Results tagged ‘ Bloomberg Sports ’

Bloomberg Sports National League Fantasy All-Star Team

 

Twitter: @RobShawSports and @BloombergSports

 

Bloomberg Sports Anchors Julie Alexandria and Rob Shaw discuss whether the fans’ selections for the National League All-Star team were right and who should be starting the All-Star Game in Kansas City on July 10.

 

Catcher

Buster Posey was not the right choice for the All-Star team. Phillies backstop Carlos Ruiz is having a sensational season, hitting .357 with 13 home runs, 46 RBI and a surprising three stolen bases. He has definitely been the best catcher in baseball this season.  

 

First Base

The fans got this one right by selecting Reds first baseman Joey Votto, who is probably the MVP of the first half of the season. He’s batting .350 with 14 home runs and 47 RBI.

 

Second Base

Brandon Phillips of the Reds should be starting rather than Dan Uggla. Phillips has a .279 average, 10 home runs and 47 RBI. He is also a good defensive player, which Uggla is not.

 

Third Base

The fans made the wrong choice by selecting Pablo Sandoval, who has missed plenty of time this season due to injury. David Wright of the Mets should have been the pick, as he has been an MVP candidate so far this year with a .350 average, 10 home runs, 55 RBI and eight stolen bases.

 

Shortstop

Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro should be starting in place of Rafael Furcal. Castro is batting .291 with six home runs, 40 RBI and 16 stolen bases. Despite those numbers, he can be frustrating because he makes a lot of boneheaded plays but he is young and will hopefully grow out of that. 

 

Outfield

Not one of the three outfielders chosen by the fans was the right pick. Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies should be starting instead of Melky Cabrera. Gonzalez is batting .340 with 17 home runs, 58 RBI and 10 stolen bases, though he is helped out by playing at Coors Field.

Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun should have been selected over Matt Kemp. Braun is once again putting up MVP numbers with a .309 average, 23 home runs, 59 RBI and 13 stolen bases.

Finally, Pirates centerfielder Andrew McCutchen should have been chosen rather than Carlos Beltran. McCutchen is batting .360 with 16 home runs, 54 RBI and 14 stolen bases. Beltran would have been a good selection if the National League had a designated hitter. He has a .304 average, 20 home runs, 63 RBI and eight stolen bases this season.

 

For more insight, visit BloombergSports.com.

Bloomberg Sports American League Fantasy All-Star Team

 

Twitter: @RobShawSports and @BloombergSports

 

Bloomberg Sports Anchors Julie Alexandria and Rob Shaw discuss whether or not the fans’ selections for the American League All-Star team were right and who should be starting the All-Star Game in Kansas City on July 10.

 

Catcher

Mike Napoli of the Rangers was the fan choice, but White Sox backstop A.J. Pierzynski should be starting in the All-Star Game. Pierzynski is not one of the more popular players in baseball and was actually expected to lose his job coming into this season. However, he is hitting .285 this year with 14 home runs and 45 RBI.

 

First Base

Edwin Encarnacion of the Blue Jays should be starting instead of Prince Fielder. Encarnacion has always had great potential but has been inconsistent in the past. This season, however, he is deserving of a starting spot in Kansas City with a .291 average, 22 home runs, 55 RBI and eight stolen bases.

 

Second Base

The fans got this one right, voting in Robinson Cano of the Yankees. He’s batting .310 with 20 home runs and 46 RBI. Not only is he an All-Star but he is clearly the Yankees’ MVP.

 

Third Base

The fans chose Adrian Beltre of the Rangers, which is a good pick because he is one of the best defensive players in baseball. Miguel Cabrera, however, is the best third baseman in the American League with a .314 average, 16 home runs and 62 RBI.

 

Shortstop

Derek Jeter is having a good season, but Elvis Andrus of the Rangers is the best shortstop in the American League right now. He is not a power hitter with just one home run but he’s batting .307 with 32 RBI and 16 stolen bases. The fans should have voted in Andrus instead of Jeter.

 

Outfield

Of the three outfielders voted in, only one was the right pick by the fans. It wasn’t a surprise that Josh Hamilton was selected, and he is the right choice. He’s on pace for more than 50 home runs and 140 RBI this season.

Angels rookie Mike Trout should be starting in place of Curtis Granderson. Trout is batting .339 with nine home runs, 33 RBI and 22 stolen bases, and keep in mind that he started this season in the minor leagues.

Adam Jones of the Orioles should have been selected in place of Jose Bautista. Jones has a .302 average, 19 home runs, 42 RBI and 11 stolen bases. He has a bright future and is likely one of the next big stars in baseball.

 

Designated Hitter

David Ortiz was the right pick by the fans. He continues to put up big numbers with a .302 average, 21 home runs and 54 RBI this season. This is Ortiz’s eighth All-Star selection.

 

For more fantasy baseball insight, visit BloombergSports.com.

Fantasy Baseball Weekend Recap: Perez, Young, Thome, Davis, Alvarez, and Hosmer

 

Twitter: @RobShawSports and @BloombergSports

 

Bloomberg Sports Anchor Rob Shaw breaks down the weekend in baseball and how it affects your fantasy team.

 

Martin Perez, SP, Rangers

Perez made his major league debut Saturday night against Oakland. The 21-year-old southpaw had five strikeouts and gave up six hits, one walk and two earned runs in 5.1 innings pitched. He had struggled in the minor leagues this season with a 1.29 K/BB ratio at AAA. However, he has been better in the past and there is reason to be excited about his future.

 

Chris Young, SP, Mets

Young has only started 13 games since 2010, but his numbers during that stretch are among the best in baseball. He has a 2.19 ERA and 1.16 WHIP, compared to Roy Halladay’s 2.60 ERA and 1.05 WHIP and Cliff Lee’s 3.00 ERA and 1.05 WHIP. This season, he has started five games, his greatest workload since 2009. The last time he made 20 starts was in 2007.

 

Jim Thome, Orioles

Thome spent his first 12 seasons with the Cleveland Indians and has since been on seven teams over the last 10 years. Moving to Baltimore allows him to play more regularly as a designated hitter. He has had 40 home runs in 553 at-bats over the last two years and could bring some power to the Orioles’ lineup and your fantasy team.

 

 

Shaw also discusses three players whose slumps have ended and who are putting up big numbers in recent weeks. First is Mets first baseman Ike Davis, who has six home runs, 24 RBI and a .333 average in 19 games since June 9th. Second, Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez has seven home runs, 19 RBI and a .377 average in 15 games since June 16th. Finally, Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer has a .423 average, one home run and three RBI in his last seven games.

 

 

For more fantasy insight, visit BloombergSports.com.

Fantasy Baseball Twitter Trends: Arroyo, Rizzo, Ruiz, and Chapman

 

Twitter: @RobShawSports and @BloombergSports

 

Bloomberg Sports Anchor Rob Shaw discusses the performances of four players who were trending on Twitter Tuesday night.

 

Bronson Arroyo, SP, Reds

Arroyo brought a no-hitter into the eighth inning against the Brewers Tuesday night, but left with a no decision. He gave up three hits, one walk and three earned runs in 7.2 innings pitched. He is now 3-5 with a 4.13 ERA and 1.25 WHIP this season. The biggest surprise from Arroyo this season is his strikeouts. He has 60 strikeouts this year compared to just 14 walks.

 

Anthony Rizzo, 1B, Cubs

Rizzo made his debut with the Cubs Tuesday night against the Mets. He went 2-4 with one RBI and one double. In 70 games at AAA in Iowa this year, he had a .342 batting average, 23 home runs and 62 RBI. Rizzo was brought up to play first base, which moves Bryan LaHair to the outfield.

 

Carlos Ruiz, C, Phillies

Ruiz is having an incredible season. He went 3-4 Tuesday night with one home run, two runs and two RBI. He now has a career-high 10 home runs this season, as well as a .361 average and 41 RBI.  Overall, Ruiz is providing much-needed offensive production to the Phillies lineup.

 

Aroldis Chapman, RP, Reds

Chapman bounced back from back-to-back blown saves Tuesday night. He had three strikeouts and one walk in one inning pitched to pick up his ninth save of the season. His numbers this year are still outstanding, especially his 64/12 K/BB ratio.

 

For more fantasy baseball insight, visit BloombergSports.com.

Fantasy Baseball Surprising Base-Stealers: Molina, Kipnis, Saunders, and Beltran

 

Twitter: @RobShawSports and @BloombergSports

 

Bloomberg Sports Anchor Rob Shaw breaks down four players who have a surprising number of stolen bases this season.

 

Yadier Molina, C, Cardinals

Molina had a career-high nine stolen bases in 2009, which is impressive from a catcher. He already has seven steals this season, in addition to 11 home runs and a .319 batting average. It’s hard to believe, but the Cardinals may have picked correctly when it came to which free agent to give a big contract to in the offseason, Molina or Albert Pujols. So far, Molina is performing at a higher level this season.

 

Jason Kipnis, 2B, Indians

Kipnis’ career high in stolen bases was 17, which he achieved last year between AAA and the majors. He already has 17 steals this year and is on pace for nearly 40 by the end of the season. He’s also contributing in the power area with 11 home runs, 46 runs and 42 RBI.  

 

Michael Saunders, OF, Mariners

Saunders stole 29 bases in 2009 in the minors and has 12 stolen bases so far this season. What is surprising is how much playing time he is getting, but he can’t be taken out of the lineup with a .267 average, eight home runs and 35 runs.

 

Carlos Beltran, OF, Cardinals

We know that Beltran has speed, as he became just the eighth player in MLB history to have 300 home runs and 300 stolen bases. However, he only had seven stolen bases in the past two seasons combined, making his seven steals this year so surprising. He is also batting .312 with 20 home runs and 57 RBI.

 

For more fantasy baseball insight, visit BloombergSports.com.

Ballpark Figures: Hall of Fame Predictions Part Two

 

Twitter: @RobShawSports and @BloombergSports

 

Bloomberg Sports Anchors Julie Alexandria and Rob Shaw discuss players who may be on the road to the Hall of Fame.

 

Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre may be a surprise on this list for some people, but the longeivty of his career could land him in the Hall of Fame. The 33-year-old currently has 2,113 hits and 322 home runs. In order to get to 3,000 hits and 500 home runs, he would need to average 127 hits and 25 home runs per season until the age of 40. Beltre has a good chance to reach those benchmarks, as he plays in one of the most homer-friendly stadiums in baseball and could benefit from the designated hitter position in the American League down the road.

 

Paul Konerko is certainly a surprise when it comes to potential Hall of Fame candidacy. The White Sox first baseman, who is 36 years old, has 409 career home runs, and 500 homers is definitely in reach. He would need to average 22 home runs per year until he is 40 to get to 500. That would put him in a good position to get into the Hall of Fame, as he also won a World Series in 2005.

 

Andy Pettitte has 243 wins and 2,297 strikeouts in his career. He has the most postseason wins in history with 19, including four World Series wins. If he can get another seven wins and 203 K’s in the next two seasons, he would have 250 wins and 2,500 K’s, good for 47th and 31st all-time. That should give him a good shot at the Hall of Fame.

 

Roy Halladay has 192 career wins and 1,990 strikeouts. The 35-year-old would need 21 wins per season until he is 40 to reach 300 wins. Though he has dominated during certain parts of his career, he doesn’t have the longevity to get the numbers he needs to make it into the Hall of Fame, especially as he is battling a shoulder injury this season that should keep him out for six to eight weeks.

 

The odds are against Johan Santana making it into the Hall of Fame, as he is 33 years old and only has 137 wins and 1,956 strikeouts. He would need another five standout years to rack up the numbers to earn a spot in Cooperstown. He has had major surgery and it is uncertain how many more dominant years he has left in the tank.  

 

C.C. Sabathia is as durable as they come and he should definitely make the Hall of Fame. He has 185 wins and is already 58th all-time in strikeouts with 2,119. If he finishes this season with another 90 strikeouts and averages 170 K’s for the next four years, he will have 2,889 K’s by the age of 36, good for 17th all-time. He would be well on his way to 3,000 K’s, a feat which only 16 pitchers have accomplished, all of them in the Hall of Fame aside from ineligible players.

 

Adam Dunn is 32 years old and has 388 career home runs. He should get into the Hall of Fame if he can reach 500 homers, which is certainly in striking distance. He has 23 home runs in 289 plate appearances this season. If he can hit another 17 home runs this year and enter the 2013 season with 405 in his career, he would need to average just 19 home runs for the next five seasons to reach 500.

 

Miguel Cabrera‘s home-run total of 277 through age 28 was the 13th-highest of any player at that age. If he hits 19 more home runs this season, he will enter his age-30 season with 310 career homers. From there, it would take him less than six seasons to get to 500 at his career rate of 33 home runs per 162 games. If he keeps playing the way he is now, he’s a certain Hall of Famer.

 

Ryan Braun joins Willie Mays and Darryl Strawberry as the only players to hit at least 180 home runs and steal at least 100 bases in their first six seasons. If Braun can hit 20 more homers this season, he will be one of two players to hit at least 200 home runs and bat at least .310 in his first six seasons, joining Albert Pujols. Braun is definitely on his way to becoming a Hall of Famer but he may need to prove himself more than others after testing positive for PEDs, even though his suspension was overturned.

 

Matt Holliday‘s Hall of Fame candidacy is iffy right now. If the 32-year-old can keep his average above .300 and record 1,032 more hits and 136 more home runs, he will be one of only 12 players with a .300 average, at least 350 homers and at least 2,500 hits, joining eight Hall of Famers as well as Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, Chipper Jones and Vladimir Guerrero. He is a very solid player, but not necessarily a player worthy of the Hall of Fame.

 

 

For more fantasy baseball insight, visit BloombergSports.com.

Ballpark Figures: Hall of Fame Predictions Part One

 

Twitter: @RobShawSports and @BloombergSports

 

Bloomberg Sports Anchors Julie Alexandria and Rob Shaw discuss players who they think will definitely be inducted into the Hall of Fame and players who are debatable.

 

Definites

Based on his statistics, Manny Ramirez should be a Hall of Famer. He has 2574 hits, 1831 RBI and 555 home runs in his career. He is a 12-time All-Star and has two World Series rings (’04, ’07) and nine Silver Slugger awards. However, his use of PEDs has tarnished his statistics and will keep him out of the Hall of Fame.

 

Though Albert Pujols is struggling a bit this season with the Angels, he has already cemented a spot in the Hall of Fame. He has 2,142 hits, 456 home runs and a .325 batting average in his career. He is a three-time MVP (’05, ’08, ’09) and a nine-time All-Star and has won two World Series (’06, ’11), six Silver Slugger awards and two Gold Glove awards.

 

Like Pujols, Ichiro Suzuki‘s numbers are down this season, but he deserves induction into the Hall of Fame based on his past performances. He has 2,504 hits, 432 stolen bases and a .323 average in his career. The 10-time All-Star also won MVP and Rookie of the Year honors in 2001 and has earned 10 Gold Gloves and three Silver Sluggers.

 

Derek Jeter is another player who is a shoe-in for the Hall of Fame. The 12-time All-Star has 3,177 career hits, 344 stolen bases and a .313 career average, as well as five Gold Gloves and four Silver Sluggers. Above all, he is a big-time winner with five World Series rings.

 

Chipper Jones, set to retire at the end of this year after 19 seasons, is certainly Hall of Fame-bound. He has 2,650 hits, 459 home runs and a .304 average in his career, in addition to an MVP award (’99), seven All-Star selections and two Silver Sluggers.

 

Alex Rodriguez, a 14-time All-Star and three-time MVP, is another player whose Hall of Fame candidacy is in question due to PEDs. However, it can be argued that after the steroid era ended, A-Rod still put up good enough numbers to warrant induction. He has 2,841 career hits and 640 home runs, and is 76 RBI away from 2000 for his career. He has one World Series ring (’09), 10 Silver Sluggers and two Gold Gloves.

 

Jim Thome is headed for the Hall of Fame with his 608 career HR. The five-time All-Star has had 12 seasons of 30+ HR and 100+ RBI but he is not just a home-run hitter. He has 1,710 walks, ranking 10th all-time.

 

Mariano Rivera is another player already in the Hall of Fame. He is the all-time saves leader with 608 and has a 2.21 career ERA, good for 13th all-time. He is the greatest closer of all time and one of the most clutch performers in sports. Despite being 42 years old, Rivera was as good as ever before his season was cut short by a torn ACL.

 

Questionable

Jamie Moyer sits at 269 wins as he is currently pitching in AAA and trying to make another comeback, this time with the Baltimore Orioles. If he returns shortly and assuming he pitches every fifth day, he could potentially start 19 games and could pick up the six wins he needs to reach 275 for his career. If the 49-year-old can somehow keep pitching into his fifties, he could have a shot at 300 wins and the Hall of Fame.

 

Johnny Damon‘s easiest path to the Hall of Fame is to get another 254 hits to reach 3,000 for his career. If he gets just 54 more hits and 17 more home runs, he would join Rickey Henderson, Barry Bonds and Craig Biggio as the only players to have 2,800 hits, 250 home runs and 400 stolen bases. At the moment, he is one of five players to have 230 home runs, 400 stolen bases and 2,700 hits.

 

Scott Rolen is one of three third basemen to hit above .280 and hit 300 or more home runs, and one of four third basemen to have 8,000 or more plate appearances and an OPS of .850 or better. At 37 years old, if Rolen can collect 77 hits the rest of this season and average 100 hits over the next four years or 133 hits over the next 3 years, he would reach 2,500 hits. In addition to his defense, position and more than 300 HR, he would have a very strong candidacy.

 

Todd Helton‘s chances to make it into the Hall of Fame may be hurt by playing at Coors Field. However, if the 38-year-old can hit 46 more home runs over the next five years, he’d reach 400 home runs and have a strong case with 2,500 hits and 400+ home runs, a feat only 25 Major Leaguers have accomplished. He has hit 227 home runs at home and just 138 home runs on the road, so he may need to do more than most for people to believe in his Coors-tainted candidacy.

 

Vladimir Guerrero needs just 51 home runs to reach 500 for his career. Among players with at least 8,000 career plate appearances since 1950, his average of .318 ranks sixth behind Tony Gwynn, Wade Boggs, Rod Carew, Ichiro Suzuki and Todd Helton. he is one of only seven players in history with at least 350 home runs, a batting average of at least .310 and at least 2,500 career hits. Among the six others, only Manny Ramirez is not already in the Hall of Fame.

 

If Lance Berkman stays healthy and plays into his early 40s, he has a shot at reaching 500 home runs. If he can hit nine home runs the rest of this season, he’ll have 132 to go, which would mean four full seasons at his career pace of 33 per 162 games.

 

Tim Hudson has one of the 10 lowest ERAs of any pitcher with at least 2,000 innings pitched since 1990 and is tied for the fourth-most wins among active pitchers with 185. He also has the lowest home-run rate of any pitcher with at least 2,000 innings pitched since 1950.

 

 

For more baseball insight, visit BloombergSports.com.

Fantasy Baseball Injury Report: Kyle Drabek, Brandon Beachy, Evan Longoria, and Chris Carpenter

Twitter: @RobShawSports and @BloombergSports

Bloomberg Sports Anchor Rob Shaw discusses four players dealing with injuries that may affect your fantasy team. Shaw brings in Dr. Oz to provide some insight on these injuries.

Kyle Drabek, SP, Blue Jays

After a hot start, Drabek cooled off considerably in his last eight starts, going 2-5 with a 6.31 ERA. During a start against the Washington Nationals last week, he suffered a torn UCL, forcing him to undergo Tommy John surgery.

Drabek will go under the knife this week with hopes of returning next season in July.  This is his second Tommy John surgery. Brett Cecil and Carlos Villanueva have been thrown into the Blue Jays starting rotation due to the loss of Drabek, Brandon Morrow and Drew Hutchinson to injury.

Brandon Beachy, SP, Braves

Though Beachy is just 5-5 this season, he has been dominant with a 2.00 ERA and .171 average against. His first major league season will be cut short, however, as he has suffered a partial tear of the UCL and could need Tommy John surgery.

Evan Longoria, 3B, Rays

Evan Longoria’s comeback from a partially torn hamstring has been put on hold as he dealt with some pain Monday night in a rehab game. This is an ugly, nagging injury.  We saw it with Jose Reyes for many years with the Mets.  Longoria’s fantasy value is in question this season as his return date remains uncertain.

Chris Carpenter, SP, Cardinals

After a heck of a workload last season that included heroics in the World Series, Chris Carpenter may be nearing a return from his shoulder soreness.  The Cardinals veteran resorted to rest and physical therapy to get his arm back in motion and now he could be a week or two from returning to the mound.  Everything has been positive so far in his recovery and the fantasy implications are huge.

Shaw also responds to comments from Twitter about some trending players.

Mark Trumbo, OF, Angels

Trumbo hit his 16th home run of the season Monday against Matt Cain in the 2nd inning. He is hitting .319 with four steals and 42 RBI.

Wade Miley, SP, Diamondbacks  

C.C. Sabathia was a no-brainer to pick up and I liked Dickey early for his ERA, WHIP and more than 10 expected wins. Miley, however, may be the biggest surprise of the season. The southpaw is 8-3 with a 2.30 ERA and 1.06 WHIP.

Ike Davis, 1B, Mets

Davis hit his first career grand slam Monday and now has seven home runs and 32 RBI. He’s riding a nine-game hit streak that has raised his average by 38 points, from .158 to .196.

For more fantasy baseball insight, visit BloombergSports.com.

Fantasy Baseball Hot Performers: Hammel, Moss, Harrison, and Roberts

 

Twitter: @RobShawSports and @BloombergSports

 

Bloomberg Sports Anchor Rob Shaw breaks down four players who are hot right now and worth scooping up for your fantasy team.

 

Jason Hammel, SP, Orioles

At 29 years old, Jason Hammel is a rare hurler who is enjoying his best season this late in his career. Hammel has never before surpassed 180 innings of work in a season, and though he reached 10 wins in 2009 and 2010, his career 4.78 ERA suggests that he’s little more than an innings eater.

However, this season it’s been a sudden turn of events as he returned to the American League from Colorado and has already matched last year’s total with seven wins. His ERA is way down while the K’s are way up, and he has not allowed more than four runs to score in a start this season. Most recently, Hammel hurled a one-hitter against a solid Braves squad. Hammel starts against the Nationals at home on Friday.

 

Brandon Moss, OF, Athletics

A prospect with the Red Sox in the mid-2000s, Brandon Moss has enjoyed a shocking resurrection with the A’s. Called up to replace Kila Ka’aihue on the roster on June 6, Moss blasted six home runs with three doubles and 11 RBI over his first 10 games with the A’s.

The big question is whether the sudden production is sustainable by the 28-year-old outfielder. The answer is complicated. Moss did blast 15 home runs in 51 games at Triple-A this season, so he has been smashing. On the other hand, his recent tear included six games at Arizona and Colorado, two of the most homer-friendly ballparks in baseball. Things are at the opposite end in Oakland. Moss could end up with more than 15 home runs this season, but there is little speed or high-end potential involved.

 

Matt Harrison, SP, Rangers

The Rangers haven’t had many things go their way so far this season and yet they sit comfortably in first place. A large part of the reason has to be the play of Matt Harrison, a southpaw with an 8-3 record and 3.54 ERA. Harrison had some success a year ago with 14 wins and a 3.39 ERA, but he is not the best in fantasy circles because of his low strikeout total.

However, Harrison is a winner, now 16 games over .500 through 60 decisions. He has not allowed a run to score in either of his last two starts, and with left-handed batters hitting just .160 against him this season, the 26-year-old makes for a fine start against all teams with a heavy left-handed lineup.

 

Brian Roberts, 2B, Orioles

Welcome back Brian Roberts. The veteran second baseman who has made two All-Star games returns after two injury-ravaged seasons. He has now offered hits in four of his five games and has a .318 average while driving in four RBI. At 34 years old, Roberts may not be the speedster who once swiped 50 bases, but he is a leadoff batter with a high on-base percentage who can rack up a lot of runs in a solid Orioles lineup.

 

For more fantasy baseball insight, visit BloombergSports.com.

Fantasy Baseball Trends: Cain, Beltran, Lynn, Plouffe, and Dickey

 

Twitter: @RobShawSports and @BloombergSports

 

Bloomberg Sports Anchor Rob Shaw discusses five players who are making an impact in fantasy baseball.

 

Matt Cain, SP, Giants

Coming into the season, it was already clear that Matt Cain was the best starting pitcher in baseball to never reach 15 wins in a season.  He averaged 13 wins over the last three seasons despite having an ERA less than three over that period.  This year it looks like Cain is finally going to get the overdue respect he’s earned. 

Whether it’s because of Tim Lincecum’s struggles, the 8-2 record, or the absurd 0.85 WHIP, Cain has shined bright this season and has become the clear ace for the Giants.  Wednesday night was simply a celebration of that as he was not only perfect, but the accompanying 14 strikeouts tells you that he struck out the majority of the batters he faced.  Best of all, his past tells us that Cain usually gets better in the second half of the season. 

 

Carlos Beltran, OF, Cardinals

Year after year we see veteran players find their second winds in St. Louis.  Well, you can add Carlos Beltran to the list that already includes such names as Larry Walker, Will Clark, Jim Edmonds, and more recently Lance Berkman.  Beltran offered three hits on Wednesday including a solo shot, which would end up being the only run of the game.

His average is now at .298, which is not the biggest surprise, but the shock comes with the 19 home runs.  The 35-year-old is on pace for a career high in home runs, perhaps up to 45.  However, his pace is probably not sustainable because of the biggest threat of all: injuries. 

 

Lance Lynn, SP, Cardinals

Not many people have heard of Lance Lynn, but he is the lone reason that the Cardinals are competing despite the slow start from Adam Wainwright, who is rebounding from a missed season, plus the loss of Chris Carpenter due to an injury of his own.  Lynn is a former first-round pick who showed some life in the bullpen a season ago, but no one predicted his performance this season.  He is now 10-2 with a 2.42 ERA and has 23 strikeouts over the last two starts.  Will he keep it up? The odds are against him.  He is approaching 82 innings of work, which is a big boost from a season in which his innings were limited. 

 

Trevor Plouffe, OF, Twins

In his first two seasons, Trevor Plouffe was a disappointment with the Twins, but now he’s one of the hottest sluggers in baseball.  Plouffe blasted his 11th home run on Wednesday, which was his sixth over the last 10 games.  His average remains low, less than .240, but his power has more than made up for that. So is it sustainble? Probably not. We have never seen this type of power in the minor leagues and there isn’t really much else that he offers to fantasy managers. 

 

R.A. Dickey, SP, Mets

The Mets have protested the official scoring of Dickey’s start on Wednesday night against the Rays with hopes that the one hit he surrendered will be called an error on David Wright. While it was Johan Santana who picked up the no-no a little while ago, the ace on this team is very much R.A. Dickey.  Not only is he incredibly durable, which is often the case for knuckleballers, but he is also changing speeds from the 50s to the 80s and throwing strikes with his knuckleball, which is very rarely seen. 

The big story this season is that Dickey has recently turned into a strikeout artist, and he did so again on Wednesday with 12 K’s.  He is now 10-1 with a 2.20 ERA and 0.94 WHIP, and is looking like Roy Halladay at his best with the numbers that he’s posting.  So is he really this good? Yes, he is very good and I do think he may be a top-five pitcher for the remainder of the season.  His ERA has always been splendid with the Mets, as in sub-3, and now with the run support, he’s getting the much deserved wins.  The only question is whether he will keep racking up the K’s, and so far, so good!

 

For more fantasy baseball insight, visit BloombergSports.com.

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