Jun 22, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers pitcher Roy Oswalt (44) pitches in the third inning against the Colorado Rockies at Rangers Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE
Pirates starter A.J. Burnett is making GM Neil Huntington look real good for trading for him this offseason. Burnett shut out the Tigers for 6 innings last night, giving up just 2 hits, walking 3 and striking out 4 to win his 8th game of the season. In his last 9 starts, covering 59.1 innings, he has given up 15 runs on 45 hits, 21 walks and 45 strikeouts. He has lowered his ERA from 8.04 to 3.24 during the same stretch. He has given up 2 runs or less in 10 of his 11 starts this season, and has induced double digit ground ball outs in all but two of his starts.
And this tweet from Scott Pianowski from Yahoo tells you how dominant Burnett has been this season:
scott pianowski @scott_pianowski
A.J. Burnett if you take out the 12-R nightmare: 8-1, 72.1 IP, 15 ER, 26 BB, 60 K. ERA is 1.87, WHIP 1.11. Rock solid.
Don't look now, but Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira has quietly turned his season around. He went 2-5 with a run scored last night, and has now hit in 19 of his last 24 games since May 23rd, raising his triple slash line from .226-.291-.381 to .259-.337-.474 with 12 HRs, 36 runs, 40 RBI and a 38-28 strikeout to walk ratio in 247 at bats. With so many power hitters struggling this season, Teixeira is on track to hit 28 HRs and 94 RBI. I have a feeling he will better those numbers by season's end.
Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie seems to like hitting in the leadoff spot. Coming into Friday night's game, he was hitting .306-.386-.532 (courtesy of Baseball-Reference) with 3 HRs, 13 runs, 8 RBI and an 8-7 strikeout to walk ratio in 15 games in the leadoff position. He went 3-5 with 4 runs scored and a stolen base last night in the Blue Jays 12-5 win over the Marlins. His triple slash line is up to .293-.342-.430 and he has scored 41 runs this far this season. I expects a few more HRs from him, but he is on pace for 16 home runs and 20+ steals, but he will have to cut down on the caught stealing to continue getting the green light at first base. I could see him putting up a 20 HR-20+ stolen base season this season, which will put him in the top 2 tiers for fantasy third baseman in 2013.
More Roto Roundup after the jump:
Brewers starter Zack Greinke out-dueled White Sox starter Chris Sale last night, tossing 9 shutout innings, giving up just 3 hits, walking one and striking out 4 to win his 8th game of the season. He is now 8-2 with a 2.81 ERA, 2.05 FIP, 2.55 xFIP, 1.18 WHIP and a 99-21 strikeout to walk ratio in 96 innings thus far. Greinke is slated to become a free agent at the end of the season, and should challenge Phillies ace Cole Hamels for largest free agent contract this season. He is everything you want in a starter, as he is striking out 9.28 batters per nine, walking just under 2.0 per nine, with a 53% ground ball rate. In his last 3 starts in June, he has traded the strikeout for the ground ball out, as he has struck out 18 batters in his 24 innings pitched, but induced 40 ground ball outs.
Indians starter Ubaldo Jimenez is doing his best to make the Indians the winner in the deal with the Rockies. He shut out the Astros for 6.2 innings last night, giving up just 4 hits, walking 4 and striking out 8 to win his 7th game of the season. He is 7-5 with a 4.59 ERA, and FIP and xFIPs over 5.00, a 1.55 WHIP and a disturbingly high 5.36 BB/9. But, in his last 4 starts, he has given up just 6 earned runs in 26.1 innings, striking out 25 and walking just 7.
Remember when I said Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista would have trouble reaching 40 HRs this season. Yeah? Let's just pretend I didn't say that. Ok? No? Ok, I did....and Jose is doing his best to make me look very bad for saying it. Bautista went 2-3 with a HR, a walk, 3 runs, and 3 RBI last night and is now hitting .237-.360-.542 with 23 HRs and 55 RBI on the season. In his last 10 games, he has hit 6 HRs, driven in 11 and scored 11 runs. He is back to leading the AL in HRs, is second in RBI and runs scored and third in walks. Yeah, remember his slow start in April, where he hit .181-.320-.313 with 3 HRs and 10 RBI? He has followed that disaster of a month with the following:
May: 9 HRs, 22 RBI, 20 runs, .257 BA, .342 OBP, .552 SLG
June: 11 HRs, 23 RBI, 17 runs, .258 BA, .413 OBP, .774 SLG
At this rate, he will have 40 HRs by mid August. #facepalm.
Twins outfielder Ben Revere is owned in just 55% of ESPN leagues, and it should be higher right now as he is a solid source for stolen bases. Batting second for a team that is 22nd in runs scored, he should have plenty of opportunities to run, assuming he can continue to get on base like he has thus far in 2012. He went 4-4 with a run scored and 2 stolen bases last night and is now hitting .320-.344-.381 with 14 steals in 16 attempts in just 147 at bats, and is on pace for 33 stolen bases this season.
The Rangers are hurting for quality starts from their starting pitchers, and Roy Oswalt gave them just that last night. Oswalt, making his first start of the season, held the Rockies to one run in 6.2 innings, giving up 9 hits, a walk and striking out 6. I bid $5 FAAB on him in my AL-only keeper league, and wasn't even close, as the owner who won the bidding bid $17 for him. In this league, an $11 bid or higher is a guaranteed contract for this season and next. Too rich for my blood, but he could end up retiring after the season, so the owner won't be stuck with that contract for next season.