by Will Overton
The power seems to have returned to the bat of Andrew McCutchen. Rickie Weeks is trying his best to make up for the time he spent struggling early this season. Francisco Liriano flashes his good side as a starter. All of this happened last night and more, here is the rundown:
- From the beginning of August through September 8th, Andrew McCutchen hit just 2 HR’s total. McCutchen has since then hit 4 HR’s in six games after going deep foe the second game in a row yesterday. McCutchen is 8 – 23 in these six games and has pulled his average back up over .340 once again. McCutchen had hit a bit of a slump, but he clearly seems to have busted out of it and he’s back to being one of the top ten, probably top five hitters in baseball.
- Keeper league owners have to be feeling much better about Anthony Gose these days. After a very slow start to the season for Gose he has come back around and is string together a solid finish to the season. Gose is hitting .333 in the month of September and he is 10 – 27 in his last eight games after going 2 – 4 last night. Gose has eight runs and five stolen bases in these games. Guys like Gose who if they get on base can put themselves in scoring position almost every time prove to be very valuable. Gose is earning his way into a starting job next season.
- The White Sox had pulled Francisco Liriano from the rotation after a rough stretch of starts. They decided however that a couple starters needed extra rest and Liriano got the start yesterday. He turned in seven strong innings allowing two runs and striking out nine. He also showed good control, walking only two and allowing only one hit, a HR. It’s unclear what will happen next with Liriano, but can you really trust him either way?
- Trying to follow up last year’s rookie performance has proven to be a difficult challenge for Ivan Nova. There have been some strong performances from Nova, but also some very awful ones. Last night was a good one though as Nova pitched six strong innings and allowed two runs. Nova struck out eight batters in the game and the one thing he has done this season is improve strongly on his K numbers, going from 5.34 last season to 7.95 this season.
- There isn’t a whole lot of value for fantasy owners in Houston, but Justin Maxwell is at least providing some help. Maxwell extended a hitting streak to nine straight games last night and hit a HR for the second straight night. Maxwell now has 16 HR’s in 267 AB’s for a AB/HR rate of 16.7. Maxwell struggles to get on base regularly, but the power feels real and he could provide a few more late season HR’s for your team.
- It might be too little too late for Rickie Weeks, but he’s trying hard to earn back favor from his fantasy owners for a season of underachieving. For the third time in four games and the seventh time this month, Weeks went deep last night. We are halfway through September and Weeks is hitting .295 with 14 R, 7 HR and 14 RBI so far. He’s pushing his way back towards the top ten rankings at second base.
- After a month on the DL with a quad injury, Mike Napoli came out swinging last night and went 2 – 3 with a HR and 3 RBI. Napoli was struggling with a .223 average before going on the DL, but he’s still showing power this season. All in all this has been a disappointing season, but it doesn’t mean he can’t and shouldn’t start for you down the stretch.
- It can be a tough guessing game trying to figure out which Barry Zito will show up on which nights. The last two times out we’ve seen the good Zito though. Last night he went 6.2 IP and allowed only one run on four hits, with four strikeouts. The time before he threw 6.1 shutout innings. His next start is against Colorado, but it is at home which means Zito should be usable in deeper leagues.
- This has been a strong week of games for Chris Nelson getting time starting at third base. Nelson was 2 – 4 last night with a R and an RBI. In his last seven games Nelson is 14 – 27 with 6 R, 2 HR and 8 RBI. Nelson has five multi-hit games in his last six. Someone swinging this hot of a bat should be owned in a majority of leagues at this point in the season.
- Chalk up another win for Jarrod Parker and the surprisingly impressive Oakland A’s. Parker is now 4 – 1 in his last six starts with five quality starts. Parker allowed two runs in seven innings with five strikeouts. Parker has only allowed five runs in his last three games, going seven innings in each of them. His strikeout numbers have declined some, but he’s still pitching well.
- Through six innings yesterday Anibal Sanchez was throwing a no-hitter. He struggled a bit in the seventh inning, but he still ended up with a solid line of 6.2 IP, 3 HR, 2 R and 7 K. Sanchez is starting to settle in to the American Legaue over his last five starts. Sanchez has a 1.89 ERA in these five starts and holds value in all formats.