Is Zack Greinke the best pitcher in baseball? How much do Clayton Kershaw owners hate the Dodgers right now? Who will be closing in Arizona? Let’s look at these stories and all the rest from yesterday’s games.
- What exactly are the Yankees doing with Joba Chamberlain? I understand wanting to limit his innings to save his arm (though I may not agree with it). I also understand wanting to keep him on regular rest. What I don’t understand is limiting him to just 3 innings when he has thrown just 35 pitches in the game. If this is even close to what we should be expecting from Chamberlain the rest of the way, he is completely unusable in all formats. Pay close attention, but I certainly hope you have other options available to you.
- Jeff Niemann had a solid outing, giving up 2 runs on 5 hits and 0 walks, striking out 3, over 7 innings in a no decision. The problem is that he had allowed at least 4 earned runs in 4 of his previous 6 starts, including a start against the Mariners and two against the Blue Jays. Those are starts that he needs to excel in if he wants to be a consistently usable fantasy option. While this start was good, do you really trust him in a rematch with the Tigers in his next outing? I wouldn’t…
- Matt LaPorta went hitless. That’s news in and of itself these days as it’s the first time since he returned to the major leagues.
- Justin Masterson allowed 5 runs (4 earned) on 8 hits and 4 walks, striking out 6, over 5.2 innings. That’s three poor starts out of his last four, meaning he’s not worth gambling on at this point.
- There officially is reason to be concerned regarding Roy Halladay. He allowed 4 runs on 7 hits and 1 walk, striking out 6, over 6 innings, marking his third consecutive loss posting a 7.94 ERA and 1.82 WHIP in the process. Obviously, barring any news of him being shutdown, all you can do is continue to run him out there and hope for the best. He has to turn it around sooner or later, doesn’t he?
- Paul Byrd made his return to the majors, tossing 6 shutout innings giving up 3 hits and 3 walks, striking out 1. He’s obviously not going to be this good most starts, but pitching for the Red Sox should give him ample opportunity for wins. He’s worth considering if you are in desperate need of some pitching.
- Scott Baker continued to be a solid WHIP contributor (as I discussed in a previous article, which you can read by clicking here). He allowed 3 runs on 6 hits and 1 walk, striking out 6, over 7 innings in a no decision.
- John Lackey continued his jekyl and hyde ways, tossing 8 innings allowing 1 run (0 earned) on 5 hits and 2 walks, striking out 6, over 8 innings of work. His next start comes in Kansas City, so hopefully he can string together a couple of good starts in a row. No matter what, you almost have to use him, so hope for the best.
- Kendry Morales continued his huge weekend, going 2-4 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 1 R. Over his past three games he went 9-13 with 3 HR, 9 RBI and 4 R. Can you say breakout player of the year? If not, who do you think will take home the award?
- How good is Zack Greinke? He tossed a complete game 1 hit shutout, walking 1 and striking out 5, to improve to 13-8 with a 2.32 ERA. The guy has had a monster season, to say the least, and should be one of the front runners for the Cy Young Award. If the voters will recognize him, due to a low win total, remains to be seen, however.
- If this was indeed Mat Latos’ last start of the season, he didn’t end on a high note. He allowed 5 runs (4 earned) on 4 hits and 2 walks, striking out 2, over 3.1 innings. Keeper league owners are the only ones who should have him on their roster at this point.
- How much do Clayton Kershaw owners hate the Dodgers right about now? He allowed 2 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks, striking out 11, over 7 innings, but again couldn’t get a victory. He now has a 2.94 ERA and 1.22 WHIP, to go along with 164 K, over 153 innings yet has just 8 wins to show for it. How is that actually possible?
- Bronson Arroyo continued a strong string, giving up 2 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks, striking out 3, over 7.1 innings. On 7/22 he had a 5.21 ERA, but has reduced that to 4.35 over his last seven starts. It’s been a strong stretch, though he has just 1 win to show for his efforts. That’s understandable, pitching for the Reds, but I also have to wonder just when his next blow-up is going to come? He’s shown a propensity for the bad start this season, so be careful moving forward with him.
- The power has slowed down for Garrett Jones, but he does continue to contribute. He went 2-2 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 1 R, giving him 16 HR and 31 RBI on the season. In August he has 6 HR and 14 RBI. That type of production is valuable in all deeper formats, but shallow leagues can continue to leave him on the waiver wire.
- Adam Wainwright allowed 1 run on 3 hits and 3 walks, striking out 7, over 6 innings. The model of consistency this season, he now has allowed 3 earned runs or less in 13 consecutive starts. He’s gone at least 6 innings in 26 straight starts (the only two he failed to go 6 were his first two starts of the season). Are there any doubters at this point?
- Ryan Franklin has now gone 14 consecutive outings without allowing a run. He’s earned a save in 11 consecutive appearances. He has been a real find this season, hasn’t he?
- Where did this performance from Nelson Figueroa come from? He allowed 1 run on 6 hits and 2 walks, striking out 10, over 7 innings. That’s two consecutive strong starts for him, allowing 2 runs on 10 hits and 2 walks, striking out 12, over 12 innings. Don’t look for him to be a strikeout machine, but if he can continue to be affective he could become a useful pitch-or-ditch option. He has a rematch with the Cubs next on the schedule, so it will tell us a lot about his ability face a team twice and still be successful.
- Carlos Zambrano allowed 4 runs (3 earned) on 11 hits and 0 walks, striking out 3, over 3.1 innings. That’s his second consecutive horrific start, after getting bombed by the Nationals for 8 runs over 4.1 innings his last time out. Getting bet up by the Mets & Nationals? That certainly is not what fantasy owners are hoping for out of Big Z. He faces the Mets next, this time in Citi Field, so I would keep him active for that one. Another poor start, however, and all bets are off.
- Troy Tulowitzki went 4-5 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 1 R. That snaps a 14-game homerless streak and gives him 24 HR and 16 SB on the season. The speed was unexpected and the power is back to where he was in 2007. He’s clearly flying up our 2010 draft boards, but be careful with him especially if you are going to look for a ton of SB from him. He hadn’t shown this type of ability in the minor leagues, so we’ll need to dig a bit deeper to decide if it is real or fantasy.
- Edgar Renteria had the big game for the Giants, going 3-4 with 1 HR, 5 RBI and 1 R. Great game, but at this point we all know the type of player he is.
- The big news from the Arizona-Houston game was not Dan Haren (3 ER, 7 IP, 6 H, 2 BB, 7 K) outpitching Wandy Rodriguez (4 ER, 6 IP, 7 H, 3 BB, 7 K). It was Diamondbacks closer Chad Qualls, who went 1.1 perfect innings to collect the save, dislocating his kneecap and potentially ending his season. With Jon Rauch already being dealt, there is no clear cut replacement, but Juan Gutierrez could be the guy. If you are desperate for saves, make the move.
- Brad Lidge actually pitched a perfect ninth, striking out 1, to pick up save #27 on the season. It’s amazing how far he has fallen since 2008, isn’t it?
What do you think? What was the biggest story from yesterday? Was there something I missed?
To read the previous article, click here.
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