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Roto Roundup: Clayton Kershaw, Michael Brantley, David Price and Others

Ray Guilfoyle highlights some of the top fantasy performers from Sunday's roto action, including thoughts on Clayton Kershaw, Michael Brantley, and others.


Do you have some trade offers you are considering, but need to bounce them off of someone? Are you pondering a roster move and want a second opinion? Feel free to post your questions in the new Fantasy Baseball Questions thread.

Fake Teams Podcast, Episode 15: His eyes are so dreamy

Zack and Andrew hosted the latest episode of the Fake Teams Podcast, where they discussed the MLB Futures game prospects including the best fantasy prospect in the game. You can listen to the podcast in two ways:



Question: What players do you feel were snubbed in the All Star game selections? Let us know in the comments section.

Clayton Kershaw: All Star starter?

Everyone knows how good Clayton Kershaw is. Too many words have been written about him, but I think there is widespread agreement that he is probably the best starting pitcher in the game. And what is amazing is that he is only 25 years old, and he is likely to become the highest paid starter in baseball in the offseason.

Last season, he made 33 starts, and gave up two runs or less in 23 of them. This season, he has made 19 starts and has given up two runs or less in 15 of them. So, he has limited opponents to two runs or less in 38 of his 52 starts going back to the beginning of the 2012 season. Pretty amazing.

On Sunday, he limited the Giants to one run on 3 hits, a walk and just 3 strikeouts in 8 quality innings in the Dodgers 4-1 win over the Giants. Kershaw is now 8-5 with a 1.89 ERA, 2.62 FIP, 0.90 WHIP and a 129-34 strikeout to walk rate in 138.1 innings. The All Star game is next Tuesday in New York, and many think Mets starter Matt Harvey should start the game, but Kershaw has been the better pitcher this season.

Michael Brantley goes yard twice

Indians outfielder Michael Brantley has never hit more than 7 home runs in any one season, but he has already equalled that total in 2013, after leaving the yard twice in the Indians 9-6 win over the Tigers. Brantley went 3-4 with 2 HRs, a double, 3 runs and 5 RBI, and is now hitting .280-.330-.394 with 7 HRs, 41 runs, 45 RBI and 8 stolen bases in 10 attempts.

He is on pace for career highs in home runs (13), runs scored (75), RBI (83) and stolen bases (15). He was probably a very late round pick in mixed leagues, if at all, but could put his name into talk for the top 40 fantasy outfielders in baseball.

Round'em Up

We are about a week from the All Star break and Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera is having another Triple Crown type season. Cabrera went 4-4 with a HR and 2 RBI in Sunday's loss to the Indians. Miggy is now hitting, .368-.457-.679 with 28 HRs, 67 runs and 90 RBI. 90 RBI!! He is on pace for 52 HRs, 125 runs, and 168 RBI right now. He will have to catch Orioles masher Chris Davis to win his second consecutive Triple Crown, which would be pretty absurd if you think about it.

Blue Jays outfielder Colby Rasmus is on pace to have his best season as a major leaguer in 2013. Rasmus went 3-4 with a HR, a double, 2 runs and 3 RBI and is now hitting .250-.324-.476 with 16 HRs, 38 runs and 46 RBI. He is on pace for a career high 29 HRs and 85 RBI. He could take the free pass a bit more, and strike out a lot less, but his owners have to be happy with the power this season.

Rays starter David Price appears to be back to his old self since returning from the DL. I heard earlier in the week that he felt the best he has ever felt during his last start, a 7 innings, 3 hit and 10 strikeout performance vs the Astros. Well, he must have felt great yesterday, as he threw a complete game vs the White Sox, giving up just one run on 8 hits, no walks and 5 strikeouts. He is now 3-4 with a 4.18 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and a 64-14 strikeout to walk rate in 71 innings. He should have an excellent second half for his owners.

The Nationals drafted Anthony Rendon as a third baseman, but due to the presence of Ryan Zimmerman at third base, and Danny Espinosa's inability to hit a baseball, he is now playing second base. And that is great for fantasy owners. I own him in two leagues now, and love that he has second base eligibility next season. He had a nice day at the plate vs the Padres yesterday, going 2-5 with a HR, 2 runs and 3 RBI, raising his triple slash line to .303-.353-.444 with 3 HRs, 19 runs, 12 RBI and a stolen base in 142 at bats thus far. He could be a top 10 fantasy second baseman heading into 2014 drafts.

What the heck has happened to Braves outfielder Jason Heyward? He is fast becoming the next Alex Rios, where he follows up a good year with a bad year. Heyward went 1-4 with a walk and an RBI in the Braves 7-3 loss to the Phillies on Sunday. Heyward is having a very disappointing season, now hitting .229-.326-.373 with 7 HRs, 32 runs, 21 RBI and 2 stolen bases. Maybe he just doesn't like hitting in the two spot in the Braves order? I don't know, but he will fall in my outfielder rankings as a result.

Mets starter Jeremy Hefner is on one heck of a run on the mound lately. Yesterday, he limited the Brewers to one run on 2 hits, a walk, and 8 strikeouts in 7 innings in the Mets 2-1 win. Hefner is now 4-6 with a 3.39 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and a 79-28 strikeout to walk rate in 101 innings this season. He has given up two runs or less in each of his last seven starts, and in 12 of his 17 starts this season. Yet he is owned in just 21% of ESPN leagues.

Diamondbacks starter Patrick Corbin silenced the Rockies over 8 innings on Sunday to win his 10th game of the season. He limited the Rockies to just one run on 3 hits, a walk and 10 strikeouts in the Diamondbacks 6-1 win. He is now 10-1 with a 2.40 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and a 99-31 strikeout to walk rate in 123.2 innings thus far. He was named to the National League All Star team on Saturday night.

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