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2012 Fantasy Baseball Round-Up: Brian Matusz, Jim Johnson, Bryce Harper and More

Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles: it’s clearly time to break up the orioles otherwise there aren’t enough wild cards in the world to get both the Sox and Yanks in the play-offs. I kid. But hope. Anyway, Brian Matusz was excellent, striking out nine and walking just one over 6.1 IPs. The Orioles bullpen was similarly brilliant, with Jim Johnson ultimately securing a three run lead, thanks to a Wilson Betemit eighth inning HR. Kevin Youkilis was back for the Sox and provided the majority of the offense. Go ahead and trade him Boston. Felix Doubront wasn’t bad in the loss, taking advantage of an Orioles team that K’s a ton and doesn’t walk.

Detroit Tigers at Cleveland Indians: Ubaldo Jimenez walked six batters, yet only gave up three runs, and they only came home on an Alex Avila HR, rally killer! Rick Porcello was somewhat worse than Jimenez, but mostly doubles got him, rally enablers! Shin-soo Choo is up to .274/.391/.400. Gosh I hope you bought low. Andy Dirks got another two hits and will clearly win the batting title.

Kansas City Royals at New York Yankees: While he allowed three runs over 6.2 IPs, Luke Hochevar looked good (nine base runners against eight K’s). It wasn’t quite enough because Phil Hughes + bullpen shut down the Royals. Alex Gordon went 1/3 with a walk and will be fine folks. Rafael Soriano threw eight of his 12 pitches for strikes en route to his third save.

Washington Nationals at Philadelphia Phillies: I believe this is the first time the Nats/Expos franchise had beaten Roy Halladay since 2002 or something outrageous. Clearly Halladay is scuffling a bit; however I’d bet on his track record, even with the diminished velocity. Bryce Harper went 2/5 with two K’s and a triple. Meanwhile Tyler Clippard earned the relatively easy save. With Henry Rodriguez demoted and Sean Burnett a lefty, it sure seems like the Nats want Clippard to get those coveted saves. If he’s available, your window is slamming shut on acquiring him. There is Craig Stammen lurking, but that’s gross to write.

New York Mets at Pittsburgh Pirates: James McDonald was again brilliant (and again I cursed myself for dropping him earlier, I mean he’s McDonald!). While McDonald was a pretty big prospect, he’s not quite this good. That said, he’s throwing a slider a lot more than ever before (heck he hadn’t thrown one much at all before last season), so there is reason to be optimistic. His ROTW ERA will be closer to 4.00 than 3.00 and his WHIP will be somewhere in the 1.30s. Meanwhile R.A. Dickey pitched great. If he was dropped owing to his early struggles, scoop him up! Andrew McCutchen, another hit and steal and two more RBIs and he’s awesome. What do you know Frank Francisco earned the save easily, when healthy, dude is fine.

Atlanta Braves at Cincinnati Reds: Brandon Beachy v Mat Latos was a strike-out fest. All of the Reds runs came on middle infield HRs (Brandon Phillips went deep, Zack Cozart once), while the Braves got a HR from Michael Bourn…well then. Logan Ondrusek gave up a run but got the hold, with Aroldis Chapman earning the save. Chapman is the one to own here, the only reason to hang onto Marshall (other than he’s really good and will be the best middle reliever ROTW) is the business with Chapman’s speeding the other night.

Colorado Rockies at Miami Marlins: Rickey Nolasco another blah start, shocker. Meanwhile Heath Bell got his seventh save and lowered his ERA to 7.16. All hail Joe Borowski Heath Bell. Hanley Ramirez had three this and two steals. Most everyone who played got a hit in this one. Lots of base runners.

Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays: I tuned into this one a bit to see Drew Hutchinson work. Well, Hutchinson started off pretty well, but lost it in the fourth, ultimately surrendering six runs over four IPs. Luke Scott, Carlos Pena (batting lead-off) and B.J. Upton all went deep for the Rays. Matt Moore also looked decent at the start, but he scuffled in the fifth. You just can’t hang your hat on young pitchers. He’ll ultimately be fine, but Major League pitching is hard.

Chicago Cubs at Houston Astros: J.A. Happ pitched pretty well and Brett Myers secured the save. Meanwhile Travis Wood looked unspectacularly solid in his debut this year. In deep/NL-onlys both Happ and Wood are worth looks as solid match-ups types. I’d go Happ first, surprisingly. Apparently Jose Altuve hit a massive bomb and Alfonso Soriano homered for the Cubs. That was the majority of the offense.

Minnesota Twins at Chicago White Sox: Of course the Twins would score the most runs last night. Gavin Floyd was terrible and is unstartable right now. When he gets going and induces a few more GBs, he’ll be the same pitcher he was from 2009-2011. On the other side, P.J. Walters got the complete game victory. Walters was part of the Rasmus trade and isn’t very good, not much to see here besides the awfulness that is White Sox baseball (yet they have the ONLY positive run differential in the division, wow). Paul Konerko came back from his beaning and doubled. In the not news section: Konerko be good.

San Francisco Giants at Milwaukee Brewers: Matt Cain was solid and Shaun Marcum was decent until he went back out there in the sixth and gave up his fifth and sixth runs on a Buster Posey homer. Marcum gave up fewer hits than runs and only walked two batters – odd. While he only threw half his pitches for strikes, Santiago Casilla earned his 11th save. I hate closers.

San Diego Padres at St. Louis Cardinals: You can take the Padres out of San Diego, but you can’t talk the no-hit out of their bats. Adam Wainwright looked like his old self, allowing five base runners over his complete game shutout. Carlos Beltran provided most of the offense. Matt Carpenter, who should get some more at bats, left the game with a right side injury, no word on how hurt he is.

Los Angeles Dodgers at Arizona Diamondbacks: Trevor Cahill out-dueled Aaron Harang, but the dBacks bullpen was horrific. Brad Ziegler and Craig Breslow gave up a bunch of runs and then a few innings later, J.J. Putz blew his third save, allowing two runs on one hit and two walks. Putz has some rope, but might end up on the DL at some point. David Hernandez is about as necessary a handcuff as there is right now. Josh Bell hit a homer for the dBacks (if he’s good, I’m going to be angry at baseball).

LosAngeles Angels of Anaheim at Oakland Athletics: Mike Trout didn’t get a hit, but he did score a run…there’s not stopping him. Meanwhile Albert Pujols hit his fourth homer, apparently you can’t stop him for long. C.J. Wilson shut down the hapless A’s, as the squad managed just one hit.

Texas Rangers at Seattle Mariners: Josh Hamilton doubled and added another RBI, Elvis Andrus continued his offensive onslaught and Matt Harrison shutdown the horrid Mariners. Hector Noesi pitched surprisingly well, with seven K’s in eight against the Rangers. Joe Nathan got only his 10th save, he’s trailing Santiago Casilla, what the what.

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Written by Albert Lang exclusively for

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