The future is looking up for this young power hitter. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Orioles starter Chris Tillman pitched a gem vs the White Sox last night, shutting them out for 7 innings on just one hit, 4 walks and 5 strikeouts. The win was his 7th of the season, as he is now 7-2 with a 3.26 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and a 47-19 strikeout to walk ratio in 58 innings covering 10 starts. In those 10 starts, he has given up 2 runs or less in 6 of them, but gives up plenty of fly balls which could come back to bite him once he goes through the league a second time.
Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp injured his knee running into the center field wall in Colorado for the second straight game. He suffered a knee contusion, and was taken for x-rays of his jaw and an MRI of his knee. He may miss a few games, but the Dodgers can ill afford to see him miss more than a few games now that they can't score runs in the best hitting environment in baseball.
Has Athletics first baseman Chris Carter finally figured things out at the plate? Carter went 3-5 with a HR, 2 runs and 2 RBI last night in the A's 7-0 win over the Indians. Carter is now hitting .270-.378-.572 with 12 HRs, 30 runs, 29 RBI and a 51-27 strikeout to walk ratio in 152 at bats. He continues to strike out too much (28.3%), but is walking at an excellent 15.0% rate. His BABIP of .322 is not terribly high, so he could very well continue to hit like this heading into the 2013 season. I am glad I traded him in my AL-only league. #sarcasm
Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez may never be more than a .250 hitter in the big leagues, but he has proven this season, after a terrible start, that his power will keep him in the Pittsburgh lineup on a daily basis. He went 4-5 with 2 HRs, 3 runs and 4 RBIs in the Buccos 9-0 win over the Cardinals. Alvarez raised his slash line to .247-.327-.484 with 25 HRs, 53 runs and 67 RBI in just over 400 at bats. He is on pace for 31 HRs and is currently 5th in the NL in home runs this season.
Braves starter Kris Medlen continued his dominance last night in San Diego, shutting out the Padres for 8 innings, giving up just 5 hits, no walks and 9 strikeouts. He is now 6-1 with a 1.71 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and a 74-18 strikeout to walk rate in 95 innings pitched this season. Right now he is the Braves best starting pitcher. Over his last 6 starts, covering 40.2 innings, he has given up just 3 earned runs on 31 hits, and a 37-5 K/BB rate. Like I mentioned after his last start, he will rank pretty high in my 2013 starting pitcher rankings, and I am sure he will receive plenty of hype heading into 2013 fantasy drafts.
Rangers starter Yu Darvish has probably his best outing of the season, shutting out the Rays for 7 innings, while giving up 6 hits, walking 2 and striking out 10 to win his 13th game of the season. He is now 13-9 with a 4.31 ERA, 1.41 WHIP and a 182-82 strikeout to walk ratio in 154.2 innings pitched. I own him at $22 in an AL-only league (yes, I traded him away, then traded for him again), but don't see keeping him at that price with Felix Hernandez, Jeff Weaver, David Price and other aces available in 2013 draft.
Royals outfielder Alex Gordon is proving that his 2011 breakout was no fluke this season. The power may be down, but the guy can hit. He went 2-5 with 2 doubles, 2 runs and 2 RBI last night in the Royals wild 9-8 win over the Tigers. He has multiple hits in 7 of his last 10 games, and has 5 straight games with 2 hits. He is now hitting .297-.368-.446 with 44 doubles, 9 HRs, 73 runs and 57 RBI this season. Maybe the HR power returns in 2013, but he should provide solid BA for fantasy owners going forward.