by Will Overton
It was a weird day in fantasy baseball with the likes of Felix Hernandez and Chris Archer getting destroyed while the likes of Tyler Duffey were dominant. There was also a lot of big time hitting displays including Chris Davis, Gregory Polanco and more. Let’s get to hitting on all the big stories of the day:
1) Not Even The Blue Jays Can Solve Masahiro Tanaka
I personally don’t trust many pitchers against the Blue Jays these days. I know for DFS purposes I avoid any pitcher going against the Jays potent offense. Masahiro Tanaka was up to the task yesterday though who pitched his first complete game of the season. In fact it as the first time Tanaka even complete eight full innings, let alone nine. Tanaka ended up allowing one run in the game on five hits and three walks, striking out eight batters. This is now eight starts in a row for Tanaka going at least six innings, and seven times with quality starts. Tanaka has struggled going deep into games at times and so it’s encouraging to see him clocking at least six innings per start now. I know I feel a whole lot better about running Tanaka out there like an ace, the way he’s supposed to be, knowing he’s not getting pulled after five.
2) What A Trainwreck: Felix Hernandez Gets Destroyed By The Red Sox
I had to do a double take when I saw the final score of the Boston and Seattle game and make sure I wasn’t looking at a preseason football game. The Mariners scored 10 runs, but still fell 12 runs short of the Red Sox 22 which is just unreal. 10 of the Red Sox runs scored came against the Mariners ace, Felix Hernandez in just 2.1 innings of work. This has to be the worst start ever in the career of Hernandez who allowed 12 hits, including three home runs. It’s been a weird year for Felix with more ups and downs then we’ve come to expect from the perennial Cy Young candidate. Felix has had a few rough starts lately and while you certainly wouldn’t consider benching him you can’t just assume dominance anymore.
3) Jackie Bradley Jr. Has The Game Of His Life
All the Red Sox were teeing off on Seattle’s pitching yesterday, but none were better than Jackie Bradley Jr. The Red Sox young outfielder went 5 – 6 with 5 R, 2 HR and 7 RBI, a stat line that would make owners happy over a week’s worth of time. Bradley Jr. has been on fire this whole week, going 13 – 22 at the plate since Sunday with 11 R, 3 HR and 13 RBI. Bradley Jr. has always been a case of unfulfilled potential at the big league level, but he’s done more in this last week then pretty much his whole career. Bradley can’t maintain this pace, but he’s earning himself playing time for sure and at 25 years old he still has time to make good on some of that upside.
4) Chris Davis Is Wreaking Havoc Right Now
The last guy opposing pitchers wants to see coming right now is Chris Davis who is on a serious power surge. Chris Davis his two home runs yesterday, one solo shot and one two run homer. This is now six HR’s in six games for Davis and seven total in the month of August. So far in August Davis is hitting .341 with 12 R, 7 HR and 15 RBI which are incredible totals. Davis is known to go on hot streaks like this so there may very well be more to come and until it runs dry you should be overloading him in daily fantasy lineups.
5) The Second Time Around Goes A Lot Better For Tyler Duffey
The first big league start of Tyler Duffey’s was a massive flop, but to his credit he came out yesterday for his second start and looked completely different. Duffey went six innings and didn’t allow a run, only surrendering one hit. Duffey did walk five, but he also struck out seven in the game as well. Duffey looked fantastic at both AA and AAA ball this season with a 2.54 ERA and incredible control. We have seen that control wane since hitting the big leagues, but it could very well come back again at some point. Duffey is better than what we saw in that first start, but he’s also probably not as good as he was yesterday. Duffey does have some decent upside and should make a nice middle rotation piece for the Twins in the years to come.
6) Will A Big Game From Jarrod Dyson Lead To More Playing Time?
Lorenzo Cain got the night off for the Royals last night and Jarrod Dyson took his spot manning center field. Dyson went 3 – 4 in his start with 2 R, 3 RBI and 2 SB, making the most of his chance. Dyson has been splitting time in left field with Paulo Orlando, but recently has been falling behind in that time share. Dyson has been playing well when given the chance, but it seems as though as much as possible Ned Yost prefers to have him on his bench to use as a pinch runner late in the game. Dyson has crazy speed and even when he doesn’t start he’ll get you steals, but it’s tough to play a guy who isn’t going to get an at-bat most of the time. Dyson was great yesterday, but I don’t know if it’s enough.
7) Another Quality Start From Patrick Corbin, Who Is Showing He Still Holds Big Upside
Taking down the Braves isn’t a great feat these days, but Patrick Corbin has been taking down just about all comers. Corbin threw 6.2 scoreless innings yesterday, throwing a season high 91 pitches. Corbin surrendered three hits and three walks in the game, but struck out eight batters. Corbin has really only had one bad outing in eight starts since returning from last year’s Tommy John surgery. Corbin has 43 K’s compared to just 11 BB’s his 42 innings of work. Prior to his Tommy John Corbin had the look of a guy who was on his way towards the top tier of pitchers. Missing last year was a setback, but Corbin is still just 26 and has a bright future ahead of him.
8) Should We Start Believing In Justin Verlander As An Every League Pitcher Again
It was really hard to fight the urge to label Justin Verlander as washed up after a disappointing 2014 season and a rough start to 2015, after a long injury layoff. Verlander has been showing signs of days of old lately though and he was great again yesterday. Verlander threw seven scoreless innings yesterday, giving up three hits and two walks, striking out seven. Verlander has been rolling of late, with 29 K’S in his last 28 IP and a 1.75 ERA in his last five starts. Verlander’s strikeouts are back up and he’s working late into games like the days of old. I don’t expect a return to the Cy Young/MVP form of old, but I will still take this version and this version is still good enough for all league formats.
9) The Month Of August Has Been Kind To Gregory Polanco
The hot hitting of Gregory Polanco continued last night, going 3 – 6 at the plate with a solo home run for good measure. In his last nine games now Polanco is 18 – 40 with 7 R, 3 HR. 6 RBI and 2 SB. Polanco hasn’t been perfect this season, but he is a strong leadoff hitter, making up for his lower than ideal average with a nice walk rate. Polanco is finally starting to show some power this last week too, after hitting only four HR’s the first four months of the season. Polanco is a strong fantasy option right now, but if and when his 20+ HR potential is realized he’s going to be a top 15 outfielder.
10) The Texas Rangers Rock Chris Archer And The Tampa Bay Rays
This has been an absolutely dominant season from Chris Archer, but last night was a rough one. Archer saw his ERA blow up by 0.36 points as he allowed eight runs in 5.1 IP. Archer put 14 men on base in the game and wound up with four strikeouts. Archer went into this game riding a streak of five straight quality starts since the last time he was blown up in a start by the Royals right before the all-star game. I don’t think this is a sign of Archer wearing down, and he threw over 190 innings last season so I’m not concerned with overuse. I think this was just a bad outing in a hitter friendly ballpark and until we see more warning signs it should considered just that.