Max Scherzer continued his unbelievable strikeout pace. Tim Lincecum was mediocre, at best. Justin Upton and Jason Kipnis continue to show signs of heating back up (or, in Upton’s case, finally heating up). Let’s look at these stories and all the rest from yesterday’s games:
- Max Scherzer - Detroit Tigers – Starting Pitcher - He continues to thrive. He allowed 1 ER on 4 H and 2 BB, striking out 9, over 7.0 innings to defeat the Angels yesterday. Over his past four starts he has now allowed 4 ER over 27.0 innings. He has struck out at least 8 in eight straight starts, totaling 70 K over 52.1 innings. While he has his frustrating moments for owners, it’s hard to complain right now. He obviously is a must use option in all formats.
- Justin Upton – Arizona Diamondbacks – Outfielder - The Diamondbacks had Upton hitting third, where he went 2-4 with 1 R. He’s now 4-8 with 1 HR in two games since returning to the lineup and 9-19 with 1 HR, 5 RBI and 4 R over his past five games. Don’t look now, but he finally may be heating up. Don’t be surprised if he helps to carry your team down the stretch.
More Quick Thoughts:
- Hopefully Jason Kipnis may finally be getting things back in order. After an extended slump, he went 3-5 with 1 R and 3 SB yesterday. I wouldn’t get too excited yet, as he had gone 1-12 in his previous three games (after giving us a little false hope, going 5-14 with 1 HR in the prior three games). We all know he’s better than what he’s shown recently, so just stick with him and wait things out.
- Ike Davis went 2-4 with 2 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R. Considering he was hitting .158 on June 8, the fact that he’s hitting .223 now is pretty solid. He’s now hit 19 HR with 49 RBI since June 1 and entered the day hitting .284 in August. He has produced much better on the road overall, though yesterday’s performance came at Citi Field. He should continue to be a solid, low-end source of power from 1B for the remainder of 2012 and into 2013.
- For the third time in his past four games Allen Craig posted 3 H and 3 RBI in a game. He went 3-5 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 1 R last night. While he’s hitting an unsustainable .370 in August, he otherwise has been incredibly consistent month in and month out. He has now hit 5 HR every month since May (he missed April), as well as also having at least 16 RBI. Throw in 41 R over the past two months and what are fantasy owners going to complain about? He’s hot and has entrenched himself as a viable option.
- With all the changes in Boston, Pedro Ciriaco appears to have found himself with regular playing time. He went 3-5 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R yesterday while manning third base. He’s now posted four consecutive multi-hit games, going 11-20 with 1 HR, 4 RBI, 8 R and 1 SB over that span. The Red Sox are still going to score runs, so if he sticks at the top of the order he should continue to score runs. However, he doesn’t offer much power or a ton of speed (14 SB in 276 AB at Triple-A). In other words, it’s hard to consider him anything but a low-end option.
- Now that Mark Rogers has tasted victory he can’t get enough of it. He won his second consecutive start by tossing 5.0 shutout innings against the Pirates. He obviously needs to work on keeping his pitch count down and go deeper into games, but he allowed just 3 H and 3 BB while striking out 5. He’s showing the strikeout potential he possesses, with 36 K over 33.2 innings since joining the Brewers rotation. Once a top prospect, Rogers definitely needs to be back on your radar. He entered the day with an unrealistic 27.3% line drive rate while showing Ks and good control. In deeper formats he is definitely worth rolling the dice on depending on the matchup.
- Cliff Lee delivered a victory? Unbelievable, I know. He allowed 1 ER on 7 H and 0 BB, striking out 5, over 7.0 innings. He’s somehow just 3-7 on the season, but that’s a good example of why we don’t chase wins. We all know he’s better than that.
- Over his past seven games it has been all or nothing for Adam Dunn. He is 3-26 with 3 HR, 4 RBI and 4 R. It’s the type of thing that we need to be prepared to deal with as, even with his renaissance this season (38 HR, 87 RBI), he is hitting just .204. Granted, there is some bad luck (.229 BABIP), but he is still striking out 33.6% of the time. That’s the third consecutive year of over 30%, a number that is never going to allow him to hit for a good average. While it may increase, you are always going to draft him for his power and nothing else.
- Jhoulys Chacin had a solid start for the Rockies, though the 75 pitch count is going to continue to limit his upside (as it does for all Rockies pitchers). Lifted after 77 pitches, Chacin allowed 1 ER on 5 H and 2 BB, striking out 3, over 5.0 innings. Over two starts since coming off the DL he’s allowed 1 ER on 9 H and 2 BB, striking out 5, over 11.0 innings of work. He brings significantly more strikeout potential with him and we all know he’s better than he looked earlier in the season. Wins could be tough to come by, since he may not go more than 5-6 innings, but he should hold value in all deeper formats.
- Hopefully you sold high on Trevor Plouffe while you had the chance. Since coming off the DL earlier in August he is hitting .143 with 0 HR, 3 RBI and 2 R. Granted, he has struggled with a .179 BABIP, but he was never going to match the power or overall production he was providing owners earlier in the year. He should be better than this, so depending on your format I wouldn’t cut bait, but I wouldn’t be depending on him.
- Ben Revere went 4-4 with 1 RBI and 3 R. He has been solid overall, hitting .315 with 0 HR, 26 RBI, 53 R and 30 SB over 378 AB. He should continue to hit for a solid average (.343 BABIP) to go along with some runs scored and SB. That makes him a good low-end option, but with the ability to only hit a handful of HR per season, he needs to fill a specific role for your team.
- Rob Brantly went 2-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R for the Marlins yesterday. The rookie catcher is hitting .240 with 1 HR in his 7 games since joining the team, though he has gone 4-8 with 1 double and 1 home run in his past two games. He was hitting .298 in 362 AB in the minor leagues, though with just 5 HR. However, could he develop some power? He did have 24 doubles and 1 triple, so the potential is there. He’s an option only in 2-catcher formats, but he is someone to keep an eye on.
- Luke Gregerson gained his first save of the season, allowing 1 H and 0 BB, striking out 2, over 1.1 innings of work. He’s only going to get opportunities while Huston Street is out, plus it’s no guarantee that he continues to see the chances. He has definite value, but only depend on him if you are desperate for saves.
- It was another mediocre outing for Tim Lincecum, allowing 3 ER on 5 H and 2 BB, striking out 4, over 5.0 innings against the Braves. He’s now 7-14 with a 5.30 ERA and 1.48 WHIP. While he has pitched better of late (3.90 ERA in August), it isn’t a universal rebound. He is still sporting a 1.48 WHIP this month, plus he has failed to strikeout more than 5 batters in any start (19 K over 27.2 innings in his five starts). Considering the latter has always been his calling card, unless he is producing in that regard he’s not going to be back to form. Is he worth owning due to his potential? Of course, but who knows.