Do you have some trade offers you are consider, but need to bounce them off of someone? Are you pondering a roster move and want a second opinion? Feel free to post your questions in the Fantasy Baseball Questions thread.
Fake Teams Podcast; Episode 11: Don't Think, React
David Wright recently signed a long term deal with the Mets, a team that is in the middle of a rebuild, with one of the reasons being that the Mets have two very young starters named Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler. The rest of the team around him is not that good, but that has not affected his performance at the plate. Wright went 4-5 with 2 doubles, a triple, HR, 2 runs and 2 RBI yesterday, raising his triple slash line to .309-.390-.533 with 12 HRs, 39 runs, 41 RBI and 12 stolen bases. For me, Wright is the second best fantasy third baseman right now.
He is currently on pace to put up a 27 home run, 27 stolen base season in 2013.
Edwin Encarnacion leading the streaking Blue Jays
There is not a hotter team in baseball than the Toronto Blue Jays right now, and Edwin Encarnacion is duplicating his 2012 break out season to help. Encarnacion had a big day at the plate on Sunday, going 3-5 with a double, HR, 2 runs and 4 RBI in the Blue Jays 13-5 win over the Orioles. Encarnacion is now hitting .274-.355-.545 with 21 HRs, 50 runs, 63 RBI, 3 stolen bases and an excellent 39-34 strikeout to walk rate.
He ranks in the top 10 in the American League in runs, HR, RBI, SLG, and OPS right now. Pretty impressive for a guy that used to be a free swinger in Cincinnati.
Cubs outfielder Ryan Sweeney had the game of his life yesterday, going 3-5 with 2 doubles, HR, 2 runs and 6 RBI in the Cubs 14-6 win over the Astros. Sweeney is now hitting .309-.356-.521 with 3 HRs, 9 runs and 13 RBI in less than 100 at bats this season. Sweeney is a backup outfielder who is playing every day now.
Sweeney's teammate Anthony Rizzo had a huge day at the plate as well, going 3-3 with a double, HR, 4 runs and 4 RBI, raising his triple slash line to .253-.340-.469 with 12 HRs, 40 runs, 44 RBI and 5 stolen bases this season. Rizzo has struggled in June, hitting just .188 with just one home run and 4 RBI. But on a positive note, he has walked 17 times vs just 11 strikeouts in 64 June at bats.
Don't look now, but Austin Jackson is on fire. AJax went 2-2 with 3 walks and 3 runs scored in the Tigers 7-5 win over the Red Sox. Since returning from the DL, covering 9 games, Jackson is 16-35 with 10 runs scored and a 4-6 strikeout to walk rate, raising his batting average from .266 to .306. Jackson is now hitting .306-.374-.409 with 3 HRs, 43 runs, 16 RBI and 6 stolen bases. Assuming he stays healthy, he should still score 100 runs in the dangerous Tigers lineup this season.
Are all of those innings pitched over the last few seasons starting to catch up to Tigers starter Justin Verlander? Verlander has not been the same pitcher for fantasy owners this season. Yesterday, he gave up 4 runs on 7 hits, 3 walks, and 4 strikeouts in just 5 innings in the Tigers win over the Red Sox. He has given up 3 runs or more in eight of his last 10 starts. Of concern for the Tigers fans, and his fantasy owners, is the drop in his fastball velocity from 94.3 mph to 92.6 mph this season. Actually, his fastball velocity has been dropping every year since 2009.
Is Justin Verlander still a top 10 fantasy starting pitcher?
Rockies outfielder Michael Cuddyer is quietly having an excellent season at the plate, and he went 3-4 with a HR and 4 RBI in Sunday's 8-7 win over the Nationals. Cuddyer raised his triple slash line to .339-.394-.578 with 11 HRs, 32 runs, 43 RBI and has even thrown in 6 stolen bases as well, all in just over 200 at bats this season.
Mets starter Matt Harvey just continues to dominate National League hitters this season. Yesterday, he shut out the Phillies on 2 hits, a walk and 6 strikeouts in "just" 6 innings in the Mets 8-0 win. Harvey needed just 72 pitches to get through six innings and owners in 5 x 5 leagues will not have to start thinking about whether the Mets will shut him down at some point this season, or if this is just a way to limit his innings as they were up 6-0 when he was removed from the game.
Jason Grilli has been the best closer in baseball this season, but yesterday, he proved that pitching in the big leagues is not easy. Grilli was called upon to pitch in a non-save situation, and almost blew a four run lead in the bottom of the ninth inning, but struck out Mike Trout with two out and men on second and third. He has now given up runs in two of his last three appearances, but is nowhere near losing his job, but he needed 28 pitches to get three outs yesterday, so Mark Melancon could get the next save opportunity for the Pirates.
Angels closer Ernesto Frieri blew his second save of the season yesterday, giving up 3 runs on 3 hits and a walk in the loss to the Pirates yesterday. Like Grilli, he is not in danger of losing his closer job, and actually had converted 14 save opportunities in a row before yesterday.
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke might be getting more comfortable with Francisco Rodriguez as his closer. Yesterday, he used former closer Jim Henderson in the 9th inning of a game they are losing 6-4 and he gave up a run on two hits, a walk and a strikeout. Closers are volatile, and so are managers utilization of said closers.
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