By Derek of The Sportmeisters
We are back to business after the All—Star Break. Another week of baseball in the books means another winners, losers, and waiver wire wonders blog from the fantasy guru. Keep in mind, the stats I show are the players stats for the week, not on the season. Let’s go!
SP—Roy Halladay—Toronto Blue Jays—9 IP, 1 W, 1 CG, 7 K, 0 BB, 6 HA, 1 ER
Despite trade talks, “Doc” Halladay keeps on rolling. He pitched yet another complete game last week and is now 11—for—3 with a 2.73 ERA. He is a must start fantasy Ace, no matter where he plays.
SP—Roy Oswalt—Houston Astros—9 IP, 1 W, 1 CG, 5 K, 0 BB, 4 HA, 1 ER
Despite his bad start, Oswalt is once again proving that he is stall the Ace of that staff in Houston. He pitched a complete game last week and is now 6—for—4 on the year with a 3.65 ERA. He went 10—for—2 last year in the second half and looks to be on pace to do it again. He is a must start in all formats.
SP—Cliff Lee—Cleveland Indians—9 IP, 1 W, 1 CG, 6 K, 0 BB, 9 HA, 1 ER
Lee finally got some run support in a good start. He is just 5—for—9 on the year, but has a 3.31 ERA and probably would have won at least five of those games if he had a little run support. Lee is the reigning AL CY Young winner and has shown flashes of that potential this year and definitely showed it on Thursday. Keep starting him and hope he gets some run support.
SP—John Lackey—Los Angeles Angels Of Anaheim—9 IP, 1 W, 6 K, 1 BB, 3 HA, 0 ER
Lackey is starting to look like a fantasy Ace again, winning three of his last four starts. He threw nine shutout innings in a ten inning game on Sunday and is now 5—for—4 on the year. Lackey is a former 19 game winner and has the potential to win at least 10—for—12 games. Keep starting him and hope he keeps this up.
SP—Dan Haren—Arizona Diamondbacks—8 IP, 1 W, 8 K, 2 BB, 4 HA, 1 ER
Once again, Haren pitched a gem. He is possibly the most consistent pitcher in the league right now and must be started in all formats.
SP—Chris Carpenter—St. Louis Cardinals—8 IP, 1 W, 7 K, 1 BB, 7 HA, 0 ER
Talk about the Comeback Player Of The Year! Carpenter is now 8—for—3 on the year with a 2.26 ERA. He has looked like his former CY Young self and is a must start in all formats.
RP—J.P. Howell—Tampa Bay Rays—3 IP, 3 SV, 4 K, 0 BB, 0 HA, 0 ER
Looks like the Rays have found their closer. Howell now has nine saves on the year and had three last week. He has a 1.97 ERA and 54 strikeouts in 45.7 innings. He is a good fantasy start right now, but watch out and see if he keeps the job.
RP—Mariano Rivera—New York Yankees—3 IP, 3 SV, 1 K, 1 BB, 1 HA, 0 ER
Rivera just keeps racking up the saves. He had three more last week and doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. He remains a must start fantasy closer.
SS—Yunel Escobar—Atlanta Braves—.500 BA, 7 H, 4 R, 3 Doubles, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K
Escobar has been on fire recently and looks to establish new career highs in home runs and RBI’s this year. He helped his cause last week with two home runs and eight RBI’s, moving his season totals to nine and 52. The Braves have a good lineup around him, so he is a good fantasy start in all formats.
3B—Edwin Encarnacion—Cincinnati Reds—.583 BA, 7 H, 2 R, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 4 BB, 1 K
Here’s a guy who was awful to start the season and then went on the DL. Since coming off the DL, however, he has been excellent. He has three home runs and nine RBI in July and had six of those RBI’s last week. He has power, so you could still expect 10—for—15 home runs. Go ahead and start him while he’s hot.
DH—Jim Thome—Chicago White Sox—.500 BA, 5 H, 3 R, 1 Double, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 3 BB, 2 K
OK, so what if he hit both of those home runs and had all seven of his RBI’s in one game. He still hit .500 last week. Thome is a pure power hitter and has 16 home runs and 57 RBI’s on the year. Go ahead and start him for his power.
3B—Brandon Inge—Detroit Tigers—.000 BA, 0 H, 0 R, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2 BB, 4 K
Inge had a bad week coming out of the break. However, he still has 21 home runs and 58 RBI’s on the year and you shouldn’t be scared off from one bad week. Continue to start him and expect him to bounce right back.
1B—Adam LaRoche—Pittsburgh Pirates—.083 BA, 1 H, 0 R, 1 Double, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 BB, 4 K
LaRoche has not been very good lately. Actually, he hasn’t been very good all year long. He is hitting .247 with just 12 home runs and 40 RBI’s. He does have the potential to break out of this slump and club a few home runs, but until he does go ahead and bench him if you own him.
OF—Josh Willingham—Washington Nationals—.000 BA, 0 H, 1 R, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2 BB, 3 K
If you picked up Willingham because I put him on my Waiver Wire Wonders list last week then I’m sorry. The Hammer was hitless in 13 At—Bats last week, but did walk twice and score a run. He will get A—Bats as he has pretty much solidified the Right Field job. If you did pick him up, stash him on the bench until he starts hitting again.
C—Joe Mauer—Minnesota Twins—.077 BA, 1 H, 1 R, 0 Doubles, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1 BB, 3 K
This just proves that anyone can have a bad week. Mauer has been on fire all year and is an elite fantasy Catcher, so don’t be afraid of one bad week and continue to start the .361 hitter.
SP—Chad Billingsley—Los Angeles Dodgers—1.7 IP, 1 L, 0 K, 0 BB, 9 HA, 6 ER
After starting the year hot, Billingsley has hit a bit of a slump. He allowed five runs in five innings on July 10 and had his worst start last week, allowing six runs in just an inning and two thirds. This is the third time in his last seven starts that he has allowed five or more runs. However, he is still 9—for—5 on the year and has 119 strikeouts so keep starting him for the strikeouts and expect a few more wins.
RP—Juan Cruz—Kansas City Royals—0.7 IP, 2 L, 0 K, 0 BB, 4 HA, 4 ER
Cruz has been a roller coaster this year. He filled in as closer while Joakim Soria was on the DL and even then he wasn’t lights out. This past week he was terrible, allowing four runs in less than an inning. He has a 4.91 ERA on the year and should not be owned in any fantasy leagues.
Waiver Wire Wonders
SP—Brett Anderson—Oakland Athletics—8 IP, 0 W, 0 L, 6 K, 0 BB, 2 HA, 0 ER
Anderson continued his streak of scoreless innings last week, pitching eight to stretch it to 21 innings. He has 18 strikeouts to just three walks in those 21 innings and if he continues to pitch this well, he looks to be a nice addition to your fantasy team. He is available, only being owned in just 4.1 percent of ESPN leagues.
SP—J.A. Happ—Philadelphia Phillies—7 IP, 1 W, 4 K, 1 BB, 5 HA, 0 ER
Happ is not 7—0 on the year and is 3—0 in his last seven starts and is now owned in 30.9 percent of ESPN leagues, up from the 22.2 percent of last week. However, the Pedro Martinez signing could send him to the bullpen, but his hot streak could save him in the rotation. Keep your eye on this situation.
SP—Jason Marquis—Colorado Rockies—8 IP, 1 W, 3 K, 0 BB, 5 HA, 1 ER
Since he is on my list three weeks in a row, it’s hard to believe he is only owned in 47.2 percent of ESPN leagues. Marquis has 12 wins and a 3.49 ERA. Go ahead and grab him and enjoy the wins.
RP—Rafael Soriano—Atlanta Braves—2 IP, 1 SV, 2 K, 0 BB, 0 HA, 0 ER
Soriano remains on fire this week. He collected another save and has not allowed a run in his last six innings and has only allowed one hit and hasn’t walked a batter. He appears to be getting the nod more and more over Mike Gonzalez for saves. He is a must start right now and if he is available (owned in 52.2 percent of ESPN leagues), go ahead and grab him.
OF—Franklin Gutierrez—Seattle Mariners—.294 BA, 5 H, 3 R, 1 Double, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 0 BB, 1 K, 2 SB
After the injury to Endy Chavez, Gutierrez started to get everyday At—Bats and he has made the most of them. He is now hitting .295 on the year with 12 home runs, 42 RBI’s and seven stolen bases. He is only owned in 25.9 percent of ESPN leagues, so if you need an Outfielder, go ahead and grab him.
That’s all for now sports fans. Any questions or concerns, email me at Derek@Sportmeisters.com.