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Fantasy Baseball: Thursday's Roto Roundup

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Albert Pujols hit his 400th career home run yesterday against the Nationals, but the story that is worth watching now is whether or not that slip he had trying to make a play near the wall late in the game will have any lingering effects. He stayed in the game, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him get Friday's game off as a result.

Jose Bautista hit his 41st homer of the season, and now has 96 runs batted in. But the story of the game was the opposing starter, Max Scherzer. Scherzer had another great start, going 8 innings and allowing just the Bautista homerun. He also struck out 8, and since the All-Star break he has a 2.12 ERA with 46 strikeouts in 51 innings. I think he's going to be a top 25 starter for next year, and could go even higher.

Alex Rios is probably going to be a top 10 outfielder for next season, and had a great game yesterday. He is now hitting .292 with 18 home runs, 73 runs batted in, and 26 stolen bases. I think that he's going to end up around 22/33 or so, but I am not 100% sold he's going to repeat all of that production next year.

Wandy Rodriguez remains hot, throwing 7 innings of 1 run ball last yesterday against the Phillies. He struck out 6, and allowed 6 base runners. I am inclined to still believe that he's going to be in my top 25 for next season, because the upside of him is still there to be a strikeout per inning pitcher with low ratios.

Prince Fielder is going to be a very difficult rank next season, as he appears to have shown himself as widely inconsistent from season-to-season. He hit his 26th homerun of the season, but has only driven in 65 runs and is hitting .270. There's no way I would take him before the 3rd round in next year's drafts due to that inconsistency, and is probably at best my 7th or 8th ranked 1B for next season.

Ian Kennedy has really come into his own this season, and had another great start yesterday against the Padres. He threw 7 shutout innings and struck out 12 en route to the victory. I think that he still remains a spot starter for now, but 1 or 2 more good starts at most would make me move him up from there.