.
The Streamer – If you are streaming today, you must be just looking at this list in disgust. Kyle Kendrick? Yovani Gallardo? Tim Hudson? I do not really like any matchup today, but I am going to roll the dice a bit here and take Seattle prospect Erasmo Ramirez at home against the lethal Boston Red Sox lineup.
Links of the day – Did someone ask for links?
- Is change coming to the Arizona bullpen? These guys say yes.
- Need more prospect talk in your life. Well, look no further.
- Who doesn’t love rest of season rankings?
- I need more prospects! Gotta have it. Explore the room.
- I said to bench Yoenis Cespedes in yesterday’s column, this guy disagrees.