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Fantasy Baseball: Thursday's Roto Roundup

Whew! My apologies for my absence. I had to give a two day training class on Derivatives for some clients at work, so my preparation for the class went well into Tuesday evening, preventing my from writing the Tuesday roundup (for Wednesday morning). Last night we took the clients to the Trenton Thunder game. Well, we were in our suite, but we were watching the Montreal-Washington game 7. In case, i never mentioned it, I am a Habs fan, so their win took my thoughts off the debacle that has become the Dodgers season. 

I want to thank Jason for writing Wednesday's roundup in my absence. 

Here are my thoughts after reviewing Thursday's boxscores:

Tigers starter Dontrelle Willis shutout the Twins on 4 hits and 2 walks, while punching out 6 in 6 innings. He lowered his ERA to 3.75 and pitching better than he has in several years.

Tigers outfielder Austin Jackson went 2-4 with a run scored, an RBI and his 4th SB. He is hitting .330-.394-.468 to start his rookie season. Of the Tigers top 4 hitters, he has the lowest OBP at .394 in the early going. Meanwhile, Curtis Granderson is hitting .230-.313-.392. 

Cardinals outfielder Colby Rasmus is quickly meeting the high expectations bestowed upon him when he was drafted several years ago. He went 2-2 with 2 walks and 4 runs scored batting in the cleanup spot with Albert Pujols taking a day off, and Matt Holliday moving up in the lineup. Rasmus is hitting .344-.487-.754 with 6 HRs, 12 RBI and 3 SBs. 

Cardinals third baseman David Freese went 3-3 with his 1st HR and 6 RBI on Wednesday. He is making Tony Larussa look good in the early going as he is hitting .328-.389-.422 with 14 RBI. 

Braves starter Jair Jurrgens left after one inning of work with a leg injury, after giving up 3 runs, including Freese's HR. His ERA sits at 6.37. Nothing is going right for the Braves so far, as SS Yunel Escobar is up to his old tricks with his bad attitude and reports of not hustling. Bobby Cox's last season as their manager is not starting out too well.

Rangers first baseman Justin Smoak went 2-4 with his first major league HR. Smoak has plenty of power, and will be given a long look by manager Ron Washington. Does Chris Davis now become trade bait?

The theory goes that pitchers who move from the AL to the NL should see an increase in performance, so shouldn't hitters who move from the NL to the AL, also hit better? Not so for White Sox outfielder Juan Pierre, who is hitting just .200 this season. He is a career .300 hitter, so fantasy owners should scoop him up should he be a free agent in any mixed or AL-only leagues. His BABIP this season sits around .100 lower than his career BABIP of .316.

The Rays just keep rolling as starter Matt Garza won his 4th game on Wednesday, striking out 9 in 6 innings of work. He held the Royals to one run on 5 hits and 2 walks, and lowered his ERA to 2.06. I think the Twins are kicking themselves for dealing him for Delmon Young, don't you?

Yankees starter AJ Burnett won his 3rd game of the season shutting out the Orioles on 3 hits and a walk. He threw first pitch strikes to 20 of the 28 batters he faced. 

Reds centerfielder Drew Stubbs, replacing the injured Chris Dickerson, went 2-2 with 2 SBs, giving him 7 on the season. Stubbs has struck out a ton this season, but has also walked around 14% of his at bats. He should see a few more starts with Dickerson recovering from an injured wrist.

The Padres placed speedy SS Everth Cabrera on the DL before Thursdays game, and called up Lance Zawadzki. Jerry Hairston will get plenty of starts with ECab on the DL.

Diamondbacks first baseman Adam Laroche is getting hot. He hit 2 HRs on Thursday and drove in 5. He is now hitting .299-.397-.582 with 4 HRs and 17 RBIs. If he keeps this up, he will get the kind of contract he was looking for next offseason.