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Roto Roundup: Manny Machado, Dylan Bundy, Joe Musgrove, and others

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Houston Astros Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

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Dylan Bundy: Finally reaching his potential?

Every season, we see one player after another performing better than we expected. Then, we see players that we never thought would have an impact in fantasy leagues have an impact on your fantasy league. In 2016, one of those players is Orioles starter Dylan Bundy. Bundy was one one of the best starting pitching prospects in the game. Then, injury upon injury set him back, and then he had Tommy John surgery.

Well, this season the Orioles had to make a decision on whether to keep Bundy on their big league roster, pitching him out of the bullpen, or waive him. Had he been waived, he would certainly been picked up by some team looking for lightning in a bottle. Instead, the Orioles kept Bundy, pitching him out of the pen. There, he pitched well, striking out 32 and walking 12 in 38 innings of relief. He was moved to the starting rotation in mid-July and has looked like the pitcher we all thought he could be several years ago.

On Sunday, Bundy limited the White Sox to 2 runs on 4 hits, a walk and 9 strikeouts in 6 innings in the Orioles 10-2 win. Bundy is now 5-3 with a 3.05 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and an excellent 65-18 strikeout to walk rate in 65 innings. In his five starts, he has given up 2 runs or less in three of them, with a 33-6 strikeout to walk rate in 27 innings of work.

Bundy’s ownership percentage is steadily rising, so now is the time to pick him up if you need a starting pitcher. He offers solid ratios and strikeout potential.

Roto Roundup

We already know how good Bundy’s teammate Manny Machado is, and yesterday he was one home run from tying a major league record. Machado homered in his first three at bats, but failed to hit a fourth in his final three at bats. He did finish the game going 3-6 with the 3 home runs and 7 RBI in the Orioles 10-2 win. Machado isn’t running like he did last season, but he is now hitting .30-.366-.557 with 25 home runs, 76 runs scored, 67 RBI and zero stolen bases. He has attempted only 3 stolen bases this season, which is a huge surprise after he stole 20 bases in 28 attempts last season. He is on pace to approach 40 home runs once again, but he will have to go on a home run hitting tear to do so. Still, a 30 home run, 90 RBI season along with a .300 batting average should slot Machado in the first round of 2017 drafts once again.

The Astros sat tight at the trade deadline when many in the industry felt they needed to trade for a starting pitcher. Instead, they called up pitching prospect Joe Musgrove and he has yet to disappoint in his first two big league starts. On Sunday, he limited the Rangers to just a run on 5 hits, no walks and 6 strikeouts in 7 innings of work in the Astros 5-3 extra-inning loss. He has given up just one earned run in his first 11.1 innings in the big leagues, striking out 14 and walking just one. He is owned in just 21% of leagues right now, and that ownership percentage should jump this week. so grab him if you need a starter.

Odd stat of the day: Ken Giles gave up 3 hits in 1.2 innings of work and struck out six batters. Six!! He got five outs. I assume he struck out a batter who reached on a wild pitch or passed ball.

After some rough outings in June and July, Mariners starter James Paxton appears to be in a groove. On Sunday, facing Mike Trout and the Angels, Paxton was dominant, giving up just on unearned run on 5 hits, a walk and 6 strikeouts in 8.1 innings in the Mariners 3-1 win. He is now 4-5 with a 3.53 ERA, 1.32 WHIP and a 73-18 strikeout to walk rate in 81.2 innings this season. He has given up just five earned runs in his last four starts, with a 27-3 strikeout to walk rate in 28.1 innings. The Mariners will need him to continue pitching like this to move up in the wildcard chase.

Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw was recently placed on the 60 day disabled list, and can’t return until August 27th, at the earliest. On Sunday, he played catch for the first time since his set back a few weeks ago. Playing catch is good news, but it is very likely that we won’t see him on the mound in Dodger Stadium till mid-September. The Dodgers are somehow only two games behind the Giants and leading the National League wild card race without Kershaw in the rotation, and several other starters (Alex Wood, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Brett Anderson) on the disabled list.

Reds outfielder Billy Hamilton had himself a heck of a day at the plate and on the base paths on Sunday, going 3-4 with 3 runs scored and 4 stolen bases in the Reds 7-3 win over the struggling Pirates. Hamilton is now hitting .255-.305-.348 with 3 home runs, 52 runs scored, 15 RBI and 43 stolen bases in 49 attempts. Over his last nine games, he has stolen nine bases, and is now leading the majors in steals now.

Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado struggled at the plate in July, hitting just .228 with 5 home runs and 14 RBI, but after Sunday’s performance, he appears to be getting back on track. Yesterday, he went 3-3 with a double, 2 home runs, 3 runs scored and 5 RBI in the Rockies 10-7 loss to the Marlins. He is now hitting .283-.354-.566 with 29 home runs, 80 runs scored and 87 RBI. He has raised his walk rate from 5.1% in 2015 to just under 10%, 9.7%, this season. His big breakout season has resulted in more pitchers pitching around him, but he is still hitting for power and should be drafted in the first round once again in 2017.

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