The good news is that here on Monday, the games don’t start until 7pm (ET) so you can really take your time and study up on things before you have to set your lineup for the week. The bad news is that there’s a lot going on that you’re going to have to stay on top of during the day in order to set that lineup properly. Between Ryan Braun’s thumb injury and Hanley Ramirez’ hamstring MRI to the debuts of Gerritt Cole and Zack Wheeler, there seems to be a lot happening right now. Giancarlo Stanton and Logan Morrison are headed back from the DL this week. Ike Davis? He’s in Triple-A. Brandon McCarthy? Still suffering seizures. Matt Kemp won’t return from his injury on-time, Ian Kinsler is finally working his way back from his and good ol’ Chase Utley is right on schedule for his mid-June return. Are you writing this stuff down?
Staying on top of all the latest events in baseball can be time-consuming, for sure, but even just an hour a day reading up on current events is going to put you light years ahead of some of your competition. As we head into the summer months, people get distracted. Those with kids now have to deal with the little rugrats on a more regular basis with school letting out; family vacations to prepare and what not. For others, it’s just that time of year that we’re all used to taking some time to relax and get away. Again, not a bad thing, but those who like to ditch their phones and laptops for a summer weekend at the beach are less likely to be sifting through the waiver wire with knowledge or real purpose. You, as the owner who just takes a little piece out of their morning to read up on things, have the advantage. Even reading just that first paragraph puts you a step ahead of some.
So do yourself and your fantasy team a favor and make sure you’re checking in on a regular basis. The season can be extremely long and arduous and losing track even for a weekend could set your team back in the standings in a big way. Make sure that doesn’t happen to you. Get your alerts set up, make sure you have time each day to read a little something and stay the course with your team. You’ll be thanking me come the end of the season when it’s you that collects the ultimate prize in the end.
Now let’s look at some of the highlights from Sunday…
Fantasy Beast of the Day
|Dan Uggla, 2B ATL||2-2, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 BB|
It’s difficult to call anyone who is currently batting .193 a fantasy beast, but as we all know, sometimes the sun shines on a dog’s ass at least once and this would be that time for Dan Uggla. Maybe you had him in a daily fantasy game or maybe he just helped you out on the final day of your head to head match-up. I don’t mind using a guy like Uggla in a deep roto league with large rosters as I can fill in with other guys to neutralize the batting average woes and simply benefit from the fact that my second baseman has 13 home runs on the year. Unless you’ve got Robinson Cano, it’s a near impossibility to get the kind of power at the keystone that Uggla can provide. Like a baby Adam Dunn if you will. He’s not ideal, but I’ll take those 25 to 30 bombs all year long.
|Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C BOS||2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI|
|Dexter Fowler, OF COL||4-6, 3 R, 2B, RBI, SB|
|Matt Holliday, OF STL||2-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, 4 RBI, 2 BB|
|Jordan Zimmermann, SP WAS||W, 0.00 ERA, 0.57 WHIP, 8 K|
|Kyle Lohse, SP MIL||W, 1.13 ERA, 0.63 WHIP, 6 K|
Speaking of great power at a thin position, it looks like Jarrod Saltalamacchia is starting to heat up little. The two-home run game gives him three in his past five and eight on the year. Salty does have some oddball numbers though that you might want to watch as the season progresses. Usually a low-average type guy, he’s batting .273 this season which has his owners very happy. But the .385 BABIP doesn’t look too sustainable, so watch that average drop as he regresses. The 33.5-percent strikeout rate, up from last year if you can believe that, certainly isn’t going to be helping things either. He’ll still pop you 20-plus HR, but don’t hang your hat on the rest of the numbers staying pretty.
After a hot April and a dismal May, Dexter Fowler is back to his hot-hitting ways here in June. While I don’t expect him to hit .412 for the rest of the month, his two home runs and seven RBI have already surpassed his May numbers in those two categories. And with 10 home runs and 11 stolen bases just 60 games in, he’s well on his way to posting career highs in most of the offensive categories.
It looks like June is the turnaround month for Matt Holliday as the Cardinals slugger is on a seven-game hit streak and has the season-average up to .264 all of a sudden. During this seven game stretch, he has four multi-hit performances and is batting .407 (11-for-27) with two home runs, seven RBI and nine runs scored. He is officially on his way to reaching his usual numbers while bringing that average right back up to where it belongs.
Owning Jordan Zimmermann is like having a warm, fuzzy blanket on a cold, rainy night. He’s had just one bad start all year long and out of 13 outings this season he has 11 quality starts. This latest game now gives him 15 consecutive shutout innings, an ERA barely at 2.00, and a 61:13 K:BB over 94.2 innings this season. He’s an automatic and in fantasy, that’s pure gold, Jerry! Pure gold!
Pitching for Milwaukee has not been as kind for Kyle Lohse as it was for him back in St. Louis. Roughed up on a regular basis, it’s tough to pick and choose starts where he’ll shine like he did here on Sunday. The good news is that he’s now thrown back-to-back quality starts with a 2.57 ERA and a 9:1 K:BB. The bad news is that he’s taking his game on the road to Cincinnati. He does have a 2.50 ERA in his last three starts at Great American Ballpark, but he was also pitching with a lot more consistency back then.
|Mark Teixeira, 1B NYY||0-5, 4 K|
|Yan Gomes, C CLE||0-3, 3 K|
|Didi Gregorius, SS ARI||0-4, 2 K|
|Matt Moore, SP TB||L, 14.40 ERA, 2.60 WHIP, 6 K|
|Scott Diamond, SP MIN||L, 11.57 ERA, 2.57 WHIP, 3 K|
Most of these you can look past and just shrug off. No one expects every hitter, even one as strong as Mark Teixeira, to be on-point ever single game. Bad days happen. But with Matt Moore, things are becoming a bit troubling. Since that rainout after one inning back at the end of May, Moore has given up a whopping 14 earned runs in his last seven innings (two starts) and is looking like someone you should have traded a couple of weeks ago back when he was still 8-0 on the year. There are definitely some concerns with him as his velocity has actually taken a slight dip and his control just isn’t where it used to be. While his walk and strikeout rates are comparable to last year, there’s been no improvement and actually, his swinging strike-rate is down this year. With no growth in some areas and regression in others, things aren’t looking so good for the 23-year old southpaw. While we’d like to think it’s because he just got knocked off his schedule, this drop seems to have been a little on the predictable side if you were studying the right numbers. Perhaps a start against the Royals this week will be the cure for what ails him.
Shane Victorino, OF BOS – hamstring (day to day)
Clay Buchholz, SP BOS – neck (questionable for next start)
Michael Cuddyer, OF COL – oblique (day to day)
Anibal Sanchez, SP DET – shoulder (questionable for next start)
Brandon Barnes, OF HOU – hamstring (day to day)
Matt Kemp, OF LAD – hamstring (15-day DL and a setback in rehab)
Hanley Ramirez, SS LAD – hamstring (day to day; headed for MRI)
Chris Coghlan, OF MIA – calf (15-day DL)
Casey Kotchman, 1B MIA – ribs (day to day)
Ryan Braun, OF MIL – thumb (day to day)
Kevin Youkilis, 3B NYY – back (day to day)
Wandy Roidriguez, SP PIT – forearm (questionable for next start)
Jedd Gyorko, 2B SD – groin (day to day)
Pablo Sandoval, 3B SF – foot (day to day)
Alexi Ogando, SP TEX – biceps (15-day DL)
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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