Fantasy Baseball Final: August 14th, 2015
August and September is the most fun time in the baseball year. With the exception of the AL and NL Central, every division is still in play. You have annual dog fight between the Dodgers and Giants in the NL West. A three team race in the AL West and intriguing battles in both eastern divisions. The Yankees held off the surging Blue Jays to open a half game lead in the AL East. While the NFL begins its preseason, fantasy players shouldn’t fall asleep on fantasy baseball yet.
If you read only one thing…..
People might be most enthused by the comeback of the Blue Jays in the AL East, but the comeback of the Mets has been more impressive. The funny thing is that they never really went anywhere. The Nationals have more stars and the flashier pitching staff, but the Mets young staff might be the best in the game. They lost this evening to the Pirates, but Sandy Alderson deserves some credit for throwing together a contender on the sly without the benefit of huge dollars. The Wilpons are still reeling from the crimes of Bernie Madoff and it might be several more years before they can spend like the used to. Still, the Mets might be uniquely poised to make a playoff run with their dominant young pitching.
Just as we expected….
Dallas Keuchel moved his record to 14-6 on the season, but that is burying the lead. His victory tonight brought him to 11-0 at home with an ERA under 1.30 in 92 innings. Daily fantasy players should take notice, because he will be pitching at home one more time before going back on the road later on in August. Of course, the flip side is also important. He is 3-6 on the road with a 3.65 ERA. You normally don’t see splits that severe when a ballpark plays close to neutral like Minute Maid Park.
Remaining on the mound, we’ve come to expect great things from the Cleveland Indians starting pitchers, but sometimes we have to sit back and marvel at their brilliance. Corey Kluber has had a down season according to most owners, but he is still a darn good pitcher. He showed it again on Friday night on a complete game effort where he surrendered one run (on a solo home run), one hit, and one walk. He managed only seven strikeouts, but was able to complete the game in 98 pitches. Greg Maddux would have been proud of that efficiency. You can ignore the 8-12 record because he deserves a lot more with a very respectable 3.34 ERA.
But we didn’t see this coming….
Matt Kemp has become something of a second half marvel the last couple of seasons. Some observers are blaming him for the San Diego Padres’ struggles, but after another four hit night (including his 13th home run) he is slowly beginning to come around. He is up to .262 and 67 RBI. More importantly, he is hitting .278/.350/.456 since the all-star break with five home runs and 20 RBI. That’s 20 RBI in only 26 games. At that pace he might eclipse the 100 RBI mark on the season.
Remember the feel good story that was Albert Pujols a few weeks ago? He got to 30 home runs before anyone knew it and everyone was saying he was the Pujols of old. Not so fast my friend. He is back down to .252 and left six Angels on base on Friday night. He also committed an error as well to hurt the Angels’ cause. Everyone is capable of a bad night every now and then, but at the plate he has had more than a few bad nights recently.
The Rest of the Details
- Greg Holland (converted)
- Kenley Jansen (converted)
- Trevor Rosenthal (converted)
- Francisco Rodriguez (converted)
- Arolyds Vizcaino (converted)
- Shawn Tollenson (converted)
- Mark Melancon (converted)
- Andrew Miller (converted)
- Hector Rondon (converted)
Jose Reyes and Chase Utley have cleared waivers. Utley seems destined to move somewhere because he will likely have his option bought out after the season anyway. If the Phillies agree to throw in the two million to pay off the option and maybe a million more they can get a prospect or two for him. San Francisco seems to be the most logical explanation, but his ability to play first base throws a bit of a monkey in the wrench. With Joe Panik injured, look for the Giants to pull the trigger soon.