Roto Roundup: Josh Reddick, Brandon Beachy, Jed Lowrie and Others

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Ray Guilfoyle highlights the top fantasy performers from Friday's roto action, including Josh Reddick, Brandon Beachy, and some news involving Albert Pujols.

Albert Piujols took PEDs?

If you follow me on Twitter, you will see that I retweeted this tweet from Patrick Daugherty yesterday, which links to a column where Jack Clark accuses Albert Pujols of taking PEDs.

I read some of the article, and Clark says he was told by Pujols' trainer that he injected Pujols with steroids. Then later yesterday afternoon we got denials from the trainer and Albert Pujols, which was not surprising. Actually, Pujols is now suing Clark, which makes me wonder that he may actually have taken steroids. I am not sure what to make of all this really, but it could get really interesting if one of the names of the games' greatest hitters ever is linked to steroids/PEDs, and how that impacts his Hall of Fame career.

Fake Teams Podcast, Episode 24: The Lost Podcast

Lost podcast, not last podcast. I sat down with Andrew Ball and Daniel Kelley on Thursday night to discuss our recent Midseason Starting Pitcher Rankings, where we discussed Clayton Kershaw, Yu Darvish, Kris Medlen, Jose Fernandez and Mike Minor, among others. We also took the opportunity to get into some good ole Zack bashing.

But, due to technical difficulties, some of the podcast was lost, but you can listen to what was recorded in the links below. And here are some of what was lost:

  • Jered Weaver │ Both Daniel and Ray think Weaver is being undervalued by the FT staff, citing that he has always outperformed his peripherals and he's finally healthy.
  • Francisco Liriano │ Daniel, much like Brian Creagh, has been burned so many times by Liriano that he still can't jump on the bandwagon. Also, Liriano's increased slider usuge this year may make him at risk for an injury.
  • Matt Cain and Kris Medlen │ One of the things I really support about Daniel's rankings, even if I don't do it myself, is the fact that he doesn't let a few months of data sway his opinion from the rankings we did in the preseason. Cain and Medlen are both pitchers with track records of success, granted a longer one for Cain, but he is sticking by both of them.
  • Mike Minor │ All of us, myself included feel that stripping away Minor's name and simply evaluating the raw numbers makes him an easy top-20 pitcher. Kudos to Ray for the ranking at 13.
  • Matt Moore │ Ray thinks Moore is the next Clayton Kershaw, while Daniel is a bit more hesitant citing that Moore is only about a year younger than Kershaw right now. I'm in the middle of the two opinions.
  • Zack Smith │ Zack's rankings of David Price at 20, Hiroki Kuroda at 50, and C.C. Sabathia at 16 made all of us say, "huh?"

You can listen to the podcast in two ways:

MP3 LINK
ITUNES LINK (subscribe here)

Josh Reddick shows off his power

A's outfielder Josh Reddick had a breakout season in 2012, hitting 32 home runs after being traded from the Red Sox for Andrew Bailey. This season has been a bit of a downer for his owners as he has struggled for most of the season. Last night, he had his best game as a big leaguer, hitting not one, not two, but three home runs in the A's 14-6 win over the Blue Jays.

He went 3-5 with 3 HRs and 5 RBI, and is now hitting just .210-.292-.363 with 8 HRs, 37 runs, 42 RBI and 8 stolen bases in 281 at bats. His batting average has been brought down by a very low .236 BABIP, but he is walking at a career high 10.3% rate, so he could be a nice buy low candidate in 2014 drafts.

Brandon Beachy: A quick return to his old form?

I didn't know what to make of Braves starter Brandon Beachy's return from Tommy John surgery,as he had struggled with his command in some of his rehab starts before being activated from the DL. Last night, it appeared that he was his old self, as he shut out the Marlins, (yeah, I know, it's just the Marlins, but still) over 8 innings, giving up just 3 hits, walking one and striking out 6.

I traded for Beachy in one of my NL only keeper leagues where I bailed, and now own him at $5 next season. I think he will still have his ups and downs as the season rolls on, but he could come cheap in 2014 drafts.

Round'em Up

Braves outfielder Justin Upton went 1-4 with a HR in the Braves 5-0 win last night, and has been on fire over the past week or so. Upton is now hitting .272-.361-.490 with 22 HRs, 74 runs, 61 RBI and 7 stolen bases. Over his last ten games, Upton has hit 6 HRs, scored 12 runs and driven in 14 runs. Upton started the season on fire, got cold for May and June, but has hit well in July and the first week and a half of August. Even with his two month slump, Upton is on pace for 31 HRs, 100+ runs and 85 RBI.

A's shortstop Jed Lowrie had a big day at the plate on Friday, going 4-4 with a walk, HR, double, 2 runs and 4 RBI, raising his triple slash line to ,.295-.361-.431 with 9 HRs, 51 runs and 48 RBI in 420 at bats. He isn't a top 10 fantasy shortstop, but he helps in the batting average and OBP categories, and provides some pop.

Coming into the season, Astros first baseman/outfielder Chris Carter was getting some sleeper hype due to his strong second half in Oakland last season. This season, he provided his owners with power, but he may not be long for the big leagues. After being benched for a few games after a 4 strikeout game on Monday, Carter returned to the Astros lineup last night and proceeded to strike out twice in three at bats. He has now struck out 20 times in his last 38 at bats, and is on pace to strike out 215 times in just under 500 at bats. Not good.

I am being offered a $38 Adrian Beltre for a $5 Anibal Sanchez in my AL only keeper league right now, and I am leaning toward saying no to the offer because I need wins, and really like cheap starters with an ERA under 3.00. But Beltre is one of my favorite players in the game and love the guy. Last night, he went 2-4 with 3 runs scored and an RBI in the Rangers 9-5 win over the Astros. Beltre raised his triple slash line to .321-.367-.535 with 25 HRs, 68 runs and 71 RBI, and is on pace for 35 HRs, 95 runs and 99 RBI this season. I am not sure there is a better fantasy third baseman after Miguel Cabrera is off the board.

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