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) – It seems the MLB has been on a roll of complete-game shutouts as Justin Masterson went the distance against the Yankees Monday. He allowed four hits and three walks, while striking out nine. Masterson continues to have a very solid season and is on his way to a career year. With a 1.17 WHIP and a 3.14 ERA, he is the 38th ranked pitcher on ESPN’s player rater for the season. He should finish in the top 50 for pitchers this season.
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Mr. Clutch (hitter) – Billy Butler went 5-for-5 against the Angels last night, piling on two runs and five RBIs. This game raised his batting average up to .228. Even before this game, he was a player I was targeting in all leagues because I think he is going to turn it around in a big way, though I am worried last season’s power outburst was a one-year fluke. The number that really stands out his is BB%. A career 8.9 guy, the BB% is at 14.6! Be prepared for a major turn around and buy low now.
Surprise, surprise! – Andy Dirks flashed a bit of power last night going 3-for-4 with a home run, two runs and four RBIs. Dirks is a batting-average guy with very little power, but he has struggled in limited action this season. He should continue to raise his .260 batting average and could be a nice sleeper in deep AL-only leagues.
Here comes the heat – Playing the team that traded you for a few beans is the exact way to break out of a 14-game homerless streak, and that is exactly what Justin Upton did last night. Justin Upton was 4-for-5 with a home run, two RBIs and two runs scored. After scorching April, Justin Upton has cooled off a bit in May. Even with a dismal May, he is one of the top outfield options going forward, and a game like this could get him going again.
Left out in the breeze – Robinson Cano fans were definitely disappointed after Cano came away empty handed in Monday’s doubleheader against Cleveland. Cano was an abysmal 1-for-9 with three strikeouts. Just call yesterday a blip in what should be a very solid season for Cano. His .299/.341/.554 slash line is money in the bank, and I look for Cano to reach 30+ home runs this season. It does not get any better at second base.
Who’s trending? – Ryan Madsen is starting to trend a bit in fantasy. He has been working his way back from Tommy John surgery and is expected to rejoin the team anytime. Though the LA Times is reporting Madsen will not be the team’s closer, the leash for Ernesto Frieri just got real short. If you own Frieri and you have the roster spot, I would pick up Madsen. If I was to speculate saves, Madsen is one of the better speculative save guys to pick up. Keep an eye out on this developing situation.
Bench me, please? – Jason Kubel has really fallen off as a fantasy option this season. Arizona is now playing him as a platoon guy, sitting against left-handed pitching. He has been dropped in about half of leagues, and unless you are in a deep NL only league, you should also consider dropping Kubel as well.
The Streamer – Jeremy Guthrie is 5-0 with a 2.28 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP in seven starts. Tonight, he could cement himself as a must-own pitcher instead of an over-qualified streaming option. Since coming to the Royals, Guthrie has been money in the bank. Deploy with confidence!