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The Fake Teams Fantasy Podcast: Episode 2
Zack Smith and Andrew Ball hosted Episode 2 of the Fake Teams Fantasy Podcast on Sunday night, where I made an appearance and rambled for about 40 minutes, and I am pretty sure Zack and Andrew were texting each other asking when I was going to shut my pie hole. I discuss how I got involved with Fake Teams, how my Tout Wars team is faring, along with my thoughts on Paul Konerko, George Springer and others. Here is a link the Episode 2:
And if you wanted to listen to the podcast on ITunes, check out this link:
Mike Trout hits for the cycle
Angels outfielder Mike Trout became the youngest AL hitter to hit for the cycle last night, as he went 4-5 with a HR, 2 runs, 5 RBI and he chipped in with a stolen base as well. Trout raised his triple slash line to .293-..373-.558 with 9 HRs, 31 runs, 34 RBI and 9 stolen bases in 181 at bats thus far. After a .261-.333-.432 April, Trout is hitting .343-.434-.757 with 7 HRs, 16 runs, 18 RBI and 5 stolen bases in May. With 10 more days left in May, Trout is set to exceed his May 2012 production with a few more runs scored and stolen bases.
He is on pace to hit 32 home runs and steal 32 bases. So much for the regression season, huh?
Mike Leake: better than expected in 2013
Last week, the Reds decided to send pitching prospect Tony Cingrani back to AAA when Johnny Cueto returned from the DL. It was a decision that many fantasy owners disagreed with as Cingrani had pitched very well in his six starts. Many felt that Mike Leake should have been moved to the bullpen, with Cingrani staying in the rotation. Lost in all that talk is the fact that Leake has pitched very well this season. He shut out the Mets for seven innings last night, giving up 3 hits, walking 2 and striking out 4 in the Reds 4-0 win. Leake is now 4-2 with a 3.25 ERA, 3.86 FIP, 1.39 WHIP and a 38-15 K-BB rate in 55.1 innings. He is striking out just over six batters per nine, which is ok, but he does a great job keeping the ball on the ground, inducing ground balls at a 53% clip.
Tigers starter Max Scherzer bounced back after two straight rough starts, limiting the Indians to just one run on two hits, a walk and 7 strikeouts in 8 innings last night. He moved his record to 6-0 with a 3.61 ERA, 0.91 WHIP and a 75-13 strikeout to walk rate in 62.1 innings this season. Scherzer is still a very inconsistent starter, alternating dominating starts with a start where he gives up four or five runs.
A's starter Dan Straily out-dueled Rangers ace Yu Darvish last night, shutting out the Rangers in Texas for seven innings. Straily gave up just two hits, walked none and struck out five to win his second game of the season. Straily needed just 88 pitches to get through seven innings, and is now 2-2 with a 5.73 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and a 32-12 K-BB rate in 33 innings.
Phillies pitching prospect Tyler Cloyd made the most of his spot start on Tuesday night, giving up just two run on 8 hits, 2 walks and 5 strikeouts in the Phillies 7-3 win over the Marlins. Cloyd has pitched well in both starts thus far, giving up two runs in each of his starts. He should see a few more starts for the Phillies while Roy Halladay is out.
Cubs starter Matt Garza was activated from the DL yesterday and made his first start since July 21, 2012. Garza pitched great, shutting out the Pirates for 5 innings, giving up just one hit, walking three and striking out five. If Garza is available in your league, go out and grab him. If he can stay healthy, he can provide value to fantasy owners.
Braves catcher Brian McCann has rewarded his owners for staying patient while he was recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. McCann went 3-4 with a HR and 2 RBI in the Braves 5-4 extra inning win last night. McCann is hitting .282-.383-.590 with 4 HRs, 5 runs, and 12 RBI in just 39 at bats since returning from the DL. McCann is a free agent at the end of the season, and will be looking for a huge payday.
I won Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer in my AL only keeper league, and have to say I am pretty disappointed in him this season. Hosmer went 2-5 with 2 runs scored last night, raising his triple slash line to .271-.342-.347 with 1 HR, 18 runs, 12 RBI, 3 stolen bases and a 28-15 K-BB rate. The batting average is not the problem for me, it's the lack of power. Hosmer has just 8 extra base hits in 144 at bats this season, with just the one home run. He will fall very far in my first base rankings in 2014 if the power doesn't appear.
Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki may have fallen a few spots in some fantasy drafts this season due to his history of injuries, but he has been healthy so far in 2013. Tulo went 2-4 with a HR, a double, 2 runs and an RBI in the Rockies 5-4 win over the division leading Diamondbacks last night. He is now hitting .338-.409-.606 with 9 HRs, 25 runs and 38 RBI, and is tied for the National League lead in RBI with Brandon Phillips.
Rockies closer Rafael Betancourt entered last night's game, but left with a groin injury after throwing just two pitches. He is considered day to day right now. In his absence, Rex Brothers could see a few save opportunities, so grab him if he is available.
Rays closer Fernando Rodney was called upon to get five outs last night, and did not disappoint. He did give up a run on a hit and a walk, but he struck out two to earn his ninth save of the season. Joel Peralta would be the guy to grab should Rodney eventually lose the closer job in Tampa.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly seems to be getting closer to making a change in the closer role for the struggling Dodgers. He was asked before last night's game who his closer would be and his response was as follows, per MLB.com
"I don't know," the Dodgers manager said. "We'll see."
"I know who I want to use. But I don't know if I want to anoint anybody," said Mattingly, who seems to be leaning toward Kenley Jansen over Brandon League in high-stress situations based on recent use. "I'd really like to see the bullpen get its confidence back and some semblance of order and get the guys in the roles we designed.
Now Mattingly has much bigger concerns right now, as his job is on the line, but getting the bullpen in order is just one of the many things that need fixing on this team right now. Grab Jansen in all leagues if he is still available.