Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Detroit Tigers: If you’re going to lose, might as well do it spectacularly, as the Tigers were out-scored by 13 and out-hit by 14. One time future phenom Jacob Turner was on the mound when the shelling started, giving up seven runs in two innings. He hasn’t come close to regaining the impressive K:BB rates he posted in 2011 at AA and AAA. I hate nonlinear progression. By now, you know the drill, Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, Mark Trumbo were the Bronx bombers. In fact, Erick Aybar was really the only Angel not to get a hit. Garrett Richards stymied the Tigers. He has a 1.30 K:BB rate, 3.53 ERA and 1.55 WHIP. Go Figure (if you can trade him, you should).
Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees: In his first start since a restful DL trip, C.C. Sabathia looked strong like bull. He shut down a Blue Jays squad that doesn’t hit all that well on the road and was missing Jose Bautista. In the reshuffled LH Jays line-up, Brett Lawrie hit third with Rajai Davis and Colby Rasmus in front of him – me thinks this won’t result in many RBI chances. It was a 6-1 game, but, thanks to Chad Qualls, the Blue Jays got close enough to make it a save opportunity and Rafael Soriano shut the door on the rare 5-run save. Andruw Jones hit a homer off a lefty.
New York Mets at Washington Nationals: Bobby Parnell coughed up the lead in the bottom of the ninth after Tyler Clippard gave up three runs in the top half on a Jordany Valdespin HR. That guy always seems to do something when I write these. The Nats turned to some crappy relievers and gave up a run in the 10th, but the Mets had crappier relievers, giving up two in the 10th and losing. Poor Mets. I miss Frank Frank.
San Francisco Giants at Atlanta Braves: Barry Zito > Jair Jurrjens. Remember when the Orioles were supposed to trade Adam Jones for Jurrjens – thank god that didn’t happen. Buster Posey went all gangster on the Braves in this one (3/5 with five RBIs). Surprising Gregor Blanco collected his 16th SB and was on base four times. His average doesn’t look great, but he posts decent walk rates which will really help him get SBs (also in OBP leagues). Hector Sanchez, the Giants back-up catcher, who started at first base for some reason, was injured in the game. This likely will result in Brandon Belt getting more playing time…or the Giants swinging a trade for Mark DeRosa.
Chicago White Sox at Boston Red Sox: Oh my god, Robin Ventura a dream-weaver, change of scenery mean so much: Kevin Youkilis hit his eighth HR in a return to Boston and is now mashing .319/.415/.551 for the White Sox – a finally healthy Youkilis with guaranteed playing time is hitting well. Shocking. The most shocking aspect of this game was Jon Lester (and how people hate him/think he’s overrated on Twitter). By almost any metric (fantasy related or baseball related that neutralizes run environments), Lester has been an above average starter since 2008. He’s been a top 10 performer in wins and K’s since that time. So far, his 2012 has been a far cry from that. While there’s some issue with him throwing his fastball a tad slower and change a tad faster, he is getting the same swinging strikes as last season. In addition, he is really limiting walks (of course that might be because he’s been more hittable). Still, a .331 BABIP and 65.7% strand rate are completely out of whack with his career. I’m buying Lester and wouldn’t be shocked with a 3.60 ERA, 84 K’s and a 1.25 WHIP ROTW. With the sudden OF roster crunch, Cody Ross sat out last night’s game even with the DH spot open (Daniel Nava and his great on-base skills took that slot). Looks like you need a contingency plan for Ross.
Arizona Diamondbacks at Cincinnati Reds: No cause for concern after Johnny Cueto had a start pushed back. He allowed just eight base runners (four walks) in six innings and threw 103 pitches (60 strikes). That do-nothing Justin Upton went 2/4. Chris Young went 1/3 with a double. I have nothing to back this up, but I believe in a healthy CBY and I believe he is getting close to healthy. He might make a nice stash. The Reds managed to score enough runs, despite hitting guys with .290 OBPs in the top spots in the order. The only good thing about the Joey Votto injury: more playing time for Todd Frazier (ROTW, with 250 PAs: .255 with 11 HRs).
Cleveland Indians at Tampa Bay Rays: In case Matt Joyce was dropped in your league, it’s time to pick him up (although he did go 0/4 in his first game back). Carlos Pena homered and Luke Scott tripled for the offense and the Indians failed to take advantage of several good opportunities. Matt Moore collected the win despite walking five in five and throwing 49 of his 90 pitches for balls. Fernando Rodney gave up a hit in the ninth just to remember what it felt like.
Miami Marlins at Chicago Cubs: Ozzie Guillen back in Chicago! From Twitter eye witness accounts: Ozzie was booed. He responded by pointing to his World Series ring. Ozzie G > Ozzie O. Travis Wood started off well, but couldn’t get Omar Infante out or stop Carlos Lee (yeah that Carlos Lee) from eating hitting a grand slam. At a certain point, correction is going to slam in Wood’s face (.234 BABIP, 76.85 strand rate). I’ve always liked him, but he’s, at best, a match-ups option on a bad team. Heath Bell threw a clean ninth in a four-run game, so there’s that. Confidence!
Seattle Mariners at Kansas City Royals: I must admit, I have no clue who Ryan Verdugo is, but the Mariners certainly do, as they chased him from the game in the second. Justin Smoak hit his 13th HR of the year and Dustin Ackley tripled. Ichiro went 1/5 with a run in a game the Mariners scored nine runs, curses. The Royals made a valiant comeback, with Alex Gordon going 2/4 (he has a .287/.374/.428 line)…remember when he was struggling? Jeff Francoeur went 1/3 to bring his OBP to .293. Tom Wilhelmsen got the save in a clean frame. Color me surprised: at his increased K/9 rate (despite less swinging strikes than last year) and decreased BB/9 rate. He is throwing his off-speed stuff a bit more, so maybe he has found the right mixture.
St. Louis Cardinals at Milwaukee Brewers: If you came for the stars, you were disappointed: Lance Berkman was ejected, Matt Holliday left with a thigh contusion in the second and Ryan Braun left in the seventh with a right thigh strain. Both players are day-to-day. Francisco Rodriguez allowed two hits in the ninth but escaped without giving up a run.
Baltimore Orioles at Minnesota Twins: Zach Britton, spotted a three run lead, couldn’t get out of the fifth. Luis Ayala had to pitch multiple innings, which spells disaster. Joe Mauer had three hits, Josh Willingham doubled and walked twice and Justin Morneau scored and walked twice. Joe-Josh-Justin, awesome, right? For the Orioles, Adam Jones homered, but the Orioles got nothing done against the Twins bullpen (if only Matt Capps was healthy). Glen Perkins got the hold and Jared Burton a relatively easy save.
Pittsburgh Pirates at Colorado Rockies: I hope Christian Friedrich didn’t fool you into starting him against the Andrew McCutchens (who, I believe, is 49 for his last 100). McCutchen homered, of course. Josh Rutledge tripled for the Rockies. He might not get on base enough, but, if he does, could be really cheap speed. Of course, he is batting eighth, which might limit his SB opportunities should he actually get on base. Oh well.
Texas Rangers at Oakland Athletics: The good news for the A’s? Brett Anderson started his rehab! The bad news? Old man Roy Oswalt shut the squad down, as they managed just five hits. Of course, their only scoring came off a Josh Reddick HR. David Murphy DH’ed, went 1/4 and has a .279/.371/.461 line. Michael Young also went 1/4 and has a .273/.304/.352 line.
Philadelphia Phillies at Los Angeles Dodgers: Roy Halladay came back, pitched well in five innings, but didn’t figure into the decision. While he wasn’t charged with any runs, Kenley Jansen was tagged with the blown save after letting inherited runs score.
Houston Astros at San Diego Padres: Almost forgot about this one. The Astros were blanked by Ross Ohlendorf and the Padres bullpen. Luke Gregerson struck out the side in the ninth (might be time to stash him in case Huston Street is traded). Jordan Lyles continued his disappointing season, as Yonder Alonso took him deep. Cameron Maybin also did some damage, going 3/4. Batting lead-off and playing SS, LF and 2B, Alexi Amarista went 3/5, when…it’s going it’s going…just don’t count on better than a .260 average ROTW. Unfortunately, for Astros fans, Jed Lowrie is likely out 4-6 weeks.
If you want to read something stupid or, at the least, makes no sense check out: Why Aaron Cook and his two strike-outs are a nightmare for Sabermetrics, via Deadspin: http://deadspin.com/5926617/why-aaron-cook-and-his-two-strikeouts-are-a-nightmare-for-sabermetrics.
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Written by Albert Lang exclusively for TheFantasyFix.com
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