|And Then There Were 16: Celtics to Waive Four Players, Bynum Next?||Chandler Jones Out 1 Month With Hip Injury; Patriots Sign Alan Branch||2014 MLB Playoffs Expert Picks: World Series||Patriots Trade for Titans LB Akeem Ayers|
Would fantasy baseball be any fun if baseball was cleaned up? God knows how many players are currently hopped up on HGH or anything else that modern tests can’t detect. The most valuable player in fantasy would hit 25 HR at the most. What IF Albert Pujols is a cheater? He’d lose his fantasy baseball status as “best player on the planet” and might even become a 2nd or 3rd round pick. If the playing field was evened out and nobody was gaining a competitive edge from PED’s, then who would be the top dog in fantasy land?
Ellsbury was second in the majors in hits with 14 and first in runs scored with 12. He showed off his speed by legging out two triples and swiping four bases to give him 48 this season which ties him for the major league lead with Tampa Bay’s Carl Crawford.
Our “Greek God of Walks”/resident “Jewish Corner-Infielder” led the majors in hits with 16. Youkilis showed off a bit more power than his teammate by hitting two home runs (19). Youkilis has been sluggish as of late by hitting .244 in June and then .263 in July.
Jones cranked out four home runs and an impressive 10 RBI while hitting .357 (10-28). I hope nobody went into panic mode after Jones hit .229 in June. Shame on you if you gave up on this kid!
Forget April (.200, 3 HR) and May (.242, 2 HR), Tulowitzki is an overlooked power threat…and at SS no less. His 11-hit week included blasting two more home runs and he now has 20 on the season. Tulowitzki has hit seven home runs in each of the last two months and has hit .299 during that time.
Thanks to a shoulder injury that sidelined him for a month and a half, Ramirez has not had the chance to make a huge impact in the fantasy world. In Week 17, Ramirez hit .455 with two HR and eight RBI. Since his return from the DL on July 6th, Ramirez is hitting .338 with five home runs and 17 RBI.
Tiny Tim ends up here again after a dominating week. Lincecum won both of his starts and picked up complete game number four. His 12.18 K/9 in 17.0 innings was highlighted by a career-high 15 K’s against the Pirates.
Carpenter was not as flashy with the strikeouts (7 K’s in 16.0 IP), but he did win both of his starts to improve to 10-3. To those who took a chance on a pitcher who had not played a full season since 2006, I salute you.
The Giants’ closer picked up two saves (27) and even got a victory during his 3.0 innings of work. Once known as a terribly shaky closer, Wilson settled down during June and July with ERA’s of 2.31 and 1.74 respectively.
Nathan locked down three more saves last week to give him 29 this season which is good for 2nd in the majors. At this rate, Nathan could be in store for career-bests in: saves, WHIP, and BAA.
One of the biggest names to move before the trade deadline, Lee made a good first impression on Phillies fans by tossing a complete game and getting the win in his first start in Philadelphia. Lee has been on a rampage as of late with three complete games in his last four starts with a 4-0 record during that time.
After a poor start to the season (.230, 5 HR in April/May), Lopez has hit over .300 in June and July and his 19.4 LD% has led to 16 doubles and 10 home runs since the start of June. At this rate, he is going to surpass his home run and RBI totals (17 HR, 89 RBI) from last season.
In the first game of the week, Willingham provided an abundance of offense with an eight-RBI game against Milwaukee. Besides that, Willingham has just wrapped up a July where he hit .330 with seven home runs. Willingham is enjoying an underappreciated season where he is hitting .305 with 17 HR and 42 RBI in 81 games. Also, since Nick Johnson was traded to Florida, Willingham may receive playing time at first base which would add extra position eligibility to an already good season.
His track record is not spectacular by any means. His injury-plagues 2007 concluded with a 21.13 ERA in 7.2 innings. After a road to recovery, Stauffer has shown the makings of a dependable starter this season with a 2.57 ERA in four starts with three of them being quality outings (he was chased from his other start by a three hour rain delay). With no more Peavy, there is room in the rotation and he plays in one of the best pitcher’s parks in baseball.
Here is another case of “I need an innings-eater without sacrificing ERA”. Has anybody else noticed that this kid is 10-5 this season? The strikeouts won’t set your world on fire (5.67 K/9), but his more than respectable 3.62 ERA and the help of a Tampa Bay offense will assure you quality starts and wins down the stretch.
Bannister has produced eight quality starts in his last 10 outings with a 2.71 ERA in that span. Unfortunately, he is 3-4 in those 10 starts thanks mostly to the fact that he is on the Royals. However, if you need ERA help, Bannister is worth a look.