Fantasy Daily: Jose Bautista, Cliff Lee, Francisco Liriano


Jose Bautista celebrates a home run at home plate with teammates.
Jose Bautista flexed some big numbers on Wednesday. (Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

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) – Cliff Lee went the distance last night against Miami with a complete-game shutout, allowing just three hits and two walks while strikeout out five. Other than Lee’s K/9 dropping off, he has been very good. He should continue to be a top-10 pitcher, especially with him actually getting wins this year. With five wins, he already has almost as many as he did the entire last season.

Mr. Clutch (hitter) – Jose Bautista provided all of the offense last night to beat the Rays, going 4-for-4 with two home runs, two runs, four RBIs, a walk and a stolen base. He also saved a baby from a burning building, performed a successful Heimlich maneuver on a choking man and found the cure for cancer. Jose Bautista has not been 2011 good, but he is providing you with numbers that you were hoping for. The dismal 2012 season seems to be in Jose Bautista’s rearview mirror.

Surprise, surprise! – A weird thing happened to me yesterday. This crazy chick I used to kind of sort of see added me to Facebook. We started chatting, and the next thing you know, I have her number just like that. I wake up this morning, look at the stat lines, and see my boy, Francisco Liriano, went 7.0 innings, allowing two hits, zero earned runs and a walk while striking out nine against the Cubs. I really couldn’t even begin to make up the coincidences. I should just delete her number, but that’s not happening, just like I should be overlooking what Liriano has done and not add him in every league I can. Needless to say, this is going to end badly, particularly for me. Don’t get sucked into the madness.

Here comes the heat – Daniel Murphy continued to sizzle last night, going 3-for4 with two runs and two RBIs. In the last week, he has gone 12-for-28 with seven runs, two home runs and five RBIs. Surprisingly, he’s 29 years old (I thought he was like 35 years old) and in the midst of possibly one of his best seasons. From what you have seen so far from Murphy, I think you can expect to continue the rest of the way. Look for 12-15 home runs this season.

Left out in the breeze Hiroki Kuroda took a Manny Machado liner off of the calf last night and had to be removed, but not before doing some serious damage to owners’ WHIP and ERA. He went 2.0 innings and allowed eight hits and five earned runs. Joe Girardi fully expects Kuroda back next outing, which is good news. He’s having a very good season, but this could have been a game that exposed Kuroda’s underlying numbers. He is a sell-high.

Who’s trending? – Everyone jumped on Rex Brothers as he was a possible closer replacement if Rafael Betancourt was going to miss time. He pitched a clean ninth inning last night to pick up the save and has been all that and a bag of chips this season. Unfortunately, it looks as though Betancourt will be back this Friday. But continue to monitor this situation, this might not be that last time this season we see Brothers trend.

Bench me, please? Fernando Rodney blew his  fourth save opportunity last night and was yanked in favor Joel Peralta. This could be all she wrote for Rodney, and I would be shopping him around like mad, taking 25 cents on the dollar. Kyle Farnsworth becomes the must-add if you are speculating for saves.

The Streamer  Kevin Gausman, the hot prospect call-up, is who I am recommending tonight. In double-A this season, Gausman has a 1.06 WHIP, 3.93 ERA, 9.52 K/9 and a 0.97 BB/9. I think he surprises the Blue Jays tonight and becomes one of the most added players by the morning. Deploy with confidence!

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