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Roto Roundup: Miguel Sano, Hisashi Iwakuma, Jacob deGrom, and others

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Ray highlights some of the top fantasy performers from Wednesday's roto action, including Hisashi Iwakuma, Jacob deGrom, Miguel Sano and others.

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Hisashi Iwakuma tosses a no-no

Mariners starter Hisashi Iwakuma struggled early in the season, missed more than two months due to a lat injury, but has pitched well since his return to the mound in early July. Yesterday, he tossed a no-hitter vs the Orioles, walking 3 batters, striking out 7 and inducing 12 ground ball outs in the Mariners 3-0 win. He needed 116 pitches to complete the no-no, this after throwing 118 pitches in his last start, so I am curious how he will fare in his next start.

Iwakuma gave up four runs in each of his first three starts before the injury, gave up five runs in his first start upon his return from the disabled list, but has given up just 14 runs over his last seven starts. He is now 4-2 with a 3.86 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and a 58-12 strikeout to walk rate in 72.1 innings over his 11 starts this season.

Iwakuma is a free agent at the end of the season and should have no problem getting a multi-year deal.

For more on Iwakuma and the Mariners, make sure you check out Lookout Landing, SB Nation's Mariners fan site.

Roto Roundup

I ranked Mets ace Jacob deGrom as my 8th ranked starting pitcher in my early 2016 Top 50 Starting Pitcher rankingsyesterday, and last night, he pitched like an ace once again. Last night, he dominated the lifeless Rockies lineup, shutting them out on 2 hits, 4 walks and striking out 10 over 7 innings in the Mets 3-0 win. deGrom moved his record to 11-6 with a 2.03 ERA, 0.89 WHIP and a 152-28 strikeout to walk rate in 146.2 innings thus far. He has given up two runs or fewer in 18 of his 22 starts this season.

The Reds started to retool their roster at the July 31st trade deadline, but one position where they are set for the next half decade is first base. Yesterday, first baseman Joey Votto continued his hot second half, going 3-4 with a home run, 3 runs scored, 3 RBI and a stolen base in the Reds 7-3 win over the Padres. Coming into the game, Votto was hitting .385-.56-.641 with 4 home runs, 9 RBI and a 18-30 strikeout to walk rate in 108 plate appearances since the All Star break. After the big game, Votto is hitting .304-.434-.526 with 20 home runs, 64 runs scored, 54 RBI and 7 stolen bases for the season, and has re-established himself as a premier fantasy first baseman for 2016.

The Twins are probably an ace away from competing for a wild card birth, and they might just have one of the best young power hitters in the game in third baseman Miguel Sano. Last night, Sano showed off his power by going 3-4 with two home run and 6 RBI in the Twins win over the Rangers. His second home run made  it to the upper deck at Target Field. It was a bomb, and his swing appeared to be effortless. Sano has just over 130 big league plate appearances since his call up, but is hitting .295-.407-.571 with 7 home runs, 17 runs scored, 24 RBI, and a solid 45-22 strikeout to walk rate. The 22 year old is already batting cleanup for the improving Twins.

With Kris Bryant, Josh Donaldson, Nolan Arenado, and now Sano, third base is becoming one of the deeper fantasy positions once again.

I was pretty vocal about the Red Sox focusing on improving their lineup in the offseason instead of their rotation, and it has come back to haunt them as they have the worst team ERA in baseball. Yesterday, facing the last place Marlins in Miami, they served up 14 runs on 17 hits in their 14-6 loss. Leading the offensive onslaught for the Marlins was catcher J.T. Realmuto who went 3-5 with a home run, a triple and 6 RBI, and set a Marlins record by driving in five runs in one inning. Teammate Dee Gordon went 3-4 with a home run, 2 runs scored and 2 RBI, and is now hitting .330-.350-/413 with 2 home runs, 52 runs scored, 32 RBI and 35 stolen bases in 49 attempts.

Remember when people said that Billy Hamilton was the better and stronger version of Dee Gordon? Yeah, I do too.

The Indians have one of the better young pitching staffs in the game, and I admit I am surprised they aren't in the wild card race at this point in the season. Last night, they played spoiler by beating the Yankees and knocking them out of first place, behind the solid performance from Danny Salazar. Salazar limited the Yankees to one run on 4 hits, 5 walks and 8 strikeouts in 7.1 innings in the Indians 2-1 win. The win moved his record to 10-6 with a 3.26 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and a 151-40 strikeout to walk rate in 132.2 innings thus far. If he can limit the home run ball, he could enter the ace conversation as soon as next season.

I ranked Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw as my #1 starting pitcher in my early 2016 Starting Pitcher rankings yesterday, as after a bad start to the season, for him, he is back to being as dominant as ever.  Last night, he shut out the Nationals over 8 innings, giving up just 3 hits, walking none and striking out 8 over 8 innings in the Dodgers 3-0 win. Kershaw moved his record to 10-6 with a 2.39 ERA, 0.89 WHIP and a ridiculous 205-30 strikeout to walk rate over 162 innings on the mound. He has given up zero runs in five of his last six starts, and one run or less in 7 of his last 8 starts, dropping his ERA from 3.33 to 2.39. He is now the league leader with a 5.4 fWAR. Could he win the NL Cy Young award again?

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