Archive for Ray Kuhn

10 Important Stories From 06/22/17 Box Scores: Russell Turning Corner, Nola Shines & More

by Ray Kuhn

Sometimes the schedule on a Thursday is on the lighter side, but that was not the case yesterday. We had six games in the afternoon to get us through the day, and that was followed by another six games at night. After a first inning scare, the X-Rays on George Springer’s hand were negative, and then the Astros had a little scare of their own thanks to their bullpen on their way to becoming the first team to 50 wins. Let’s take a look at some of the fantasy performances that stood out from a busy day around the league:

1) Nola Out Duels Carlos Martinez…

Thanks to the Phillies’ state of rebuilding, young pitchers like Aaron Nola have every chance to impress and prove they belong at the major league level. However, you can’t afford to be as charitable with starting spots on your fantasy team, but Nola does have some value. He picked up his fourth victory of the season yesterday by allowing one run on four hits and two walks to the Cardinals in 7.1 innings. The lone damage was a Paul DeJong home run in the eighth inning as Nola struck out eight while lowering his ERA to 4.32. For a young pitcher, you have to like the fact that Nola is striking out 8.48 batters per nine innings while limiting opponents to 2.78 walks per nine innings. Due to injury, Nola has only make 10 starts so far this season, and he has a decision in nine of them despite averaging 5.8 innings per start. With a 3.79 FIP and 3.81 xFIP, Nola is a safe arm to target if you are looking for some strikeouts. Read more

10 Important Stories From 06/21/17 Box Scores: Pham’s Breaking Out, Berrios Shines & More

by Ray Kuhn

We had a full day of baseball to get us through the midpoint of the week, and there was almost some history in Miami. Entering the day, especially the evening slate of games, there was a far amount of offense expected. There were just too many double digit games expected, and multiple teams were projected to eclipse five runs. While that certainly happened, things were also a little quieter than originally expected. Let’s take a look at some of the performances that stood out from a busy day around baseball:

1) Scherzer Flirts With History…

Yes, we know, Max Scherzer is elite. Every so often though, he likes to remind us in case we forgot, and Wednesday was one of those days. The right-hander, took his quest for a third no-hitter into the eighth inning against the Marlins before it was broken up by A.J Ellis with an infield single. However, not only did Scherzer lose his no-hitter, but he also ended up losing the game. Thanks to an Adam Lind error, both runs Miami scored were unearned, and Scherzer ended his eight innings of work allowing two hits and a walk as he lowered his ERA to 2.09 and his WHIP to 0.81. It was another double digit strikeout game for Scherzer, as he struck out 11 this time, giving him 145 strikeouts in 107.2 innings on the season. Read more

10 Important Stories From 06/19/17 Box Scores: Zunino Keeps Raking, Buying Bour’s Breakout & More

by Ray Kuhn

While we never start the week off with a full slate of games, there is always enough action to pique our interest from a fantasy perspective. In fact, there were 11 games across baseball last night, and all provided some level of fantasy impact. Derek Fisher went deep again as part of his five game cameo with the Astros, and as a parting gift, he was sent back down to Triple-A with the return of Josh Reddick. Before the year is out, we will see Fisher again in the majors; whether or not it is with the Astros is up for debate. Let’s take a look at some of the performances of note from last night:

1) Kluber Gets Way More Than he Needed…

All Corey Kluber needed was one run of support last night, but he got 12 from his offense. The right-hander went the distance for a complete game shutout in Baltimore last night as he picked up his sixth victory of the season. At this point, it is safe to conclude that Kluber is fully healthy and has found his groove following a DL stint earlier in the season and a slow start. Kluber limited the Orioles to just three hits as he struck out 11 and didn’t walk a batter. After last night, Kluber’s ERA now sits at 3.58, with a WHIP of 1.09, as it continues to trend in the right direction. With 80 strikeouts in 65.1 innings, Kluber is pitching at an “ace” level. Read more

Two-Start Pitchers 2017: June 19-25: Ranking The Options & Finding Those Worthy (Martes, Gossett & More)

by Ray Kuhn

At this point, in most leagues, the waiver wire has been picked dry as injuries have taken their toll and options are limited. Some teams have been hit harder than others, but for the most part it has been an uphill battle. While there are some legitimate options taking the mound twice this week, including Clayton Kershaw, it gets risky pretty quickly. Let’s take a look at how those options rank:

Tier One:

  1. Clayton Kershaw – Los Angeles Dodgers – vs. New York Mets; vs. Colorado
  2. Corey Kluber – Cleveland Indians – at Baltimore; vs. Minnesota

Tier Two:

  1. Zack Greinke – Arizona Diamondbacks – at Colorado; vs. Philadelphia
  2. Jon Lester – Chicago Cubs – vs. San Diego; at Miami
  3. Justin Verlander – Detroit Tigers – at Seattle; at San Diego
  4. Johnny Cueto – San Francisco Giants – at Atlanta; vs. New York Mets

Read more

10 Important Stories From 06/15/17 Box Scores: Davidson Emerging, Pivetta Beats Sale & More

by Ray Kuhn

With a reduced slate of games on Thursday, and some games taking place during the day, it is sometimes a chance to take a step back. Not a step away, but without 15 games going on at once (and your favorite team potential having the night off), a chance to take a closer look at some other teams or at making moves to improve your fantasy team. Let’s take a look at some of the performances of note from the day around baseball:

1) Don’t Write Encarnacion off Just Yet…

One game doesn’t make a player, but the same could also be said for two months. Things haven’t gone according to plan for Edwin Encarnacion since he joined the Indians this off-season, but he is still too good of a hitter to give up on. Yesterday, he had a perfect day at the plate (3 for 3 with a walk), but more importantly, he went deep for the 13th time this season. It was Encarnacion’s only RBI of the day, he has 28 on the season, but he did score all four times he reached base as he raised his batting average to .255. The true problem with Encarnacion so far this season, is the lack of run production. While his home run total isn’t astronomical, with the help of one good week, he could easily find himself on a 30-35 home run pace, but he just is not driving runs in. He is a good hitter batting in the middle of a good lineup, so I would either buy low or remain patient. Read more

10 Important Stories From 06/14/17 Box Scores: Taijuan Walker’s Return, Fisher’s First Impression & More

by Ray Kuhn

And just like that, we have reached the halfway point of June. The MLB Draft is now behind us, trading season will begin to commence across baseball, and we are now past the Super 2 deadline. We had a busy day across baseball on the field, so let’s take a look at some of the performances of note:

1) Healy Goes Deep…

This is becoming a common theme for Ryon Healy as he hit his 15th home run of the season on Wednesday. It was a three run shot in the second inning, and came as part of a three hit day for the third baseman. Healy, who is hitting .282, now has 40 RBI on the season as he is developing into a legitimate middle of the order threat. While he doesn’t walk, nine in 248 at bats, and strikeouts will also be an issue, 65 so far this season, you can live that as long as he continues to produce at his current pace. Read more