With fantasy football dominating the landscape some folks are barely paying any attention to fantasy baseball. I’m not in that camp. I’m on the case. Here are some thoughts on some surging players, a returning hurler I can’t trust, and the most complete fantasy performer in 2013. That last guy is gonna surprise you all.
Andrew Cashner has a 3.40 ERA and 1.21 WHIP this season over 159 innings justifying the hype he generated as a “sleeper” selection this season. His K-rate is way down, his K/9 mark is just 6.45, but other than that there’s not a complaint to be had. Cashner has been nails in the second half as well showing no give as the innings pile up. Over his last 59.2 innings he’s rocking a 2.72 ERA and 1.12 WHIP for the Padres.
Johnny Cueto is set to start today against the Astros which also puts him in line to be a 2-start option this week. As tempting as that sounds, I can’t give an unqualified thumbs up to activating him. That lat issue has dogged him all year, and he’s had multiple setbacks with it. He also hasn’t started a game since June 28th which should make you very hesitant to start the guy, especially if you’re in the fantasy playoffs. He’s been great with 41 Ks an a 1.07 WHIP in 48.2 innings, but I just can’t trust him right now.
Chris Davis has been amazing hitting 50 bombs with 131 RBIs, 99 runs scored an a 1.026 OPS. Flat out stupendous season. The only negative is the tank job he’s done in the batting average category in the second half. He’s still hitting .294 overall, well above anyone’s wildest expectations heading into the season, but he’s hit just .256 over his last 53 contests.
Josh Donaldson continues to get it done. Pretty astounding really. After a bit of a lull he’s come back with a vengeance the past two weeks. Take a look at that slash line over 52 plate appearances: .419/.519/.837. Donaldson has pushed his average up to .302 with 23 bombs, 88 RBIs and 81 runs scored. My $6 investment in him in AL LABR this season is looking pretty darn good. I’ll say this for him, he has been very solid with his approach in the second half as he’s struck out just 35 times while walking 28 batters over 53 games. According to Fangraphs he has the 4th best WAR of any hitter in baseball.
Bob Ross. Gotta love that guy.
Remember when you were disappointed in the slow starting Victor Martinez and you wanted to drop him from your roster? Hopefully you resisted that urge. V-Mart is batting .364 with a .884 OPS in the second half. With that run of excellence he’s now sporting a very Martinez like line of .298 with 12 homers and 75 RBIs. He hasn’t played 20 games at any position this year though so heading into next season as DH only is really gonna hurt his value since he just doesn’t sport much pop.
Worked a 15 hour day yesterday. Started tweeting at 7 AM and then finished the radio show at 10 PM to wrap up the second Sunday of the NFL season. Yeah, long day. I’m sure you feel really sorry for me, right?
Daniel Nava came into the season with little reason to pay any attention to him unless you were in AL-only league. So much for that. Nava has continued to succeed for the Red Sox as he’s hitting .306 with a .392 OBP. He’s one of only five players in the AL to pull off the .300/.390 duo. The others are Miguel Cabrera, Mike Trout, Joe Mauer and David Ortiz. It’s pretty shocking to see that he’s barely owned in 25 percent of leagues at Fleaflicker.com given how effective he’s been this season.
Hunter Pence watch. How much cash is that guy gonna make this offseason? Over his last 14 games Pence is hitting .396 with eight homers, 23 RBIs and 15 runs scored. If you haven’t looked at his number lately you should pay close attentio to the next three sentences. Pence, and I’m being serious here, has been an elite fantasy performer this season. In fact, he’s been what Matt Kemp was supposed to be as he’s hit .295 with 25 homers, 92 RBIs, 86 runs scored and 21 steals. All of that means Pence is the only player in the game to go .295-25-92-86-21 this season.
Erasmo Ramirez didn’t get the results he or his team wanted, again, as he allowed five runs in four innings to the powerful Cardinals. Erasmo is 5-2 but it’s been a rocky effort for him since he was called up as he’s allowed 70 hits in 65 innings leading to a 4.98 ERA and 1.40 WHIP. Not quite what we had hoped for back in March when he was a popular late round option.
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By Ray Flowers