In today’s matinee, David Huff was called up from Triple A to start in place of injured Carlos Carrasco for Cleveland. Huff made a strong first impression this season by earning the win and throwing seven scoreless innings with five strikeouts. It is difficult to gauge how long Huff may remain in the majors, but this successful outing certainly helps his cause.
Cleveland’s Asdrubal Cabrera continues to captain the Indians’ offense as he hit his 17th home run and added three runs batted in. Already with four home runs this month, Cabrera continues to be one 2011’s most prolific sleepers and the key component to Cleveland’s offense.
Boston’s offense seems to be hitting full stride as they have won 15 of their last 17 games. They celebrated on Monday by plating 15 runs. Carl Crawford returned to the lineup with two hits, two runs and an run batted in. Prior to his injury, Crawford began to find his stroke so Monday’s showing was a very positive sign of a second-half rebound.
Finally healthy, Boston’s second baseman Dustin Pedroia has certainly found his groove. He added two hits, one run and three runs batted in as the Red Sox teed off on Baltimore’s pitching on Monday. Pedroia is now hitting .295 for the season with a 17-game hit streak and six home runs already this month. It may be worth targeting Pedroia if you can spot a naïve owner as Boston’s offense is in full swing.
Baltimore’s Adam Jones hit his 16th home run while compiling two hits, two runs and an run batted in. Jones is warming up as he has knocked three home runs in his last four games and is on pace to break career marks in home runs and stolen bases.
Pittsburgh’s Alex Presley has quietly been a consistent producer since his call-up. Presley added two more hits on Monday’s win over Cincinnati. Presley is currently batting .352 with eight multi-hit games this month and three stolen bases. He is a great pick up in most leagues, especially deep or National League-only leagues. Believe it or not, Pittsburgh is now in first place in the NL Central.
Florida’s Emilio Bonifacio appears to be “bona fide” as he stole his 10th base this month. Bonifacio has been an efficient leadoff hitter for the Marlins by providing speed and runs with an impressive .290 average. He provides extra value with multi-position eligibility at shortstop, third base and outfield in most leagues.
Leo Nunez earned save No. 27 of the season, silencing the New York Mets. Nunez’s consistency was in question coming into this season, but he is 27-for-30 in save opportunities. However, keep a watchful eye on Nunez as rumors swirl about Florida shopping him around, which may affect his status as closer.
Tampa Bay’s B.J. Upton has provided wheels and pop for his owners, but not helped in the batting average category. Upton went 0-for-5 with five strikeouts and is now 0-for-his-last-11. Upton began July with a bang so keep him started in all formats, but expect his average under .250 this season.
Roy Halladay experienced a rare poor outing at Wrigley Field where he suffered his fourth loss while only pitching four innings due to heat exhaustion. Halladay has seven quality starts in his last nine outings, but did show some vulnerability. Owners need not worry as he is scheduled to make his next start against San Diego this Sunday.
After a poor start to the month, Carlos Pena appeared to regroup against the Philadelphia Pillies. Pena hit his 20th home run with a tally of three hits, one run and two runs batted in to lead Chicago to victory. Pena’s offensive numbers continue to improve after an impoverished April. He should be started in all formats.
Washington’s young slugger Michael Morse hit his 16th home run in Monday’s win over the Houston Astros. Morse continues to dazzle as he added three hits, two runs and an run batted in to his solid July numbers.
Many owners are crossing their fingers for Adam Dunn to rebound in the second half. Well, it ain’t happening yet. Dunn continued his plummet with an 0-for-3 evening and is now hitting a pitiful .158. It is difficult to encourage owners to stay the course or opponents to buy low as Dunn has not shown few signs to warrant a recovery.
Kansas City’s rookie slugger Eric Hosmer has hit a rough patch with his second hitless game in a row. Hosmer only has four hits over his last 31 at-bats. He is still ownable in most leagues and can provide power to fantasy owners.
Cleveland completed a doubleheader sweep over Minnesota in the nightcap. Michael Brantley went 3-for-4 with a run and run batted in. The Indians’ outfielder has seven multi-hit games this month and is worthy of a start in deep leagues.
Cleveland’s Fausto Carmona successfully returned from the disabled list with a win over Minnesota in the second game of the doubleheader. Although he only struck out one batter, Carmona allowed only one run in six innings. He is yet to show any trend of consistency so and should remain a spot started in most leagues.
Atlanta Braves’ first basemen Freddie Freeman picked up where he left off before the All-Star break. Freeman hit his 14th home run of the season with three hits, two runs and three runs batted in. Freeman now has five home runs and 16 runs batted in in July. He should be owned in all formats.
Arizona starter Josh Collmenter continued to shine as he blanked the Milwaukee Brewers for eight innings while fanning seven. After a rough patch at the end of June and beginning of July, Collmenter has held opponents scoreless in his last two starts and has allowed only six hits in his last 14 innings. The Diamondbacks’ right-hander now sports a 2.65 earned run average and should be considered for ownership in most leagues.
Going into the season, baseball fans expected San Francisco’s staff to dominate opponents. Ryan Vogelsong was not a part of the staff at the time, but has fit in perfectly. Vogelsong improved his record to 7-1 with 6.2 innings and five punchouts. The Giants’ “Cinderella Man” has allowed three runs or less in 13 of his last 14 starts and lowered his earned run average to a miniscule 2.02. Vogelsong has continued to impress this season and has been even more consistent at home. Continue to start him with confidence on a weekly basis as he does not appear to be leaving San Francisco’s rotation.
It is make or break time if you are currently out of your league’s playoff contention. Good luck this week!