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04 Jul

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Ray Allen became the 6th active NBA player to score 24,000 career points as the Heat defeated the Cavs 114-107 Saturday.

Quite an accomplishment for possibly future Hall of Famer, but in the realm of Fantasy Allen does not provide enough constant production to be owned in anything but deep leagues or if you are desperate for three pointers and steals.ANALYST: Michael Pichan

Aramis Ramirez went 1-for-3 with a solo home run and a walk against the Reds on Friday.

Ramirez has now hit safely in six-straight games and is a big part of the recent offensive surge by the Brewers. He’s obviously not the player he once was, as he’s hitting just .234 on the year, but he does have 10 home runs and 37 RBI, so he’s at least being productive in the counting stats. Continue to roll with him for now, but if he’s your primary third baseman, you should be looking for an upgrade. Analysis: Howard Bender

Carlos Gomez went 3-for-5 with a home run, five RBI and two runs scored as the Brewers beat the Reds 12-1 on Friday.

The game may have been well in-hand in the seventh inning, Gomez made sure his fantasy owners got a nice boost with a grand slam to pad the Brewers’ lead. It was his first home run since May 29, so it’s tough to get too excited, but he is at least seemingly healthy right now and looking to get back on-track. He’s hit safely in eight of his last 11 games, so he’s obviously trending in the right direction. If he can hit for added power again as well as stay healthy, he should be a top-flight outfielder for the second half. Analysis: Howard Bender

Ryan Braun went 3-for-5 with a double, one RBI, a run scored and a stolen base during Friday’s win over the Reds.

While he’s got just one home run in his last 13 games, it looks like Braun is about to explode at the plate. He’s hit safely in his last eight games and has five doubles and the one home run in that span. He’s got the batting average up to .277 now on the season and is sporting an .840 OPS. So long as the thumb is healthy, he should continue to hit well. Just understand that he may endure a few flare-ups during the course of the year. Not that he doesn’t rebound well from them though. Analysis: Howard Bender

Jonathan Lucroy went 3-for-5 with a double, one RBI, three runs scored and a walk against the Reds on Friday.

Tough to find a catcher swinging a bat as hot as Lucroy is right now as he has 11 hits in his last four games with two doubles, three RBI and eight runs scored. With just one home run on the years it’s hard to go anywhere but up and it looks like the power is gearing up to make a big comeback. If you can try and steal him from an owner in season-long leagues before the home runs start, you need to make a move now. If you can’t, make sure you start playing him in DFS games and fast. Analysis: Howard Bender

Gerardo Parra went 2-for-4 with a home run, two RBI, two runs scored and a walk during the Brewers’ 12-1 shellacking of the Reds on Friday.

He’s slowly turning into a must-start, especially against southpaws, as he has now hit safely in seven of his last eight with three straight multi-hit performances. He’s batting .433 (13-for-30) with two home runs, five RBI and seven runs scored in that span. While we’d like to see him maybe steal some bases, he’s become a solid leadoff option for the Brew Crew. Analysis: Howard Bender

Mike Fiers tossed seven scoreless innings and allowed just three hits and two walks with two strikeouts as the Brewers’ whupped the Reds 12-1 on Friday.

It was a solid outing for Fiers and, despite the fact that the strikeout rate continues to drop, he has now thrown three-straight quality starts. His overall numbers – 3.83 ERA with a 1.41 WHIP – could certainly use some work and the strikeouts we could once count on have seemingly disappeared, but with the right match-up, he seems to be a decent guy to stream in. He’ll take on the Braves next week, so he might be worth a look if you need someone. Analysis: Howard Bender

Michael Lorenzen was chased early after he gave up three runs on five hits and two walks with three strikeouts over just four innings against the Brewers on Friday.

Lorenzen’s overall numbers don’t look too awful, but he never stood a chance as the Brewers worked him over each and every innings. They put runners on base and routinely took him deep into counts. Ultimately, he was forced to leave after having thrown 90 (56 strikes) and given up two home runs. He had thrown two-straight quality starts but has now followed them up with two outings in which he couldn’t get past the sixth inning. He’ll look to rebound next week against the Nationals but we’re not overly-optimistic here. Analysis: Howard Bender

Juan Uribe went 1-for-4 with what turned out to be a game-winning solo home run during Friday’s win over the Phillies.

Uribe has been white-hot lately, having hit safely in six-straight game now and is batting .364 (8-for-28) with three home runs, four RBI and five runs scored in that span. Since coming over to the Braves, he is batting .305 with five home runs, 11 RBI and 14 runs scored over 105 at-bats and remains one of the more underrated low-cost players probably available in your league. Analysis: Howard Bender

Jonny Gomes went 1-for-3 with a solo home run against the Phillies on Friday.

Gomes doesn’t get to see much in the way of regular playing time and he’s not really a reliable option even when he does start. He was 0-for-12 heading into the game and while he did hit a home run, he would do more harm than good even if you tried to platoon him. Remember, he’s hitting just .195 this season.  Analysis: Howard Bender

Jim Johnson gave up two hits but pitched a scoreless ninth inning to preserve the Braves 2-1 win over the Phillies on Friday and earn his fifth save fo the season..

With Jason Grilli having thrown the last two straight days, manager Fredi Gonzalez opted to give his closer a night off and went with Johnson for the save. Johnson has actually been a solid reliever for the Braves this season. He hasn’t allowed an earned run in his last 13 appearances and has a 2.25 ERA with 31 strikeouts over 40 innings. He’s a good source for holds and the occasional save. Analysis: Howard Bender

Julio Teheran allowed one unearned run on seven hits and three walks with four strikeouts over seven innings against the Phillies on Friday.

Teheran just might be the biggest enigma this side of Francisco Liriano. Maybe we can go with the “every other start” theory here moving forward because that seems to be the pattern developing here. Or could it just be that he is trustworthy against the weaker teams and needs to be on the bench for every other match-up? Seems like it based on his shutting down the Mets and Phillies but getting crushed by Boston and Pittsburgh. He faces a hot-and-cold Brewers team his next time out, but considering it’s in hitter-friendly Miller Park, you may want to keep him on the bench. Analysis: Howard Bender

Magic are closing in on signing unrestricted free agent C.J. Watson to help their backcourt

Watson will presumably be backcourt depth for a young Magic squad who just took arguably the best shooter, in Hezonja, in the first round of the draft earlier this month. Watson also serve mainly in a backup role for the Pacers last season while compiling 10.0 PPG, 2.9 RPG, and 3.6 APG over 57 games of action. The Magic will definitely add good veteran depth with the signing. Analysis: Matt Selz

Adam Morgan gave up two runs on five hits and two walks with five strikeouts over seven innings against the Braves on Friday.

Well sure, it’s the Braves, and the Braves are terrible against lefties, but Morgan still pitched a solid game here. The two runs came off of solo shots, but other than those two mistakes, he looked very much in control. He threw 98 pitches (59 strikes) and induced eight ground ball outs. Two solid starts doesn’t make us want to run out and grab him, but if he is facing a weak lineup that struggles against southpaws, then maybe he warrants consideration. His next opponent, the Dodgers sit right on the border of struggle. He may just be too much of a risk.  Analysis: Howard Bender

Patrick Beverly has re-signed with the Houston Rockets on a four year $25 million deal.

Beverly was a restricted free agent before re-signing with Houston for four years. Beverly was a key member of the Rockets as they captured the two-seed in the west this season only to fall to the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals. The 6 foot-1 inch defensive minded guard put up 10.1 PPG, 4.2 RPG, and 3.4 APG last season while generally taking the toughest cover on the court. Analysis: Matt Selz

Neil Walker was 1-for-4 with a run scored on Friday.

Neil Walker had a single and scored a run for Pittsburgh on Friday night. Over his last seven games, Walker is now 15-for-30 and has raised his average to .278 this year. Another Pirate that has slumped early, Walker’s bat is now coming to life. He has scored 33 runs with six home runs, 30 RBI and three stolen bases this year but his home run per fly ball percentage is down six percent while his hard contact percentage is higher than last year. It is a matter of correction for Walker and he is due for more home runs in the near term due to his hard contact and hot bat.  Analysis: Greg Jewett

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