2012 Fantasy Baseball Round-Up: Mariners, Orioles, Red Sox, Tigers, Indians and More

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Seattle Mariners at Baltimore Orioles: Tough first inning for Zach Britton as some spotty defense led to a three-run homer. If Britton can’t look good in these games (i.e., against the Mariners), he’s going to lose his rotation spot quickly. Jake Arietta also started tonight in the minors, but lasted just 3.2 innings.

This continued to be fugly in the second for Britton, as he gave up a homer to Miguel Olivo and a couple more Mariners reached base before then Trayvon Robinson singled in a runner. Britton got out of the inning on a comeback with the bases loaded. My word, it’s the BLEEPING Mariners! My prayers were that this would end up like last Tuesday’s game when Chris Tillman had a tough start but bounced back. And Britton almost did it. He threw approximately 40 pitches total from the 3rd-5th.

Then he got into trouble in the sixth. Then he got pulled, a shame. Britton has been out of control with the walks this season (6.17 per 9) and the long ball (23.8% HR/FB). I believe Britton is better than this, but it’s certainly possible he’s got no confidence in his stuff and defense at the moment. Depending on dynasty league rules/depth, he’s borderline droppable in that format. Nick Markakis continued his hitting ways, going 4/7 in this 14 inning contest. Get him while you can, as he’s on pace to return to his 2007-2008 form (albeit without the speed). Matt Wieters was the star though: 3/6 with two homers. He is back on pace to duplicate last season’s 22 HRs. Unfortunately, the average and BABIP have been disappointing, despite him hitting more line drives. He’s hitting a bit more infield flys than normal, which is likely a big source of the problem. As for the Mariners, Stephen Pryor looked good in collecting four K’s in 1.2 IPs.

Texas Rangers at Boston Red Sox: I have both starting pitchers in this game, so I was happy to tune in a bit. Ryan Dempster got lucky with a pick-off in the first to get out of a couple of base runners. In the second, he gave up a lead-off double, but got Salty on a pitch in the dirt, and Aviles and Kalish on weak ground outs. Meanwhile, Jon Lester was dealing early.  Dempster also settled down and this turned into the pitcher’s duel I had hoped, but not expected. I trusted Lester against the scuffling Rangers and love him going forward. Dempster still scares me a tad, but he was good enough for the win in this one. Will Middlebrooks hit a three-run HR in the 7th to chase Dempster. Middlebrooks is on pace to hit around 20 in just 450 plate appearances this year. It’ll be interesting to see what happens to him next season as banking on him continuing a 20.9% HR/RB rate might be foolish. As some of those fly balls don’t leave the stadium his BABIP and average will come down. Middlebrooks might be at the apex of his value in keeper and dynasty leagues.

New York Yankees at Detroit Tigers: It’s an odd world Bud Selig created when an Orioles fan has to root for the Yanks over the Tigers. Unfortunately, somehow, Rick Porcello outdueled Phil Hughes in this one. The Yanks pen coughed up a couple of runs which proved just enough for Jose Valverde, as he gave up two in the ninth, but collected the save. It’s got to suck owning him right now, but you can’t trade him for much (unless someone is desperate for saves) and you have to run him out there. Ichiro had, I believe, his first multi-hit game for the Yankees, but hasn’t done anything different with the Bombers than he was doing with the Mariners. It is somewhat bizarre how low his BABIP is compared to even last season’s poor performance, so if you want to believe there’s your main source of evidence.

Minnesota Twins at Cleveland Indians: I like to think I follow baseball pretty closely, but I have no clue who started for the Indians, and I only knew the Twins starter because I follow a bunch of their fans on twitter. Ben Revere wasted no time in extending his hitting streak to 21 games with a single in the first – he should be owned more. Ditto: Denard Span who is now batting .286/.352/.389. The big news in this game was the bullpens. Chris Perez blew his second straight save and has allowed 8 runs (6 earned) in his last two appearances. Before that, though, he only allowed runs in one of his previous 10 appearances. Vinnie Pestano has been his same excellent self, so a move is possible, but Perez actually hasn’t been that bad (4.5 K:BB rate), so expect him to hold the spot. Meanwhile, Glen Perkins made closing look easy. He got a switch hitter and two lefties out though, so he’s still on the wrong side of the platoon.

Atlanta Braves at Philadelphia Phillies: Mike Minor started off bad (giving up three in the first), but settled in to go 7 IPs with 5 K’s and just the first inning runs. Cole Hamels was far better, pitching a complete game shut-out with no walks and just five hits. He good. Ryan Howard somehow hit a homer off a lefty. Baseball is weird. Domonic Brown went 1/3 with a walk and is batting .292/.393/.375 early on.

Arizona Diamondbacks at Pittsburgh Pirates: Jason Grilli, who has been spectacular this season, was spectacularly bad in coughing up four earned without recording an out. Chris Johnson continued to dig the desert, adding two HRs and five RBIs in the victory. Justin Upton went 1/4 with two runs and a walk. Since June 4, Upton is hitting .299/.376/.433. The power isn’t quite there and he’s only 4/9 in SBs during that stretch, but he’s been getting on base. For the Pirates, Starling Marte hit a homer and pushed his line to .265/.302/.490 which is about what you should expect. He doesn’t belong at the top of the order, but then again few Pirates do.

Miami Marlins at New York Mets: José Reyes has a 25 game hit streak, but he also jammed his hand. It doesn’t seem serious but Ozzie intimated that Reyes might get a day off over the next couple of days – let’s hope that’s all it is. Heath Bell recorded a hold without allowing a base runner and Steve Cishek looked solid in nailing down his seventh save – just the way they drew it up.

Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays: You take the Rays out of Canada and they just don’t scare a lot of people. It also helps that Jose Bautista, Adam Lind and Brett Lawrie were out of the line-up. James Shields took full advantage and has allowed just one run in his last 17 IPs. Fernando Rodney was near perfect in collecting his 33rd save. Baseball is weird. Evan Longoria went 1/3 in his return to the line-up (he DH’d and was lifted for a pinch runner). J.A. Happ was predictably bad.

Washington Nationals at Houston Astros: Apparently ever Pro Ball Club in the DM(v) had to go extras. The Nats got a solid start from Ross Detwiler, who has a 2.99 ERA on the season. He’s a bit over his head (.264 BABIP, 4.16 xFIP), but he does have a decent GB rate and appears to be completely fooling batters (14.3% LD rate and 7.1% swinging strike rate, which is well above his recent pace). On the other side of the bump, Jordan Lyles was also good. I keep waiting for him to turn the corner, but he’s still not getting enough swings and misses to be relevant in any fantasy format. Tyler Clippard was a bit bird on a wire in this one, but shut the door for his 23rd save, that was fast.

Kansas City royals at Chicago White Sox: the Royals have been a darn good team of late and Alex Gordon has been motoring. He went 2/4 with a walk and is batting .293/.373/.432 on the year. Billy Butler hit his 22nd homer and has been fantastic this season. Jake Peavy was good, not great, while Bruce Chen took advantage of a wretched Sox line-up. Gordon Beckham and Alexi Ramirez batted 1-2; they have.280 and .287 OBPs, respectively. Greg Holland collected his second save, throwing seven of his eight pitches for strikes.

Cincinnati Reds at Milwaukee Brewers: This was the Michael Fiers show as he took a perfect game deep into this one. Eventually he surrendered a hit and run, but struck out seven over eight innings. I benched Fiers in one league, but, at this point, you have to use him almost all the time. He hasn’t been overly lucky, aside from his paltry 3.3% HR/FB rate. Fiers does give up a lot of fly balls, so if that corrects itself, he could be in a bit of trouble. That said, he keeps guys off base and should be good for a 3.50 ERA ROTW at worst. Aramis Ramirez provided most of the offense and has been crushing it since June 1 (.335/.387/.576 with nine HRs in 52 games). For his career, Ramirez has hit a bit better in the second half and has done a lot of damage in August.

San Francisco Giants at St. Louis Cardinals: Lance Lynn wasn’t first half Lynn in this one and he now has a 3.52 ERA, 3.42 FIP and 3.56 xFIP. He’s a fine pitcher, but he probably won’t be as good as those ERAs and FIPs ROTW – be happy with a 4.10 ERA. Buster Posey hit a homer and is quietly hitting .328/.394/.542 as a catcher – what the what? Jeremy Affeldt, who once upon a time I loved as a Royals starter, got the final four outs for the save. He and Sergio Romo are primed to share saves. It won’t likely be a strict platoon as the Giants manage Romo’s outings carefully. It’s a go get ’em situation with Affeldt. Oh, by the by, Brandon Belt went 1/2 with two SBs and is hitting .248/.346/.386. Maybe they should try him at the top of the order?

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Oakland Athetlics: C.J. Wilson certainly didn’t get any help from his friends as an Alberto Callaspo error lead to three unearned runs. That said, Wilson chipped in three earned of his own and was hit hard by Johnny (I eat lefties for breakfast) Gomes. The ball was flying in this one: Erick Aybar, Mike Trout, Derrick Norris, Adam Rosales and Josh Reddick all homered.

Chicago Cubs at San Diego Padres: If I didn’t write this one up, would anyone notice? Huston Street recorded his 20th save and he’s about the only fantasy relevant player here. Brett Jackson went 0/3 with three K’s. Carlos Quentin did homer and is batting .268/.386/.526. I don’t care where he plays; a healthy Quentin is a fantasy dynamo.

Colorado Rockies at Los Angeles Dodgers: Everyone on the Rockies who pitched, pitched well for the first time all year. I guess “well” is a stretch as Alex White walked five batters in four innings, but somehow didn’t give up a run. The bullpen was fantastic behind him, giving up just one run over five IPs. Aaron Harang wasn’t bad; he just wasn’t good, which makes him, well, Aaron Harang. Josh Rutledge continued to dominate. When Tulowitzki comes back, that is going to be one heck of a 2B-SS pair. I can’t imagine Jerry Sands is much worse than Juan Rivera, but well Rivera is a veteran?

If you didn’t catch the Roger Bernadina catch to win the Nats game, check out:

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Written by Albert Lang exclusively for

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