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Roto Roundup: Shelby Miller, Jon Lester, Matt Cain and Others

Ray Guilfoyle highlights some of the top fantasy performers from Friday night's MLB action, including Shelby Miller, Zack Greinke and others.

Dilip Vishwanat

My apologies for not writing the Roundup on Friday. I got caught up on watching the Canadiens-Senators hockey game with my neighbor over some beers and was pretty tired after the game was over. I then had an early tee time on Friday morning, so I did not get to it.

With that said, if you have any fantasy questions, feel free to post them here in the comment section of the Roundup. Feel free to post multiple questions, if need be. Or, if you want to comment on the players discussed in the Roundup, please do so....this is your forum for posting your thoughts. We want to hear from you.

Shelby Miller: What a difference a year makes

Last year at this time, the prospect experts were discussing how poorly Miller was pitching in AAA. He was suspended for a time as well, and some were questioning what was wrong with him. He then had a terrific second half in AAA, and was called up to pitch out of the Cardinals bullpen. This season, he won a rotation job out of spring training, and has been dominant ever since.

Last night Miller completely dominated the Rockies in the Cardinals 3-0 win. He threw a complete game one hit shutout, walking none and striking out 13. He is now 5-2 with a 1.58 ERA and 0.88 WHIP. He has struck out 51 and walked 11 in his 45.2 innings of work this season. He has given up 3 runs or less in all seven of his starts, given up 2 runs or less in six of his seven starts, and given up one run or less in four of his seven starts.

Jon Lester: What a difference a year makes......part 2

Last season at this point of the season, the Red Sox were in the news for all of the clubhouse issues they were having under new manager Bobby Valentine. The clubhouse changes resulted in the trading of several stars, including Adrian Gonzalez, Kevin Youkils, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford. One player who was not traded was Jon Lester. He struggled in a big way last season, falling in our starting pitcher rankings as a result. This season, he is looking like he is back to the old Jon Lester.

Last night, Lester tossed a complete game, one hit shutout of the Blue Jays. He gave up one hit, walked none and struck out five to win for the fifth time this season. He is now 5-0 with a 2.73 ERA, A 0.99 WHIP and a 45-15 K-BB rate in 52.2 innings or work. He has given up 3 runs or less in seven of his eight starts this season.

More Roundup

Giants starter Matt Cain has struggled to start the 2013 season, prompting me to call him the 2013 Tim Lincecum. Last night, he was his old self, giving up just two runs on 3 hits, walking two and striking out 7 in the Giants 8-2 win over the Braves. Cain is now 2-2 with a 5.04 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and a 43-15 K-BB rate in 50 innings thus far. The downside to his start was he gave up another home run, the 10th he has given up this season.

The home run Cain gave up was to Braves catcher Brian McCann, who appears to be completely healthy after offseason shoulder surgery. McCann hit his second home run in as many nights and is hitting .313 in the early going. He will be given some days off here and there, but eventually will be playing everyday.

Orioles third baseman Manny Machado continues to impress at the plate, as he went 3-6 with 2 runs and an RBi in the Orioles 9-6 win over the Twins. Machado is now hitting .314-.356-,503 with 5 HRs, 27 runs, 23 RBI and 4 stolen bases in 153 at bats.

Somehow the Yankees sign, or trade for, these players that no other team wants and they get solid contributions from them. After guys like Travis Hafner and Vernon Wells have helped the Yankees land in first place, last night, it was Lyle Overbay's turn. Overbay went 4-5 with a HR, 2 doubles, 2 runs and 5 RBI in the Yankees 11-6 win over the Royals. Overbay is now hitting .264-.302-.509 with 6 HRs, 11 runs and 20 RBI in 110 at bats this season.

Dodgers injured starter Zack Greinke made a rehab start at High A Rancho Cucamonga last night, giving up eight runs, 3 earned runs on 6 hits, no walks and 4 strikeouts. He is in line to start against the Nationals on Wednesday, so make sure you get him in your lineup this week.

Rays starter Alex Cobb is having a really good season so far for his fantasy owners, but he did something last night that no other starting pitcher has ever done. Cobb struck out 13 Padres but did not make it out of the 5th inning last night. In 4.2 innings, where he threw 117 pitches, Cobb gave up 3 runs on 5 hits, 2 walks and 13 strikeouts. Here is what else Cobb did last night for the first time, from Marc Topkin from the Tampa Bay Times:

Cobb induced 20 swinging strikes and 27 foul balls, leading to the 117 pitches in 4.2 innings. Amazing.

Closer News

After Heath Bell earned the first save in the post-Putz era, David Hernandez came on to earn the save last night in the Diamondbacks 3-2 win over the Phillies. Hernandez has struggled over the past few weeks, but has throw four straight scoreless frames since May 5th.

Reds closer Aroldis Chapman closed out the Reds 4-3 win over the Brewers last night, but not without giving up a run in doing so. Chapman has given up runs in two of his last three appearances, but with only one blown save.

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