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2012 Fantasy Baseball Round-Up: Aroldis Chapman, Joey Votto, Carlos Pena and More

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Cincinnati Reds at Cleveland Indians: So, aside from being a criminal mastermind and awesome singer, Aroldis Chapman is human. Chapman was tagged with his third blown save of the year in coughing up the lead by giving up two runs and the game in the bottom of the tenth. Shockingly Chapman gave up the game winning homer to Asdrubal Cabrera. There wasn’t a ton of offense other than that: Shin-soo Choo doubled (ho-hum), Joey Votto doubled and collected another hit (ho-hum, or not, look at the dude’s slash line). Mike Leake and Josh Tomlin somehow pitched effectively on the same night; still neither is really pertinent outside of the deepest formats.

St. Louis Cardinals at Detroit Tigers: Lance Lynn gave up base runners by the bushel (nine hits and two walks). Prince Fielder was the only Tiger regular without a hit (but he did walk), with Quintin Berry collecting two hits. Berry never really hit well in the minors until he repeated AA for the fourth time and he’s going to be 28, so this type of production continuing seems a loser’s bet. However, for the time being, with him batting second, enjoy the Rich Aurilia production. I sort of buried the lede here, as Phil Coke earned his first save of the season. Jose Valverde missed the game with “awfulness,” er actually a sore right wrist, that’s what they’re calling it. However, he didn’t feel it until he warmed up in the pen, which means Joaquin Benoit was already used. It’s doubtful Coke is the handcuff here, it’s going to be Benoit.

Atlanta Braves at New York Yankees: Hiroki Kuroda pitched well, if not awesome, but got the loss after giving up a run in the top of the sixth, which conveniently gave Tim Hudson the win (he only went five and allowed nine base runners). There wasn’t a ton of flash in this game (just 12 hits), but Jason Heyward tripled, went 2/3 and is well on his way to a 20-20 season. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely he’ll bat any better than .260.

Tampa Bay Rays at Washington Nationals: David Price wasn’t great, but he was pretty darn good. That usually gets the job done when the opposing pitcher (Chien-Ming Wang) only goes 3.1 IPs. Carlos Pena homered, B.J. Upton doubled and Desmond Jennings scored two runs. Jennings has some room for improvement in his rate stats (as he has to be capable of putting up a .300+ BABIP), but might finish with single digit HRs and not top 30 SBs. For you Matt Joyce fanboys (and I’m one of them), he started but was pulled in the fifth due to back tightness. In the eighth, Joel Peralta was ejected for a foreign substance on his glove.

Colorado Rockies at Philadelphia Phillies: Cole Hamels: beastmode; Josh Outman: lamemode. John Mayberry, Jr. homered, doubled and collected two RBIs. He has been hitting well of late and certainly looks poised for 15+ HRs on the season. Jimmy Rollins has also been raking it, getting his average and OBP back up to his new norm, which should create some runs and SB opportunities. Not much happened for the Rockies: Marco Scutaro doubled and has worked his way into the deep league SS discussion.

Minnesota Twins at Pittsburgh Pirates: Scott Diamond struggled against a team that started one player with an OBP above .330. That player, Andrew McCutchen, did a ton of damage: 3/4 with a walk, double, homer, SB, run and RBI. He just fills the statsheet. For the Twins, Denard Span was the brightest spot, collecting his third homer and a couple of RBIs. He is hitting .285/.353/.398 on the year. It’s a shame he’s not on a better hitting team as he could score a ton of runs.

Miami Marlins at Boston Red Sox: Welcome back Cody Ross (both from injury and to facing his former team). Ross homered as did David Ortiz and Kelly Shoppach as the Sox took Mark Buehrle behind the woodshed. The lesson? Always start Shoppach against a southpaw. Clay Buchholz wasn’t good, but got the win, and the comeback train reduces speed a tad. Logan Morrison went 3/4 for the Fish with a homer and five RBIs. His BABIP (.265) is the same as last year, but seems quite low for a guy with his pitch recognition skills. I still believe in Morrison’s ability to bat, at worst, .260 and he should add some good pop rest of the way. In NL-onlys, that’s a heck of an acquisition.

Baltimore Orioles at New York Mets: Thank god I wasn’t alive for the “Miracle Mets,” as the recent play of the Orioles against the Metropolitans would be driving me even crazier. Johan Santana shut the birds down, as they scattered just five hits (Matt Wieters had two of them: hushed ‘yay’). Tommy Hunter pitched poorly again, but only Lucas Duda hit a homer of him (baby steps?). Jordany Valdespin continue to bat second and continued to hit (when I cover him), I don’t get this game.

Kansas City Royals at Houston Astros: Wandy Rodriguez threw a pretty decent outing, but was outmatched by Luke Hochevar. I use to love Hochevar but have long since abandoned his bandwagon. However, it’s pretty clear he’s getting jobbed this year (.343 BABIP, .304 for career and 63.1% strand rate). He has also increased his swinging strikes a smidge and is using his slider a bit more, resulting in his highest K/9 rate. Those of you trying to cobble together a pitching staff could purchase a lottery ticket on Hochevar, as a 4.00 ERA, 1.35 WHIP and 80 K’s ROTW isn’t outlandish (it also isn’t probable). Jonathan Broxton pitched a relatively clean inning (one walk) and secured the save. Between his high wire act and possible trade, I’d be moving Broxton everywhere I have him.

Chicago Cubs at Chicago White Sox: With Clayton Richard pitching so well, Jake Peavy really needed to step up his game, and he did, throwing a complete game, allowing just two runs (one earned) in 125 pitches. Unfortunately, the White Sox couldn’t manage more than one run on an Alexei Ramirez double off Travis Wood. I’ve also always liked Wood and own him a bunch of places. I actually seem him almost identical to Hochevar’s upside ROTW, perhaps with a better chance of reaching the best case scenario. Carlos Marmol recorded his fourth save and walked one batter. He did only throw 13 of his 23 pitches for strikes though. That said, I’ve been looking for a venue to pat myself on the back for suggesting Marmol was the only Cubs reliever worth investing in while he was on the DL (don’t remind me I wrote this when Marmol walks six batters in a one-run game).

Toronto Blue Jays at Milwaukee Brewers: Finally some runs. In the sixth, Colby Rasmus, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion hit back-to-back-to-back HRs. Then, in the ninth, Rasmus and Bautista hit back-to-back jacks. It’s hard to deny Rasmus at this point. His HR/FB rate is by no means crazy and he is hitting a good number of doubles. I’d take the under on him batting .259, but the over on him hitting 25 HRs. Oh and Brett Lawrie hit a homer, is batting .290/.336/.424 and leading off. If there’s any chance to still get him, run. For the Brewers, Aramis Ramirez continued to shake of his habitual slow start with another homer, he’s up to .263/.340/.478. Rickie Weeks got a hit and a walk and is batting .184/.316. I’m still buying and loving looking at his slash line every day. John Axford gave up the lead and the homers and has blown three saves in the last seven days. You’d have to assume Francisco Rodriguez would be next in line and a worthy add at this point. Rodriguez is having an odd year as he is working his change a lot more than ever, despite adding an MPH on his fastball on last year’s average. He isn’t getting swinging strikes or ground balls like he has in the past, yet has been effective. At this point, though, anyone not allowing gopher ball after gopher ball is worth a look in Milwaukee.

Seattle Mariners at Arizona Diamondbacks: Another high scoring affair. Unfortunately, this one had one real pitcher struggling against a horrible offense. Daniel Hudson couldn’t get out of the fifth and has a 6.60 ERA, 4.71 FIP and 4.00 xFIP on the year. He’s hit the unlucky trifecta: .346 BABIP, 62.7% strand rate and 15.7% HR/FB rate. This does seem to be bad luck, as his swinging strike rate is constant and we’ve seen an uptick on his K/9 rate. Ichiro had a four hit game, which was nice to see (he was also caught stealing – aging sucks). Quietly, Justin Smoak hit his 11th HR and is a good bet to eclipse 20 (of course, he might not eclipse a .230 average). J.J. Putz was tagged with the loss after being asked to come out for a second inning of work. He didn’t retire a batter and was responsible for two runs.

San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: When Albert Pujols be on, he be on. He went 2/3 with two walks, two runs, four RBIs and a HR. Mike Trout doubled twice and scored four runs (sweet sassy molassy). Not to be outdone, Mark Trumbo went 3/5 with five RBIs. Barry Zito started for the Giants and shouldn’t be in your line-ups anywhere near a competent offense. The Giants got some offense too, just not enough. Pablo Sandoval collected his 19th RBI despite missing a month and Angel Pagan scored a run and collected an RBI. For some reason, Ryan Theriot batted second while Pagan, Sandoval and Brandon Belt batted fifth, sixth and seventh respectively.

Los Angeles Dodgers at Oakland Athletics: The A’s scored all the runs in this game (three) in the first. Aaron Harang didn’t make it out of the fourth as he had walked eight batters by that point. Brandon McCarthy shut the Dodgers down, as they collected just two hits. Ryan Cook walked a batter but was otherwise clean in collecting his fourth save.

Texas Rangers at San Diego Padres: The Rangers pitchers must love going to Petco. The hitters don’t seem to mind either, especially if they’re facing wild Edinson Volquez. Adrian Beltre doubled and homered and Josh Hamilton collected two RBIs, bringing his tally to 64! Cameron Maybin had two hits for the Padres and Everth Cabrera stole his 10th base. I’m a believer that Maybin bats above .245 ROTW and adds five – eight HRs and 20 SBs.

In a somewhat confusing move, the Rockies are going to a four-man rotation with a 75 pitch-limit: http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/06/19/rockies-go-radical-four-man-rotation-75-pitch-limit/.

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Written by Albert Lang exclusively for TheFantasyFix.com

Follow Albert on Twitter @h2h_corner

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