We are truly into fantasy crunch time, so who stepped up and shined and who stumbled? Has Dan Uggla finally gotten hot? Was Cliff Lee able to keep things rolling forward? Let’s take a look:
- How many people thought Dewayne Wise may be a player to help carry their fantasy team down the stretch? After going 3-5 with 2 RBI yesterday he is now hitting .294 with 2 HR and 7 RBI over his past 10 games. In September he’s hitting .347 with 2 HR, 9 RBI, 6 R and 5 SB. You’d like to see him scoring runs (and it is hard to depend on him for RBI), but it’s clear that he is going to continue to get an opportunity to produce. If you are looking for speed, you need to continue riding the hot hand down the stretch.
- Remember when Cliff Lee was winless? He’s doing the best he can to make owners forget as quickly as possible. He allowed 1 ER on 7 H and 1 BB, striking out 10, over 8.0 innings to improve to 6-7 with a 3.27 ERA on the year. He’s now won four of his last five starts allowing 4 ER over 35.1 innings of work. There’s no way to consider him anything but a disappointment, but did anyone really think he wouldn’t produce at all? He should be considered among the top starting pitchers once again in 2013.
- Dan Uggla was at it again last night, going 2-3 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 2 R. He now has 6 RBI over his past three games. Better late than never, right?
- Marlins catcher Rob Brantly extended his hitting streak to 8 games by going 3-4 with 1 RBI and 1 R yesterday. Over the streak he has gone 12-25 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 6 R. He hit .298 in 362 AB in the minors this season, but managed just 5 HR. He’s been playing well, but holds little value for fantasy owners.
- Jacoby Ellsbury provided the big blow for the Red Sox, going 3-5 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 1 R last night. It’s not a surprise that he hasn’t matched last season’s production, but injuries and struggles have really hampered him making this season even more disappointing than expected. While I wouldn’t expect him to hit 30+ HR again next season, I would expect a nice bounce back and a potential buy low opportunity.
- Kevin Correia tossed an absolute gem against the Chicago Cubs, allowing 0 ER on 2 H (both to Darwin Barney) and 1 BB, striking out 6, over 7.0 innings. On August 14 he was sporting a 4.63 ERA, but it has been on a steady decline since (now 4.09). Over his past 7 starts he has allowed just 7 ER over 27.2 IP (4 starts, 3 relief appearances). He generally offers next to nothing in the strikeout department, so don’t look towards him if that’s your need. However, he does hold value for those in deeper formats while he’s pitching well. Would I want to count on him? Absolutely not, as he is too risky, but it all depends on your situation.
- Chris Tillman made his first start since September 2 (due to injury) and didn’t miss a beat. He allowed 1 ER on 3 H and 0 BB, striking out 4, over 6.0 innings to defeat the Mariners and improve to 8-2 with a 3.22 ERA. While it appears that he has finally lived up to his potential, he is sporting a .249 BABIP courtesy of a 24.0% line drive rate, so there is plenty of room for regression. However, he also has had poor luck in the strand rate department, courtesy sporting a 66.9% mark. So what’s the answer? Depending on the matchup, I wouldn’t have a problem continuing to roll with him. Just don’t consider him a must use option.
- After giving up 4+ ER in four straight starts, fantasy owners were rightfully getting concerned with Madison Bumgarner. He came back strong last night, allowing 1 ER on 4 H and 5 BB, striking out 6, over 6.0 innings to defeat the Rockies. I know it was a lot of walks, but that is the aberration not the rule. I would feel comfortable riding him down the stretch as he has emerged as one of the top starting pitchers in the game.