Saturday, July 23, 2016


Miguel Cabrera:  4/4 while hitting .300 and picking up 1,500th RBI.  One of the all-time great hitters who unlike a recent counterpart in Manny Ramirez, has not been busted for PED's.

Justin Morneau:  1/3 with his first HR while hitting .278.  Yup he is back and no longer hitting in Colorado or any sort of offensive park in Los Angeles.  Which pretty much means you don't want him.

Lance McCullers:  8 IP 4 H 1 ER 4 BB 10 K with an ERA of 3.33.  McCullers has been insane with the strikeouts with 90 in just 70.1 innings but he has zero control with 42 walks already.  The arm is special which is why I touted McCullers so much last season when he was in the minors but it does appear as though the recent shoulder troubles have hurt his control and thus stunted his overall growth.  Still this is a potential fantasy baseball ace in the making. 

Brian Dozier:  3/3 with his 17th HR while hitting .249.  Maybe I was a bit rash in telling you to cut Dozier as his power is still very impressive at second base and the average is actually coming up which is always the issue here.  Not for everyone but Dozier is doing his thing again to save what was looking like a complete bomb of a season. 

Mookie Betts:  1/2 with his 20th HR while hitting .307.  Left with a knee injury that is not considered serious.  At least Betts contributed like usual to the daily lineup as he already now has 20 home runs a little more than halfway through the season.  It has been a monster season for Betts in every sense of the word and he is now part of the new wave of first or second round five tool stars in place of guys like Carlos Gomez, Carlos Gonzalez, and Ryan Braun who have slipped to four categories or less. 

Kyle Gibson:  8 IP 2 H 1 ER 1 BB 6 K with an ERA of 4.67.  Go figure that one of the worst pitchers in baseball on a yearly basis does this to the powerful Red Sox.  You can't ever totally figure this out.

Joey Votto:  1/3 with his 17th HR while hitting .271.  All is right in the Votto world after that disgusting April.  He has fought hard to bring the average back up but since the start of June Votto has been as good as any hitter in the game with an average around .320 with big power.  He is becoming more fragile as he ages but Votto still is holding late first round ability.

Jean Segura:  2/3 with his 8th HR while hitting .314.  No sigh of a fade here which is what happened to Segura during his breakout season a number of years ago and he was never the same player until now.  Maturity and a new start combined to maybe push Segura where he is now but he is right there with Jonathan Villar as blockbuster shortstop values this season. 

Dan Straily:  6 IP 5 H 2 ER 3 BB 8 K with an ERA of 4.01.  Straily is a funny guy in that he always shows up every season with seemingly a new team and has always had a habit of striking guys out with little to no fanfare.  His ratios are the issue here but Straily at least now has been solid long enough to warrant SP 5 usage until or if the wheels come off the wagon. 

Matt Kemp:  2/4 with 2 home runs (22 for season) while hitting .258.  Kemp now has six home runs in his last six games and really is as locked in as anyone in the game which comes at a perfect time wiht the trade deadline a little more than a week out.  Melvin Upton Jr. is getting the most attention right now in terms of San Diego trade commodities but Kemp's streamlined power game continues to keep him relevant as a borderline OF 2.

Daniel Murphy:  1/4 with his 19th HR while hitting .349.  Listen Bryce Harper is hitting .249 and Murphy .349 for a reason.  Murph is getting almost all the fastballs in front of Harper and that is why both have such disparate splits.  In fact with Miguel Cabrera slipping a bit, there is not a better place to bat in all of baseball than in front of Harper.  It is ths reason more than anything why Murphy's average is where it is.  The power came around a year ago by moving closer to the dish so I won't dispute that based on the evidence but Harper should be given some of Murphy's salary considering how good he is making him look.

Mark Trumbo:  2/4 with his 29th HR while hitting .284.  This is as late into a season as I have ever seen Trumbo hit over .280.  Yeah he really is doing his best to make me look good and be in the runnning as my personal value pick of the year. 

Manny Machado:  2/2 with his 20th HR while hitting .314.  I own both Machado and Trumbo.  Yeah things are good. 

Trevor Bauer:  5 ER in 4 IP with an ERA of 3.65.  Yeah just when we started to think Bauer finally broke through...............

Dylan Bundy:  5 IP 5 H 1 ER 0 BB 5 K with an ERA of 3.30.  Bundy is slated to stay in the Baltimore rotation as the team tries to stretch him out.  It seems like Bundy has been talked about forever which is partially true.  Tommy John really set him back and his smallish frame make it debatable if he can hold up as a starter.  The strikeout ability is still there though and at least by an SP 5 standard, Bundy is worth adding to your squad to see where he goes from this point on. 

Jason Hammel:  5 IP 4 H 2 ER 2 BB 4 K with an ERA of 3.35.  Hammel is tiring once again in July and those who own stock here need to be fully aware of the risks going forward.  There are few pitchers in fantasy baseball who have such a drastic split from the first half to the second but it is not like this should be a shock since I warned you all about this since April.

Dexter Fowler:  3/4 with his sixth HR while hitting .298.  Fowler is on a career-best pace with his average and once again is doing a little bit of everything to make him a top OF 3.  Yes the early Colorado hype never materialized but Fowler is a clear example of how tools eventually lead to numbers.

Ryan Braun:  1/3 with his 14th HR while hitting .315.  Braun's days of 30 home runs are finished and have been since his Biogenesis bust but in defense of him, the fact he still can hit .300-plus with power makes him a low-end OF 1 despite the stains.

James Paxton:  7 IP 3 H 1 ER 1 BB 9 K with an ERA of 4.18.  Once again Paxton is showing very good ability on the odd times he is actually healthy and yes he should be picked up given the home park and the fact he misses bats.  You can be more selective when Paxton is on the road but at Safeco, he is a must start.

Trevor Story:  1/3 with his 24th HR while hitting .264.  What a instant impact bat this kid has been and the signs were all there even going back to his big 2015 on the farm.  Story has settled into the .260 hitter I said from the beginning he would be but he pretty much is now the new Troy Tulowitzki with the lower average at shortstop. 

Nolan Arendado:  2/4 with his 24th HR while hitting .289.  Arenado has fallen off the 40-home run pace that he was on earlier in the season but that is about the only negative thing I have said about him all season. 

Gerrit Cole:  6 IP 6 H 1 ER 1 BB 7 K with an ERA of 2.99.  Much better here from Cole in this volatile season of his.  I say Cole is now the new Chris Sale in terms of being a very fragile arm but who has ace ability.  Do you feel lucky?

Zach Eflin:  9 IP 3 H 0 ER 0 BB 6 K with an ERA of 3.40.  The Phillies rotation has surprisingly been the source of some sweet value this season and this kid is no different.  Pick him up. 

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