by Will Overton
We had some dominant pitching from some of the league’s most dominant pitchers, including a returning CC Sabathia. There were also some good hitting performances from some up and coming hitters like Allen Craig and Dustin Ackley.
Lots of good stuff going down last night in the baseball world, here are the top highlights of the night:
1. Chris Davis – 1B/DH, Baltimore Orioles: We’ve been told for several years now that Chris Davis had upside because of his power, this year we’re finally seeing it and it’s been impressive. Davis went deep three times in last night’s game against Toronto. He’s got 5 HR’s in 5 games now and 23 of them for the season. Davis is still hovering around the .250 mark and he’s still striking out nearly once in every three at-bats. He has holes in his game, but he has power and it’s the kind of power that makes him ownable in just about every type of fantasy league. Davis is still just 26 years old and has room to grow, he could be on track to be a 30 HR+ guy on a yearly basis still.
2. CC Sabathia – SP, New York Yankees: Fresh off a trip to the DL CC Sabathia came out last night and was dealing. Sabathia shut down the Indians for 7 IP, allowing just one run on four hits, striking out nine batters. The elbow inflammation seemed to be getting the best of Sabathia before the DL trip, but he showed no signs of a problem last night throwing 100 pitches. In his 11th season as a big league pitcher Sabathia is posting his best K/9 numbers of his career. Despite the miles that Sabathia has put on over the years he has yet to slow down even a little bit so far.
More Quick Thoughts
- It is always a good sign to see a young pitcher like Jeff Samardzija getting better as the season goes along rather than the reverse, where hitters are making adjustments and the pitcher isn’t responding. Instead Samardzija has a 2.77 ERA in his last four starts after allowing two ER last night in 7 IP. He also has 29 K’s in those last 26 IP.
- Yes, that was a second straight good start from Zach Britton we witnessed last night. Britton has struggled to string together two good ones in a row, but Britton did it last night allowing just two runs in 6.2 IP and striking out six. Another good start and he could be deep league worthy.
- For the first time since his first start in LA Zack Greinke looked good last night, shutting the Tigers down for 7.2 innings. Greinke had allowed 20 runs in his last four games, but he gave up just one last night and struck out five.
- Going 3 – 4 last night Corey Hart ran his hit streak up to nine games. Hart is 14 – 33 in these nine games with 8 R and 11 RBI. The Brewers offense isn’t loaded, but hitting behind Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez is a spot anyone would be envious of and Hart is making the most of it.
- After allowing 12 runs in two starts it looked like the magic had run out on Mike Fiers, but he was strong last night. Fiers allowed three runs in 6.2 IP with 10 K’s and apparently still has more to give fantasy owners.
- With just over 300 AB’s this season after being injured early on, Allen Craig is turning into one of the best hitters in baseball. Craig was 3 – 5 last night and hit his 19th HR of the season. Craig is hitting a HR every 16.7 AB’s with a .318 average and .961 OPS, amazing really.
- His last start didn’t go so well, but Jordan Lyles has been solid in three of his last four after turning in a good one last night. Lyles allowed only one run in six innings last night. Lyles has allowed two runs or less in three of his last four and despite his poor numbers for the season he is just 21 and has long term potential still.
- Time to start paying attention to Josh Donaldson I think. Because of how bad he started he’s easy to ignore, but he’s as hot as any hitter in baseball right now. Donaldson is 17 – 41 since being called back up on August 14 with 4 R and 7 RBI.
- The best pitcher on the Texas Rangers continues to be Matt Harrison who was brilliant again last night allowing two hits and no runs in 8 IP with 5 K. Harrison hit a bit of a bump allowing 15 runs in four games, but he’s allowed just three runs in three starts since then.
- I’m still a believer that there is a whole lot more to Dustin Ackley than what we’ve seen this season so far. Ackley was 3 – 5 last night with 2 R and 2 RBI and is 14 for his last 37. I think Ackley will finish strong and could wind up being a nice post-hype sleeper going into next season.
- Sometimes it feels like it doesn’t matter who San Diego starts, they find success. Eric Stults has started four games since moving back into the rotation and has a 2.07 ERA after throwing seven scoreless innings last night. He doesn’t strikeout enough batters to hold a ton of value, but being a San Diego starter alone is enough to warrant some value.
- There have been a lot of swings up and down for Freddie Freeman this season, but overall he is at least putting up decent numbers. Freeman hit two HR’s last night to reach 17, just four away from his total of last season. He’s also topped his RBI total from last year as well. So while the up and down is tough, Freeman is still putting up good numbers overall.
- The 1 -22 slump that Andre Ethier was struggling through a couple days ago seems to be over as Ethier went 4 – 4 last night and is 6 – 8 in the last two games. Ethier scored three runs last night with a HR and four RBI.