Brandon Morrow rewarded his fantasy owners to be sure yesterday, striking out 17 and not allowing a hit until 2 outs in the 9th inning against the Rays. He was probably owned in quite a few leagues already, but he has pitched better than his ERA indicates so far. (4.79 ERA vs. 3.51 FIP). I think that if he can improve his walk rate down to around 3 per 9 innings, he could end up as a top tier starting pitcher very soon.
Trevor Cahill won his 12th game of the season, striking out 3 and allowing 0 earned runs (2 runs) in the game. However, his ERA doesn't compare so favorably to his FIP (2.56 vs. 4.15 FIP). While this one is clearly not an end up stat, throw in a BABIP of .206, and he looks like someone who could see some regression very soon.
Carlos Gonzalez for MVP? He went 4 for 5 with 2 runs scored, 3 runs batted in, a homerun and a stolen base yesterday. He could very well end up as a fantasy MVP with his .327 batting average and on pace for 35 hr/25 sb, but I have to imagine that unless the Rockies get back into the race soon he's unlikely to get more consideration than the Joey Vottos and Albert Pujols's of the world.
Ryan Braun has been having an extremely quiet season, but has been heating up of late. He moved his batting average to .290 yesterday with a 2 for 4 day, 3 runs scored, and 2 runs batted in. He's still going to be my top outfielder going into 2011, but unless he stays hot it's going to be a lot closer of a decision than we would have thought.
Apparently the Orioles just needed a new skipper, as they won their 5th game in 6 behind Jeremy Guthrie's nice start yesterday. Guthrie went 8 innings, allowed 1 earned run, and struck out 4 against the White Sox. To me, Guthrie remains a spot starter, but there's still some upside here.
Jonathan Sanchez went only 4 innings yesterday, lifted for a pinch hitter in the 5th inning against the Braves. The fact that it took him 89 pitches to get through those 4 innings remain the concern, and the 3 walks don't help things. I just can't get on the bandwagon with Sanchez until he can limit the walks and pitch count.
R.A. Dickey had a Sunday to forget yesterday, going 3+ innings and allowing 6 runs (4 earned) against the Phillies. Look, he's a knuckleballer, and sometimes these days are going to happen. As long as you remember that, you'll be fine.
Mat Latos won his 12th game of the season yesterday in his start against the Diamondbacks. He went 6 shutout innings, struck out 6, and allowed no earned runs. Of a bit of concern though was the 4 walks, but I think he should be fine over time.
A.J. Burnett was scratched from his start last night against the Red Sox due to back spasms. I think he should be fine for next start, but keep an eye on the news surrounding him. Dustin Moseley filled in reasonably well in his place, striking out 5 and allowing 2 earned run in 6 1/3 innings. He's worth a play in AL-only leagues at this point.