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Roto Roundup: Alex Gordon, Matt Kemp, Brandon Maurer, and Others

Ray Guilfoyle highlights some of the top fantasy performances from Thursday's MLB action.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Before I get into the Roto Roundup, I wanted to let you know that if you ever have questions, feel free to post them in the comments section of the daily Roto Roundup or any other article posted by the other Fake Teams writers. Someone will answer your question, so please do not hesitate to ask any question you may have.

I apologize for the lateness of the Roundup, but I was watching the NFL Draft and having a few beers with my neighbor and couldn't keep my eyes open last night, even though there was baseball still being played.

Alex Gordon is real good

Royals outfielder Alex Gordon is leading off again this season, and he is hitting well again in that spot. Gordon went 2-6 with a grand slam and 4 RBI yesterday afternoon in the Royals 8-3 win over the Tigers. He is now hitting .337-.368-.530 with 2 HRs, 6 doubles, 2 triples, 16 runs and 15 RBI thus far. He hasn't stolen a base yet, or even attempted a steal, and has walked just 4 times in his 83 at bats, so those two stats will have to improve as the season goes along.

Matt Kemp is catching fire

Heading into the Dodgers three game series against the Orioles last weekend, Kemp was hitting just .182 with no homers and 5 RBI. Since last Saturday, Kemp has hit in 5 of 6 games, with multi-hit games in 4 of those 5 games, raising his triple slash line to .266-.310-..367 with 1 HR, 9 runs, 10 RBI and 3 stolen bases in 3 attempts. Of his 21 hits this season, only 6 are for extra bases, so the power has not returned yet, but he did hit an opposite field home run off of Mets starter Matt Harvey on Wednesday night.

Brandon Maurer is coming around

Mariners starter Brandon Maurer wasn't supposed to make the starting five this season, but he had other plans, and put together a terrific spring, forcing the Mariners to send Erasmo Ramirez to AAA. That decision did not look good after his first two starts, as Maurer gave up 12 runs in his first two starts. Since those two starts, Maurer has put together three quality starts in a row, including last night, where he shut out the Angels for 6.1 innings, giving up 7 hits, a walk and striking out 6. He is now 2-3 with a 5.61 ERA and 1.36 WHIP and a 16-6 strikeout to walk ratio in 25.2 innings. He has gone 6 innings in four of his five starts this season, and has lowered his ERA from 16.20 to 5.61 in his last three starts.

Here is what else happened on Thursday:

Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager is having a solid start to the 2013 season, hitting in 14 straight games now, including going 3-5 with a HR and 3 RBI last night. He is now hitting .306-.379-.529 with 3 HRs, 9 runs, and 12 RBI. He has been caught stealing in both of his stolen base attempts though.

Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz is looking like the best starter on the Red Sox staff in the early going, and he had everything going against the Astros yesterday. Buchholz limited the 7th leading offense in the American League to just two runs on 6 hits, 2 walks and 10 strike outs in 7.2 innings to win his 5th game of the season. He is now 5-0 with a 1.19 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and a 39-13 strikeout to walk ratio in 37.2 innings. He has gone at least 7 innings in each of his 5 starts thus far, giving up 2 runs or less in each.

Bryce Harper is on pace for 40+ home runs this season, and are you willing to say he won't do that this season? I am not, but he is due to go through a slump or two this season. Harper went 2-3 with a home run yesterday in the Nationals 8-1 win over the Reds. He is now hitting .364-.443-.740 with 8 HRs, 14 runs and 16 RBI in 21 games thus far. He is hitting like a seasoned veteran, but is just 20 years old. Those of you in keeper or dynasty leagues, hold onto him as long as you can.

What happened to Oakland starter Jarrod Parker? Parker has been sub-par in four of his five starts this season. He was knocked around by the Orioles last night, giving up 6 runs on 8 hits, 3 walks and 5 strikeouts in 5.1 innings, and is now 0-4 with a 8.10 ERA and 2.14 WHIP. I own Parker in my AL only keeper league, but he is getting close to being dropped. There are no signs of a velocity drop, and his .393 BABIP is the third worst amongst qualified starters this season, so regression can be expected.

Closer News

The Cubs turned to Carlos Marmol to close out a one run game, and he earned the save, but not without Marmol be Marmol, as he gave up a hit and a walk, before getting out of the inning. It appears that he is the Cubs closer going forward.

Diamondbacks closer J.J. Putz rebounded from a blown save a few nights ago to pitch a clean inning in the Diamondbacks 3-2 win over the Rockies. Putz walked one and struck out one to earn his 4th save of the season.

Dodgers closer Brandon League earned his 6th save of the season yesterday afternoon, but not without giving up a home run to Ike Davis in the ninth inning. League has given up runs in each of his last two save opportunities and the Dodgers closer situation bares watching for fantasy owners.

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