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Roto Roundup: Mike Trout, Stephen Strasburg, Matt Davidson, and Others

Ray Guilfoyle highlights some of the top fantasy performers from Sunday's roto action, including thoughts on Mike Trout, Stephen Strasburg, Martin Perez, Matt Davidson and others.

Patrick McDermott

Fake Teams Podcast, Episode 24: The Lost Podcast

Lost podcast, not last podcast. I sat down with Andrew Ball and Daniel Kelley on Thursday night to discuss our recent Midseason Starting Pitcher Rankings, where we discussed Clayton Kershaw, Yu Darvish, Kris Medlen, Jose Fernandezand Mike Minor, among others. We also took the opportunity to get into some good ole Zack bashing.

But, due to technical difficulties, some of the podcast was lost, but you can listen to what was recorded in the links below. And here are some of what was lost:

  • Jered Weaver │ Both Daniel and Ray think Weaver is being undervalued by the FT staff, citing that he has always outperformed his peripherals and he's finally healthy.
  • Francisco Liriano │ Daniel, much like Brian Creagh, has been burned so many times by Liriano that he still can't jump on the bandwagon. Also, Liriano's increased slider usuge this year may make him at risk for an injury.
  • Matt Cain and Kris Medlen │ One of the things I really support about Daniel's rankings, even if I don't do it myself, is the fact that he doesn't let a few months of data sway his opinion from the rankings we did in the preseason. Cain and Medlen are both pitchers with track records of success, granted a longer one for Cain, but he is sticking by both of them.
  • Mike Minor │ All of us, myself included feel that stripping away Minor's name and simply evaluating the raw numbers makes him an easy top-20 pitcher. Kudos to Ray for the ranking at 13.
  • Matt Moore │ Ray thinks Moore is the next Clayton Kershaw, while Daniel is a bit more hesitant citing that Moore is only about a year younger than Kershaw right now. I'm in the middle of the two opinions.
  • Zack Smith │ Zack's rankings of David Price at 20, Hiroki Kuroda at 50, and C.C. Sabathia at 16 made all of us say, "huh?"

You can listen to the podcast in two ways:

ITUNES LINK (subscribe here)

Minor League Ball: Organization Top 20 Prospects in Review

Minor League Ball's John Sickels is in the middle of reviewing all of his preseason Top 20 Prospects and you can find all of them in the link below:

Organization Top 20 Prospects for 2013

Mike Trout: Approaching the 30-30 Club Again

Angels outfielder Mike Trout is really the only competition Miguel Cabrera has as the #1 fantasy hitter right now and heading into 2014. Last season, Trout hit .326-.399-.564 with 30 HRs, 129 runs, 83 RBI and 49 stolen bases in 54 attempts. This season, he is hitting .329-.424-.572 with 20 HRs, 82 runs, 73 RBI and 26 stolen bases in 30 attempts. He is one of the more dominating hitters in fantasy baseball. What is amazing is that he is on pace for another 30 home run, 30 stolen base season right now. Well, I cheated. He is on pace for 28 home runs according to ESPN, but I can easily see him reaching 30 home runs this season.

What is really amazing is that in his career, a a career that spans just over 1,100 at bats, he has stolen 79 bases in 88 attempts, a 90% success rate. It makes you wonder why he doesn't run more when reaching first base.

For more on Trout and the Angels, make sure you check out Halos Heaven, SB Nation's Angels fan site.

Matt Davidson called up by Diamondbacks

The Diamondbacks called up top hitting prospect Matt Davidson on Sunday to replace the injured Eric Chavez on the active roster. Davidson should see plenty of time at third base for the struggling Diamondbacks and provide some power for his fantasy owners.

Prior to his call up, Davidson was hitting .278-.348-.484 with 16 HRs, 52 runs and 68 RBI in 466 plate appearances at AAA. HIs walk rate has dropped, and his strikeout rate has increased, in the move from AA to AAA, so I worry that he could struggle filling in for Chavez.

For more on Davidson's call up, please read this article from Jim McLennan over at AZ Snake Pit, SB Nation's Diamondbacks fan site.

Round'em Up

Yankee third baseman Alex Rodriguez had his best day at the plate since coming off the DL last week. ARod went 2-4 with a HR and 2 RBI on Sunday. The home run was his first of the season, off of Tigers ace Justin Verlander.

Verlander pitched well, giving up 4 runs on 7 hits, 2 of which were home runs, a walk and 9 strikeouts over 7 innings of work. The loss moves his record to 12-9 with a 3.57 ERA, an uncharacteristic 1.35 WHIP, and a solid 154-57 strikeout to walk rate in 158.2 innings this season. His performance has not been the usual Verlander-like performance from prior years, and I wonder if all of the 200+ inning seasons are starting to catch up to him.

Rangers starter Martin Perez had his best outing of the season on Sunday against the Astros. Perez limited the Astros to one run on 4 hits, a walk and 8 strikeouts en route to his fifth win of the season, and first complete game. Perez is now 5-3 with a very solid 3.44 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, and a 47-21 K-BB rate in 68 innings. In his 11 starts this season, he has given two runs or less in seven of his starts thus far.

Royals outfielder Alex Gordon was recently moved to the cleanup spot in the Royals lineup, and yesterday he showed off some of the power he has. He went 3-4 with a HR, double and 2 RBI in their 4-3 win over the Red Sox. Gordon has struggled of late, and is now hitting .271-.339-.425 with 13 HRs, 62 runs, 61 RBI and 8 stolen bases. Gordon hit .317 and .339 in the first two months of the season, but since then has struggled hitting just .188 in June, .226 in July and .214 in August thus far.

Three aces pitched like aces on Sunday. Felix Hernandez, Clayton Kershaw and Stephen Strasburg all pitched very well, but Strasburg had the best performance of the three. Strasburg threw his first complete game and first shutout of his career, limiting the Phillies to just 4 hits, a walk and striking out 10. Strasburg moved his record to 6-9 with a 2.83 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and a 153-43 K-BB rate in 146.1 innings this season. Strasburg has been more prone to the blowup start this season, but he has quietly given up two runs or less in 16 of his 23 starts, and has gone 7 or more innings in 14 of his 23 starts this season.

Mariners ace Felix Hernandez might be the favorite to win the American League Cy Young award this season, even with the great season Max Scherzer is having. King Felix shut out the Brewers for 8 innings yesterday, giving up 4 hits, a walk and struck out 9 to win his 12th game of the season. Hernandez is now 12-5 with a 2.28 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and a 178-33 K-BB rate in 173.2 innings this season. He has given up two runs or less in 18 of his 25 starts so far in 2013.

Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak seems to have turned his career around this season. Yesterday, he went 1-3 with a home run, and is now hitting .270-.367-.450 with 13 HRs, 40 runs, 31 RBI and a 82-45 K-BB rate in 307 at bats thus far in 2013. His .333 BABIP has fueled the rise in his batting average, but I wonder if he can maintain the high BABIP going forward as his line drive rate is in a two year upswing, presently sitting at 23.9% of his batted balls in play.

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