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Daily Box Score Review – Aug. 23, 2011

In Monday’s matinee, Ryan Braun hit his 25th home run of the season as Milwaukee downed Pittsburgh, 8-1. Braun is hitting .329 with 89 runs batted in and 26 stolen bases. Owners’ expectations have been exceeded as Braun will likely surpass 30-30 by the end of the season.

Jayson Werth hit his 15th home run as Washington defended their home against Arizona, 4-1. Unfortunately, it is too little too late for Werth owners as his numbers took a dip in comparison with his years in Philadelphia. Regardless, he can still provide speed and power to owners, but is only hitting .229 for the season.

Cliff Lee dealt the New York Mets their fourth loss in a row, 10-0. The Philadelphia ace won his 14th game with seven shutout innings and seven strikeouts. This was Lee’s fifth win in a row as he has only allowed two earned runs in August. Lee has shown consistency most of the year, but note his earned run average is significantly lower at home.

John Mayberry has made the most of his time since being recalled on July 5. He hit his 11th home run as the Phillies annihilated New York’s Dillon Gee. Mayberry now has eight home runs and 26 runs batted in over his last 30 games and is warranting a start in all league formats. 

Seattle’s rookie sensation Mike Carp went 0-for-4 against Cleveland in a 3-2 win. This ended his impressive 20-game hitting streak. He is still a valuable find, especially in deeper leagues, with six home runs and a .350 average during his hitting streak. 

Justin Verlander continues his bid for the AL Cy Young award by winning his MLB-leading 19th game of the year where he threw seven innings with eight strikeouts, while surrendering just one earned run in a 5-2 win over Tampa Bay. The Detroit right-hander is on fire, with 15 wins in his last 17 starts. He is the hottest pitcher in baseball and is keeping the Motor City ahead of the AL Central standings.

C.J. Wilson won his third straight decision by blanking the powerful Beantown offense, 4-0. Wilson threw 6.2 innings to win his 13th game and showing that last year’s success was far from a fluke. The Rangers’ southpaw has recovered successfully from a mediocre July.

Dan Uggla continues to put his first half in the rear view by hitting the cover off the ball in the second half. The second baseman hit his 31st home run, while Atlanta’s Jair Jurrjens and relief staff shut out the Cubs, 3-0. Uggla has already exceeded his first half home run total and is hitting .343 in the second half. He is a must-start and finally putting grins on his owners’ that chose to stick it out all season long.

Baltimore’s J.J. Hardy has been a surprising sleeper for owners who took a late-round shot on drafting him. He now has 24 home runs this season and is on a power surge this month with six home runs already. Start Hardy with confidence as he is a rare source of power at the shallow position of shortstop.

St. Louis’ Fernando Salas blew his second save in a row as the Los Angeles Dodgers were able to come back and win 2-1 despite Chris Carpenter’s eight-inning, one-run gem. Salas has not been consistent, which has caused manager Tony La Russa to mix up the closing duties throughout the season. Salas should be owned, but will likely serve on a closer committee, especially with his recent inconsistencies.

Matt Holliday is suffering through a rare rough patch as he is 7-for-his-last-36. To make matters worse, Holliday was taken into the locker room in the eighth inning after a moth flew into his ear. The moth was removed and Holliday should remain active in all league formats.

The Pirates avenged their loss in Monday’s opener by hammering Milwaukee’s Zack Greinke for seven runs in 6.1 innings in a 9-2 win. This ended a five-game winning streak and eight consecutive quality starts for Greinke. Continue to start him with confidence as this appears to be just a minor bump in the road.

Carlos Gonzalez has been hot lately as he hit his 22nd home run of the season and seventh this month alone in Colorado’s 9-5 win over Houston. Gonzalez’s slow start is now behind him and he should end the year strong. Unfortunately, he has only swiped two bases since the All-Star break.

Several key fantasy contributors have officially hit the Disabled List this Monday, including Jimmy Rollins, Brian Wilson and Travis Hafner. If you are fighting for a playoff berth, you may need to find a solid substitute to make up the missing production.

Keep battling for that playoff berth! Good luck this week!

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