I don't know how many of you caught the USA-Ghana World Cup match, but that was a very thrilling 2-1 win for the US Soccer team last night. Let's hope they can keep the momentum going in their next match next Sunday at 6pm ET vs Portugal. Portugal lost to Germany yesterday 4-1.
Prospect Buy and Hold
Pirates outfield prospect Gregory Polanco was called up last week by the Pirates, so who will be the next top prospect called up to the big leagues who could impact fantasy rosters this season? Could it be Andrew Heaney or Alex Meyer?
Here is Jason Hunt's list of the players who could be called up in the next few weeks, or later this season. His weekly Buy and Hold series takes a look at players you should look at grabbing off your league waiver wire before they are called up, and before your league mates grab them.
Rubby De La Rosa dominates the Twins
I have been a bug fan of Rubby De La Rosa's since he began his career in the Dodgers organization, and was sorry to see him included in the big trade two seasons ago that sent Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto to Los Angeles. When I had the chance to pick him up in my AL only keeper league, I did not hesitate. Unfortunately for me, I picked him up after his first start when he shut out the Rays on 4 hits over 7 innings. Since then, he has struggled a bit, giving up 8 runs and 20 base runners over his last two starts (11.1 innings).
Last night, he faced the Twins at home at Fenway Park, and he dominated. He limited the Twins to one hit, 3 walks and 3 strikeouts over 7 innings. He left with the Red Sox leading 1-0, so he was in line for his second win of the season. Assuming the Sox hold on, he is now 2-2 with a 2.84 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and a 23-7 strikeout to walk rate in 25.1 innings.
For more on RDLR, make sure you check out Over the Monster, SB Nation's Red Sox fan site.
Justin Verlander: Did you drop him yet?
I was laughed at last week when I told readers here that Tigers starter Justin Verlander was droppable in all leagues. I keep waiting for him to prove me wrong, but that hasn't happened yet. What has happened is that he continues to pitch like Cubs starter Edwin Jackson. Actually, Jackson is striking out more batters, walking less batters, and has a lower FIP than Verlander does right now.
Last night, Verlander was facing the hot Royals lineup at home, but that didn't help, as he surrendered 7 runs on 12 hits, 2 walks and 2 strikeouts in 6 innings of work in the Tigers loss to the Royals. Verlander is now 6-7 with a 4.98 ERA, 1.56 WHIP and a 69-41 strikeout to walk rate in 97.2 innings. this season. Over his last seven starts, he has given up 38 runs on 61 hits, 20 walks and 27 strikeouts in 43.2 innings. 38 runs in 43 innings. Wow. And he is still owned in 100% of leagues right now.
That has to change.
For more on Verlander's performance, check out Bless You Boys, SB Nation's Tigers fan site.
Phillies ace Cole Hamels has been one of the hottest starting pitchers in baseball of late, and he stayed hot last night, shutting out the Braves on 5 hits, 2 walks and 6 strikeouts in 7 innings. Hamels was in line for the win, as he left with a 1-0 lead, but Jonathan Papelbon blew the save in the ninth inning, so he left with a no-decision. Hamels is now 2-3 with a 2.78 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and a 76-24 strikeout to walk rate in 74.1 innings. He hasn't given up an earned run in his last three starts, covering 22.2 innings. Over his last eight starts, he has given up a total of 10 earned runs in 57.2 innings.
I think age and all the injuries, especially the back injury, has caught up to Mets third baseman David Wright this season. Last night, he went 1-4 with 2 strikeouts in the Mets loss to the Cardinals. Wright has been a big disappointment for fantasy owners this season, as he is hitting .262-.325-.353 with just 4 home runs, 29 runs scored, 33 RBI and 4 stolen bases in 8 attempts. He is on pace for his worst season of his career, as he is on pace for just 9 home runs, 67 runs scored, 76 RBI and 9 stolen bases.
It's nice to see Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro having a bounce back season after a very disappointing 2013 season when the team attempted to change his approach at the plate to swing at less pitches. That didn't work out too well, but he has turned things around this season. Last night, Castro went 3-5 with a home run and 3 RBI and is now hitting .287-.331-.474 with 10 home runs, 31 runs scored, 38 RBI and just two stolen bases. He has been batting in the clean up spot for the Cubs this season, but that will be short-lived once hitters like Javier Baez and Kris Bryant finally get called up for good. Castro is on pace for 24 home runs and 91 RBI and that will move him into the top 5 amongst fantasy shortstops in our 2015 rankings.
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