It was another wild and wacky week as we were witness to yet another perfect game when Felix Hernandez threw an absolute gem on Wednesday. Then there was the whole Melky Cabrera doping scandal. We also saw the longest game of the year when the Pirates and Cardinals battled until the 19th inning on Sunday.
As we get closer to September the craziness will only intensify.
So let’s look at some hot, trendy and intriguing names to watch this week.
Sergio Romo: San Francisco Giants
Bruce Bochy did the inevitable and relieved Santiago Casilla of closer duties this weekend. Now we will finally see Romo-who is probably the better pitcher-get the first chance to close games for the Giants.
Another wrinkle to factor in is if Bochy plays the matchups and incorporates Jeremy Affeldt into the mix. Right now Bochy is saying it will be a committee job, but eventually Romo has the tools to run with this job.
This week the Giants will play at Los Angeles before heading home to take on the Braves.
Max Scherzer: Detroit Tigers
Scherzer has had yet another up and down season, as he continuously posts inconsistent season after inconsistent season.
While his ratios are never what you would ideally like out of him, Scherzer does fan a ton of batters. Scherzer currently ranks second in the majors in strikeouts (178).
Scherzer should make for a great two-start pitcher this week as he gets two starts at home vs. Toronto and Los Angeles.
Todd Frazier: Cincinnati Reds
With a .288 batting average, 17 home runs and 54 RBI’s in 309 at-bats, it should be Frazier who should be all the talk in the NL Rookie of the Year race, not Bryce Harper.
Frazier has been on fire of late, going 10-27 in his last seven games with four home runs, six RBI’s and eight runs scored.
All that being said, this might be a week to sit Frazier since he will be facing some stiff competition, as he opposes the Phillies’ (Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Vance Worley and Cole Hamels) and Cardinals’ (Lance Lynn, Jaime Garcia and Adam Wainwright) staffs.
Giancarlo Stanton: Miami Marlins
Ever since coming off the DL on August 7, Stanton has come back with vicious authority.
Stanton is 13-43 since being activated. Stanton has also mashed five home runs, four doubles while also driving in 11 runs in that time.
Stanton looks refreshed and should be a valuable asset to fantasy players down the stretch.
This week Stanton and the Marlins will continue their west coast road swing as they take on the Diamondbacks (Joe Saunders, Trevor Cahill and Wade Miley) and the Dodgers (Aaron Harang, Chad Billingsley and Clayton Kershaw).
Adam Wainwright: St. Louis Cardinals
After some early season struggles, Wainwright has righted the ship and it has been smooth sailing for him since mid-July.
In his last six starts (all quality outings) Wainwright is 4-1 while allowing only eight earned runs in 42.1 innings pitched. Wainwright has also struck out 40 batters while only issuing five walks in that same stretch.
Wainwright has once again achieved must-start status and this week he’ll make two starts, as he takes on the Astros at home before pitching at Cincinnati.
David Murphy: Texas Rangers
Murphy-perhaps one of the more underappreciated hitters in the league-has been scorching hot of late and he has capitalized on the regular playing time being afforded to him.
Murphy has recently been scooped up in a lot of leagues. Why you may ask? Well, Murphy is only 14-42 in his last 11 games with two home runs, two doubles and five RBI’s.
Murphy is a terror on righties and he’ll face a slew of them this week when he and Rangers take on the weak Orioles’ (Miguel Gonzalez, Chris Tillman and Tommy Hunter) and Twins’ (Scott Diamond, Samuel Deduno, Brian Duensing and Cole De Vries) staffs, with all games being at home.
Mike Leake: Cincinnati Reds
While he is not the greatest strikeout artist, Leake is effective at getting batters to make weak contact. As a result, Leake has been on a solid run of late.
Leake was marvelous in his last start against the Mets, as he tossed a complete 4-hit gem.
Leake and the Reds will aim to keep it rolling, as he’s set for two starts this week. First he’ll take on the Phillies in Philadelphia before taking on the Cardinals at home.
Lucas Harrell: Houston Astros
Playing in Houston is doing no favors for Harrell, as not that many people have taken notice of how good he is pitching.
In his last six starts Harrell is 3-2 (completing four quality starts) while allowing only eight earned runs in 38.2 innings pitched. Harrell is also getting hitters to chase, as he has a respectable 28 K’s in this span.
This could be a good week to trust Harrell, as he is lined up for two decent starts (@ St. Louis, @NYM).
Yoenis Cespedes: Oakland A’s
It’s been long overdue, but I have to give some dap to Cespedes for the season he is having.
Cespedes is streaking as well. Cespedes has a hit in 10 out of his last 11 games. In that time Cespedes is 13-42 with two home runs and five RBI’s.
It’s been a year of adapting for Cespedes, as he learns the nuances of the game but he has been a key reason why the A’s are surprisingly in the hunt for a playoff berth.
This week the A’s will take on the Twins (Brian Duensing, Cole De Vries and Nick Blackburn) at home before traveling to Tampa to take on the Rays (Alex Cobb, Matt Moore and Jeremy Hellickson).
B.J. Upton: Tampa Bay Rays
One of the driving forces behind the Rays’ resurgence has been the play of Upton.
As the club has won 11 out of their last 13, Upton has been on fire and is even playing better than his younger brother Justin.
In his last 13 games Upton is 16-54 with five home runs, five doubles, one triple, 15 RBI’s and 11 runs scored.
Upton and the Rays will like to keep it moving as they host the Royals (Will Smith, Luke Hochevar and Luis Mendoza) and the A’s (Bartolo Colon, Jarrod Parker and Brandon McCarthy) this week.
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