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) – Justin Verlander went seven innings, allowing three hits, zero earned runs and two walks while striking out eight. He failed to pick up the win after Phil Coke and Jose Valverde each allowed a run in their relief appearances. Justin Verlander was spot on last night. He did not allow a base runner to advance past first base. Justin Verlander is a must start and remains one of the top fantasy pitchers.
Mr. Clutch (hitter) – Albert Pujols had a big game yesterday going 3-for-5 with a home run, a run scored and two RBIs. Pujols has clearly struggled this season; due largely in part to knee and foot issues. Even in last night’s game, you could see him grimacing in pain as re rounded the bases. I would not be surprised if a DL stint in the near future happens for Pujols.
Surprise, surprise! – Jeremy Bonderman had his best start of the year against the Astros going 8.0 innings, allowing three hits, zero earned runs and two walks while striking out five. The bullpen surrendered six runs in the ninth blowing any chance for a win for Bonderman. He has now put together back-to-back quality starts and is becoming an intriguing pickup in mixed leagues, but he still remains a streamer option for me. He faces the Angels next Tuesday, clearly not a game where you are starting him.
Here comes the heat – Jordan Lyles had his best game of the season last night, pitching 7.0 strong innings, allowing three hits, zero earned runs and two walks while striking out 10. Though he did not factor in the win, Lyles has been very dominant of late, not allowing more than two runs in his last six starts. Lyles faces the Brewers next Tuesday.
Left out in the breeze – Tom Wilhelmsen had possibly the worst closer outing of the year last night, surrendering five earned runs. For anyone starting him last night in a head-to-head league he probably just cost you the week. Wilhelmsen has blown two saves this month along with a 19.29 ERA. He is still firmly planted as the team’s closer, but another outing like last night and Seattle may be forced to seek other alternatives.
Who’s trending? – Chris Archer, one of the Rays’ top pitching prospects, had another so-so outing Wednesday night, lasting 4.0 innings, allowing four hits, two earned runs and four walks while striking out seven. Unless things change, Archer should be sent down once David Price returns from the DL. As of now, he is slated to take on Boston next Tuesday.
Bench me, please? – Is it time to cut bait with Chase Headley? Injuries seemed to have wrecked Headley’s season, and he is just not the same guy from last year. Last night, he went 1-for-4 with an RBI, but he is also dealing with a calf strain. He is 6-for-38 without an extra base hit in the month of June.
The Streamer – Not many options to choose from tonight, but Jarrod Parker against the Yankees is a very solid option if you need a streamer. He has looked sharp in his last three starts, granted two of starts came against the White Sox. But this is not the Yankees of old. Deploy with confidence!