With six shutouts, four teams held to just one run and overall, 17 of 30 teams being held to three runs or fewer, it makes for a pretty quick recap article. It happens sometime. What can you do? Not every day can be filled with fireworks. It does make for some nice pitching highlights overall, which we’ll get to, but rather than try to create something out of…well, literally nothing…we’ll just get on with the regular highlights. I mean, we could sit here and discuss the dissension within the Red Sox organization, but how many people really enjoy talking about what a huge a-hole Bobby Valentine is and how many times can you actually say it? He does it enough with both his words and his actions. So without further ado, let’s just hit the highlights.
|Hiroki Kuroda, NYY||9.0||2||0||0||2||5||0||0.00||0.44|
Well of course it’s going to a pitcher today, duh! Funny that with all the shutouts we had just two complete games on Tuesday and so we’ll throw the top honors to the guy who kept his complete game a shutout. Hiroki Kuroda again, looked incredibly sharp on the mound as he extended his run of quality starts to six, with a dominant performance against the Texas Rangers which is certainly no easy feat. Though he’s only notched three wins over his last six outings, Kuroda has posted a 1.44 ERA with an impressive 32:5 K:BB ratio. Overall, he’s got 11 wins on the year with a 3.06 ERA, so if you’re ever in a debate and looking for an example of a NL pitcher who has successfully transitioned to the AL, you’ve got your guy right here. Even better is the fact that he’s done it all going from one of the best pitcher’s parks to easily one of the best for hitters. Careful with him for his next start though. While I would never tell you to sit someone who is pitching so well, it’s worth noting that in two starts against the Red Sox this season, he’s got a 5.27 ERA and the Sox are batting .321 against him.
|Mark Reynolds, 3B BAL||2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI|
|Michael Brantley, OF CLE||3-4, 3 R, HR, 2 RBI|
|Albert Pujols, 1B LAA||2-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, 4 RBI, BB|
|Jeremy Guthrie, SP KC||W, 0.00 ERA, 0.71 WHIP, 8 K|
|Madison Bumgarner, SP SF||W, CG, 1.00 ERA, 0.67 WHIP, 6 K|
Since the hitting on Tuesday was relatively anemic, let’s just hit these top hitters real quick. Mark Reynolds gave a rare performance on Tuesday as he produced his first multi-homer game of the season and now has three homers in his last four games. Could the magic of Manny Machado be washing over him or is he finally hitting out of desperation because he knows if he doesn’t he’s going right to the bench? Whichever the case may be, keep an eye on it. If he does get hot, he’ll be able to help you with a quick influx of power. He won’t help you anywhere else, but if it’s home runs you crave, he just might be a quick fix.
I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I feel like Michael Brantley is going to be one of those guys who continue to fly under the radar but is destined to break out and be a consistent fantasy producer. I’d like to see him draw more walks, but the guy doesn’t strike out often, has mid-level pop that could develop and level off close to 15 homers a year, and has great speed that could easily push past the 20-25 SB range. He makes excellent contact when he’s at the plate, but just hasn’t had it all click for him in the first few partial-seasons he’s played. He’s nothing more than a decent role player for right now, but it might not be long before he makes a more center-stage appearance.
And Albert….what more can we say about Albert Pujols? Other than the fact that he better be buying Mike Trout dinner on a regular basis. Yeah, that’s right. I’m still on that kick. It’s quite simple actually. Just look at Pujols’ numbers before Trout arrived and then look at them after. Grasping that one is like picking some low-hanging fruit. So easy.
One of the best things I did for my primary fantasy team this year was trade for Madison Bumgarner. Tuesday may have been his first complete-game shutout of the year, but the guy has been an anchor for fantasy rotations all season long. With 13 wins, a 2.97 ERA and 150 strikeouts in 163.2 innings, he’s definitely been a valuable component for the basic fantasy categories, but when you look at some of his peripherals like his 9.4 swinging strike percentage, his 48.1-percent ground ball rate and his 4.65 K:BB, he gets even better.
OK, so even with such stellar performances from the likes of Josh Johnson, Doug Fister and Chad Billingsley, I’ve decided to highlight Jeremy Guthrie again. And it’s only because it is my sheer disbelief that I am doing it. Seven shutout innings for Guthrie would be on par with say Johnson throwing 15 complete game shutouts in a row. It’s just not something that happens and when it does, it should eb acknowledged. Too bad no one was able to reap the benefits here as I seriously doubt anyone had the cajones to start him. Of course, now that he’s had three solid outings in a row, some fool is bound to trust him – just in time for him to get shellacked by the White Sox.
|Carlos Beltran, OF STL||0-4, 3 K|
|Paul Goldschmidt, 1B ARI||0-4, 3 K|
|Josh Reddick, OF OAK||0-4, 3 K|
|Ubaldo Jimenez, SP, CLE||L, 18.00 ERA, 2.50 WHIP, 4 K|
|Randy Wolf, SP MIL||L, 10.80 ERA, 3.00 WHIP, K|
The usual fare here. Nothing we haven’t seen before, although Paul Goldschmidt hasn’t been around in a while, and that’s a good thing. His power was definitely expected this year, but the .296 average has been a huge bonus. As are the 11 stolen bases. If he’s going to produce like this, then I’ll happily use him in my lineup regularly.
Scott Rolen, 3B CIN – back (questionable)
Jarrod Dyson, OF KC – ankle (questionable)
C.J. Wilson, SP LAA – hand (questionable for August 18 start)
Denard Span, OF MIN – shoulder (questionable)
Travis Snider, OF PIT – hamstring (questionable)
Colby Rasmus, OF TOR – groin (questionable)
Michael Morse, 1B/OF WAS – thumb (questionable)
Howard Bender has been covering fantasy sports for over ten years on a variety of web sites including his own, The Fantasy Baseball Buzz. You can follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy or email him at email@example.com.
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