So you are probably too late to pick up James McDonald, but what about Travis Blackley? On a night when some of this year's top breakout pitchers were solid once again, Blackley made a statement to join that list. The Oakland lefty gave up one run in eight innings against the Dodgers. Blackley is going to be one of the top pick-ups in fantasy baseball this week now that he has given up three runs in 14 innings during his past two starts. After going a few years without a win, Blackley won back-to-back starts. McDonald, who is living up to his potential with the Pirates, was great again with a complete game while allowing one run.
Kyle Lohse, another surprise among the top pitchers in the NL this year, gave up just one run in seven innings. Vance Worley gave up just two runs in seven innings, but took the loss. Gio Gonzalez continued his stellar season with two runs in six innings. McDonald, Lohse, Worley, and Gonzalez would be a pretty good fantasy rotation and only Gonzalez was drafted in the majority of leagues while the others have gotten off to surprising starts.
Clayton Kershaw was just as good with one earned run in eight innings, but we have come to expect that.
Tyler Clippard continued to pick up saves for the Nationals while Ryan Cook collected another save for Oakland.
Yoenis Cespedes showed the power that made him a popular pick this year with a walk-off homer, his seventh of the season. Will Middlebrooks is another AL rookie who continued to shine with three hits and a homer.
Giancarlo Stanton continued his power surge with his 15th homer while journeyman Greg Dobbs continues to get starts and hits for the Marlins. He had two hits to raise his average to .281.
Rafael Furcal had been in a horrible slump, but looks to be breaking out with his second straight two-hit night.
Wilin Rosario and Chris Nelson both homered for the second night in a row for Colorado. Both are showing off some power with a poor average, but that could improve as they get regular playing time.
The best pitching matchup tonight comes when James Shields and the Rays visit Philadelphia and Cliff Lee, who amazingly has no wins in 11 starts despite a 3.48 ERA.
We welcome back a couple pitchers tonight including Roy Oswalt, who makes his season debut with Texas against Colorado. Atlanta called Jair Jurrjens up to start tonight at Boston to replace the injured Brandon Beachy. If you are playing daily fantasy leagues, I'd recommend a few Red Sox in your lineup against Jurrjens, who has struggled in the majors this season.
With all the injuries going on around baseball, it's a good idea to check www.mlbdepthcharts.com for the latest transactions. It could be the difference between getting the hot prospect when he is called up or being too late.