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Welcome back from the All-Star break. Hopefully your teams are in good shape and you are ready for the stretch run. With the season being half over the trends you have seen should be signs for what will happen for the second half. Now is the time to start to evaluate and make some moves to either get back in the race or pull ahead and get out of reach. Good Luck for the rest of the year and if you have any questions or comments send them to me on twitter @Gally4.
Around the league:
Reds @ Yankees: David Phelps (6.1 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K) started the second half on a nice outing. With the Yankees losing Sabathia for the rest of the year might give Phelps a shot in the rotation. He could have value as a matchup play. Jacoby Ellsbury (2-4, 1 R, 2 RBI, K, HR, SB) does a little bit of everything after his time off. It should continue with a strong second half. Mike Leake (7 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 5 K) lost out on the quality start and dropped to 7-8 on the year. He is nothing spectacular but a good play against poor teams. Brayan Pena (2-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 HR) filling in for Joey Votto with a couple of bombs. He should get some playing time while Votto is out but will probably have at most 5 HR the rest of the way.
Brewers @ Nationals: Bryce Harper (3-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, HR) is hoping that this is the turn around to his season. The first half was miserable so if you have a frustrated owner go see if you can get him at a discount. The second half should be much better than the first half. Kyle Lohse (7 IP, 10 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K) gave up a lot of hits but pitched out of it nicely. One mistake to Harper was the only blemish. Scooter Gennett (1-3, 2 R, 1 RBI, BB, HR) continues to hit when in the lineup. Denard Span (3-4, SB) will continue to run as long as he gets on base. A cheap source of steals. Stephen Strasburg (7 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 9 K) took the loss and falls to 7-7. For a supposedly elite starter he has quite a few average starts but on the bright side it’s his third straight start of 9 strikeouts.
Rockies @ Pirates: Francisco Lirano (5 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 8 K) is still trying to get back into the swing of things but pitched well. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have the stamina yet to go deep in games but still has the potential for huge strikeout games. Corey Dickerson (2-4, 1 RBI, BB, K, 2 SB) is intriguing moving forward because as the Rockies get their injured outfielders back it’s tough to say who gets the playing time. It would be nice if the Rockies could move someone to free up playing time. Starling Marte (1-2, 2 RBI, BB, triple) came back from the bereavement list and had a nice game. Jorge De La Rosa (6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 2 K) with the quality start but lost the win due his bullpen blowing the save.
Rangers @ Blue Jays: JP Arencibia (1-3, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 K, HR) looks to be the first base choice for the Rangers at the moment. He has a lot of power but the average will be horrible and you’ll get a ton of strikeouts to go with it. Rougned Odor (3-4, 1 RBI, double, triple) continues his hit streak and it’s up to 4 games. He has hits in 8 of his last 10. Colby Rasmus (2-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 K, HR) with his 13th homer. He should be a decent source of power while he stays healthy. Jose Bautista (0-4, 3 K) seems to have the Homerun Derby Hangover if you believe in that sort of thing.
Indians @ Tigers: Anibal Sanchez (6 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 7 K) took the loss and seems to be good every other time out for his last few . He gets the D-backs next time out so roll him out there. Trevor Bauer (6 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K) picked up the win and pitched well. He has quality starts in 4 out of his last 5 starts. Time to start paying attention to him and start him in most outings. Miguel Cabrera (2-4, SB) actually stole a base. I am sure his owners would prefer him to stay put and not risk the injury. Michael Brantley (4-5, 2 R, double, SB) is picking up where he left off. I think it’s safe to say he is breaking out this year.
Royals @ Red Sox: Eric Hosmer (3-5, 1 R, 2 RBI, K, double, CS) is continuing his hot streak. Will he match the second half he had last year? I think so. Xander Boegarts (1-3, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB, HR) got the Red Sox rolling with a 2-run homer in the 6th inning. His first half was a mixed bag so stay patient and he should improve. Omar Infante (3-5, 2 R, 2 doubles) is a solid MI option in deep leagues. James Shields (5.2 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K) finished the second half strong and was able to pick up the quality start but the bullpen let the runners he left on score to take the win away from him. Stephen Drew (2-3, 1 R, BB, double) finished the first half with a mini hit streak and he continued it this one. It’s now up to 3 games. I don’t think it’s a sign of things to come. Just stay away.
Giants @ Marlins: Madison Bumgarner (6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K) struggled a bit in the first half of the season but I expect him to finish the season strong. Buster Posey (3-4, 2 R, 2 RBI) made the most out of his three singles. Michael Morse (3-4, 2 R, 1 RBI, K, 2 doubles) continues to be a nice low priced option for your lineup. Brandon Crawford (1-2, 1 R, 3 RBI, HR) picked up his 8th homer. For a MI spot he does offer nice power. He should hit about 8-10 from here on out. Giancarlo Stanton (1-2, 1 R, 1 RBI, BB, K, HR) was the only offense for the Marlins.
Phillies @ Braves: Jason Heyward (2-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, HR) continues his recent hot streak. He has multiple hits in four straight games and a hit streak of 8 games. The only downer is that he only has one homer over that time. Ervin Santana (6 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 1 K) picked up the quality start and the win but the low strikeout total is a bit of a disappointment. AJ Burnett (5 IP, 10 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 5 K) had been pitching well with quality starts in his last seven starts so this is a disappointment. He gets the Giants next at home. Ryan Howard (1-3, 1 R, 2 RBI, BB) isn’t worth owning unless you are desperate.
Astros @ White Sox: Zach Putnam picked up his second save of the year and seems to be settling in as a closer option. He struck out two as well. If you need saves pick him up and see what happens. Dayan Viciedo (1-3, 1 R, 2 RBI, BB, K, HR) has a three game hit streak and has power. If you need some power he might be a good source for cheap. Jose Quintana (5 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 8 K) did everything well except go long enough for the quality start. It was a nice start but broke his quality start streak at 5 games. Scott Feldman (7 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 K) pitched ok and got the quality start. He is a spot start and nothing more.
Rays @ Twins: Alex Cobb (5.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K) picked up the win but he isn’t going deep enough into games to be a true option at this point. He hasn’t gotten past the 6th inning in 6 out of his last 10 starts. Kyle Gibson (6.1 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 1 K) continues his up and down season. He doesn’t strike out enough to mask these type of bad games. I would only use him in really good matchups. Ben Zobrist (1-3, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, HR) is the center of a lot of trade talks. His value should remain the same regardless of where he ends up. Trevor Plouffe (1-4, 1 R, 2 RBI, K, HR) blasted his 7th homer but he is not a huge power source. He might hit another five with a low batting average. He goes through some streaks so if you hit it right you might have some value.
Dodgers @ Cardinals: Dan Haren (4.2 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K) was a disappointment starting the second half. He is nothing more than a matchup play. Lance Lynn (6 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 9 K) picked up his 11th win and was effectively wild with 4 BB and 9 K’s. Matt Holiday (2-4, 1 R, 3 RBI, K, double, HR) has been down in the power numbers and I don’t expect that to change much for the second half. Kolten Wong (2-4, 2 R, K, double) continues to stay hot. He has a seven game hit streak with four homers. The power shouldn’t continue but he also has three steals over that stretch. That should continue. Hanley Ramirez (1-4, K, double) was in the lineup but continues to be an injury risk. I would try and move him if he heats up so I don’t have to deal with the injuries that will happen down the stretch.
Cubs @ Diamondbacks: Anthony Rizzo (2-4, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 HR) continues his breakout season. The second half won’t be any different so continue to ride him if you got him. David Peralta (2-4, double) with a second straight multi-hit game and could be a cheap pickup moving forward. Addison Reed picked up his 22nd save so seems to be safe in the closer role for now. Trevor Cahill (5 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K) with his first start in some time. He pitched ok and really only stumbled in one inning. He will get another couple outings to see if he can stick.
Mariners @ Angels: Hisashi Iwakuma (7 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K) is right back at it after the break. Another quality start but didn’t get the run support for the win. He is a must start. Jered Weaver (6 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 8 K) had a solid outing as he should against a lower tier offense like the Mariners. He should have gotten the win but the bullpen didn’t hold the lead. Brad Miller (2-7, 1 R, 1 RBI, 3 K, CS) has disappointed all year. I doubt he turns it around in the second half. Howie Kendrick (2-5, 1 R) continues to hit. You know what you will get with him and as a MI option he is solid as he won’t hurt you in any category.
Orioles @ A’s: Jeff Samardzja (7 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 4 K) missed the quality start for the first time since going to the A’s. Chris Tillman (6.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K) should have gotten the win but Zack Britton (0 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, BS, L) blew his third save on the year. He should still have the job. Manny Machado (2-4, 1 R, 2 RBI, HR) didn’t cool off over the break. Expect a big second half. Josh Donaldson (1-4, 1 R, 3 RBI, HR) is pushing for forty homers for his season total and I think he gets there.
Mets @ Padres: Ian Kennedy (5 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 4 K) disappointed as this was a prime matchup against the Mets at Petco. Bartolo Colon (5 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 6 K) didn’t have a great game either considering the opponent. This is why I would stay away from Colon moving forward. Travis d’Arnaud (3-5, 1 R, 2 RBI) has strung a couple good games together. Maybe his potential is starting to show through. Will Venable (1-4, 1 R, K, SB) is still hitting around .200 and hasn’t really ever lived up to his potential. If you are desperate take a chance and see what happens for a couple weeks. Curtis Granderson (2-4, 2 R, BB, SB) continues to do a little bit of everything.