There were homers galore on Thursday-- twenty-one to be exact. Some guys ONLY hit one, psshh, slackers. The following one-uppers went back for a second helping:
Justin Upton topped off an 8-for-18 series against the Rockies with two moonshots for his 17th and 18th long-balls of the season. He’s been a sleeping giant since April. It seems the giant is done hitting the snooze button and may finally be waking from his slumber. You may have missed your chance to snag the slumping thumper but give it a shot. He could be a big boost going into the fantasy playoffs.
Junior Lake hit his third and fourth career homers while his teammate Anthony Rizzo connected for numbers 16 and 17. The Cubs still found a way to lose. Lake is now batting .322 over his first 15 games with four HR, seven RBI and a stolen base. He has multiple-position eligibility at SS and OF in most leagues so he can be quite serviceable while his production is up. I’m not buying it long term, but someone might if you try to sell high. Rizzo has three homers over his last two games and a .245/.339/.458 slash line with 17 homers and 62 RBI in 404 at-bats. He is a buy target with big keeper potential.
Ryan Raburn clubbed two jimmy-jacks for his 12th and 13th homer as the Indians torched Chris Sale and the White Sox. Raburn’s playing time makes him tough to use in anything other than deep leagues but if you’re hurting for some pop and could use a MI/OF, give Raburn a shot.
Bud Norris sounds like a fictional name created by mixing a NASCAR fan with a Walker, Texas Ranger fan…wait, those two actually go together quite well. Anyway, Bud isn't going to be the “King of Pitchers” or save your season, but he’s actually been decent and a bit snake-bitten. While with Houston this season, Bud lost six decisions in which he allowed four ER or fewer. Give the dude some offense and he’s easily 12-3 on the year with a 3.88 ERA and 1.39 WHIP with 98 K through 132.0 IP. Not too shabby, and now that this Bud’s in Baltimore, he could bring some decent numbers to the table. He struck out eight of his former teammates on Thursday, allowing two earned and four hits with two walks.
AL Hot Shots
- Alex Rodriguez might get banned for life and still receive around $40 million in deferred payments from the Rangers. I’m not sure how this is acceptable. $40 million to the biggest liar and cheater the game’s ever known?That’ll teach the kids not to use PEDs… sad.
- Josh Donaldson has one extra base hit since the break with zero homers and zero RBI. It doesn't help that Yoenis Cespedes has been horrible in his own right with an average under .250 all season. Donaldson hasn't had much protection lately in the lineup.
- Garrett Richards turned in a solid performance limiting the Blue Jays to two runs over seven innings as the Halos triumphed 8 -2. Josh Johnson struggled mightily again as he was annihilated for seven runs (six earned) on 10 hits and just one strikeout. His 8.84 ERA over his last 8 starts is just unworthy of fantasy ownership.
- Felix Hernandez did everything he could to help the Mariners win on Thursday striking out eight, allowing one run over seven innings and leaving with a 7-1 lead. However, Tom Wilhelmsen and gang promptly diminished Felix’s lead and ended up losing the game 8-7 to the Red Sox. It has to be frustrating for one of the games great pitchers.
- David Murphy and A.J Pierzynski each connected for their 12th homers of the season and Mitch Moreland hit a moonshot for his 15th as the Rangers topped the D-Backs behind a strong 14-strikeout performance by Yu Darvish.
- Chris Davis homered for the 39th time in a 2-for-4 night against the Astros. He also did not strike out in the game, a feat which has happened less often than his homers.
- Oswaldo Arcia was recalled by the Twins as the Aaron Hicks experiment has finally come to a close. Arcia returns to a .257 average with six homers and 25 RBI from his 53 game tenure with the club earlier. Hicks underwhelmed after a smoking hot spring with a .152 average and 19 whiffs in 19 games since returning from the DL.
- Lance Berkman will begin a rehab assignment on August 8th or 9th.
NL Hot Shots
- Yasiel Puig doubled and homered as the Dodgers edged out the Cubs. Puig has homered eleven times on the season and three times in his last eight games.
- Julio Teheran dominated the Rockies with 11 strikeouts over five innings allowing only one run. He improved to 8-5 with a 3.02 ERA with the win.
- Chris Johnson went 3-for-5 to actually raise his average to .346 on the season. He offers little else for fantasy purposes with 6 homers and only 41 RBI.
- Joe Kelly tossed six scoreless as the Cardinals demolished the Pirates 13-0 to avoid a five game sweep. Kelly is worth a look in most formats with 12.1 straight scoreless innings and an era on the decline (which is a good thing) at 3.10.
- Cole Hamels tossed eight shutout innings and still couldn't muster a victory as the Phillies closer and apparent “All Star Critic” Jonathan Papelbon blew his sixth save. Hamels owns a 2.09 ERA over his last six starts but is 2-2 to show for it. Yikes.
- Miguel Montero was placed on the 15-day DL with a lower back strain. Wil Nieves and his .354 batting average will fill the void at backstop for now.
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