by Will Overton
A Saturday full of baseball is a beautiful thing. Lots of stuff going on in the fantasy baseball world yesterday including the continued dominance of New York Mets pitching. As well as Seattle Mariners continuing on with their recent offensive dominance. Here is all the news and notes for fantasy players from yesterday’s games:
- Stephen Strasburg – SP, Washington Nationals: Any concern that Stephen Strasburg owners had after his last few outings should be taken care of after yesterday’s performance. Strasburg had allowed 11 R in 14 IP over his last three starts proving that he was indeed human. Last night he regained his superhero self going seven innings and now allowing a run. He only allowed four hits in the game and he struck out nine. For as great as Strasburg is its hard to remember how young and in experienced he is as well and there will be bumps in the road. But this guy is already a top ten pitcher and you have nothing to worry about except a potential innings limit which may or may not even happen.
- Michael Saunders – OF, Seattle Mariners: The entire Seattle Mariners offense is on fire right now for some strange and unexplainable reason. Michael Saunders is one of the hottest of them all. Last night Saunders went 4 – 6 with 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 SB. In his last four games Saunders is 10 – 21 and if he keeps hitting like this he’s going to earn the chance to move up in the lineup. Saunders is one of several Mariners bats who has a lot of unseen promise. While Saunders is still striking out way too much, he has clearly made some improvements this season and he is showing enough of that promise to make him worth a shot in deep leagues.
- R.A. Dickey – SP, New York Mets: It is incredible how good R.A. Dickey has been lately. He may not have had the no-hitter that Johan Santana put up the night before, but Dickey threw a complete game shutout which included nine strikeouts. Dickey has not allowed a run in 17.1 IP and in his last three starts he’s only given up one run in 23.1 IP. The biggest surprise is that in these three games Dickey has a K/BB ratio of 30:1. The walks aren’t as surprising as the strikeouts considering Dickey hasn’t topped 6 K/9 in a season since 2003. At this point though with four games of 8 K’s or more in a row its hard not to believe in him. At this point he’s got to be owned in all league types.
More Quick Thoughts
- For the fifth straight start Felix Doubront allowed two earned runs or less and continued to bring his ERA down to 3.75. Yesterday Doubront struck out seven batters in 6.1 IP and now has 34 K’s in his last 30 IP. Doubront has at the least earned spot start status in even standard leagues.
- It looks as if Yoenis Cespedes is healed up from the hand injury that sidelined him for a month. In his second game back off the DL Cespedes went 3 – 5 scoring 2 runs and knocking in another one. Cespedes is right back into the cleanup role, and while that’s not as envious of a spot in Oakland, it is nice to be paired with Josh Reddick and he should keep putting up numbers. You should feel safe plugging him back in.
- Is the old Hanley Ramirez emerging once again? After a weak month of April Hanley started to get things going in May and has carried it on into the first couple days of June. Hanley had 2 HR’s yesterday and is 11 – 19 in his last five games. He now has 10 HR’s and 10 SB’s on the season and seems ready to show himself as one of fantasy baseball’s best again.
- In back-to-back starts Shaun Marcum has looked fantastic. Marcum allowed one run in seven innings, striking out eight and walking none. He’s only allowed two runs in the last two games with 17 K’s and 1 BB. He had a couple rough outings, but those clearly seem behind him at this point.
- The fantasy world has caught on to the hot Alexei Ramirez, now its time to turn their attention to the other middle infielder on the White Sox. Gordon Beckham extended his hitting streak to nine games after picking up three this last night, including his third HR in two games. Beckham is now 12 for his last 28 with 8 R in those 6 games.
- Maybe not all the magic has run out in Baltimore. Brian Matusz continues to be a solid reclamation project as he is getting things on track with his fourth straight quality start yesterday. Matusz struck out seven yesterday and now has 21 K’s in his last 19.1 IP. Matusz should be owned in deep leagues and I can see him getting better as the season goes along to where he will be standard league material soon.
- Only in deep leagues, and probably just AL only ones Trevor Plouffe is gaining value. Plouffe is 8 – 28 in his last seven games and he homered yesterday for the second time in three games. Plouffe has 5 HR’s in his last 42 AB’s and the power does have some legitimacy. Plouffe hit 23 HR’s last season between AAA and the majors and 17 HR’s the year before that. His average is under .200 and that is scary, but it’s going up and power is coming with it.
- Going into the game last night Drew Stubbs was 2 for his last 25, but he broke out of that slump in a big way. Stubbs was 3 – 5 with 3 R, 1 HR and 4 RBI. Stubbs is inconsistent to the point where it’s maddening, but he will occasionally have games like this or go through hot stretches, but he struggles to put it together with regularity.
- Daniel Hudson owners have to feel good after seeing him go eight innings last night and throw 112 pitchers with no issues. Hudson allowed two runs over the eight innings as he struck out five and walked one. I had high expectations before the season for Hudson and his injury slowed things down, but I still think big things are in store from this point on.