On Monday each week I take a look at the fantasy baseball game breaking down players who have produced noteworthy performances of late – not just positive outings mind you, but I'll also delve into some of the players that have been sucking wind of late. To get your daily fantasy baseball fix make sure you head over to DailyJoust.com to set your salary cap club.
GAINERS OF THE WEEK
Jake Arrieta (+43, $212,000 in DailyJoust Salary) Arrieta dominated the Pirates in his last outing (1 ER in 7 IP) reminding everyone just how good he can be. Of course, the previous start his evil twin came out as he allowed 11 hits and nine runs in just four innings against the Phillies. He pitches in the toughest division in baseball (AL East), and consistency has always eluded him, but this is a young fella that does own a big arm (8.33 K/9, 3.13 K/BB this season).
Craig Gentry (+14, $91K) Josh Hamilton is dealing with a nasty flu bug, and Nelson Cruz is seemingly always hurt somewhere, so Gentry has been generating a lot of excitement offensively this season in limited playing time. Craig has hit an uber impressive .349 while stealing nine bags in just 109 at-bats, and he has been raking it the past two weeks hitting .484 over his last 31 at-bats. Leonys Martin was called up which could eat into the playing time of Gentry, but he still makes a fine AL-only target.
Mike Minor (+30, $238K) He's finally found his game. In his last two starts Minor has allowed a total of two runs to drop his ERA by nearly a run to 6.01. Still, he walked six batters in those two outings signaling that everything isn't totally “fixed” with his game. His skills far outpace that ERA and his WHIP (1.42) so buying low here certainly makes sense as the Braves have decided to return Kris Medlen to the pen to allow Minor and Randall Delgado to continue to start.
Alexei Ramirez (+17, $77K) You're killing me smalls. After improving to .245 with 18 RBI in May, June has been more of the same blah for Alexei as he has hit .212 with a .462 OPS in 52 at-bats. The only thing keeping him in the lineup at this point is his history of success cause he certainly hasn't merited full time at-bats given his sickly .527 OPS through 64 games.
Jonathan Sanchez ($37, $207K) A 2-start pitcher this week (HOU, STL) the enigma that is Sanchez continues to vex. In his return from injury he held the Brewers to one run in five innings and walking two batters has to been as an improvement for a guy who has issued 24 free passes in 30.1 innings. He's not to the point where you can trust him – obviously – but if he goes out and looks solid this week it would be a great time to pounce.
LOSERS OF THE WEEK
Jose Altuve (-11, $91K) After hitting .283 in May he's upped that mark back to .317 in June, which just so happens to match his year mark. His speed is allowing him to leg out a few more hits than I expected, but it's a long season. Given that he's no power hitter, and that he doesn't really draw walks either, he's going to have to keep that average up or he'll also see his steal total fall do to a lack of times on base to attempt a theft (his OBP is just .359 despite that .317 batting average).
Jose Bautista (-16, $118K) Flashing the power bat that has produced 40 homers, 100 RBI and 100 runs the past two years, Bautista is on pace to reach all of those marks yet again in 2012 (19 homers, 47 RBI, 42 runs scored in 66 games). However, like I've said about 97 times over the past two years, Bautista is NOT a .300 hitter, not even close. Batting .230 on the year, I'll write it again – in a career that began in 2004 Jose Bautista has finished a season with a batting average over .265 one time – once. It's an open question if he will make it two times this year.
J.A. Happ (-38, $155K) Bombed in his last start (8 ER in 3.1 innings against Giants), Happ is sporting a 5.33 ERA and 1.60 WHIP. Consider me shocked (if you could see my face right now you'd understand that I'm not shocked in the least – the guy just isn't that good a pitcher). NL-only leaguers have had the benefit of Happ's 76 KS in 72.2 innings, but even in that setup you're paying a high price for some punchouts (as you can tell over at Fleaflicker, most people are doing the right thing an avoiding Happ).
Derek Lowe (-16, $181K) If you had said back in March that on June 19th Lowe would have seven victories an a 3.78 ERA I'd have said he would have exceeded all expectations. However, he's seen his ERA go from 2.15 to that 3.78 mark in his last four outings, though that could hardly be a shock for a guy who has only two more Ks than walks (28 Ks, 26 BBs) in 78.2 innings. Lowe is a middling innings eater who should only be used in certain matchups --- and that K-rate is vomit inducing at 3.20 per nine.
Today you can sign up for the King Arthur's $50 Free Roll on DailyJoust. No entry free is required to get a chance to play the game and earn your free chance to take home part of the $50 prize pool. All games that start at 7:05 PM EDT or later are open to add players to your daily fantasy baseball squad. So get over to DailyJoust, put together your one day lineup, and get ready to win some free $.
By Ray Flowers
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The co-host of The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87: Mon-Thurs 7 PM, Fri. 9 PM EDT), Ray also hosts a show Sunday night (7-10 PM EDT). Ray has spent years squirreled away studying the inner workings of the fantasy game to the detriment of his personal life. Specializing in baseball, football and hockey, some consider him an expert in all three.
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