On a day with some tremendous pitching performances, Clayton Kershaw stole the show by striking out 12 and walking none.  Ubaldo Jimenez appears to have righted the ship after a rough patch.  Carl Crawford showed why he is one of the elite outfielders in the game.  Let’s take a look at these stories and all the rest from yesterday’s games.



  • Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers (8.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 H, 0 BB, 12 K, W): It was a spectacular performance, to say the least, especially considering the control problems he’s had in the past.  He currently has a 2.96 ERA and 1.20 WHIP, with both numbers being realistic as they are based off a .292 BABIP and 77.6 percent strand rate.  If he could ever get his control completely in order (4.0 BB/9), the numbers could be off the charts.  As it is, with 128 Ks in 112.1 innings, he’s entrenched himself as an elite fantasy option.
  • Roy Oswalt, Houston Astros (9.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 2 BB, 8 K, W): Forget about the six wins, it’s only because he pitches for the Astros.  He is now sporting a 3.08 ERA and is one of the better pitchers in the league.  There will be rumors right up until the deadline of potential trades and if he goes to a contender, his value will only increase.
  • Ubaldo Jiminez, Colorado Rockies (8.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 6 K, W): He needed this heading into the All-Star break.  He had struggled over his previous three starts, allowing 17 ER over 17.2 IP.  He finishes the first half with 15 wins and a 2.20 ERA.  Simply amazing, even with the short cold streak.  Obviously it’s impossible to expect him to replicate these types of numbers in the second half, but he certainly will remain one of the elite in the game.
  • John Danks, Chicago White Sox (9.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 7 K, W): It was a brilliant performance, and he needed every bit of it to defeat Ervin Santana (8.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 3 BB, 4 K).  Danks has allowed three earned runs or less in five of his last six starts and has been solid all year long with a 3.29 ERA and 1.13 WHIP.  He has had some luck (.265 BABIP), so there may be a small regression, but he’s proven over the past two and a half years to be a solid option.
  • Brett Cecil, Toronto Blue Jays (7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 2 K, W): Just when you think that his value has completely diminished, he draws you back in.  He was awful in interleague play (0-3 allowing 15 ER over 15.2 IP), but now that he’s back pitching against AL opponents he has allowed two earned runs over 13 IP against the Yankees and Twins.  He’s certainly worth stashing for the second half.
  • Scott Baker, Minnesota Twins (6.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 H, 0 BB, 4 K): In his last seven starts, he’s allowed four earned runs or more five times.  What is going on?  Before you press the panic button, he entered the game with a BABIP of .338.  That’s really the only difference, as he’s still striking batters out and he’s still hardly walking anyone.  If there’s someone in your league that is fed up with him, I would certainly buy low for the second half (we’ll certainly be talking more about him in the coming days).
  • Mat Latos, San Diego Padres (7.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 8 K, W): The real question is if he will face an innings limit or not.  With the Padres competing for the NL West title, there’s no chance of them completely shutting him down.  Could they give him an extra day off or not now and then?  Probably, but that’s about it.  Plus, there is recent for skepticism as he entered the day with a .243 BABIP and 80.8 percent strand rate.  I’ll have to spend much more detail over the All-Star break on what we can expect from him in the second half, but in all likelihood, there is a regression coming.
  • Johnny Cueto, Cincinnati Reds (7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 3 K): He was solid for the fifth straight start, but the strikeouts continue to be a puzzling trend.  In his last 32.1 innings he’s allowed just three earned runs, but he’s struck out 14 batters.  That’s a terrible mark (3.9 K/9) and unless he can rediscover that, his luck will sooner or later run out.  Considering his trend of fading in the second half, there certainly is cause for concern.
  • Andy Pettitte, New York Yankees (8.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 4 BB, 9 K, W): Pettitte closes the first half at 11-2 with a 2.70 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP.  Tremendous numbers, but let’s keep in mind that he hasn’t had a sub-4.00 ERA since 2005.  When you dig deeper into his line, you see that he’s benefiting from a .265 BABIP and 80.6 percent strand rate.  I would say it’s likely he sees a regression in the second half, and possibly a major one.  Now may be the best time to sell high on him if there’s an interested owner.



  • Lance Berkman, Houston Astros (3-4, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R): Maybe the talk of is demise was a little premature, huh?  He’s now homered in four straight games, going 7-13 with five homers, eight RBI, and six runs.
  • Aubrey Huff, San Francisco Giants (2-3, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 R): He just keeps hitting and hitting and hitting.  He has his average at .298 with 17 HR and 54 RBI on the year.  He now has a seven-game hitting streak going 11-28 with five home runs, 12 RBI and eight runs.  You certainly want to ride him while he’s hot, and there certainly is the potential to continue driving in runs hitting in the middle of the lineup.
  • Carl Crawford, Tampa Bay Rays (2-4, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R): While he’s not a big-time power threat, he’s also more then just a source of speed for fantasy owners.  On the year he’s hitting .321 with 10 HR, 48 RBI, 66 R and 29 SB.  Simply amazing.  In July, he’s gone 15-27 with three homers, 10 RBI, nine runs and a stolen base.  That begs the question, where has the speed gone?  Then again, is anyone really worried with the production he’s provided?  He’s one of the few elite outfielders in the game today.
  • Felix Pie, Baltimore Orioles (1-3, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R): Pie has a hit in all three games he’s played since coming off the DL, going 4-13 with one home run, three RBI, and a run scored.  We’ve all heard about his potential and it appears that he’s going to get the chance to play everyday in the second half.  That certainly should put him on the radar of those in five-outfielder formats, but given his history we need to give him more time to prove his value.
  • Kelly Johnson, Arizona Diamondbacks (4-5, 3 RBI, 2 R): After his amazing April he had faded significantly in May (3 HR, .245) and June (1 HR, .235).  In July, things are looking up significantly.  He’s now hitting .417 (10-24) with one home run, eight RBI, five runs scored and a stolen base for the month.  Keep in mind, in May he had seven RBI and 10 in June.  The fact is, he’s not as good as he was in April and he’s not as bad as he was in May and June.  I would expect him to be solid, though without the power he initially showed, the rest of the way.
  • Rafael Furcal, Atlanta Braves (3-3, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, 1 SB): He did a little bit of everything in this one, showing his full range of abilities.  He’s a must-use in all formats right now.

Who were the night’s big performers in your minds? Anyone else jump out at you? Any thoughts on the guys I mentioned here?


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