It is the Fourth of July and I hope that all of you have enjoyed the celebrations of the day with many drinks, lots of meats on the grill, and if the weather was nice where you are, some basking in the sunshine. Fantasy baseball was still in full swing today though and there is plenty ot cover. A lot of the news has to do with starting pitching, where there are some I trust, some I don't, and some I am unsure of yet. We have a minor league prospect who is back in the majors, a zoo animal who seems to be on the road to a big second half, and a recently called up prospect who is tearing things up. If you haven't had too many drinks today, enjoy Rounding The Bases.
Pablo Sandoval had three hits including his third home run in the last five games, and his owners who suffered through his earlier injury are hoping that this is the start of a big second half. Sandoval did hit 25 home runs and drive in 90 runs just two years ago so the capabilities are there for him to carry your fantasy team down the stretch, but I do also think that what he accomplished that season was more than you should expect. Sandoval has a chance to finish with 20 home runs if all breaks well and he should keep his batting average around .300.
Alex Presley continues to hit for the Pittsburgh Pirates and he is really making an impact in fantasy baseball early in his career. Presley had three hits on Monday, including his second triple of the season and he also stole his second base. Of course he won't keep up this .364 batting average so there has to be some regression, but this kid can hit and run and I don't know what he has to do in order to get your attention if you need an outfielder. Get Presley now!
Travis Snider is back in the major leagues after quite a while down in the minors and he came back in style as he doubled three times on Monday against the Red Sox. Snider has had many, many chances in the majors to stick and be a productive member of the Blue Jays' lineup and has failed every time. I love Snider's talent and his chances of being a power hitter, but I don't know how many chances we are supposed to give him. In deeper leagues or in AL-only leagues you can pick him up, but other than that I think I would hold off for now.
Clayton Richard outdueled Tim Lincecum, and no that is not a mistake. Richard threw five shutout innings, allowed just two hits, walked three batters and struck out two. He hasn't gotten nearly the run support that he did last season, however he has been much better lately and at this point I think that you can use Richard as a pitch streamer if he gets a favorable matchup against a weaker offensive team in the National League. However, he doesn't exactly get a ton of strikeouts, so if he isn't getting wins he might not be overly valuable.
Vance Worley has been amazing his last four times to the mound, as he was dominating on the Fourth of July as he shutout the Florida Marlins over seven innings, gave up just two runs, and struck out six. That is 17 strikeouts over the last two outings and as good as he has been, I would expect this to continue. Worley was never a highly touted prospect and didn't show anything in the minor leagues that screamed that he would excel in the majors so I wouldn't look for him to be a guy to add to your roster. If he gets a nice matchup like this again you can stream him, but you shouldn't count on him for more than that.
David Hernandez converted his second consecutive save for the Diamondbacks since J.J. Putz was placed on the Disabled List and today he even struck out the side on the way to save number four. Personally I have to say that I am not a huge fan of Hernandez as a short term replacement unless you are in desperate need for saves, but right now the D'Backs are winning so much and Hernandez is hot so I suppose he is someone that you can use for now.
Danny Valencia is on absolute fire right now as he had three hits on Monday,including his tenth home run of the season. He has nine hits in four games in July, two home runs and has driven in nine runs. I really don't expect this to continue, and I don't expect him to drive in 90 runs on the year either. Valencia is a decent guy to have on your bench as insurance against injury to your starter, but if you are starting him on an every day basis, I have a hard time believing that your team is in the top three in the standings.
Brian Duensing has been a disaster for much of the season, but every time I am ready to never consider him again he goes out and throws a shutout on Monday against the Rays on Monday. It appears that the Rays just decide that they don't feel like hitting some days and apparently this was one of them. I am not really feeling good about any Twins pitcher right now and Duensing is no different, even after this effort.
Brandon McCarthy was a hard luck loser again for the Athletics as they gave him basically no run support again as he lost to the Mariners. McCarthy allowed just two earned runs over 6.2 innings, walked two, and struck out five. I could use him as a streamer in this kind of situation against a team like the Mariners, but if he is facing anyone in the American League East or the Rangers, I couldn't think of even using him for one start right now. McCarthy does have a bunch of talent and can really get strikeouts, but hasn't seemed to put it together to this point.
Tom Gorzellany (WAS) vs. Randy Wells (CHC) -- Gorzellany was great his last time out as he threw seven shutout innings and struck out eight. Honestly I don't really love Gorzellany much either, but I love this matchup and the Nationals are doing fairly well lately. Ride the hot hand of Gorzellany while it lasts.
Monday's Result -- Vance Worley (PHI) -- 7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 Ks (W)
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