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) – James Shields did not get the win Monday night after pitching 8.0 innings and allowing two hits, zero earned runs, two walks and nine strikeouts. Though he is 2-2 in seven games started, James Shields is having another solid year. Expect to get 220+ innings pitched, 200+ strikeouts, with a 1.15 WHIP and a 3.0 ERA for the season from “Big Game” James Shields.
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Mr. Clutch (hitter) – Paul Goldschmidt had an impressive game last night, going 4-for-5 with one home run, three RBIs and a run scored. Goldschmidt continues to plug along giving you top-tier numbers at the first base position. According to ESPN’s player rater, only Chris Davis and Mark Reynolds have had a better fantasy season thus far. I think Goldschmidt continues to plug along and has a very good chance to end up a top-three fantasy first baseman on the year.
Surprise, surprise! – Andrelton Simmons had a monster night powering his teams past the Reds on Monday. He went 3-for-4 with two home runs, four RBIs and two runs scored. He was a huge fantasy sleeper to start the season and has flashed some promise this past week going 9-for-25 with three home runs, seven RBIs and six runs scored. While I don’t think he will be a top-5 shortstop anytime soon, I think he could be a top-10ish shortstop. He definitely has value and should be owned.
Here comes the heat– Anthony Rizzo continues to prove me wrong and is now on a seven-game hitting streak. Last night, he had another big game going 3-for-4 with one home run, four RBIs, a walk and a run scored. In that seven-game hitting streak, he has a .464/.531/.786 slash line with only one home run surprisingly. I’m going to have to eat some crow on Rizzo. He’s a definite top-10 first baseman moving forward.
Left out in the breeze – Fernando Rodney got touched up last night, blowing the save and taking the loss against the Blue Jays. Rodney gave up one hit, two earned runs and two walks, while striking out one. This is his second blown save on the year, and he is looking like the Rodney of old and not the resurrected Rodney of last season. While the K/9 is 10.13 the BB/9 is at 7.59. I would be definitely a bit worried if I owned him, and I don’t think I’m rushing to buy low either. Stay posted.
Who’s trending? – Brian McCann made his debut Monday night going 0-for-4. This was once a top-tier catcher who put up respectable offensive numbers. Now the big question is what to expect from McCann? I would make a speculative pickup because he should be playing every day until Jason Heyward comes back. By then, Evan Gattis may have cooled off some more, taking less bats away from McCann. I tend to think last season was just one of those fluky bad seasons and we will see the McCann of old.
Bench me, please? – Brandon Crawford continues to struggle going 0-for-3 with two strikeouts last night. At the beginning of the season, he was red hot, but he has cooled off since then. This past week, he is 1-for-18 with one RBI, one run scored, one walk and seven strikeouts. He is still owned in 75 percent of leagues, and that is way too many. I would rather have Simmons (who is only owned in 60 percent of leagues) for the rest of the season over Crawford. It’s time to let Crawford go.
The Streamer – Like last night, I am going with another pitcher who will need his command to be spot on. Justin Grimm has been a pleasant surprise thus far going 2-1 with a 2.28 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP. Though the LOB% of 84.6 is high, his 3.10 FIP and 3.72 xFIP are not bad. He’s taking on the Brewers, who have been a top-10 offense this season, but are one of the worst teams as far as taking a walk. If Grimm can get it past them, he should have a big night. Deploy with confidence!