Roto Roundup: Clayton Kershaw Pitches Another Gem, Freddie Freeman on Fire

Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman is catching fire lately. He went 3-4 with a HR, a walk and 3 RBIs yesterday, and is now hitting .279-.354-.472 with 13 HRs, 42 RBIs and 39 runs. In his last 10 games, he is 12-37 with 5 HRs and 12 RBIs. Freeman and teammate Craig Kimbrel are the leading candidates for NL Rookie of the Year. His K/BB rate of 77-32 is a little concerning, but he also has 19 doubles to go with his 13 HRs.

After hitting 36 HRs in 2009 and 26 HRs in 2010, Blue Jays second baseman Aaron Hill has only 4 HRs in 277 at bats this season. He went 2-4 with 2 runs scored yesterday and owns a triple slash line of .245-.286-.343 with 4 HRs, 33 RBIs, 26 runs and 11 SBs. Prior to 2011, Hill never stole more than 6 bases, but this year he is running wild with 11 steals in 12 attempts. His SLG an ISO are near career lows, and his HR/FB rate has dropped from 14.9% in 2009 to 10.8% in 2010 to just 3.9% this season. Not a good trend for fantasy owners.

Indians DH Travis Hafner went 3-5 with a walk off grand slam last night, and is now hitting .347-.428-.567 with 8 HRs, 35 RBIs, and a 35-19 K/BB rate in 151 at bats. His 35 strikeouts in 151 at bats are extreme, but are offset by his 19 walks.

More Roundup after the jump:

The Rockies are getting decimated with injuries an rookie outfielder Charlie Blackmon is another to go down as he broke his foot sliding into third base yesterday. Blackmon started out hot after his big league call up, but is now hitting .255-.277-.296 with a HR, 8 RBIs, 9 runs and 5 SBs in 98 at bats.

Rays second baseman Ben Zobrist went 3-3 with 2 walks, a triple, HR, 2 runs and an RBI. For the season he is hitting .272-.358-.481 with 10 HRs, 42 RBIs and 8 SBs in 10 attempts. He has hit 43 extra base hits in his 324 at bats thus far this season. He is 8-12 with 5 runs scored in his last 3 games.

Jason wrote about Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa a few days ago, naming him on his All Value All Star team. Last night he went 2-5 with a run, 2 RBIs and a SB. For the season, Espinosa is hitting .249-.335-.473 with 16 HRs, 52 RBIs, 11 SBs and an 80-28 K/BB rate. He is on pace for a 29-95-20 season.

The Nationals drafted Anthony Rendon in the first round of this years MLB Draft, and after he was taken, there was immediate talk of him moving to second base. After watching Ian Desmond hit .217-.259-.298 thus far this season, I wonder if the Nationals have plans to move him to second soon after he signs, as he is blocked, and figures to be blocked for quite awhile, by Ryan Zimmerman.

I was watching the Dodgers-Mets game last night, and Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw was cruising for 7 innings. Then he loaded the bases with 2 outs in the 8th, after having thrown around 105 pitches. Manager Don Mattingley walked to mound, and it appeared he was going to yank him, but the young ace talked him out of it and promptly struck out Mets catcher Ronny Paulino to end the threat. Kershaw shut out the Mets on for 8 innings, giving up 5 hits, 2 walks and struck out 9, to win his 9th game of the season.

Is it possible for a last place team to have the NL MVP and NL Cy Young Award winner?

Rangers starter Derek Holland shut out the A's on 4 hits last night, walking 2 and striking out 7 to win his 7th game of the season. His ERA and WHIP show that he is not rosterable in mixed leagues, but he does show flashes like last night's gem.

Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler went 2-4 with a walk and a run scored and is quietly having a solid season for fantasy owners. He is hitting .250-.365-.441 with 12 HRs, 32 RBIs, 61 runs, 19 SBs in 21 attempts and an excellent K/BB rate of 38-54. He is on pace to go 22-58-35 this season.

Twins catcher Joe Mauer played first base for the first time in his major league career, and went 3-5 with 2 RBIs. I wasn't a big fan of Mauer in the preseason, but I wonder what kind of season he would have put up had he not been injured this season. 

Giants starter Barry Zito held the Padres to one run in 8 innings last night, giving up just 4 base runners and striking out 7. Sure, it was only the Padres, but he is now 3-1 with a 3.15 ERA and 1.09 WHIP in his 6 starts this season. I would ride him in NL only leagues while he is hot.

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