Congratulations Jim Thome! The Minnesota designated hitter hit two home runs, including No. 600. Thome is the eighth player in baseball history to reach this epic feat and has knocked four home runs over his last 11 games. The veteran slugger is ownable in deep or AL only leagues.
Jon Rauch entered the eighth inning and blew his latest save opportunity in a Toronto 6-5 loss at Seattle. Rauch has only converted four of his last eight opportunities. Although he has been rocked lately, Frank Francisco has been just as ineffective. Hold onto the Toronto closer for now.
If Seattle’s Mike Carp is not on your radar, then he should be. The Mariners first baseman hit two home runs and raised his average to .326. He now has a 15-game hitting streak and continues to raise his average, despite striking out 25 percent of the time.
Troy Tulowitzki continues to produce for his owners as he went 2-for-3 with a home run, three runs scored, two runs batted in, and a stolen base as Colorado beat Florida 7-4. The shortstop has stayed relatively healthy all year, continues to show power and now is hitting over .300.
Randy Wolf earned his 10th win with eight shutout innings and five strikeouts, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers, 3-0. This was Wolf’s fourth win in a row, despite only accruing 13 strikeouts total during these outings. Despite a lower strikeout rate, Wolf has been solid in the second half this season and should be started.
Mike Stanton continues his stellar season as he launched his 27th home run of the season, but Florida lost to Colorado, 7-4. Stanton has had a terrific sophomore season and should surpass 30 home runs. Keep starting him as he is beginning to heat up in the second half.
Ian Kinsler went 4-for-5 with four runs scored in an 8-4 Texas win against the Los Angeles Angels on Monday. Kinsler’s second half has not been nearly as productive as his first half, especially in the stolen base category. Regardless, he hits at the top of the order for one of baseball’s most potent offices and should continue to started.
R.A. Dickey pitched another solid outing, although he did not factor into the decision as the New York Mets beat San Diego 5-4 in 10 inning. He has not been as effective in the second half this season, but does have nine quality starts over his last 11 outings.
Derek Jeter has not had much to celebrate this season except for his 3,000th hit. However, the shortstop is on a hot run with his fifth multi-hit game this month along with a stolen base as New York beat Kansas City, 7-4. Jeter still is only batting .282 with four home runs and 13 stolen bases. He should be started in all leagues and will produce a decent average with run potential.
Pittsburgh’s James McDonald improved his record to 8-6 as the Pirates beat St. Louis, 6-2. The Pirates right-hander has been relatively consistent, especially at home. He should be owned in most leagues and is worthy of a home spot start.
Brian Wilson blew his first save since July 1 as San Francisco fell at Atlanta, 5-4. The black-bearded closer suffered the loss as Martin Prado and Freddie Freeman led the Braves to a ninth inning comeback. Wilson has been dominant all year long and should continue to be started with confidence.
Minnesota’s Delmon Young was traded to division rival Detroit Tigers. Young’s fantasy value may rise slightly with an improved offense and batter-friendly stadium.
In injury news, Nelson Cruz left the game with quad tightness, Pablo Sandoval tweaked his foot, and Chipper Jones sat with a wounded knee. None of these injuries seemed serious. However, these players continue to live up to their reputation as injury-prone.