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August 15, 2012

Felix Hernandez Perfect Game vs. Tampa Bay

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Felix Hernandez just continued his winning ways with a Perfect Game against the Tampa
Bay Devil Rays (at home in Seattle).

This marks the fourth shutout in less than two months for Felix Hernandez. A guy who, for all his accolades, had never had more than 1 shutout in a season up until this year. Now he has 4 complete game shutouts in his last 10 starts.

Of course, there is not much fantasy baseball analysis with Felix since he was expected to be a fantasy front runner in the starting pitching department (albeit with a somewhat weak year the year before). He is one of the safest AL starters in large part because he gets to play in the spacious Safeco Field in Seattle. The complete game shutouts are nice in a matchup league to give you a leg up; even nicer if he pulls them off come fantasy playoff time in September.

Read on for High School Baseball News

July 16, 2008

All Star game ends in 15 innings

ugglaslam.jpgAP Photo/Kevork Djansezian

What a way to say goodbye to Yankee Stadium. The longest All Star Game in history is bound to keep our fantasy studs tired heading out of the break.

Although most of the positional players were the second-tier types, they put on a great show. Several times the game was close to ending, with both teams protecting home plate and leaving nearly 60 runners left on base throughout the entire game. This is a credit to the pitching on both sides, as there were a lot of questionable roster decisions (Aaron Cook, George Sherrill, Brian Wilson, etc) but each performed well.

How bad must Dan Uggla feel, 0-4 with 3 K's and 3 errors? His two consecutive errors in the 10th inning were seemingly the final nail in the coffin for the NL team. But Aaron Cook took a bases loaded no out situation and got a few ground balls, something he is well versed with.

JD Drew
for the AL team received the MVP, going 2 / 4 with the game tying HR in the 7th.

July 12, 2008

Cubs Rich Harden debuts with 10 Ks

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Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images

So far so good for Rich Harden. For one, he's still healthy. And as can be expected when he's healthy, he had a monster opening start for the Chicago Cubs today.

5.1 Innings, 5 hits, 0 runs, 3 walks, 10 strike outs. The only issue would be the 96 pitches through 5.1 innings. Harden will need to work more efficiently but it's hard to argue with almost 2 K's per inning from Harden. He has this potential to be a strikeout machine, especially in the weaker NL (with pitchers batting no less). No signs of wear and tear from his first two starts. No DL stint for Rich Harden. Being at home against San Francisco is a good start for anyone, but the Giants have been an underrated team this year.

On the Oakland Athletics side of the deal, Sean Gallagher had maybe a more impressive start last night against the Los Angeles Angels. Gallagher went 7 innings with 2 hits 2 runs 3 walks and 7 walks (96 pitches thrown, like Harden). Considering the opponent, this is probably the more valuable start with Gallagher's 5 hits / walks in 7 innings, a spectacular WHIP.

Also, Harden is surely owned in every Fantasy Baseball League. The same cannot be said of Sean Gallagher, but he will get the opportunity to pitch in a pitcher's ballpark, and his ability to at least miss bats should prove him a useful spot start and maybe a permanent spot on 10 team mixed leagues.

Matt Murton came over to Oakland from the Cubs and batted 2nd (going 1 / 5 with 2 RBI). As long as he continues to bat that high in the lineup, expect a lot of runs scored with Murton's ability to get on base (though Oakland's cleanup hitters leave much to be desired).

May 27, 2008

Jay Bruce AAA OF Cincinnati Reds

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AP Photo/Gus Ruelas

It got to the point where it was just a matter of when the Cincinnati Reds would callup star AAA prospect Jay Bruce to start his major league clock. Jay Bruce has started off the season batting .364 with a .630 slugging percentage, 10 home runs and 8 steals, not to mention he was the 2007 Minor League Player of the Year.

The important thing to remember with Jay Bruce is that since the Reds bothered to bring him up and start his arbitration clock, they will be playing him fulltime. Corey Patterson is in his job now and is batting a putrid .201 average and .242 on base percentage.

What to expect from Jay Bruce? He is already in the free agent pool in Yahoo! and ESPN leagues so pick him up if you have not. For keeper leagues he is a no brainer pickup, and should be a pickup in every league. If you are in a shallow 8 or 10 team league and have a stacked OF, you may have no room for Jay Bruce. Still, make room for him as a trading chip, or trade one of your other OF's. Bruce is the real deal with 5 category capability. Whether he taps into that potential right away or in later years is unknown, but he must be kept because of that potential.

May 18, 2008

Ryan Braun Milwaukee Brewers comes alive

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AP Photo Michael Dwyer

In one ESPN fantasy league I got pick #12 in a 12 team league, and picked Alfonso Soriano and Ryan Braun. Now this looked like an awful choice after about a month when Braun was not doing anything and neither was Soriano (Soriano was hurt even). This week both All stars and potential 30-30 candidates blew up with a ton of home runs (8 for Soriano 6 for Braun). Considering the quality hitting around them, they are probably not going to get close to stealing 30 bases.

Ryan Braun is fresh off his 8 year 45 million dollar deal, which looks like an absolute bargain for the Milwaukee Brewers. A player of this caliber should be getting more than 100 million for an 8 year contract, but the Brewers locked him up early before arbitration so got a great deal on the backend. This type of deal is a must for smaller market teams like Milwaukee. The deal will run out when Braun is 32 at the end of his prime, so the Brewers will be getting a lot of productive seasons out of a guy who had the most successful season of any player ever against left handed pitching. It's hard to believe, but Braun hit .450 with a 1.480 OPS against lefties last year. He could afford to walk a little bit more but his recent power surge (6 home runs in 6 games) brought his numbers back to where we thought they would be after his rookie campaign.

Alfonso Soriano played ineffectively until April 15th and was then on the DL for a few weeks. He continued to struggle early May when coming back but on May 10th he had a 4 / 5 day. Since then he has hit over .500 with 6 home runs, raising his average from .191 to .296. It goes to show you early on that you cannot take statistics too literally especially a player's average, because a hot streak can change things fast (or a cold streak, for that matter). Like Braun, Alfonso is not stealing bases (he has 3, Braun has 1), but in that powerful Chicago Cubs lineup he will not be asked to steal a base or two when Derek Lee, Aramis Ramirez or Geovany Soto are there behind him to knock him in.

In one league I traded for Soriano for dirt cheap early on when he batted in the .100's and was on the DL. Early on if a star has crappy numbers they are a buy low candidate unless the numbers are resulting from something that is not a fluke (like if a player is getting older or is chronically injured). David Ortiz is another example of this as his early season swoon seems to be passing with 3 home runs and nearly 10 RBI in 2 days.