Happy 4th of July! (and other notes from 7/3/15)

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Happy 4th of July!  Eat a lot of BBQ, enjoy a lot of fireworks, but most importantly… watch a lot of baseball!  Here are the notes from Friday’s games!

Jason Hammel – 7 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K with the L.  Hammel has pitched well enough to be an All-Star, but he’s not even the best pitcher on his own team (Jake Arreita) and it could be tough to send both, if any, Cubs pitchers to the All-Star Game.  But Hammel got stuck with a loss on Friday despite pitching pretty well.  He should be able to keep up a nice performance in the second half, but he will see a bit of regression in his .256 BABIP.  He is 5-4 with a 2.89 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, and 104 K/18 BB in 102.2 IP.

Christian Yelich – 1 for 4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R, 2 K.  Yelich stayed warm on Friday and extended his hit streak to 6 games and launched his 5th HR of the year.  He should keep on improving and the buy low window may be disappearing.

Justin Bour – 2 for 3, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R, 1 BB.  Make that 4 straight games with a HR for Bour.  Did I call it or what?  Ride him while he’s hot.  The Marlins are scheduled to be up against a lefty on Saturday, so Bour may find himself on the bench. But after Saturday’s game, the Marlins are scheduled to see 6 righties in the remaining 7 games before the break.  Fire away with him in those ones.

Tom Koehler – 6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K with the W.  Koehler pitched well on Friday to improve to 7-4 with a 3.52 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, and 66 K/31 BB in 92 IP.  Those are fine numbers, but there is something that doesn’t add up.  Koehler’s hard hit rate this season is the 2nd highest in the Majors at 35.9%, yet his BABIP is the 19th lowest at .265.  He should be in for some regression if he keeps allowing such hard contact and I would say that he is more of a 4.00 ERA and 1.30 WHIP pitcher.

A.J. Ramos – 1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K with the SV.  Ramos has been lights out since taking over as the Marlins closer with 13 saves in 14 opportunities.  In fact he’s been lights out all season long.  He’s really matured with his control at 2.39 BB/9 and he’s got the big whiff potential to at 10.99 K/9.  Barring injury, he should be able to keep the role all season long, though he does have Carter Capps blowing everyone away in front of him in the 8th inning.

Buster Posey – 1 for 4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R.  Buster being Buster again.  He hit his 3rd HR in the last 4 games for his 14th of the season.

Jake Peavy – 6.1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 4 K with the L.  Following in Matt Cain‘s footsteps, Peavy returned from the DL on Friday and had mixed results and probably can be left alone in fantasy leagues unless he shows better stuff.  Cain and Peavy’s return may not be good news for Chris Heston, but Heston figures to stick in the rotation for now since Tim Hudson was recently placed on the DL.

Clint Robinson – 1 for 3, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R.  1 for 4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R.  Robinson continues to fill in admirably for Ryan Zimmerman at first base for the Nationals as he blasted his 4th HR of the year.  He has 20 HR pop, but he is also a 30-year old rookie so we can’t expect a whole lot.  But for now, he’s usable as a cheap option in DFS.

Gio Gonzalez – 7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K with the W.  Entering the game, Nat-Gio had the highest BABIP in all of baseball at .354, but he was able to work it down to .345 on Friday.  He should continue to be able to get that number down because his hard hit rate is low enough that he shouldn’t be giving up this many hits.  He is 5-4 with a 4.16 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, and 78 K/33 BB in 88.2 IP.

Miguel Cabrera – 2 for 2, 1 RBI.  M-Cab logged a couple hits on Friday before having to leave the game due to an apparent injury to his left calf.  He’s likely to miss a couple days I would think, and a DL stint can’t be ruled out.

Anibal Sanchez – 7.1 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 5 K with the W.  Anibal took a no-hitter into the 8th inning but he became a bit unraveled.  Once again, you never know which Anibal you’re going to get.  It doesn’t matter if he’s pitching against a good team or a bad team, he is unpredictable, which makes him really easy to hate and tough to use in fantasy.

Drew Hutchison – 4.2 IP, 10 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 4 K with the L.  I said last time after Hutchison pitched 5.2 shutout innings that he would have a much tougher time in this one versus the Tigers, and indeed he did.  His inconsistency is too much of a headache and should be left alone in fantasy, especially on the road where he has an incredibly bad 9.00 ERA in 42 IP.  His last start before the All-Star break will also come on the road against the White Sox.

Chris Archer – 6.2 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 8 K.  Archer was on point for the most part on Friday by dealing 6 shutout innings versus the Yankees.  He’s been solid all year but his bullpen blew it for him so he stays at 9-5 with a 2.20 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, and 140 K/28 BB in 114.2 IP.  There’s no reason he shouldn’t stay really good all year long.  Check out “Archer Hits the Bullseye” for more on him.

Mark Teixeira – 2 for 5, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R, 1 BB, 3 K.  What a first half it’s been for Tex.  He now is hitting .243 with 20 HR and 57 RBI.  I said a while ago in “Tex Marks the Spot” that I think he can keep this up all season long, as long as he avoids injury.

Brian McCann – 1 for 5, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K.  McCann only had one hit on the evening but it was a big one — a walkoff 3-run shot for his 13th HR of the year, and it brings his RBI total to 52.  It’ll be interesting to see who makes the AL All-Star team at catcher.

Chi Chi Gonzalez – 1.2 IP, 5 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 1 K with the L.  I’ve been saying all along how this guy is just not that great and he’s finally getting blown up as the league sees him more.  Perfect.  I wouldn’t touch Gonzalez with a ten foot pole.

Kole Calhoun – 2 for 5, 4 RBI, 1 R.  Calhoun has been inserted back near the top of the order as of late, which is where he probably is better suited.  He was able to lace two doubles and drive in four on the day to bring his numbers to a .260 AVG, 7 HR, 40 RBI, 29 R, and 4 SB.  He’s not performing nearly as well as last season, but he is still a decent contributor.

Erick Aybar – 5 for 5, 2 RBI, 2 R.  This is the first time I’m mentioning Aybar all season long here, and all it took was a 5 for 5 game.  He’s now hitting .271 with 2 HR, 25 RBI, 38 R, and 6 SB.  He’s certainly not the greatest of fantasy shortstops, but oddly enough he has been hitting 5th for the Angels recently — yes, that’s how desperate the Angels are for a middle of the order left-handed bat.

Garrett Richards – 7.2 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K with the W.  Well, I recommended against Richards in the DFS strategy post, but he proved me wrong.  He’s still missing the big punch out stuff though, so I wonder if we will be seeing that in the second half of the season.  It’s possible considering that maybe in the first half he was still working out the kinks after his season-ending knee injury from last year.  He improved to 9-5 with a 3.38 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and 74 K/34 BB in 93.1 IP.

Gerardo Parra – 2 for 4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 R, 2 BB, 1 K.  Parra makes it in here again because he keeps on hitting with his 6th HR of the year.  He’s a quality player and should be owned in deep leagues as long as he’s starting.

Carlos Gomez – 3 for 5, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 2 R.  Gomez has been relatively quiet this season, but perhaps this game will get him going.  He hit a grand slam on Friday for his 6th HR of the season.  But with just 7 SB, he’s got a long way to go to log his 3rd consecutive 20/30 season.

Mike Fiers – 7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K with the W.  Fiers was missing the strikeouts for the second straight game, but also for the second straight game he pitched deep into the game while limiting the hits and runs.  So we’ll take it.  His BABIP dropped from .347 to .331, so perhaps the regression is finally taking place.  He now has a 3.83 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, and 95 K/35 BB in 94 IP.  He gets a nice matchup versus the Brewers next.

Julio Teheran – 7 IP, 7 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 4 K with the W.  Teheran was pretty lucky to not get any earned runs charged to him as he let 10 guys on base.  So while this game might look nice on paper, he’s far from out of the woods in his disastrous season.  He should have a more difficult time on the road in his next start at Milwaukee.

Adam Morgan – 7 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K with the L.  The rookie Morgan pitched very well as it was just two solo shots that hurt him, but he still got saddled with the loss.  But for DFS purposes, he exceeded the value of his salary at least.  e’s not this good though and should start to get knocked around soon enough.

Andrew Cashner – 6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 3 K.  A so-so outing for Cashner, but surely better than we’ve been seeing from him as of late.  I’d still be worried about him with that very poor defense behind him, but he certainly is better than his 4.06 ERA and 1.39 WHIP.  He’ll pitch at Pittsburgh next.

Michael Wacha – 7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K.  A tough no-decision for Wacha, but he pitched very well and keeps improving his strikeout rate as it’s now all the way up to 7.11 K/9 after it was just 4.42 K/9 after his first 6 starts of the season.  He’ll get the Cubs next before potentially heading to the All-Star Game.

John Danks – 7 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K with the W.  Okay, whoever started Danks in DFS on Friday is the smartest man on earth.  The Orioles hitters should be ashamed of themselves.

Jose Abreu – 1 for 3, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R.  Abreu hit his 14th HR of the season, but at this point last season he had 25 HR. So this is surely a bit of a let down.

Jose Altuve – 3 for 5, 2 RBI, 2 R.  Altuve is getting hot again and he now is on an 11-game hitting streak and how his his AVG over .300 for the first time in almost a month.  He’s going to be just fine.

Carlos Correa – 3 for 6, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R, 2 K.  The phenom does it again.  His 6th HR of the year was the go-ahead run in the 8th inning.  There’s nothing that this kid can’t do.  If you own him in keeper/dynasty leagues, consider yourself lucky (and smart).

Hanley Ramirez – 1 for 4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 K.  Hanley is heating up.  He extended his hit streak to 8 games and homered in consecutive games.  Look out.

Nelson Cruz – 2 for 4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R.  Cruz now has 2 HR in July after hitting just 1 HR in June.  He’s heating up again…

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