In case you missed any of our Consensus Midseason Position Rankings, you can view all of them in the link below:
Some of you on Twitter stated how much you enjoyed the Three (Possibly) True Outcome series from Andrew Ball, so here is a link to every one of his pieces, including articles on Xander Bogaerts, Jorge Alfaro, Carlos Correa, and many others:
C.C. Sabathia is not the ace we drafted in March
Yesterday, I wrote about how Justin Verlander's recent performance could be knocking him from the ace starting pitcher conversation, and there are several aces who are having bad seasons in 2013. Included on that list is Yankees ace C.C. Sabathia, who has now given up 14 earned runs over his last two starts, covering just 10 innings of work. Over his last two starts, he has given up 14 runs on 18 hits, 5 walks and 11 strikeouts over 10 innings. He has now give up four runs or more in 10 of his 22 starts this season, and, for me, that is not ace level performance.
On the season, Sabathia is now 9-8 with a 4.65 ERA, 1.31 WHIP and a 135-28 strikeout to walk rate. He has already eclipsed his career high in home runs allowed this season with 23, and is on pace to give up 36 now. Like Verlander, he is not a fantasy ace this season.
Edwin Encarnacion: Quietly having a monster season
Blue Jays first baseman/DH Edwin Encarnacion is quietly having a monster season at the plate. I say monster because guys like Miguel Cabrera and Chris Davis are the ones stealing the headlines so far in 2013, but Encarnacion is having a great season as well. Last night, he went 3-4 with 2 HRs, 3 runs and 5 RBI, raising his triple slash line of .269-.359-.546 with 28 HRs, 66 runs, 80 RBI and 6 stolen bases.
He currently ranks third in baseball in home runs with 28, and ranks fifth in RBI with 80. Encarnacion is on pace to hit 44 home runs, score 105 runs and drive in 127 runs. He has to be in the first round draft pick conversation heading into 2014.
Last season, Orioles outfielder Adam Jones had a breakout season at the plate, hitting .287-.334-.505 with 32 HRs, scoring 103 runs, driving in 82 runs and stealing 16 bases. This season, he is hitting .294-.323-.510 with 22 HRs, 72 runs, 74 RBI and 9 stolen bases after going 2-4 with 2 HRs and 3 RBI. He is on pace to improve upon his 2012 season and is projected to hit 34 HRs, score 112 runs, and drive in 115 runs if he can stay healthy all season.
Rockies starter Tyler Chatwood might be the Rockies best pitcher right now and should be owned in all NL only and mixed leagues, if he isn't already. He is owned in just 27% of ESPN leagues right now, but should be owned in more leagues after his performance last night. Last night, he limited the Brewers lineup to 2 runs on 6 hits, no walks and 11 strkeouts over 7 innings in the Rockies win. He is now 7-5 with a 2.48 ERA, 1.30 WHIP and a 59-27 strikeout to walk rate in 83.2 innings of work. He has given up 2 runs or less in 9 of his last 10 starts.
Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy had his best game of the season in the first game of the double header vs the Nationals yesterday. Facing Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann, Murphy went 4-5 with 2 HRs, 3 runs and 5 RBI. In the second game, he had two more hits in four at bats, and is now hitting .286-.320-.421 with 8 HRs, 60 runs, 49 RBI and 11 stolen bases. I may have been a little light in my ranking of Murphy in our second base rankings two weeks ago.
Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez is doing his best to challenge Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki for top honors at the fantasy shortstop position. Last night, he went 2-4 with a 2 run HR and a stolen base in the Dodgers 2-1 win over the Reds. Hanley is now hitting .387-.439-.699 with 11 HRs, 36 runs, 33 RBI and 8 stolen bases in just 163 at bats thus far. I don't see him hitting this well the rest of the season, but he is a very valuable fantasy shortstop and appears to be back to the Hanley of old.
There isn't much more one can write about Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw. He seems to pitch very well in almost every start. Last night, he limited the Reds to 1 run on 6 hits, no walks and 8 strikeouts in 8 innings in the Dodgers 2-1 win. He is now 10-6 with a 1.96 ERA, a 0.87 WHIP and a 156-35 strikeout to walk rate in 160.1 innings thus far. For me, and many others, he is on his way to his second NL Cy Young Award.
Sorry for the short Roundup, but I am headed out on vacation this morning. My writing will be limited over the next week, but I will do my best to get something up.