Fantasy baseball (for those of you that wonder why I use the term in the lead sentence of my articles a lot it has something to do with SEO, and if you don't know what SEO means more power to you – these damn acronyms are out of control aren't they?). I'll touch on a couple of surging hurlers. I'll mention a pitcher with a new club. I'll note a hitter with a new club. I'll reference a hot hitting catcher people seem to have given up on. I'll regale you with a tale of a club that overpaid their current catcher and what that might mean for the future, and I'll make mention of the most hated man in baseball as well.
Zack Greinke has a 2.14 ERA since June 22nd and his ERA is 1.41 since July 8th. Had you noticed? Thanks to his fantastic recent work, in 21 starts on the year his ERA is down to 2.91. He's also 12-3 and is 7-1 in his last 10 outings. Tell me you didn’t panic and do something foolish like dump him or trade him for .60 cents on the dollar when his ERA was 4.30 on July 4th. By the way, over their last 25 games Dodgers' starting pitchers are 16-2 with a 1.95 ERA. Amazing.
Cliff Lee had a 3.16 ERA and 1.11 WHIP last season. This year Cliff Lee has a 3.16 ERA and 1.05 WHIP. He's 16-15 since the start of last season as the Phillies seem intent to waste his solid pitching. Over his last six outings he doesn't have a win despite giving up three or fewer earned runs five times.
Daisuke Matsuzaka was signed by the Mets and it sounds like he will report to the big league club. He had a 3.92 ERA with 95 Ks in 103.1 innings at Triple-A this season before he was released by the Indians. The last time he was truly fantasy relevant was 2008 when he went 18-3 with a 2.90 ERA and 1.32 WHIP. Pretty amazing to think how unbelievably disappointing his career has been given the hype – he owns a 4.52 ERA and 1.42 WHIP over 668.1 innings.
Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad.
Joe Mauer is on the 7-day DL with a concussion, and here comes talk again of the Twins moving their franchise out from behind the plate, something that seemingly comes up at about this point every year when Mauer gets nicked up. The 30 year old Mauer is a strong defender so it's not about getting a better backstop, it's more about keeping that bat in the lineup. The Twins foolishly gave him a contract that pays him $23 million in each of the next five years. Five. Do you really think a 35 year old catcher is worth that much? You can argue that a 30 year old catcher isn't worth that much. The Twins do a good job of giving his legs a rest using him at first or DH when they can, but the only way they are going to be able to keep that bat in the lineup on a consistent basis is if they stop catching him. When that happens we'll run into this issue – just how valuable is a first baseman who is hitting .320 with 10 homers and 80 RBIs?
Trying to be inventive and funny today. Just not happening. Don't you hate that? You go to bed saying to yourself 'I'm gonna own tomorrow,' yet you wake up and the creative juices simply are not flowing. At least I'm really good looking. That helps me to make it through the day.
Alex Rodriguez is a punk. Period. I've got nothing positive to say about him other than he has been effective since he's returned with a solid .296 average and .387 OBP (his career numbers are .300 and .384). His SLG is more than .100 points off his career mark, it's sitting at .444 right now, but he should be able to power a few more balls into the seats the rest of the way. If he catches fire he could catch Willie Mays who has 660 career homers, 11 more than A-Rod.
Matt Wieters is hitting .234 with a disappointing .722 OPS. Still, it amazes me how many folks want to dump him to the waiver-wire, even in one catcher leagues (he's only owned in 77 percent of leagues over at Fleaflicker.com). Wieters has three homers in his last four games, and four in his last eight to boost his season total to 19 putting him on pace to match the 22.5 homer average he's sporting the last two years. He also averaged 76 RBIs the past two seasons, a number he's within striking distance of as well (he currently has 62 ribbies).
Delmon Young signed with the Rays Friday to return to the club that he broke into the big leagues with. Big flipping deal. He was batting .261 with eight homers for the Phillies. Guess he's worth a look in AL-only leagues, but that's it.
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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