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)– If you want to get under the skin of any Yankees fan, bring up A.J. Burnett. Last night was just another stake driven into the heart of the evil empire. Burnett went 7.0 innings allowing two hits, two runs, four walks, while striking out nine. His 1.08 WHIP, 2.57 ERA and 12.12 K/9 are all career bests. And they seem legit. Burnett has a 2.49 FIP and a 2.59 xFIP. His .292 BABIP, 53.2% GB% and 10.0% HR/FB are all on par with his career numbers. The LOB% of 81.4% is a little high, but nothing to be super worried about. Needless to say, I’m buying Burnett going forward.
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Mr. Clutch (hitter)– Paul Goldschmidt continued to rake last night going 2-for-4 with two home runs, three RBIs, and two runs. He has been on fire this month. After batting only .287 with five home runs, 18 RBIs, 18 runs and two stolen bases in April; Goldschmidt has been batting .458 with four home runs, 12 RBIs, four runs and two stolen bases this month. If he continues this torrid pace, he could easily end up a top 15-20 guy.
Surprise, surprise! – Jason Marquis and Ricky Nolasco came back from the dead last night and had an old-fashioned pitching duel. Marquis picked up the win. He went 8.0 innings allowing five hits, zero earned runs, a walk and struck out three. While Nolasco, in a losing effort, went seven innings allowing four hits, one run, a walk and striking out nine. Both are nothing more than streamer options.
Here comes the heat– Mike Minor has picked up where he left off last season and has continued to very good. Last night against the Reds, he went 7.0 innings allowing four hits, one earned run, three walks and struck out seven. He now has a 2.96 ERA and a 0.90 WHIP. The 3.55 FIP, 3.92 xFIP and the 79.8% LOB% are a bit high but I still think this end up as a big year for Minor. He has one of the best offenses and defenses in the league backing him up. He should be a good source of wins going forward.
Left out in the breeze– Ryan Zimmerman went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts against Detroit last night and has done nothing since coming back from the DL. You would like to see him give you something, anything, right now to justify his lofty preseason draft status. Because you know another DL stint could be right around the corner.
Who’s trending?– Since being called up, Dee Gordon has been good in a limited sample size. For this guy, all you really care about is his OBP. If he can maintain a .320 OBP or higher, he is going to be worth the price of admission. Gordon has one valuable skill set and that is stealing bases. If you are desperate for steals, Gordon is a high upside pickup.
Bench me, please?– Ike Davis continues to struggle. In fact, ever since he has shown flashes of a possible elite first baseman in 2010 and 2011, he has been on a two-year decline. Going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts brought his season average down to .170. He is also striking out at an alarming rate. Not only does he not need to be owned right now, I think the Mets need to seriously think about sending him down to the minors for a bit to let him clear his head and figure some things out.
The Streamer- Jason Vargas has to be one of the best streamer options available tonight. He has been very solid in his last two starts and going up against the Astros does not get much better. Deploy with confidence!