Dynasty League Strategy: Speculating for saves
I play in several keeper leagues and when I am rebuilding, which happens every few seasons, I like to speculate on picking up future closers on the cheap. Jason Hunt wrote some of his thoughts on this subject and you can find it in the link below.
Eric Hosmer: All the way back
I have written about Eric Hosmer several times in this space, and it appears he may be all the way back from his year and a half slump. Yesterday, Hosmer went 3-4 with a HR and 3 RBI, raising his batting average over .300 for the first time all season. He is now hitting .302-.356-.452 with 16 HRs, 76 runs, 73 RBI and 11 stolen bases and he will be firmly in my top 10 fantasy first baseman heading into 2014 once again.
We all know how bad he struggled to start the season, but since the end of May, Hosmer has the following monthly splits:
June: .303-.347-.541, 6 HRs, 17 RBI, 13-8 K-BB
July: .324-.351-.496, 4 HRs, 13 RBI, 17-5 K-BB
August: .323-.388-.476, 4 HRs, 20 RBI, 14-14 K-BB
September: .320-.433-.440, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 6-5 K-BB
In addition to hitting over .300 in each of the last 3+ months, Hosmer is showing better plate discipline, and hitting for more power than in the first two months of the season.
For more on Hosmer and the hot Royals, check out Royals Review, SB Nation's Royals fan site.
Ian Desmond: Approaching second 20-20 season
I was down on Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond back in spring training, thinking that his 25 HRs in 2012 were the result of an inflated, and not repeatable, HR/FB rate. Well, I couldn't have been more wrong, as he now has 20 HRs, and is approaching 20 stolen bases, after going 3-5 with a double, triple, 2 RBI and a stolen base in the Nationals 6-4 win over the Marlins.
Desmond is now hitting .285-.337-.476 with 20 HRs, 72 runs, 71 RBI and 19 stolen bases in 23 attempts. He is one stolen base away from another 20-20 season in his third big league season. To put his season in perspective, he will join only Mike Trout and Carlos Gonzalez as hitters with 20+ home runs and 20+ stolen bases this season. Pretty impressive.
For more on Desmond and the Nationals, check out Federal Baseball, SB Nation's Nationals fan site.
Cardinals starter Michael Wacha was one of the better pitching prospects in baseball coming into the season and he is now showing major league hitters how good he is on the mound. On Sunday, Wacha limited the struggling Pirates to no runs on 2 hits, 2 walks and 2 strikeouts in 7.1 innings in the Cardinals 6-2 win. Wacha has not given up a run in his last two starts, giving up just 5 hits and 4 walks over 13.1 innings.
Reds outfielder Jay Bruce had Clayton Kershaw's number on Sunday night baseball. Bruce went 2-4 with two solo home runs off of Kershaw in the Reds 3-2 win over the Dodgers. Bruce is now hitting .268-.330-.498 with 29 HRs, 80 runs and 93 RBI this season, and is on pace to improve his RBI total for the fifth straight season. I was watching the Sunday night game, and they mentioned that he is leading the National League in extra base hits this season, as he now has 29 HRs to go with his 38 doubles and one triple. It would seem that the NL leader in extra base hits would have a higher slugging percentage.
Eric Young Jr. was an annual top sleeper pick in the offseason due to his tremendous speed and stolen base ability for fantasy owners. But until this season, he has never had more than 282 at bats in any one of his five major league seasons. Yesterday, he went 2-4 with the game winning RBI in the Mets 2-1 win over the Indians. EYJr isn't hitting for a high batting average, but he has stolen 36 bases in 45 attempts, and one has to wonder if he is in the Mets plans for 2014. If so, he could once again be that hyped sleeper to help in the stolen base category.
Mets starter Matt Harvey will have his right elbow examined by Dr. James Andrews this week and we will learn more about whether he needs Tommy John surgery or not. If so, he will miss all of the 2014 season, presenting fantasy owners who are rebuilding a chance to get an ace starter on the cheap in fantasy drafts next season.
In his second start since returning from the disabled list, Rays starter Matt Moore limited the Mariners to 1 run on 5 hits, 3 walks and 3 strikeouts in 6.1 innings. He left with a no decision, and has given up just one earned run in his two starts since coming off the DL. He is now 15-3 with a 3.18 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, and a 124-63 strikeout to walk rate in 133 innings of work.
Reds starter Homer Bailey has taken a big step up in 2013 and fast becoming one of the better starters in the National League. Last night, on Sunday night baseball, he limited the Dodgers to 2 runs on 6 hits, no walks and 9 strikeouts. He looked dominant early in the game, striking out 5 in a row at one point. Bailey is 10-10 with a 3.39 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and an excellent 190-42 strikeout to walk rate in 191.1 innings. He has pitched better than his record indicates, as he has given up two runs or less in 15 of his 29 starts this season.