Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz seems to get better with age, doesn't he? Yesterday, Ortiz went 3-5 with a home run, walk and 3 RBI in the Red Sox come from behind 6-5 win over the Astros. Ortiz was a single shy of the cycle, and is now hitting .320-.405-.695 with 10 home runs, 20 runs scored and 33 RBI. He is on pace to hit 44 home runs and drive in 144 runs. Over his last 10 games, Oriz has hit 5 home runs and driven in 15 runs. He won't continue at this pace, but he should hit 30 home runs and drive in 100 runs. Pretty damn good for a 40 year old who is set to retire at the end of the season.
I wonder if he will reconsider?
The Orioles lineup is stacked with power hitters up and down the lineup and yesterday, it was second baseman Jonathan Schoop's turn to have a big day at the plate. Schoop went 2-3 with a walk, 2 home runs and 5 RBI in the Orioles 9-3 win over the Tigers. Schoop raised his slash line to .258-.287-.492 with 7 home runs, 14 runs scored and 20 RBI. He is not much for taking a walk, and is prone to strike out, but he is a solid power source in the middle infield if you are in need of power. He is available in two-thirds of leagues right now, so if you can stand the low batting average and are in need of power, grab him.
Schoop's teammate Adam Jones has struggled to start the season, but it appears his season long slump is in the past as he went 2-3 with a walk and a solo home run in the Orioles win on Saturday. Jones has hits in eight of his last ten games, including multiple hits in four of his last five games, and has homered in four of his last five games as well. He has raised his slash line to .259-.317-.431 with 5 home runs, 17 runs scored and 17 RBI. He isn't the top 15 outfielder he once was, but he still hits in one of the better run-scoring lineups in the game, and his numbers should start to match the expectations.
Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager has failed to live up to the high expectations we placed on him back in the preseason, but his recent hot streak indicates he is slowly getting there. Last night, he made two errors in the field, leading to one of the Cardinals runs, but at the plate, he went 3-4 with a home run and 2 RBI and is now hitting .283-.342-.457 with 4 home runs, 21 runs scored and 18 RBI. Manager Dave Roberts has been benching him vs a lefty starters of late, but his home run came off of Cardinals lefty reliever Dean Kiekhefer, so maybe he will begin to see some starts vs lefties going forward. He has hit in eight of his last ten games, and has multiple hits in five of those eight games.
Phillies starter Aaron Nola is fast becoming one of the better starting pitchers in the game. Last night, he overcame a rough start, but limited the struggling Reds to just one earned run on 5 hits, a walk and 9 strikeouts over 7 innings in the Phillies 4-3 win. The win moved his record to 3-2 with a 2.89 ERA, 2.14 FIP, a 0.85 WHIP and a 58-9 strikeout to walk rate over 53 innings. Here is more from Meghan Montemurro, Phillies beat writer for the News Journal, via Twitter:
Aaron Nola might not be thought of as a strikeout pitcher but his 58 Ks are tied for 6th in MLB, more than Arrieta, Sale, Archer or Kluber.— Meghan Montemurro (@M_Montemurro) May 15, 2016
Nola ranks third among all qualified starters with a 1.9 fWAR, behind only Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw and White Sox starter Jose Quintana. He is striking out more than a batter per inning, walking under two batters per nine innings, and inducing ground balls at a 56% clip. He is throwing first pitch strikes to 66% of the batters he faces, ranking in the top 15 in the game. As elementary as it sounds, getting ahead of hitters is key to success on the mound. Nola is pitching like a fantasy ace this season, but is somehow available in 20% of leagues right now.
The Rays called up pitching prospect Matt Andriese for a spot start yesterday and all he did was toss a complete game two hit shutout vs the Athletics. Andriese didn't walk a batter and struck out 5 in the Rays 6-0 win. Andriese has made two spot starts this season, winning them both, and owns a 0.56 ERA and 0.56 WHIP, as he has given up just one earned run in his two starts. He has struck out just eight batters in his two starts, covering 16 innings, but has shown to be more dominant in his minor league stints, so he is a decent waiver wire pick up, assuming he remains in the Rays rotation going forward.
The Braves are in rebuild and are taking a look at some of their pitching prospects at the major league level this season, including Aaron Blair and Matt Wisler. One prospect who has already seen some big league action in 2015 is Mike Foltynewicz, and last night he shut out a struggling Royals lineup on five hits over eight innings of work in the Braves 5-0 win. Foltynewicz did not walk a batter and struck out four. He has pitched well in his last two starts, giving up just two earned runs in 15 innings with a 12-0 strikeout to walk rate. That K-BB is pretty impressive considering he walked nearly six batters per nine innings in Triple AAA this season. If he can limit the walks and the long ball, he could stick in the Braves rotation. I wouldn't run out to grab him and place him on my active roster, but if you can stash him on your bench, he might be worth the flier.
Padres outfielder Melvin Upton Jr. is enjoying a resurgence at the plate in 2016. Last night, he came a triple shy of the cycle, going 4-5 with a walk, home run, 2 RBI and a stolen base in the Padres 8-7 extra inning win over the Brewers. The big game improved his slash line to .282-.366-.460 with 5 home runs, 16 runs scored, 16 RBI and 7 stolen bases. He has cut down on his strikeouts and improved his walk rate this season. He is owned in just 14% of leagues at the moment, so if you need some speed, grab him, as he is getting on base and is on pace for 30 stolen bases this season.
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