You’ve got to love the excitement a day of baseball can bring. And with that joy comes the obvious elation that fantasy owners have when they get to sit and re-watch it all on the highlight reels and stare at the screen as their players pound the ball with their bats or make others look silly at the plate, unable to hit their offerings from the mound. Saturday was no exception as the games were loaded with outstanding moments. Here’s a glance in case you missed and then we’ll hit the statistical highs and lows.
The Twins sent 25-year old rookie and former 2009 first-round draft choice Kyle Gibson to the mound to face a Royals team that had been showing some signs of life as of late. But showing signs of life and actually living are two different things and Gibson made sure to prove that as he laid the Royals in their coffins and nailed ‘em shut for six innings. He finished the day having given up two runs through the six frames and allowed eight hits with no walk and five strikeouts to become the Twins first first-round draft pick to win his debut.
In his first game back from his suspension for hitting batters in the big Diamondbacks/Dodgers brawl, Ian Kennedy almost got himself right back into a jam when he hit Justin Upton and then “buzzed the tower” on Andrelton Simmons. No warnings were issued and nothing came up about it afterwards, but you can bet teams are marking their calendars for when they face Kennedy again.
Michael Cuddyer went 1-for 4 against the Giants Saturday to extend his hit streak to a career-high 26 games.
With a home run into the Allegheny River, Pedro Alvarez extended his hit streak to 12 games.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis went 2-for-3 with a home run on Saturday and not only extended his hit streak to 12 games, but he also has a 32-game on-base streak intact as well.
A three-run shot in the first inning off Cliff Lee extended Hanley Ramirez’ hitting streak to 11 games.
Breaking away from hitting streaks brings us to a broken pitching streak as Jesse Crain finally gave up a run Saturday night. After 31-straight scoreless appearances, Crain allowed one run on three hits to the Indians to kill the streak. His ERA ballooned to a 0.74 ERA.
Now the stats…
Fantasy Beast of the Day
|Chris Davis, 1B BAL||2-3, 3 R, 2 HR, 5 RBI, BB|
I don’t think there’s much more anyone can say about the season Chris Davis is having right now. He’s now at 30 home runs through 81 games, the exact mid-point of the season and he just continues to look like a beast at the plate. Some things of note about his season – he is still striking out 26.3-percent of the time. While that’s a few ticks lower than usual for him, it’s still a pretty high number for a guy batting .333 on the season. You can look to his .380 BABIP for help as that has certainly been a factor. What’s really crazy about how high his BABIP is right now is that the metric doesn’t count home runs. If it did, you would be looking at a mark in excess of .450. Conventional wisdom says that it has to come down, but it’s getting pretty tough to see that happening just yet.
|Matt Adams, 1B STL||2-3, 3 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI, BB|
|Jose Bautista, OF, TOR||2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI, BB|
|Hanley Ramirez, SS LAD||3-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, SB|
|Adam Wainwright, SP STL||W, CG, 1.00 ERA, 0.78 WHIP, 8 K|
|Jacob Turner, SP MIA||W, CG, 1.00 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 7 K|
There are going to be a lot of eyes on Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams as we near the trade deadline. This two-homer game gives him six on the year in a reserve role and he’s batting .320 with a .943 OPS. Plenty of teams are contacting the Cardinals about him, but so far they have refused every offer. The original plan, heading into the year, was for prospect Oscar Taveras to come up and play the outfield, but between his ankle issues and Adams’ continued hitting (at least when he’s in the lineup) we could simply see a benching of Jon Jay with Carlos Beltran moving into center, first baseman Allen Craig moving to right and Adams getting the nod at first. Stay tuned for more on this.
Jose Bautista doing exactly what he should be doing. But while his two home runs were impressive, his real highlight came on a throw to home that nailed the runner easily. Joey Bats was almost near the warning track when he made the grab and threw a strike (no bounce) to J.P Arencibia that caught a speedy Shane Victorino. If you play in a league that gives you points for outfield assists, you should get double points for that one.
We covered Hanley’s streak in the opening, but let’s just take a moment to recognize the fact that his home run came off lefty Cliff Lee. While Ramirez’ power usually comes against right-handers, his game on Saturday gives him a career mark of .305 against left-handed pitching.
A fourth complete game in 2013 for Adam Wainwright puts him in the Fantasy Highs section for the umpteenth time. Talk about a poster child for Tommy John surgery.
And kudos to former first-round pick (ninth overall) Jacob Turner who tossed his first major league complete game win as the Marlins beat the Padres 7-1 Saturday. Turner has always had the talent; it’s just been about harnessing it. It should be interesting to see how he builds off of this when he faces the Braves in Atlanta against Julio Teheran next week.
|Mike Napoli, C BOS||0-4, 4 K|
|Yoenis Cespedes, OF OAK||0-4, 3 K|
|Kyle Blanks, 1B SD||0-4, 3 K|
|Wade Davis, SP KC||L, 54.00 ERA, 10.00 WHIP, 2 K|
|David Phelps, SP NYY||L, 34.71 ERA, 4.71 WHIP, 1 K|
If any of these names surprise you here, perhaps you haven’t been paying enough attention this season. The most disappointing of the bunch is Yoenis Cespedes who has a 25-percent strikeout rate. Just unacceptable unless your name is Chris Davis.
Willie Bloomquist, SS ARI – hand (day to day)
Jordan Schafer, OF ATL – ankle (day to day)
Stephen Drew, SS BOS – hamstring (day to day)
Jon Lester, SP BOS – hip (questionable for July 3 start)
Ryan Sweeney, OF CHC – ribs (day to day)
Paul Konerko, 1B CHW – back (day to day)
Johnny Cueto, SP CIN – lat (15-day DL......again!)
Ryan Hanigan, C CIN – ankle (day to day)
Scott Kazmir, SP CLE – back (questionable for July 2 start)
Dexter Fowler, OF COL – wrist (day to day)
Justin Maxwell, OF HOU – concussion (day to day)
Jeremy Guthrie, SP KC – fingers (questionable for July 3 start)
Peter Bourjos, OF LAA – thumb (day to day)
Josh Beckett, SP LAD – groin (out for season)
John Jaso, C OAK – hand (day to day)
Jarrod Parker, SP OAK – hamstring (questionable for July 3 start)
Joaquin Arias, 3B SF – hamstring (day to day)
Dustin Ackley, 2B SEA – thumb (day to day)
Nick Franklin, 2B/SS SEA – neck (day to day)
Michael Saunders, OF SEA – finger (day to day)
Evan Longoria, 3B TB – foot (day to day)
Lance Berkman, 3B TEX – knee (day to day)
Melky Cabrera, OF TOR – knee (15-day DL)
Ross Detwiler, SP WAS – back (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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