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In the fantasy baseball world, the All-Star week can be a blessing or a total nightmare. With the week being cut in half, your team needs to prove that it can perform in a limited amount of time. I myself was fortunate in one league, but failed tremendously in three others. Over at Yahoo! Fantasy, the minimum innings requirement for pitchers is thrown out the window for the week and just one appearance is needed in order for your pitching stats to count. I hate this rule because owners will just throw out one relief pitcher (usually a closer) and pick up one inning of work with no earned runs and two or three strikeouts. Depending on your league settings, this means that they have probably won the majority of the pitching categories. Personally, I think it is bush league to sneak by on a loophole.
One thing I do love about the All-Star week is that we see unexpected players being mentioned in these sections. I remember last season when I highlighted Willie Harris as an offensive juggernaut during the All-Star week. Oh, it’s fun to laugh.
Morgan, still churning out hits in the nation’s capital, led the majors with nine hits and showed off his speed with four stolen bases. Since the move to Washington, Morgan is hitting .367 with 10 stolen bases in 15 games.
Thome is trying to salvage a craptacular season by launching two home runs last week and driving in seven RBI. July is his best month yet with a .372 average and .651 slugging percentage. Now if he could only just be eligible at 1B.
Escobar led the league in extra base hits with three doubles and two home runs. He even drove in a league-best eight RBI. Only 59% owned in Yahoo! leagues, Escobar is an underrated option at SS.
Kemp filled out your stat sheet all across the board with a home run, three RBI, a stolen base, and a league-leading five runs scored. Kemp has six multi-hit games in his last 10 contests.
We should end things with a familiar face. Ibanez blasted two home runs with five RBI during his five-hit week. Ibanez hasn’t slowed down since coming off the DL and is hitting .368 since his return. His 24 home runs already surpass his total (23) from last season.
Starting pitchers made only one start each this week. Lackey picked up the win (5-4) and the complete game…oh wait, no he didn’t. Lackey threw nine shutout innings, but the Angels finally broke the 0-0 tie in the top of the 10th thus denying Lackey his first complete game of the year.
How does a man with a 5.58 ERA and 1.41 WHIP end up tossing seven innings of shutout ball? Well, Moyer got to play the Marlins in Florida Where he owns an ERA of 1.37 in eight career starts at Dolphins Stadium.
Howell saved all three of Tampa Bay’s games and struck out four batters in 3.0 innings of work.
Rivera also saved three games last week and didn’t surrender a single run. In fact, Rivera hasn’t given up an earned run since June 12 and hasn’t blown a save since April 24.
Apparently Harden remembered that his contract expires at the end of the season. After remembering such important information, Harden finally put together a great outing with 6.0 IP, 0 ER, and 7 K’s. It was the first time this season that Harden allowed zero runs in a start.
After a disappointing start to the season (.247 avg), O-Cab has been reborn in July by hitting .371 to raise his average to .268. Cabrera has nine multi-hit games in July and just came off of an eight game hitting streak.
Morales has three home runs and seven RBI in his last six games and is having a great rookie season with 17 HR and 52 RBI. With Vladimir Guerrero and Torii Hunter on the DL and Juan Rivera battling a leg injury, someone has to step up on the Angels’ offense.
After five straight starts with three earned runs or less, Anderson gets my seal of approval. Within the last month, Anderson has sported a 1.15 ERA in 31.1 innings with a 8.04 K/9.
Blanton is on pace for his best season yet. As for now, he is sporting a more than respectable 7.93 K/9 and he has seven quality starts in his last 10 games.
Montero capped off a good week with a four-hit game on Saturday. Montero has three home runs and six RBI in his last six games and is sporting a respectable .286 average. Even though his playing time increase is only due to the injury of Chris Snyder, I think Montero should get more playing time even after Snyder (.224, 5 HR) returns.