Fantasy Baseball Final: July 12, 2015
IF YOU READ ONLY ONE THING…
On the last day before the All-Star break, Jake Arrieta, who many think should have been named to the National League All-Star team, came out of Sunday shining after the Cubs beat their cross-town rivals 3-1. Arrieta only surrendered one run over nine dominant innings. Arrieta was in control of his entire arsenal of pitches on Sunday as he struck out nine White Sox and did not surrender a single walk. He also contributed in a big way with the first Cubs home run by a starting pitcher since July of last year. After the Cubs signed Jon Lester in the offseason, the Cubs expected Arrieta to be a solid No. 2 pitcher in their pitching rotation. However, Arrieta has outperformed Lester in the first half and will be relied upon heavily as the Cubs push towards the playoffs in the second half of the season.
JUST AS WE EXPECTED…
Sonny Gray finished a fantastic first half with a complete game shutout of the Indians on Sunday. Gray dominated the Indians’ lineup with six strikeouts and only one walk while surrendering just two hits. Gray heads into the All-Star break leading the American League in ERA at 2.04. Gray could see some of his pitching numbers rise slightly in the second half as his anemic 0.39 HR/9 will likely come up a bit. Gray should continue to see his strikeout numbers stay around the same though as his K/9 of 22.5% is right around his career median.
Once again, Coors Field delivered for the Rockies bats as the top four in the Colorado lineup led their team to a 11-3 victory over the Braves. Troy Tulowitzki led the way with a three-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning. Charlie Blackmon also had three hits and four RBIs from the lead-off hole and Nolan Arenado added a two-run home run. The Rockies stack against Alex Wood definitely met their value for DFS players on Sunday. Tulowitzki, one of the biggest All-Star snubs, finished the first half with a .314/.353/.472 slash line from the shortstop position. Surprisingly, Tulowitzki’s power numbers are almost identical when he is at Coors Field compared to when is away.
BUT WE DIDN’T SEE THIS COMING…
Kirk Nieuwenhuis’ three home runs on Sunday stole the show for the Mets. With the addition of a Daniel Murphy home run, the long ball accounted for all of the runs in the Mets 5-3 win over the Diamondbacks. Nieuwenhuis had yet to homer this season and came into today slugging a robust .182 with a -7.0 offensive WAR. For daily players who punt on the catching position, Niewenhuis was most likely the luckiest “punt” that they will run into the entire year. With no clear timetable for Travis D’Arnaud to return to the Mets’ lineup, Niewenhuis will likely see additional playing time to begin the second half. Although, I would not expect another performance like today.
The Los Angeles Angels, now with a half game lead over the Astros, got a seven inning shutout start from Andrew Heaney to defeat the Mariners 10-3. Mike Trout added two hits in the victory at Safeco Field. When Heaney was called up last year for the Marlins, his debut was much anticipated. However, fans were disappointed after Heaney only made five starts and had a FIP of 5.45. This season in four starts with the Angels he has lived up to the anticipation of last season. Over 27 innings, he now has 23 strikeouts and only four walks. In the early part of the season, Heaney was still struggling with his command in Triple-A but has shown much better stuff in the big leagues since the call up. The 24-year-old has put the pressure on the Angels organization to make a decision about whether to keep him up in the big leagues or to send him back down.
THE REST OF THE DETAILS
–Jeurys Familia, NYM (27)
–Brad Boxberger, TB (23)
–Drew Storen, WAS (27)
–Wade Davis, KC (blown save)
–Greg Holland, KC (19)
–Craig Kimbrel, SD (23)
–Santiago Casilla, SF (23)
–Kenley Jansen, LAD (16)
–Josh Donaldson remained out of the lineup on Sunday with flu-like symptoms.
–Jason Grilli is set to under season-ending surgery after rupturing his left Achilles.
-After leaving Saturday’s game early with a dislocated left thumb, Dee Gordon is expected to avoid the disabled list and should return shortly after the all-star break.
–Asdrubal Cabrera was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right hamstring strain.
–David Ortiz was scratched from the lineup on Sunday with flu-like symptoms.
–Dustin Pedroia is expected to be activated after the all-star break after being on the disabled list with a right hamstring strain.
RUMORS & TRANSACTIONS
-Chicago Cubs activated David Ross from the seven-day concussion disabled list on Sunday.
-The Padres have been reportedly shopping James Shields to other teams, according to Peter Gammons. The extent of these discussions is not yet known but any deal involving Shields would certainly be a surprise after San Diego just signed him to a long-term deal this offseason.