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Roto Roundup: Clay Buchholz, Jason Heyward, R.A. Dickey and Others

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Everyone knows I am a Dodgers fan, with some who think I write too much about them. I really haven't written too much about them in the Roundups this year, and there is a reason for that. It's because they are fielding pretty much a AAA lineup on most nights, and they are still winning. I attended the Phillies-Dodgers game yesterday afternoon in Philadelphia with my wife (a Phillies fan) and a guy I work with. I went into the game thinking Cole Hamels would have his way with the Dodgers who were sitting Andre Ethier and fielded this lineup:

Dee Gordon

Elian Herrera

Juan Rivera

Jerry Hairston Jr.

James Loney

Alex Castellanos

Tony Gwynn

Matt Treanor

Is there anyone in that lineup that scares you? The answer is no. Are any of these guys rostered in most fantasy leagues? I would hazzard a guess that most are available in more than 80% of Yahoo leagues. But somehow they scored 4 runs off of Cole Hamels and won 8-3 yesterday, sweeping the Phillies in Philly. Quite amazing.

Much maligned Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz tossed a complete game 4 hit shutout vs the Orioles last evening. He walked one and struck out 6 to win his 6th game of the year vs 2 losses. Buchholz lowered his ERA to 5.77 and his WHIP to 1.58, and both are not pretty numbers. Buchholz may be turning his season around, and it might be due to the fact that he is healthy now. He has given up 2 runs or less in 4 of his last 5 starts, lowering his ERA from 8.31 to 5.77. His early season problem of giving up the long ball appears to be cured, as he has given up just 3 in his last 5 starts covering 34.1 innings. He has also harnessed his control issues, as he has a 26-9 strikeout to walk ratio over the past 5 starts.

More Roto Roundup after the jump:

Mets starter R.A. Dickey could be the starting pitcher for the National League in the 2012 All Star game if he keeps pitching like this. Better yet, he has to be a strong candidate for NL Cy Young, doesn't he? He tossed 7.1 shutout innings yesterday, limiting the Nationals to just 4 hits, walked 2 and struck out 8 to win his 9th game of the season. He is now 9-1 with a 2.44 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and an excellent 78-19 strikeout to walk ratio in 81 innings of work. Over his last 5 starts, he is 4-0 and has given up just 4 runs on 24 hits, walking just 4 and striking out 46 in 36.2 innings. If for some reason he is available in your leagues, grab him.

Quick. There is a second baseman who is on pace to steal 40 bases this season, can you name him? Jemile Weeks? No. Ian Kinsler? No. How about Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis? That's right. Kipnis went 2-4 with a walk, a double, 2 runs and a stolen base last night. For the season, he is hitting .279-.340-447 with 9 HRs, 41 runs, 35 RBI and 14 stolen bases. 14!! He is on pace to hit 26 HRs, score 119 runs, drive in 101 runs and steal 41 bases. If he can manage a 25 HR, 90 runs, 85 RBI and 25 stolen bases, he would be the new top fantasy second baseman for 2013 for me.

Quick MLB draft note. For those of you that play in AL-only keeper/dynasty leagues where you draft minor leaguers, you will see some excellent talent added to your available list of prospects to draft with the Astros moving to the AL in 2013. They have Jonathan Singleton, Jarred Cosart, and recently drafted Carlos Correa in their stable of prospects. Yesterday, Baseball America's Jim Callis hung some lofty comps for Correa-Troy Tulowitzki and Alex Rodriguez.

Athletics starter Brandon McCarthy might be the best starting pitcher that the main stream media pays little attention to. McCarthy held the Rangers to just one run on 3 hits, no walks and 5 strikeouts in 7 innings yesterday. He is now 5-3 with a 2.79 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and 47-18 strikeout to walk rate in 71 innings. He has given up 2 runs or less in 9 of his 11 starts this season.

Braves outfielder Jason Heyward started the season hitting very well, and quieting his critics who said he had to tighten up his swing. But, he has struggled until recently. He went 2-4 with 2 HRs last night is now hitting .246-.333-.445 with 8 HRs, 28 runs, 28 RBI and 9 stolen bases. His strikeout rate has creeped up from 20.2% last season to 24.0% this season, but he is still taking the free pass around 11% of his at bats.