by Will Overton
It was a day and night full of baseball and full of streaks. We saw the hitting streak of Robinson Cano continue, we saw the scoreless inning streak of Ryan Dempster continue and we saw the roller coaster ride streak of Tim Lincecum continue. Here is the breakdown of all the big fantasy box score news of the day:
1. Edwin Encarnacion – 1B, Toronto Blue Jays: It’s hard not to wonder if Edwin is in for a crash and burn of a second half after a massive first half that he has never had before. But he just keeps on hitting the ball and had 2 HR’s in yesterday’s game. So far in July, the first month of the second half, he is 11 – 31 and he’s also taken nine walks so far this month, meaning he has an OBP of .500 so far. Encarnacion has a .961 OPS and I don’t know that he’s going to slow down at all this season.
2. Ryan Dempster – SP, Chicago Cubs: On May 30th Ryan Dempster gave up 6 runs in 4.1 IP. Since that time Dempster has gone 33 scoreless innings over a span of five starts. Dempster spent some time on the DL in the middle of this streak, but two starts back he hasn’t shown any signs of lasting effects. Part of me wants to tag Dempster as a sell high and if you can get the right deal he is a sell high. But with the possibility of a trade to a contender looming and the possibility of a competent offense hitting behind him he still holds a lot of value. Don’t sell just to sell, but if you can shop him as a top 15 pitcher, sell, sell, sell.
3. Tim Lincecum – SP, San Francisco Giants: In his last two starts Tim Licnecum had allowed 13 runs in 6.2 IP to raise his ERA to a mind blowing 6.42. Well the mystery continued last night as he turned it on and had his best game of the season. Lincecum went 8 innings with 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB and 11 K’s. He ended up not getting a decision because Santiago Casilla gave up two runs in the ninth and sent it to extras. But the fact remains he looked like the Freak of old, we just have no idea whether or not this will last. This whole season has been a mystery with Lincecum, so your guess is as good as mine at this point. I’d still be taking a flier on him though in a trade if you’re trying to make up ground, just to take a chance.
More Quick Thoughts
- The hit streak for Robinson Cano is now up to 17 games. Cano is hitting .391 in these 17 games and he hit his 8th HR during the stretch yesterday. He may not get as much attention paid to him as some of the outfielders and first baseman in fantasy baseball, but he is top ten hands down.
- Over his last five starts Tommy Hanson has seen his ERA jump 0.70 points allowing 20 runs in 30.2 IP. Hanson had his worst outing yesterday allowing six runs in 5.1 IP. I think he gets it back together and he’s a buy low right now, but I still have questions about him becoming elite in the next season or two.
- The hot streak that Shelley Duncan is on is the kind of hot streak you want to ride out. He’s not been playing every day, but this kind of streak is what earns you more playing time. Duncan hit his 4th HR in 5 July games yesterday, and he has 9 RBI. He’s also 13 for his last 31, you can’t really ignore this.
- It’s amazing what a little time in the minor leagues has done for Adam Lind. Since coming back up he is hitting .340 after picking up four hits yesterday. He added four RBI yesterday too giving him 13 in 15 games.
- The Orioles have been getting some hit or miss performances from Wei-Yin Chen lately, but yesterday he was on his game allowing one run on two hits in six innings, striking out five. Despite being inconsistent Chen has been delivering plenty of K’s with 19 in his last three starts.
- Two games back off of the DL and Nick Markakis looks like he was helped a lot by his time off. Markakis was 3 – 6 yesterday with 3 doubles and a pair of runs scored. Markakis was hitting the ball well in May before getting hurt and he may be picking right back up where he was. Hopefully the power is still there too.
- In one game Alcides Escobar doubled his HR totals from 2 to 4 going yard a couple of times. Don’t read too much into that, but his seven hits in four games and back to back 3 RBI games is something to take note of. Quietly Escobar is having quite a good season.
- The strikeouts are just pouring in right now for Marco Estrada who had 11 more yesterday in just 5.2 IP. He did allow three runs, but his 29 K’s in 17.2 IP is pretty eye popping. Wins might be tough to come by right now, but Estrada should keep putting up strong K numbers.
- The “HR Derby curse” doesn’t seem to be hurting Andrew McCutchen at all as he hit his second HR in as many games since the all-star break. Couple that with the two he had in the game before the break and he has 4 in 3 games. This guy is amazing.
- In eight games since being called up from Triple-A Chris Carter has reached base in six of them and he also has 4 HR’s already after the three run bomb he hit yesterday. I don’t expect Carter to keep hitting .333, but he has serious power.
- It was a nice pitching duel between Gio Gonzalez and Mark Buehrle. Gio struck out 9 in 6 innings, allowing two runs, but he was on the losing end. Buehrle struck out 7 in 7 innings allowing just one run. In his last four starts Buehrle has allowed just 3 runs in 28.2 IP with 29 K’s. He should be owned in every league format.
- Back off of the DL after missing a whole month Clay Bucholz looked sharp even despite giving up four runs in 6.1 IP. Bucholz had great control though with 8 K’s and only 1 BB. Bucholz was getting things together before getting hurt and hopefully will stay on the right track here on out.
- So far this season has been a disappointment or fantasy owners of Shane Victorino outside of his 19 SB’s, but hopefully the second half is a different story. Victorino had two extra base hits last night with a 2B and 3B, scoring both times on base. Maybe this will be the beginning.
- For those not paying attention, Felix Hernandez is still one of the best pitchers in baseball. King Felix struck out 12 in a complete game, three hit, shutout last night. In his the last month he has 56 K’s in 45 IP, allowing 1 run or less in five of six games.