Sometimes it’s ok to take solace in a little bit of quiet. Not every day needs drama and there’s nothing wrong with the status quo. As you get older in life, you end up appreciating these days more and more. So a day after one of the quietest trade deadlines in a very long time, Thursday ended up being just as tame, if not more so, and we just had a nice, relaxing day of baseball. Sure, there may have been a few moments here and there, but certainly nothing earth-shattering. So with that, let’s just hit the fantasy highs and lows of the day as we gear up for the final two months of the season.
Fantasy Beast of the Day
|Justin Upton, OF ATL||2-5, 2 R, 2 HR, 5 RBI|
While a stat line consisting of 18 home runs, 53 RBI and 66 runs scored isn’t something you should normally be complaining about, you’re definitely justified if that line comes with a .258 average and a price tag far in excess of the current return value. Justin Upton owners seem to know the feeling all too well. While he’s posted a pair of dynamic seasons in his career, Upton seems to be the classic under-achiever, constantly disappointing those who paid such steep prices to acquire his services. Most of the time, it’s been injury related, but this year it’s more about a 25-percent strikeout rate and sub par contact numbers. Will he ever regain that 2011 form so many of us expected? Probably not. But should he straighten out some of his peripheral numbers, there’s always a chance he comes close.
|Ryan Raburn, OF CLE||3-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI|
|Anthony Rizzo, 1B CHC||2-3, 2 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI, BB|
|Junior Lake, SS, CHC||2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI|
|Yu Darvish, SP TEX||W, 0.00 ERA, 0.71 WHIP, 14 K|
|Matt Cain, SP SF||W, 1.13 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 7 K|
Though you still won’t find him as a full-timer regular in the lineup, Ryan Raburn continues to surprise many of us with outings such as this and now over his last six games, he is batting .409 (9-for-22) with three home runs, nine RBI and five runs scored. The lack of a full-time gig is a bummer, but he’s still managed to grab 173 at-bats this season and his 13 home runs have certainly proved helpful. He’s not someone you really want to be relying on too heavily, but for fill-in purposes, he’s a great guy to use as a plug and play.
The June/July swoon for Anthony Rizzo was definitely tough to take, especially after such a strong first month of the season. His power numbers tapered off, his batting average took a nosedive and those who sat there attempting to wait it out and hope for the comeback, found themselves getting very little production out of what should be their meatiest position. The fact that he’s just six days away from his 24th birthday helps give hope for the brightest of futures.
Sure the sample size is too small, but there’s definitely an excitement that comes from owning Junior Lake right now. But before you go dismissing what he’s done by mentioning his .364 BABIP, keep in mind that he’s posted high contact rates and strong BABIP numbers throughout his minor league career. He could stand to draw a few more walks and improve that plate discipline, but overall, there’s very little to complain about.
Watching Yu Darvish pitch like this has become enough of a regular occurrence that we expect nights like this with strikeout numbers on the high side. This is happily considered the norm. But Matt Cain turning in a performance this strong has unfortunately become the rarity this season. We’ll happily take them as he trudges along but the fact that we’re getting this excited about back-to-back quality starts for him tells you just how far the mighty have fallen.
|Chris Carter, 1B HOU||0-4, 3 K|
|Michael Brantley, OF CLE||0-4, 3 K|
|Paul Goldschmidt, 1B ARI||0-4, 3 K|
|Josh Johnson, SP TOR||L, 23.14 ERA, 5.14 WHIP, 1 K|
|Jonathan Papelbon, RP PHI||L, BS, 18.00 ERA, 5.00 WHIP|
Meh. No real surprises here. Sure, we rarely see Paul Goldschmidt in this section, but we can accept the rare appearance.
Gerald Laird, C ATL – kidney (day to day)
Shin-Soo Choo, OF CIN – ankle (day to day)
Carlos Gonzalez, OF COL – finger (day to day)
Miguel Cabrera, 3B DET – abdominal (day to day)
Jose Altuve, 2B HOU – quadriceps (day to day)
Chris Getz, 2B KC – knee (15-day DL)
Bobby Parnell, RP NYM – neck (day to day)
Josh Reddick, OF OAK – headache (day to day)
Cliff Lee, SP PHI – neck (day to day)
Carlos Quentin, OF SD – knee (day to day)
Lance Berkman, 1B TEX – hip (15-day DL)
Nelson Cruz, OF TEX – quadriceps (day to day)
Melky Cabrera, OF TOR – knee (15-day DL)
Bryce Harper, OF WAS – hip (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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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