by Will Overton
The Saturday slate of baseball had a nice contrast of veterans getting the job done like Justin Verlander, along with young rookies like Jameson Tallion and David Dahl making an impression and putting their names on the map. The theme of veterans and rookies permeate throughout the top 10 stories of the night. Here is the list of the night’s biggest stories:
1) Justin Verlander Tosses A Complete Game Against The Astros
When Justin Verlander is locked in he really can still look like the Verlander of old, the guy who once won MVP and Cy Young. Verlander tossed a complete game last night, and while he surrendered two runs in the ninth, his Tigers came back in the bottom of the inning to get him the win still. Verlander struck out 11 batters in the game and now ends the month of July with a 4 – 0 record. More importantly, in his six July starts he posted numbers of 1.69 ERA, 0.89 WHIP and a 10.1 K/9 rate. Verlander is completely locked in right now, has overtaken the American League lead in K’s and doesn’t look like a guy slowing down.
2) No Slowing Down When It Comes To J.A. Happ
A big part of the Blue Jays success this season has been J.A. Happ who continues to take the mound and put the Jays in position to win every time out. Happ picked up his 14th win last night, tied for the league lead after completely shutting down the Orioles. Happ allowed one run on three hits in seven innings, walking three and striking out a season high 11. Happ has been good all season, but he’s hitting another level right now with 53 K’s in his last 41.1 IP and just five runs allowed total over his last five starts. Happ’s missing element for fantasy value has always been a lack of K’s, but that seems to be changing and all the sudden he’s a great fantasy asset.
3) First Impressions: Eduardo Nunez Brings Value In His First Start As A Giant
Eduardo Nunez stepped right in as the Giants leadoff hitter in his start for his new team. Nunez made a good first impression going 2 – 5 with a pair of RBI and a stolen base. Nunez is having a career year at the age of 29 and while some thought he’d begin to fade, it may get even better now that he is in San Francisco. Nunez didn’t have a whole lot of support in Minnesota to back up his big season, but he’s going to get a lot more in San Francisco while continuing to pile up the stolen bases I assume. I don’t know about long term, but for the rest of this season I think Nunez is a top 10 shortstop.
4) Is Wade Miley Earning Himself Some Value In Fantasy Leagues?
Shutting down the Cubs offense is no easy task, but Wade Miley did just that yesterday. Miley had a no-hitter going into the seventh inning where he ended up allowing a run on one hit, but still getting the win. Miley struck out nine in his seven innings of work as well. This is the third straight quality start in a row for Miley and probably his most impressive start of the season. Miley has the upside for these kinds of performances, but he continues to be inconsistent as he has been for the better part of the last couple seasons. This could signal a long term run coming, but I’m not sure I’d be willing to risk it outside of 14 team and deeper leagues.
5) Should Fantasy Owners Care That Eduardo Escobar Is Going To Get Regular Playing Time?
We discuss Eduardo Nunez earlier and his new home in San Francisco, but his departing Minnesota also opened the door for regular playing time for Eduardo Escobar. While Jorge Polanco will get some chances to start, Escobar has started the last three games. Last night he went 3 – 5 with 2 R, 1 HR and 3 RBI. In the last three games he is 6 – 14 with three extra-base hits. Escobar was getting a bit of attention in the preseason because of his positional flexibility and the flashes he showed last season with 12 HR’s. Escobar still has that flexibility an potential upside for a little power which makes him an interesting guy to watch in deeper leagues.
6) The Red Hot Tim Beckham Looking To Start Making Good On His Potential
We’ve heard about the upside and potential of Tim Beckham for quite some time now, but he hasn’t been able to earn regular enough playing time to show it off. Beckham still isn’t getting regular playing time, but he’s starting to hit a little which could lead the way. Beckham was 2 – 3 last night with 2 R, 1 HR and 2 RBI. In his last six games Beckham is 12 – 22 with 7 R, 2 HR and 6 RBI. These numbers jump off the page, but unfortunately these six games come in a 12 day span. Beckham’s best shot at playing time is for Brad Miller to start seeing more time at DH, or someone in the infield to be traded in the next two days. I think the Rays need to find out what they have in Beckham and will find a way to get him more regular action, but until it happens he gas to be an AL only and deep league option only.
7) Another Really Impressive Start From Jameson Tallion
Despite taking the loss against the Brewers thanks in part to a strong pitching performance from Chase Anderson (5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB and 7 K), Tallion had another stellar outing. Tallion allowed two runs to score over six innings, surrendering six hits and no walks, and striking out six. This is now four straight quality starts for Tallion and he hasn’t walked a single batter in those 24 IP over the last four. Tallion is also getting on the board with strikeouts, notching 22 in these 24 IP as well. Tallion is a future ace and he’s already at the lev el of a must own guy in my opinion.
8) Rookie Pitcher, Braden Shipley, Has A Strong Showing For Arizona
Making his second career start, 24 year old Braden Shipley, looked much better last night than his first time around. Shipley’s debut came against the Brewers where he allowed six runs in 5.1 IP. This time Shipley made it through six innings and didn’t allow a run against the Dodgers, allowing five hits and walking one, striking out four. Shipley was having a pretty stellar season in the minor leagues and has consistently shown good control in his minor league career. That said, the upside with Shipley is somewhat limited with his past K rates being quite low.
9) David Dahl Hits Another Long Ball
At the beginning of this week David Dahl got the long awaited callup to the Rockies. The 22 year old rookie has made quite the impression thus far too. Dahl hit his second HR of the week last night. He has also hit safely in all six games he’s played in and is 8 – 23 overall. Dahl was called up to AAA around the beginning of July and hit the pitching their so hard that he almost had to be moved up to the big league level. Dahl has power and we know anyone with some power has the potential for a lot of power in Coors Field. I think Dahl warrants ownership in all formats for his potential for big things right away.
10) Is Josh Tomlin’s Fantasy Value Still On The Rise
You’d think there wouldn’t be much room for growth in terms of value when a guy has a low 3.00 ERA and is racking up wins like Josh Tomlin. His strikeout upside always limited him though, and that might be changing. Last night Tomlin picked up his 11th win with a seven inning, two run outings against the A’s. Tomlin also struck out 7 in the start. Tomlin now has 31 K’s in his last 31.1 IP and he has struck out seven or more in three of his last five. Tomlin has some of the best control in all of baseball and gives owners great ratios, so if he can get that missing piece with the strikeouts in place then his value is definitely not as limited as we once thought.
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