2012 Fantasy Baseball Round-Up: Blue Jays, Rangers, White Sox, Yankees, Padres and More

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Chicago White Sox at Toronto Blue Jays: A.J. Pierzynski has a 15 game hitting streak. Well, I never. Aside from Addison Reed going 1.1 great inning(s), there was not much interesting here. Rajai Davis had three hits and two steals. He’s up to 35 SBs on the year and criminally under-owned. Henderson Alvarez somehow pitched a game without giving up a homer and still lost.

Texas Rangers at New York Yankees: Matt Harrison worked around a few base runners early but was solid through three. Harrison was working hard: he had thrown 66 pitches at that point, 33 were strikes…ahh symmetry. No joke, I thought it was raining in NY because Harrison had sweat dripping off his hat. Meanwhile Hiroki Kuroda, after a tough start to the year, has been a fantastic pitcher for the majority of the season. It was a heck of a duel.  That said, this was an interesting line-up Ron Washington put out there.

Michael Young hitting ahead of David Murphy and Mitch Moreland? Young is pretty much useless in fantasy and in real baseball. Of course Harrison settled down and Kuroda continued dominating as this one breezed to the seventh when Kuroda gave up a little infield hit by Elvis Andrus – it was the first by the Rangers. In the bottom half, Harrison gave up a soft single by Derek Jeter. Washington pulled Harrison for Alexi Ogando to face Nick Swisher. Swisher battled and got down in the count, but eventually took one yard. Mark Teixeira followed with a no-doubter. Ogando looked less than pleased. That was all it took as Kuroda was absolutely dominant in going the distance.

Mo Vaughn was in the stands. He looked well fed.

Philadelphia Phillies at Miami Marlins: Apparently these two teams really want to get the season over with. Jimmy Rollins hit a homer in the first and that was all the scoring for this one. Josh Johnson looked really good, HR aside.  This was a snoozer.

San Diego Padres at Atlanta Braves: Dan Uggla hit a homer early. He now has two HRs since July 13 – yuck. Uggla is swinging and missing a ton and getting behind early in counts. Oddly, he’s also posting a career best walk rate. However, his power is nonexistent (10.9% HR/FB rate). Uggla probably needs to get back to being a bit more aggressive, but it’s likely a lost year. You can take the bats out of Petco, but…Tim Hudson and an assortment of Braves relievers held the hapless Padres to just 5 hits. Clayton Richard didn’t fare so well away from San Diego. Alexi Amarista went hitless and is now batting .260/.296/.417. It was fun while it lasted.

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Oakland Athletics at Kansas City RoyalsJeremy Guthrie likes the AL apparently. He shut out the A’s over seven IPs, allowing just five base runners and collecting an amazing 8 K’s. Colorado sure does weird things to pitchers. That said, Guthrie is probably only a match-ups option in AL-only leagues ROTW. The A’s offense certainly looked like the hitless squad from the beginning of the year. They were 3/29 on the night. 

Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles: Omar Quintanilla. I’m not even angry. I’m just impressed. My lord how is this possible? Mark Reynolds, in a bit more believable manner, also went yard. Since July 14 (106 PAs), Reynolds has a .228/.330/.380 line with two homers (not including last night). Yeah, he’s still kind of awful. That said, his HR/FB rate is in the toilet for no real apparent reason. At some point that’ll get corrected. Whether it is 2012 or 2013 is up for Carnac. The previous sentence was written before the second jack of the night by Reynolds. 

Wei-Yin Chen has been unbelievable this year, posting a solid 2.53 K:BB rate. Surprisingly you’d think he was getting ahead of guys, but his first strike percentage is below league average. Chen might be benefiting from a low BABIP (.267), but he’s no worse than a 4.15 ERA and 1.30 WHIP pitcher ROTW. The Orioles opened up the game in the sixth, scoring five runs off a few singles and the aforementioned second Reynolds blast.  There was an Andrew Bailey sighting in this one – no injuries to report. Ohbytheway, Mark Melancon has a 7.12 ERA on the year. Meanwhile J.C. Romero hasn’t been scored on this season.  That, my friends, is Orioles Magic. 

New York Mets at Cincinnati Reds: Mat Latos was superb and Chris Young scattered a bunch of hits, turning this one scoreless over to the bullpens, which should favor the Reds and their arsenal of arms. Heard in the bottom of the eighth (still scoreless): “a lot of Reds fans are rooting for a run here because it’s the last chance they’ll get to see Aroldis Chapman. You don’t need a closer in extra innings at home.” I paraphrased that, but why is logic not something people are born with? Jay Bruce won this one in the bottom of the ninth with a three-run blast off some no-name Mets reliever. Frank Francisco was still in the pen. It’s a real nice time to buy Bruce in almost every format. 

Houston Astros at Chicago Cubs: Chris Volstad wasn’t so good, but Lendy Castillo (exactly) was horrendous. It was a failed prospects party as Fernando Martinez and Brett Wallace both homered. Oddly, Wallace is batting .293/.385/.524 on the year in 120 or so PAs. He does have a .413 BABIP, which probably isn’t sustainable. Wallace’s ceiling ROTW is probably .275 with five HRs.  Aside from David DeJesus and Anthony Rizzo, that Cubs line-up is horrible. Lucas Harrell took full advantage – if only they were all as easy…as the farmer’s daughter (or so I’m told). 

Los Angeles Dodgers at Pittsburgh Pirates: Juan Uribe (.186/.243/.282) batted second; A.J. Ellis (.280/.393/.432) batted eighth and it was the Pirates that were shutout. Of course, Chad Billingsley is worlds better than Kevin Correia, which, apparently, can make up for a large managerial gaff. Travis Snider doubled as did Garrett Jones – I like both going forward. The Dodgers had nary an extra base hit until the ninth, but they sequenced them early. Something you shouldn’t be surprised by? Chad QuaLOLs gave up five runs in 0.1 innings. 

Detroit Tigers at Minnesota Twins: When Gerald Laird is tripling against you, you know you have problems. Brian Duensing couldn’t get anyone out (which isn’t overly shocking when you think about it). Andy Dirks added a homer and is batting .353/.395/.471 since coming off the DL. He’s going to have a finish: .290 with four HRs.  Jose Valverde had a save opportunity taken away from him with the Tigers scored two in the top of the ninth.  All of the Twins runs were unearned and most came off Josh Willingham’s three-run blast. 

Arizona Diamondbacks at St. Louis Cardinals: Ian Kennedy wasn’t great and his defense let him down, as he allowed five runs (three earned) in six innings. Meanwhile, Joe Kelly was something close to dominant and has a 3.41 ERA on the season. Kelly hasn’t been overly lucky but he hasn’t actually been good either, making his ratios slightly confounding. I’d really hesitate to use him even in deep leagues, but he should get some run support. Once St. Louis got into the bull pen, they took advantage of Bryan Shaw. Justin Upton went 2/4 and is batting .275/.361/.406. The power is surprisingly absent, but Upton should finish with 17 HRs and steal 20 bases. So it’s not a total disappointment. 

Milwaukee Brewers at Colorado RockiesCarlos Gonzalez went 4/4 and continues to be utterly amazing in Coors Field. Meanwhile Eric Young, Jr. homered and doubled as is batting .314/.374/.442. He has a .372 BABIP, which is just a bit high. Throughout his career he hasn’t shown much to be considered better than a .265 hitter. Still with the at bats, he could easily reach double digit steals ROTW. I tuned away from this one in the 8th for obvious reasons, and then I had to turn back as Rex Brothers got into significant trouble, ultimately giving up three runs and recording no outs. Brothers has taken a huge step back this season, but it’s easy to blame a .414 BABIP and 66.3% strand rate. That said, he is getting himself into trouble with a pretty bad first strike rate. However, he’s still getting swings and misses and posting an awesome K-rate. He should be fine long-term. His mess gave Rafael Betancourt a save opportunity. While Betancourt gave up a couple of hits, none of his runners scored and he collected his 17th save. He has a 2.76 ERA. I sure thought the Rockies would be better and Betancourt would be more valuable this year. Whoops.

Cleveland Indians at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: You can predict baseball: Ubaldo Jimenez was horrible. Both Erick Aybar (who is in for a strong finish) and Albert Pujols took him deep. Mike Trout added two hits and two runs in an Angels pounding. The Indians weren’t lifeless as they put up four on Zack Greinke and another two on LaTroy Hawkins, but they couldn’t overcome the Jimenez stank. 

Tampa Bay Rays at Seattle Mariners: this was the nightcap I spent the most time watching as I own Kevin Millwood most places and a ton of Rays. Millwood, the wily veteran™, worked in an out of trouble all night, but ultimately went seven strong innings with eight K’s. He surrendered all his runs in the first and the Rays wouldn’t score again. If you’re looking for corner infield help, Jeff Keppinger went 2/4 and is batting .321/.373/.447. Fernando Rodney blew his second save of the season last night. He gave up two hits and two runs in 0.2 innings in dropping a game the Rays really needed. Justin Smoak had himself a day back in the majors, going 1/2 with a run, RBI, and walk – not bad.

Washington Nationals at San Francisco Giants: Madison Bumgarner shut down the Nats, getting the complete game in this one. He was dealing, throwing 74 of his 106 pitches for strikes. The Nats managed one run, basically the product of a Jayson Werth triple. Meanwhile, Jordan Zimmermann was good, but allowed two runs in 5.2 (eight hits). That would have been enough for the Giants, but they tacked on four more in the bottom of the eighth off Drew Storen. Tyler Clippard’s saves seem pretty safe. Brandon Belt had a doubled as one of his three hits; he also collected three RBIs. I love Belt in OBP leagues and he’s certainly making a play for mixed league value. ROTW: .270/.368/.430 with three HRs and five SBs. 

Rest in Peace Johnny Pesky and read this interesting post on whether he could/should have been in the Hall of Fame: http://mlb.sbnation.com/2012/8/14/3241233/johnny-pesky-dead-hall-of-fame-world-war-2

Written by Albert Lang exclusively for TheFantasyFix.com

Follow Albert on Twitter @h2h_corner

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