'Matt Wieters, Jeff Francoeur' photo (c) 2012, Keith Allison - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

I woke up in a good mood this morning, ready to attack the world of fantasy baseball analysis. So I'm speaking the truth today, just putting it where it needs to be put. You feel me?

I still find it very hard to trust any hurler working in Coors Field, but this Tyler Chatwood kid is making a believer out of me on the road (well, at least a little bit). In his five road starts he's working with a 1.26 ERA and 1.01 WHIP, and his BAA is .104 points lower than the .318 mark he has at home. He's still been unable to complete seven innings, and he has a mere 2.00 K/BB ratio with only 42 punchouts in 62.1 at-bats, but in the right circumstance he's worth a look.

Jeff Francoeur has signed with the Giants. He'll be sent to Triple-A to start, but with Gregor Blanco and Andres Torres not exactly killing it, and Angel Pagan on the shelf, the Giants could use offense anywhere they could find it (Hunter Pence and Pablo Sandoval are a combined 4-for-56 in July. Look it up. I did). Problem is, Frenchie is not the place to look for that spark. He's hit .208 this season in 193 plate appearances, this after hitting .235 last season in 603 plate appearances. He's got moderate power, zero patience, and the 22 bases he stole in 2011 were a mirage. NL-only leagues can add him and hope.

Remember when people were nervous that tests on Felix Hernandez's arm showed some minor issues when he was going through the process of signing that long-term deal with the Mariners? The 27 year old is 9-4 with a 2.69 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 136 Ks in 130.2 innings. So much for that.

The Mets let Matt Harvey throw 121 pitches over seven innings against the Giants, and now comes word that he's dealing with a blister issue that may stop him from making his next start. Actually he's been dealing with a blister issue over the previous two starts before last night which begs the question – why on Earth would the Mets let him throw 121 pitches last night? I mean, seriously? "I didn't throw a bullpen at all this week," Harvey said. Your Franchise player has a minor issue and you slough it off an let him throw a season-high tying 121 pitches? Great work Mets.

Just cause...

Speaking of Harvey, he was actually slightly out-pitched by Tim Lincecum. The Giants hurler allowed three runs over seven innings, but it was the one walk and 11 punchouts that really stood out in his effort. Like I say all the time, Lincecum can dominate at any moment. I admit to having an unhealthy appreciation for the talents of the freak, but let's be honest here – he could be on the verge of a mini-breakout. Stop the laughing – I'm being serious. Over his last four outings he's walked a total of five batters, and that's huge. If he locates his pitches, as he did last night, he can have a lot of success. Second, he's struck out 31 batters leading to a better than six to one K/BB ratio over his last four starts. That's elite pitching. Just keep that in mind if he's floating on your waiver-wire.

For my thoughts on Puig, Myers, Cingrani, Franklin and Profar see: Five Hot Shot Rookies.

Has anyone noticed that Justin Smoak has become a major league hitter? I'm sort of serious. He had three hits Monday night and he's killing it hitting over .430 in July. He's up to .267 with a solid .369 OBP on the year, but seven homers and 17 RBIs in 210 at-bats are still extremely weak totals. When Michael Morse returns he could sit against lefties, but Smoak has the look of someone who might actually be able to contribute in AL-only leagues.

Eric Young Jr. has always been one of my favorite players. A little guy with some decent pop and oodles of speed, he was stuck for years in a reserve role with the Rockies. The Mets dealt for him a few weeks back, and they've been playing him everyday and reaping the rewards. In 19 games with the Mets Young has hit .299 with a .354 OBP and he swiped six bags. Toss in 10 RBIs and 12 runs scored and you've got yourself one hell of a waiver-wire addition.


By Ray Flowers


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About Ray Flowers

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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