In honor of wrapping up the short week, we’re going to make this one a quickie today and go straight to the highlights. Or you can just blame the snail’s pace of the Yankees-Red Sox game for taking away any momentum I had going from earlier in the day. Besides, I think I pretty much said it all yesterday when discussing the preparation you need to do in order to get your fantasy team ready for a big second half. Got your ear to the ground for the latest rumors? Only nine days left until the trade deadline and I feel there’s going to be a flurry of action so make sure you stay in tune and don’t get blindsided by anything. Got it? Good. Then let’s just hit the highlights.
Fantasy Beast of the Day
Talk about doing it with smoke and mirrors – I just can’t seem to wrap my head around the success of Bartolo Colon. I mean, kudos to him for going out there and getting the job done every five days, but how in the world are hitters not onto him by now? The guy throws a 90 mph fastball 84.4-percent of the time. Eighty-four percent? Come on. You know the pitch is coming. It’s all he throws. How in the world is this guy going out and throwing complete-game shutouts (his third complete-game of the year) just using his fastball? Occasionally he’ll throw an 83 mph slider (9.5-percent of his pitches are categorized as such) or an 83 mph change-up (6.1-percent), but he throws his fastball with such frequency that it just boggles the mind that hitters can’t hit him. He doesn’t even strike guys out. It’s all weak contact. Crazy weak contact. Total head-scratcher here. Thirteen wins and a 2.52 ERA (3.16 FIP) though, so again, you can’t argue with the success, but when someone is talking deal with you and the pitcher they offer to throw back is Colon, you just might have to consider it.
|Mike Napoli, C BOS||2-6, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI|
|Jayson Werth, OF WAS||2-3, 2 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI, BB|
|Carlos Gonzalez, OF COL||2-3, 2 R, RBI, BB, 2 SB|
|Matt Harvey, SP NYM||W, 0.00 ERA, 0.43 WHIP, 10 K|
|Justin Masterson, SP CLE||W, 1.29 ERA, 0.14 WHIP, 8 K|
While we can all appreciate the heroics of a walk-off home run, especially when you’re the new guy in one of the most heated rivalries in all of sports, the fact still remains that Mike Napoli has remained a bit of a disappointment this year. Sure, there were concerns over the hip during the spring and that may have knocked his ADP down a bit, but knowing that he was playing first base all year definitely helped ease people’s minds, so the drop really wasn’t that major. So with a .258 average, 13 home runs and a whopping 127 strikeouts in 333 at-bats, Napoli is now considered run-of-the-mill with regard to the catcher position. You were just as good had you waited until the last pick of your draft and snagged John Buck. OK, maybe that’s a bit of a reach, but they’re numbers are pretty darn close.
With just 12 home runs on the year, Jayson Werth has become a disappointment himself as well. A little, considering his numbers from before he went to the Nationals, but maybe not if you take into account the recent drop-off in production and the fact that he has a real hard time staying healthy. However, not to just run guys down, I will point out that his .296 average is pretty solid. Sure, he hit .300 last year, but he only played in 81 games. I’m talking full season. If he can keep it up and maintain his current pace towards another 20-home run season, he’ll have probably earned his draft value. The RBI total is a little low, but I suppose we can blame those hitting in front of him for that, no?
I opted to forego the other home run hitters from Sunday and threw a little nod to speed with Carlos Gonzalez. Not much I can add about him as he is a must-start, but I will say that I am still perplexed by the home/road splits this season. While I absolutely love the improvement to the road numbers, I’m still questioning the significant drop-off in totals at home. I haven’t noticed much change in his approach at the plate and his batted ball data is very similar to what it was back in 2010 when he hit .380 at home for the year. If he wasn’t such a fantasy stud, I’d probably be more concerned, but no matter how you slice it, he’s still one of the top outfielders out there.
Speaking of studs…come on….Matt Harvey. Nothing negative to say here. Absolutly nothing. Sadly, I have to prepare for the Mets to shut him down a little early this year which kills you in head to head leagues, but that’s really the only negative and it’s not even directed at him. It’s more a disappointment in the modern era of coddling pitchers. Oh, and if you haven’t had a chance to see him on Jimmy Fallon as the reporter in the field, here’s the link for you. Hysterical.
While he’s still prone to one or two blow-ups per month, Justin Masterson is still cruising through a pretty solid year; very reminiscent of his 2011 season but with a much better strikeout rate. His current 9.17 K/9 is actually the highest it’s been since he was in Low-A ball for the Red Sox back in 2006, and in that year he only tossed 31.2 innings. Masterson has been an outstanding find for fantasy owners this year and would probably be even better if you can just pinpoint the blow-ups better and avoid those starts.
|Domonic Brown, OF PHI||0-4, 4 K|
|Juan Francisco, 3B MIL||0-5, 3 K|
|Torii Hunter, OF DET||0-4, 3 K|
|Jordan Zimmermann, SP WAS||L, 31.50 ERA, 5.00 WHIP, 1 K|
|Jordan Lyles, SP HOU||L, 20.25 ERA, 2.50 WHIP, 3 K|
Not much to say about this crew here, but there is a bit of a concern with Jordan Zimmermann. Sure, everyone is entitled to a bad day, but the Nationals’ young right-hander has sort of stumbled his way through July here. Maybe he just tired out at the end of the first half, but this start here was a disaster. Obviously I’m going to give him a mulligan here and wait to see what he does against the Mets in the upcoming week before I hit the panic button, but I’m going in there with cautious optimism.
Eric Chavez, 3B ARI – hip (day to day)
Jason Heyward, OF ATL – hamstring (day to day)
Gerald Laird, C ATL – hand (day to day)
Paul Maholm, SP ATL – wrist (questionable for July 25 start)
Gordon Beckham, 2B CHW – wrist (day to day but doubtful for early in the week)
Corey Kluber, SP CLE – hip (questionable for July 26 start)
Rafael Betancourt, RP COL – appendicitis (15-day DL)
Chris Getz, 2B KC – knee (day to day)
Matt Kemp, OF LAD – ankle (day to day – supposed to avoid DL)
Carlos Gomez, OF MIL – elbow (day to day)
Yoenis Cespedes, OF OAK – wrist (day to day)
Jason Marquis, SP SD – elbow (15-day DL)
Yunel Escobar, SS TB – hamstring (day to day)
Wil Myers, OF TB – wrist (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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