Fantasy Baseball Final: June 24, 2016
One of the struggles of writing for a national audience is avoiding obvious bias. However, sometimes the fan part of me wins out. The Houston Astros are the second hottest team in baseball right now. Unfortunately for them, the hottest team also plays in their division. They have now have won six games in a row and eight out of their last ten. The Rangers have also won eight of their last ten and our on pace to beat the Red Sox tonight as well. So, their lead will likely still be double digits after the evening is done.
Still, the Astros have battled back to 38-36 and in the thick of the wild card race as we approach the all-star break. George Springer was the hero on this night as he had three hits and five RBI. He came a double short of the cycle and became the first leadoff hitter since 1986 to hit a grand slam in the first inning.
If you read one thing
Speaking of surprising teams, the Cleveland Indians won again to move to 42-30. With the Royals losing, they now have a four game lead in the AL Central. Danny Salazar may not have been as sharp as usual, but he was sharp enough to move to 9-3 on the season. He may be the most anonymous 9-3, 2.40 ERA pitcher in all of baseball.
We weren’t surprised
Even though they lost, the Red Sox still continue to hit like no other team in baseball. Hanley Ramirez homered for the seventh time and now has 43 RBI on the season. That makes him maybe the fifth or sixth best hitter in their lineup. Jackie Bradley has seen his average dip back to .302, but he has 13 home runs and 48 RBI on the season. If their pitching ever comes together they will be amazing to watch.
We were surprised
The poor Uptons. It seems the baseball gods won’t allow both to succeed at the same time. This year, it is Melvin Upton Jr’s turn to shine. Upton had three hits including two home runs and four RBI on the evening. He now has 11 home runs and 36 RBI. He quietly has put together a first half that has him on pace to have another 20/20 season. The Padres are struggling, but they have their own three-headed monster with Wil Myers and Matt Kemp joining Upton.
- Jeremy Jeffress (converted #20)
- David Robertson (converted #19)
- Hector Rondon (converted #13)
- Zach Britton (converted #22)
- Aroldis Chapman (converted #14)
- Mark Melancon (converted #21)