If you ask the average fantasy owner who the current top five starters are, you'll probably get a list including Clayton Kershaw, Matt Harvey and Yu Darvish. The aficionado may even get the #4 guy, Jordan Zimmermann. The name you most likely will not hear anyone say is the name that rounds out the top five. That spot currently belongs to Diamondbacks young hurler Patrick Corbin.
Corbin has been phenomenal for the snakes and was nothing less on Monday in Colorado as he dominated the Rockies at Coors Field. Corbin stayed ahead in the count most of the night, and put hitters away with his magical slider which seemed to disappear out of the zone last night. The 23-year-old punched out 10 while allowing only 3 hits over a 97-pitch complete-game gem. With his first career complete game, Corbin moved to a perfect 7-0 on the year, sporting an immaculate 1.44 ERA and 0.97 WHIP. The lefty has 51 K over his 62.3 IP and only 18 walks.
Corbin’s ERA is likely to inflate at some point, and he isn’t a prolific strikeout pitcher, but the 23-year-old has shown considerable improvement with his command this year. Corbin owners may be looking to sell high on the young arm which is probably the right move. If you are able to snag Corbin for a good deal due to his lack of track record you may be able to get him for a decent value.
Mariano Rivera converted save number 17 out of 17 chances Monday in a Yankees win over division rival Baltimore. The future Hall of Famer converted a perfect inning with one strikeout in the top of the 10th to secure a Yankee victory.
With Monday’s save Rivera has 625 career saves, and he’s on a mission to pad that number in his farewell tour. His strikeouts aren't there with only 14 thus far, but what he is able to accomplish with that signature cutter is simply mind-boggling. His ERA dropped to 1.47 and he is the AL leader in saves at the age of 43. There never will be another Mariano Rivera.
NL Hot Shots:
- Clayton Kershaw tossed a three-hit complete game, moving to 5-2 with a 1.35 ERA; ho-hum.
- Matt Kemp broke his ridiculous homerless drought Monday taking Brewers Yovani Gallardo deep for his second homer on the year and his first since April 24. He’s finding his stroke and could be poised for a sensational finish to the season.
- Ryan Vogelsong looked to have his struggles figured out Monday against the Nats, then in the 5th he was hit on the hand while at the plate, resulting in broken bones and an apparent need for surgery. He is going to be on the shelf for at least 6 weeks according to reports.
- Shelby Miller could not earn win number 6, instead falling to 5-3 with a loss to San Diego. Miller left with a runner on base in the sixth and Fernando Salas would eventually allow that runner to score with a bases loaded HBP. Miller has been better than his record suggests with a 1.73 ERA and .92 WHIP with 62 K thru 57 IP. He will take on the Dodgers Sunday to finish off a two-start week.
- Brandon Belt went 4-for-5 with his 6th homer, scoring 4 runs on Monday.
- Carlos Ruiz will be out 3-to-4 weeks with a grade-2 hamstring strain (the same injury as Giancarlo Stanton).
- Cory Gearrin earned his first career save, but it’s safe to say Craig Kimbrel’s job is secure in Atlanta.
- Jason Marquis held the Cardinals to two runs (one earned) and three hits over 6 frames to move to 6 – 2 on the season. He’s won five straight, but there’s not much there for fantasy purposes with a 17/18 K/BB rate through 31 2/3 IP. Don’t do it. I repeat, stay away.
- Cole Hamels pitched maybe his best game of the season and still walked away with the loss after striking out 10 Marlins and walking no one. Hamels hasn’t worked with a lead since April 7th and has now fallen to 1-7 on the year. Cliff Lee had similar luck last season for the offensively flaccid Phillies. Hamels will hope for some support when he takes on Strasburg and the Nats on Sunday in Washington.
- Chad Qualls was called on for the save for Miami on Monday. Marlins Manager Mike Redmond plans to go with a closer by committee approach in Miami. These situations have a way of panning themselves out after about 3 save opportunities. I would assume Steve Cishek will get another shot but don’t be surprised to see A.J. Ramos take over at some point if he can cut down on walks he would be quite a closer.
- Ike Davis was removed in a double-switch after going 0-for-3 with two strikeouts Monday against the Reds. He has gotten about to the end of his long leash.
- Julio Teheran was excellent in 8.1 IP Monday, allowing one run and had a shutout into the 9th. After a shaky start to the season the Braves are 7-1 behind Teheran starts.
AL Hot Shots:
- Chris Davis homered and walked in a losing effort to the Yankees. Travis Hafner, Robinson Cano and David Adams (first of his career) went deep for the Bombers.
- Matt Dominguez paced the Astros in a victory over the Royals. Domiguez hit a 3-run homer and Jose Veras nailed down save number seven with 2 K in a perfect 9th.
- Seth Smith and Yoenis Cespedes lead the way for Bartolo Colon in a victory over the Rangers Monday. Smith homered; Cespedes had an RBI 2B and a SB.
- Rangers prospect Jurikson Profar started for the first time going 0-for-2 with two RBI.
- Jarrod Saltalamacchia was 2-for-3 with a 2-run homer in a loss to Dylan Axelrod and the White Sox. With John Danks set to return from the DL on Friday, the White Sox have a decision to make in the rotation.
- Josh Lindblom was optioned back to Triple-A after the loss to the A’s; they will need to get another starter up by the end of the week. Colby Lewis doesn’t seem likely quite yet. Mike Kickham has been the best SP at Round Rock other than Lindblom. A.J. Pierzynski will return from the DL Tuesday.
- Hisashi Iwakuma was lumped up by the Indians and the long ball Monday. Ryan Raburn hit a 3-run homer after a would-be double over the third base bag was incorrectly called foul. Iwakuma’s ERA still sits at a nifty 2.36 with a spotless 0.86 WHIP and 61 K over 64.7 IP. He’ll look to rebound against the Rangers and a SP TBA on Sunday.
- Salvador Perez left Monday’s game after running into a post in the Astros dugout while flagging down a foul-pop. He’s day-to-day with a bruise.
- Josh Johnson pitched 3 innings in a rehab start. He gave up a run with 5 Ks.
- Alex Rodriguez (hip) fielded grounders and took 25 swings in an indoor batting cage Monday at the Yankees' minor league complex in Tampa, Florida.
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Follow Shawn Caswell on Twitter: @CasKnowsRoto