Roto Roundup: Bryce Harper, Jake Peavy, J.J. Hardy, and Others

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Ray highlights some of the top fantasy performers from Sunday's roto action including Bryce Harper, Jake Peavy, J.J. Hardy and others.

Fake Teams Podcast, Episode 28: A little less expensive

Zack and Andrew hosted episode 28 of the Fake Teams podcast, discussing Andrew preseason bold predictions,Francisco Liriano, Ichiro's 4,000th hit, Nate Schierholtz and replacements for Jason Heyward among others.

You can listen to the podcast in two ways:

MP3

ITunes

J.J. Hardy: Underrated fantasy shortstop

The Orioles have one of the best defensive infields in the game lead by third baseman Manny Machado and shortstop J.J. Hardy. We all know about the potential Machado possesses, but Hardy has been around for quite awhile, but he doesn't seem to get the press that other fantasy shortstops receive.

Yesterday, Hardy went 3-4 with a HR, double, 3 runs and an RBI in the Orioles 10-4 win over the A's. Hardy is now hitting .258-.301-.445 with 23 HRs, 52 runs and 67 RBI and is on pace for 29 home runs and 84 RBI. He currently leads all fantasy shortstops in home runs with 23 and is second in RBI with 67, one behind leader Troy Tulowitzki.

To read more about Hardy and the Orioles, check out Camden Chat, SB Nation's Orioles fan site.

Has Bryce Harper underperformed your expectations?

I am almost finished with my early take on the Top 20 hitters for 2014 (I may expand it to Top 25), and Nationals outfielder made the list. Last offseason, I projected Harper to put up a 25 home run, 25 stolen base season in 2013, but injuries have limited him on the base paths. What he has done is hit for power, especially for a 20 year old.

On Sunday, Harper went 2-5 with a HR and 2 RBI in the Nationals loss to the Royals. He is now hitting .274-.376-.512 with 18 HRs, 56 runs, 46 RBI and 7 stolen bases in 92 games, and is on pace for 22 HRs, 57 RBI and 9 stolen bases. He has been a bit of a disappointment, but maybe fantasy writers like me were too high on the 20 year old in his first full season in the majors.

I think he will only get better going forward and will put that same 25-25 projection on him for 2014.

For more on Harper and the disappointing Nationals, check out Federal Baseball, SB Nation's Nationals fan site.

Round'em Up

Red Sox starter Jake Peavy had perhaps his best outing as a member of the Red Sox, as he went the distance against the surging Dodgers on Sunday Night baseball. Peavy allowed just one run on 3 hits, a walk and 5 strikeouts to win his 10th game of the season. He is now 10-5 with a 3.99 ERA and 1.09 WHIP in 18 starts. Since the trade to the Red Sox, Peavy has given up two runs or less in four of his five starts.

I was checking out Twitter on Sunday morning and saw that one guy tweeted that Phillies starter Roy Halladay would get bombed in his first start off the DL. I almost responded in disagreement, but chose not to. Halladay pitched well yesterday, as he was called up to start after Saturday night's 18 inning marathon used up Sunday's starter Tyler Cloyd. He limited the Diamondbacks to 2 runs on 4 hits, 2 walks and 2 strikeouts, to win his first game in months.

With Saturday's news that the Phillies were moving Maikel Franco over to first base for the rest of the AA season, I posed the question to a friend of mine who is a Phillies fan as to why they would make this decision with Ryan Howard locked into first base for several more years. His response was that the team must be happy with the play of third base prospect Cody Asche. Asche had a good game on Sunday, going 2-4 with a double and 2 RBI, and is now hitting .238-.282-.388 with 2 HRs, 10 runs and 12 RBI in 80 at bats since his call up.

I have to say the Rockies pitching staff is very underrated this season, and one guy who should be owned in more leagues is Jorge De La Rosa. JDLR held the Marlins to 3 runs on 5 hits, 3 walks and 3 strikeouts in the Rockies 4-3 win on Sunday. De La Rosa is now 14-6 with a 3.28 ERA, 1.35 WHIP and a 104-56 K-BB rate in 153.2 innings this season.

De La Rosa and Jhoulys Chacin have both pitched very well this season and are late round sleepers for 2014.

Brewers starter Marco Estrada was a fantasy sleeper back on draft day, with many owners looking for Estrada to repeat his successful 2012 season. Well, things didn't go as planned and Estrada landed on the DL for two months with a strained hamstring. Since returning from the DL, Estrada is looking more and more like pitcher we thought we drafted on draft day. Yesterday, he shut out the Reds for 7 innings on one hit, 2 walks and struck out 9 to win his 6th game of the season. Since returning from the DL, Estrada has given up one run or less in three of his four starts, and owns an excellent 83-21 strikeout to walk rate in 93.1 innings.

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