Taking a look around the league, here’s a recap of yesterday’s action and suggestions for your fantasy baseball team.
Mr. Clutch (pitcher) – Mat Latos had a big-time performance against the Diamondbacks, going 7.2 innings with a season-high 13 strikeouts. After struggling against the Cubs and the Pirates, it was nice to see Latos get back to putting up big numbers.
Mr. Clutch (hitter) – David Wright had a big game against the Phillies going 4-for-5 with a home run. Wright is having a very productive fantasy season and is on pace for 20+ home runs and steals, and no owner can complain about that.
Surprise, surprise! – The Braves continue to find ways to get Jordan Schafer into the lineup, and it paid off in a big way yesterday. Schafer went 4-for-5 with a home run and a stolen base. He has had a very solid year, but playing time is not guaranteed, which makes him tough to own in mixed leagues. Right now he is a deep NL-only play.
Here comes the heat – If you are in need of some power, Pedro Alvarez is as hot as they come. He is currently on a four-game homer tear, including last night, where he finished 2-for-5 with a home run. Pedro Alvarez is the definition of a streaky player and can hit home runs in bunches. If he is available, pick him up and ride the streak.
Left out in the breeze – It does not get much worse than coming into a 1-1 game and promptly giving up back-to-back home runs to Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez, but that’s exactly what Huston Street did yesterday. He still remains the closer for the Padres until he possibly gets traded down the line to another team.
Who’s trending? – Quick, who is #8 on he player rater at catcher on the season? Give up? It’s Jason Castro of the Houston Astros. After going 3-for-5 with a run scored, he raised his average to .275 and also has 10 home runs on the season. Though he is not trending, he should be. Not very flashy, he has provided solid, consistent numbers throughout the season. He is currently owned in 32 percent of leagues, and I expect that number to continue to rise.
Bench me, please? – Coming into the season, Paul Maholm was a sleeper pick of mine, but he has really failed to deliver. Yesterday against the Brewers, he served up eight hits and four earned runs while only striking out three. With a 3.75 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP, Maholm is a matchup play at this point. His next start, at home against the Diamondbacks, I am benching him.
The Streamer – With only five pitchers to choose from who are less than 100 percent owned, I am taking Eric Stults against the Phillies tonight. Stults has not given up more than two earned runs in his last five games, and with the Phillies batting just .239 on the season against left-handed pitching, it seems like a no-brainer.