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.
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