By Derek of The Sportmeisters
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!
1B – Adrian Gonzalez – San Diego Padres – .633 BA, 19 H, 10 R, 5 Doubles, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K
It looks like Gonzalez has awakened from his slump. In a matter of a week, he raised his average from .262 to .276 and hit three home runs with eight RBI. He now has 32 home runs and 72 RBI on the year, and remains a must-start in all formats.
SS – Troy Tulowitzki – Colorado Rockies – .407 BA, 11 H, 9 R, 1 Double, 3 Triples, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 2 BB, 6 K
It can’t get any better than a five for five game with seven RBI. Tulo has been on fire recently and has raised his season average to .276. His 10 RBI’s last week raised his season total to 63, to go along with 23 home runs. He also has 15 stolen bases. He is proving that he belongs with the elite fantasy shortstops and should be started in all formats, especially while he is this hot.
1B – Ryan Howard – Philadelphia Phillies – .381 BA, 8 H, 6 R, 1 Triple, 4 HR, 11 RBI, 5 BB, 5 K, 1 SB
Howard is starting to get on his usual late season roll, hitting four home runs with 11 RBI last week. He now has 30 home runs and 91 RBI on the year and, hitting in that lineup, there’s no way you bench him. Keep him in your lineup and enjoy the home runs and RBI.
OF – Hunter Pence – Houston Astros – .290 BA, 9 H, 6 R, 1 Double, 4 HR, 10 RBI, 4 K, 1 SB
Pence hasn’t been great this season, but he has been steady. He hit four home runs and drove in 10 runs last week, raising his season totals to 18 and 56 to go along with a .287 batting average and 11 stolen bases. He appears to be getting hot right now, so go ahead and keep him active.
2B – Mark Ellis – Oakland Athletics – .571 BA, 12 H, 2 R, 3 Doubles, 1 HR, 11 RBI, 1 BB, 3 K
This hasn’t been a banner year for Ellis, but he is trying to make up for missing May and most of June. He has raised his average to .284 and drove in 11 runs last week to raise his season total to 43. Go ahead and ride him while he’s hot, but keep another second baseman on standby just in case.
SP – Jorge De La Rosa – Colorado Rockies – 13.3 IP, 2 W, 20 K, 7 BB, 14 HA, 1 ER
De La Rosa has been very good for the Rockies lately, winning six of his last eight starts. His ERA is a bit high at 4.58, but his 11 wins make up for it. If you own him, go ahead and keep starting him while he is on a hot streak.
SP – Randy Wolf – Los Angeles Dodgers – 15.7 IP, 2 W, 13 K, 1 BB, 8 HA, 4 ER
Does Wolf have to do everything himself? With 13 no decisions in 26 starts, Wolf took matters into his own hands and had three hits (a triple short of the cycle) to lead his team to a win on Sunday. He also won his start on Tuesday. In total, he went 15.7 innings and only allowed three runs last week while striking out 13 and only walking one. He is 7-8 on the year (with 13 no-decisions) with a 3.43 ERA. He has been much better than his record shows and should be started in all formats, especially with that lineup behind him.
SP – Scott Baker – Minnesota Twins – 9 IP, 1 CG, 1 W, 5 K, 0 BB, 2 HA, 0 ER
This is the way you bounce back after a bad start. After allowing six runs in just over four innings on August ninth, Baker pitched a two-hit shutout on Friday. He struck out five and didn’t walk a batter. He is 10-7 on the year with a 4.54 ERA and is someone to keep an eye on while his team is in a pennant race. He is 8-2 since June 1, so keep him active while he’s hot.
SP – Ervin Santana – Los Angeles Angels Of Anaheim – 9 IP, 1 CG, 1 W, 6 K, 2 BB, 3 HA, 0 ER
This is the Santana that the Angels have been waiting for. After coming back from injury, Santana has been a bit shaky this year. However, he was great on Tuesday, striking out six in a complete game shutout. He has now won two straight and is starting to look like the ace that he was before his injury. Go ahead and activate him while he’s hot and hope he keeps this up.
SP – Bronson Arroyo – Cincinnati Reds – 9 IP, 1 CG, 1 W, 3 K, 1 BB, 2 HA, 0 ER
Arroyo has been baseball’s version of Jekkyl and Hyde this year. One start, he’s great, and then the next he’s horrible. He pitched his second complete game shutout of the year on Thursday and is now 11-11 on the year with a 4.74 ERA. Due to his streaky play, he is a very dangerous start if you own him. Keep him on the bench until he puts together back-to-back good starts.
SP – Nick Blackburn – Minnesota Twins – 4 IP, 2 L, 2 K, 2 BB, 12 HA, 10 ER
Only four innings in two starts? Wow, that’s bad. He’s now lost four of his last five starts and hasn’t won since July 10. He is now 8-8 on the year with a 4.29 ERA, and if you own him, keep him stashed on the bench until he can start to win again, but because it is so late in the year, you may want to dump him for someone who is winning.
SP – Charlie Morton – Pittsburgh Pirates – 1 IP, 1 L, 1 K, 3 BB, 7 HA, 10 ER
Morton isn’t a fantasy option, but if you give up 10 runs in one inning you have to be on this list. He has now lost four straight and is 2-6 on the year with a 5.51 ERA. As I said, he isn’t a fantasy option.
SP – Ricky Nolasco – Florida Marlins – 3.3 IP, 1 L, 1 K, 2 BB, 8 HA, 10 ER
This looked like the Nolasco that got sent down to the minors earlier this year. He got slammed for 10 runs in three-and-a-third innings on Wednesday and is now 22 in his last seven starts. He is 8-8 on the year with a 5.44 ERA, but most of that is due to his performance earlier in the year and this latest bad start. He is a usable fantasy pitcher and gets two starts this week, so go ahead and start him.
SP – Jered Weaver – Los Angeles Angels Of Anaheim – 3.3 IP, 1 L, 3 K, 4 BB, 9 HA, 8 ER
Chalk this up to a bad game. Weaver has been a fantasy ace this year, going 12-4 with 140 strikeouts and a 4.12 ERA. This was his first loss since June 20. Keep starting Weaver with full confidence and expect a better outing in his next start.
SP – Johnny Cueto – Cincinnati Reds – 4.7 IP, 1 L, 3 K, 1 BB, 9 HA, 8 ER
Here is a guy who is really struggling right now. Cueto has lost five of his last seven starts and now has a record of 8-10 with a 4.61 ERA on the year. There is talk that Dusty Baker may skip his next start, so go ahead and put him on the bench and keep him there until he starts to win again.
OF – B.J. Upton – Tampa Bay Rays – .133 BA, 2 H, 1 R, 0 Doubles, 0 Triples, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2 BB, 4 K, 0 SB, 1 CS
Upton has been the definition of the word bust this year. He has a miserable .236 batting average with just seven home runs and 37 RBI. However, he does have 35 stolen bases. He has been playing so poorly that he was benched last week. He has the potential to break out of this, but it is so late in the season that hope is starting to fade. Keep starting him for his speed and hope he breaks out of his season-long slump soon.
OF – Alex Rios – Chicago White Sox – .158 BA, 3 H, 0 R, 1 Double, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 6 K, 0 SB
It looks like the move to Chicago hasn’t helped Rios at all. He is just three for 19, with just one extra base hit and one RBI since the trade. He has the potential to bust out of this slump and has a strong lineup around him, so don’t give up on him yet and continue to start him, but watch him carefully.
SS – Christian Guzman – Washington Nationals – .150 BA, 3 H, 1 R, 0 Doubles, 0 Triples, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 SB
Guzman isn’t a great fantasy option anyway, but last week he was especially bad. He had just three hits in 20 at-bats and no RBI. He does have a .309 average on the year and 40 RBI, so he is still a decent option for your team, but if you have a better option, use that one first.
Waiver Wire Wonders
SP – J.A. Happ – Philadelphia Phillies – 13.7 IP, 1 W, 6 K, 10 BB, 10 HA, 3 ER
No wonder the Phillies sent Jamie Moyer to the bullpen instead of Happ. Happ pitched well in both starts last week and is now 9-2 on the year with a 2.66 ERA. This is two weeks in a row that he is on my waiver wire list and, apparently, you people are listening, as he is owned in 77 percent of Yahoo leagues, 90 percent of CBS Sports leagues, and 58.1 percent of ESPN leagues, and should be owned and started in all formats as he has won five of his last 10 starts.
OF – Chris Coghlan – Florida Marlins – .323 BA, 10 H, 6 R, 1 Double, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 4 BB, 7 K, 1 SB
Two weeks in a row he is back on this list. It looks like Coghlan is going to keep his starting job after all, especially after getting 25 hits in his last 60 at-bats and driving in 12 runs in two weeks. He set a Marlins record two weeks ago with eight straight multi-hit games and has now raised his season average to .289. He won’t get you many home runs, but he will get on base and steal a few, too. He is going fast, now being owned in 21 percent of Yahoo leagues, 53 percent of CBS Sports leagues, and 10 percent of ESPN leagues, so go ahead and grab him while you can.
RP – Mike MacDougal – Washington Nationals – 3.3 IP, 2 SV, 2 K, 0 BB, 0 HA, 0 ER
Can you say, "Waiver Wire Wonder"? MacDougal has been surprisingly good for the Nationals. He saved two games last week and has now saved six in the past two weeks and 13 on the year. He has been on this list for two weeks now and yet he is only owned in 31 percent of Yahoo leagues, 32 percent of CBS Sports leagues, and 14.4 percent of ESPN leagues. His ERA is a bit high at 3.50, but if you need saves, he could be a nice sleeper for the end of the year.
That’s all for now sports fans. Any questions or concerns, email me at Derek@Sportmeisters.com.