While you enjoyed celebrating Independence Day with your family and friends, your team began yet another week. Check out the highlights and lowlights of the holiday’s action.
The Tampa Bay Rays could not solve Brian Duensing on Monday. He threw his second career shutout with nine scoreless innings while fanning seven. Duensing has been up and down this season, and generally pitches better on the road. It is important to note that Duensing pitches surprisingly well during day games where he has won four-of-six contests with an ERA just over three.
After two brilliant performances to end June, David Price had a satisfactory outing against Minnesota where he allowed four runs in six innings along with six strikeouts. After a rough 2nd inning, Price became more comfortable, but his team failed to produce at the plate.
Minnesota’s Danny Valencia hit his 10th homerun and earned three hits, two runs, and three RBI’s. Valencia now has three multi-hit games in a row along with eight RBI’s. He is in the midst of a hot streak so he may be worth a look especially at the rather shallow position of third base.
Though his win-loss record may not reflect it, Paul Maholm continues to show consistency as he earned his fifth win after tossing six innings and only surrendering one run. Maholm has quality starts in six of his last seven.
Another shellacking was laid onto John Lackey as he was pulled in the 3rd inning after giving up nine hits and seven runs in 2.1 innings. Lackey’s ERA now sits at 7.47 and has not shown any sign of consistency. Lackey should only be owned in deep leagues and started in the best of matchups.
Boston’s Jacoby Ellsbury continues his stellar season after an injury-riddled 2010. Ellsbury tallied four hits, one run, two RBI, and a stolen base in a losing effort. The outfielder has three multi-hit games over his last four and has served as a pleasant surprise for his owners this season.
Toronto’s Rajai Davis stole another base on Monday, which gives him four over his last two games. Davis’ average is only .237, but he is definitely a must-start for teams in need of stolen bases.
Blue Jay’s second basemen Aaron Hill hit only his 4th home run of the season to go along with three hits, two runs, and two RBI’s. Hill has been disappointing this season, but is still worth monitoring if he gets hot.
Frank Francisco rebounded from his blown save on Friday, by earning his 10th save. Francisco has five blow saves in fifteen opportunities along with a 4.81 ERA so he is one of the least dependable closers thus far in 2011. However, he should be owned while receiving the bulk of save opportunities.
Jayson Werth failed to live up to his expectations in Washington, especially after being awarded a very lucrative contact. However, Werth did produce in the clutch by scoring the winning run off of a wild pitch in the bottom of the 10th. Werth posted one run, two RBI’s, and a stolen base in Washington’s victory. He is still hitting .224 with only ten home runs and 30 RBI.
Seattle’s Michael Pineda bested Oakland’s Brandon McCarthy in a pitcher’s duel. Pineda threw six innings with seven strikeouts and one earned run, while McCarthy pitched 6.2 innings with five strikeouts and two earned runs. Pineda earned his 8th win and now holds a stunning 2.58 ERA.
Carlos Pena continued his rebound with a three hit game. Pena left the April gates slow, but has been on a tear in May, June, and at the start of July. The Cubs’ first basemen is only hitting .228 for the season, but blasted 17 homeruns and earned 39 RBI between May and June. Pena should be started in all formats especially during his hot streak.
Adrian Beltre belted his 16th homerun with another strong outing including two hits, two RBI’s, and two runs. He is red-hot already this month and is a must-start, especially with the position scarcity of third base.
Adam Dunn hit a home run! Dunn had a solid night at the plate with two hits, two runs, and two RBI’s. Sadly, the performance raised his average to a sordid .171. Dunn is struggling in every offensive category, striking out more often than ever, and is not an everyday start especially against lefties. Dunn has only one hit in 53 at bats against southpaws this season.
The Atlanta pitching staff continues to surge as Tommy Hanson earned his 10th win with seven innings pitched, one earned run, and six K’s. The young ace also has five wins and five quality starts in a row with a 2.52 ERA for the season.
Derek Jeter’s triumphant return to the lineup in chase of his 3,000th hit could not have been less grandeur. The veteran shortstop was 0-for-4 and lowered his average to .256. Jeter should rebound once he gets back into the “swing” of things, but do not expect a miracle as it is apparent he is now on the decline.
Chris Carpenter outdueled Johnny Cueto with eight shutout innings to earn only his 4th win. Carpenter has not pitched as well as many owners had hoped, but definitely was in the groove on Monday night.
Vance Worley continued his surprise success with seven shutout innings to improve his record to 4-1. Worley has been relatively consistent and definitely worth a look in deep leagues and for spot starts.
Tim Lincecum was decent, but not did not pitch well enough to win on Monday night with only five innings pitched and three earned runs. He ended June with a few strong starts, but does not appear to be completely out of his early season funk.
Albert Pujols was expected to be sidelined for four-to-six weeks following his wrist injury. Owners must have played their “Cards” right as the slugger has been recovering faster than anticipated. He may rejoin the lineup tomorrow!
Colorado’s Troy Tulowitzki left the game in the 4th inning after tightness in his quad. He is expected to return in a few games barring any major setbacks.
Cleveland’s Josh Tomlin earned his 10th win against the Yanks with seven innings pitched, two earned runs, and five strikeouts. After hitting a rough patch in early June, Tomlin has four quality starts in a row and is beginning to show consistency.
Hope your team torched the fantasy scoreboard with fireworks of their own. Good luck this week!