Brandon Phillips continued his torrid streak.  Brett Cecil, Jonathan Niese, Jake Arrieta, and Trevor Cahill were among the young starters who impressed.  Justin Smoak is quietly heating up.  Let’s look at these stories and all the rest from yesterday’s games:


Brandon Phillips (4-5, 2 RBI, 2 R) –  He’s on a 13-game hitting streak now, going 26-59 with 1 HR, 7 RBI, 10 R, and 1 SB.  He’s among the top 2B in the game and right now he’s putting all of his talent on display.  He’s one of those players that you have to stick with through thick and thin (he was hitting .208 on 4/27 and now is at .301).

Corey Hart (2-3, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R) –  Hart is hitting .261 with 16 HR and 39 RBI on the year.  Would anyone have predicted this after April (3 HR and 11 RBI)?  He’s a great example of why patience pays off.

Justin Smoak (2-5, 2 RBI, 1 R) – 
After all the hype, Smoak clearly fell flat early on in his major league career.  That has caused many to give up on him, considering him just another Chris Davis.  That’s allowed him to fly under the radar a bit and he slowly has been turning things around.  In June he’s gone 12-30 (.400) with 2 HR, 10 RBI. and 9 R.

We’ve all heard about the potential so hopefully you didn’t give up on him.  The potential is there to be a must use option in deeper formats and ownable in shallower ones.

Adam Dunn (2-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 R) – 
That’s three straight games with a home run, going 6-12 with 3 HR, 5 RBI, and 3 R.  Think he’s heating up?

Humberto Quintero (3-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R) – 
He has four consecutive multi-hit games (9-16, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 3 R).  Is he a big option?  Of course not, but if you are in a two-catcher format and need a short-term fill-in, why not?  He’s a career .235 hitter, so simply enjoy the hot streak while you can.

Wilson Betemit (2-4, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R) –
 Billy Butler gets a rare day off and Betemit delivers in his place.  With the ability to play 3B, you have to wonder if he will force his way into the lineup more often.  I wouldn’t expect it, but you never know.


John Danks (7.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 4 BB, 4 K, W) –  He out pitched Max Scherzer (7.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 7 K) to even his record at 5-5 with a 3.27 ERA.  He hadn’t gone more than 5.1 innings in his last three starts and had been particularly bad in his last two (12 ER over 9.1 innings).  Still, he’s been solid for the majority of the year and certainly is viable to fill out your rotation in all formats.

Trevor Cahill (8.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 H, 1 BB, 4 K, W) –
 Cahill is now 5-2 with a 2.91 ERA.  He’s now allowed 3 ER or less in each of his last eight starts, going 5-1 over that span.  Yes, he has been lucky (he entered the day with a .233 BABIP), and he doesn’t strikeout many (K/9 of 4.9 entering the game).  Still, if the matchup is right, he’s worth using.

Mike Leake (4.1 IP, 5 ER, 11 H, 4 BB, 2 K) –
 He was bound to put up a stinker sooner or later.  I wouldn’t worry until he makes a habit out of this.

Mat Latos (6.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, 8 K, W) –
 Latos is quickly living up to the potential we’ve heard about.  He’s allowed 3 ER or less in each of his last eight starts (12 ER over 52 IP.  Couple that with his strikeout potential and you get a must-own pitcher in all formats.

Chad Qualls (0.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 1 K) –
 One day after I noted that Qualls could be regaining a hold on his job, he puts up this disaster.  Clearly, he’s back on the hot seat and it’s once again possible that Aaron Heilman gets a look.  If he’s still available, you might as well stash him.

Jonathan Niese (9.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 6 K, W) – 
An amazing performance to say the least.  In his two starts since returning from the DL he’s allowed 1 ER on 7 H and 1 BB, striking out 12, over 16 innings of work.  I recently discussed him (click here to view), so check that out for now on Niese.  Needless to say, in deeper formats, he’s certainly worth owning.  His next start comes against the Indians.

Josh Johnson (8.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 1 BB, 5 K, W) –
 It was a rematch against Roy Halladay, and this time Halladay wasn’t perfect (8.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 H, 1 BB, 8 K).  I just can’t say enough about how special of a pitching matchup this is.

Jake Arrieta (6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, 4 BB, 6 K, W) – 
You had to be concerned seeing him make his major league debut against the Yankees, but he certainly came through with flying colors.  He had been lights out at Triple-A (1.85 ERA and 64 K over 73.0 innings) and in deeper leagues is certainly worth stashing considering he is among the top pitching prospects in the game.

If he were pitching for anyone other then the Orioles, he’d likely be a lot more sought after, but how many wins can we really expect?  I’ll take a closer look at him early next week.

David Hernandez (1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 1 BB, 0 K, SV) –
 The musical chair that is the Orioles closer continues.  At this point does anyone really care?  I can’t see him pitching well enough to hold the job for long.

Brett Cecil (6.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 3 BB, 2 K, W) –
 His last two starts have come against the Yankees and Rays and he has gone 2-0 while allowing 2 ER over 14.2 innings.  In fact, he’s 5-0 while allowing 6 ER over 34.1 innings over his last five starts.  I wrote up a scouting report on him recently (click here to view) where I recommended buying him and I certainly stand by that.  He’s every bit for real and with his next start coming in San Diego, he’s become a must use option.

Jon Lester (6.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 H, 1 BB, 8 K) –
 Simply put, you expect more from Lester.  He was handed a 5-0 lead against the Indians and he just couldn’t hold it on this night.  Don’t do anything drastic, but it was certainly a disappointing showing.

What are your thoughts from yesterday’s games?  Which ones caught your eye? And which ones did I miss?


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