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Fake Teams Podcast, Episode 14: Super Duper American
Cole Hamels: Back on track?
Phillies ace Cole Hamels has not been the Cole Hamels we drafted early in drafts thus far this season. He has been hit around a bit, but he seems to be getting back on track after a couple rough outings recently. Yesterday, Hamels limited the hot Pirates lineup to one earned run on 5 hits, no walks and 8 strikeouts in 7 innings in the Phillies 6-4 win. Hamels moved his record to 3-11 with a 4.38 ERA, 3.65 FIP, 1.27 WHIP and a 107-33 strikeout to walk rate in 113 innings. His FIP indicates that he he pitched better than his ERA indicates. He will need to put a few of these types of performances together to get back into the good graces of his fantasy owners.
For more on Hamels and the Phillies, please check out The Good Phight, SB Nation's Phillies fan site.
Tigers ace Justin Verlander mentioned recently that he found a flaw in his mechanics and with his performance last night, it appears he has corrected the flaw. Verlander shut out the Blue Jays on 3 hits, 2 walks and 5 strikeouts in 7 innings of work in the Tigers 11-1 win. Verlander, like Hamels, has not been his old dominant self on the mound this season, and has disappointed his fantasy owners. He moved his record to 9-5 with a 3.54 ERA, 3.02 FIP, a 1.36 WHIP and a 119-41 strikeout to walk rate in 112 innings.
His strikeout rate is up a bit this season, but his walk rate is up more than a walk per nine innings, and he is far more hittable this season, as his H/9 indicates.
For more on Verlander and the Tigers, check out Bless You Boys, SB Nation's Tigers fan site.
Tigers outfielder Austin Jackson has been on fire since returning from the DL and last night he went 4-5 with a walk, a HR, 4 runs and 3 RBI in the Tigers 11-1 win over the Blue Jays. Jackson is now hitting .296-.376-.420 with 5 HRs, 51 runs, 21 RBI and 6 stolen bases.
Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp seems to have found his power stroke as he homered for the second straight game on Thursday night, going 2-5 with a HR and 2 RBI. Kemp raised his triple slash line to .254-.306-.357 with 4 HRs, 29 runs, 24 RBI and 9 stolen bases in 9 attempts. Kemp is one of the biggest disappointments for fantasy owners thus far, but if his shoulder is healthy, he could get back to being the old Matt Kemp in the second half of the season.
Brett Wallace was once one of the top hitting prospects in the game, but minor league pitchers found his weaknesses and he has yet to overcome them. Yet, sometimes he has a big game at the plate like he did last night, making fantasy owners left to wonder if he has turned things around. Wallace went 3-5 with 2 HRs, 2 runs and 4 RBI, but is now hitting a low .173-.204-.404. He has been playing regularly of late, but I wouldn't go out and pick him up unless you really need a corner or utility guy.
Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer has been another in a long line of disappointing hitters this season, but he appears to be back on track and is starting to hit for power. Last night, he went 2-4 with a HR, 2 runs and 2 RBI and is now hitting .281-.334-.430 with 9 HRs, 14 doubles, 44 runs, 36 RBI, and 7 stolen bases in 10 attempts. He has hit 6 HRs, with 11 runs and 9 RBI over his last 9 games. He is set to have a solid second half if he can continue to hit for power like he has over the last week and a half.
Twins pitching prospect Kyle Gibson was roughed up in his first major league start yesterday, giving up 8 runs on 11 hits, a walk and 2 strikeouts in the Twins 9-5 loss to the Yankees. Gibson lasted into the sixth inning, and was efficient, throwing just 79 pitches, 52 for strikes. I imagine the Twins will allow him to stay in the rotation, as he is part of their future. I would be hesitant to add him in anything but a keeper league at this point.
A's starter Dan Straily came off the DL to completely shut down the Cubs lineup last night. Straily shut out the Cubs on just one hit, 3 walks and 6 strikeouts over 7 innings to win his 5th game of the season. Straily is now 5-2 with a 4.52 ERA, 3.62 FIP and 1.15 WHIP. He should stay in the rotation after this performance and is more of a streaming play in mixed leagues.
Cardinals closer Edward Mujica is showing signs that he is human. Mujica blew his first save of the season last night, giving up two runs on four hits in 0.2 innings to earn the loss. Mujica came on to preserve a one run lead, and promptly gave up a game-tying two run home run to Josh Hamilton and two more hits for the game winning run. He has now given up runs in four of his last six appearances, raising his ERA by a full run in the process. A few more blown saves like this one could start the chants to give the closer job to Trevor Rosenthal.
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