So here we are now in the wake of the Biogenesis suspensions and, truth be told, it doesn’t look like anyone missed a beat. Sure, owners of Nelson Cruz, Everth Cabrera, Jhonny Peralta and Alex Rodriguez are bummed, but there was no one else who had significant enough fantasy value to make any sort of impact. It might be tough to find reasonable replacement value on the wire for Peralta and Cruz, given their numbers, but both Cabrera and A-Rod have been banged up enough for you to have someone in the hopper waiting to take over anyway. But those who own Bartolo Colon and Gio Gonzalez certainly dodged a bullet as neither received a suspension and can continue business as usual. So while the news of Ryan Braun was pretty shocking, the rest of the Biogenesis annoyance has come and gone and most of us are no worse for the wear.
So now that the cheaters are out of the way, let’s talk about some fantasy highlights from Tuesday…
Fantasy Beast of the Day
|Adam Jones, OF BAL||4-4, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, SB|
After a killer breakout season last year, Adam Jones has done his part to continue playing at that level and prove that 2012 was no fluke. In fact, save for his stolen base total, he is actually on-pace to surpass last year’s totals and set new career-highs in home runs, RBI, runs scored and batting average. And actually, with regard to the stolen bases, he’s just barely off-pace to match last season’s 16 steals, so criticizing that would just be senseless nit-picking. Jones has been absolutely fantastic yet again, and should continue to play well over the next two months and help lead your fantasy team to the Promised Land. Still blown away by the 3.1-percent walk rate, but the guy is making more than enough contact to keep the numbers afloat.
|Jacoby Ellsbury, OF BOS||2-4, 4 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB|
|Robbie Grossman, OF HOU||2-3, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI, BB, SB|
|Elvis Andrus, SS TEX||3-5, 3 R, RBI, 2 SB|
|Justin Verlander, SP DET||W, 1.13 ERA, 0.50 WHIP, 7 K|
|Andrew Albers, SP MIN||W, 0.00 ERA, 0.60 WHIP, 2 K|
It was more than just a fine day for Jacoby Ellsbury as the Boston center fielder actually gave Jones a run for his money for top honors for the day. In the end, I took the speed and average into consideration as much as I did the power numbers and threw the edge Jones’ way. Still, Ellsbury came up huge with the two-homer game. He’s now hit safely in 11 of his last 12 games and continues to prove his worth in the fantasy realm. While he’ll never hit for the same power he did back in 2011, the average, runs scored and stolen bases are more than justifying his draft position.
Astros outfielder Robbie Grossman is a real interesting character. He doesn’t have a whole lot of power nor does he possess any blinding speed. But with a strong walk rate and a very non-aggressive approach at the plate, Grossman has managed to make himself fantasy relevant in deeper leagues. He’s hit safely in nine straight games and in 14 of his last 15. What makes it all the more interesting is that this guy does it with barely taking the bat off his shoulder. His overall swing rates, both in and out of the zone are teeny-tiny and well below league average. I guess my little league coach was right when he kept saying a walk is as good as a hit.
Elvis Andrus seems to be on the right track for picking up the batting average finally and has now hit safely in six of his last seven and has three stolen bases over his last four games. While he still hasn’t shown a lick of power, he is actually on-pace for breaking his career-best in steals. No wonder there’s simply no infield room for Jurickson Profar.
Not much else to say about Justin Verlander, other than the fact that he’s one of the best in the game and continues to produce a dominant pitching line more often than not. So let’s focus on Andrew Albers and what he did on Tuesday against the surging Royals. He tossed 8.1 innings of four-hit ball with one walk and just two strikeouts and while the whiff total isn’t especially appealing, 14 ground ball outs seems pretty encouraging. His fastball was clocked only in the high 80’s, but he mixed in his changeup and his slider enough to keep the hitters off-balance the entire time. While I may not be totally sold yet, I would definitely consider using him for his next outing against Cleveland.
|Oswaldo Arcia, OF MIN||0-4, 3 K|
|Jason Kipnis, 2B CLE||0-4, 3 K|
|Ryan Roberts, 2B ARI||0-3, 3 K|
|Jordan Lyles, SP HOU||L, 15.43 ERA, 2.57 WHIP, 6 K|
|Edwin Jackson, SP CHC||L, 12.60 ERA, 2.40 WHIP, 2 K|
Anything surprising? I didn’t think so. Even the great Jason Kipnis can have an off day from time to time.
Cliff Pennington, SS ARI – foot (day to day)
Matt Thornton, RP BOS – oblique (day to day)
Dayan Viciedo, OF CHW – thumb (day to day)
Corey Kluber, SP CLE – finger (15-day DL)
Carlos Gonzalez, OF COL – finger (day to day, likely headed to DL)
Tyler Chatwood, SP COL – hamstring (day to day)
Jonathan Villar, SS HOU – thumb (day to day)
David Lough, OF KC – quadriceps (day to day)
Howie Kendrick, 2B LAA – knee (day to day)
Pedro Florimon, SS MIN – wrist (day to day)
Bobby Parnell, RP NYM – neck (15-day DL)
Carlos Quentin, OF SD – knee (day to day)
Howard Bender has been covering fantasy sports for over a decade on a variety of web sites. You can find his personal musings on RotobuzzGuy.com and for questions, thoughts or comments, you can follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy or email him at email@example.com.
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