Matt Kemp continues to struggle.  Vladimir Guerrero has had a huge couple of days.  Has Raul Ibanez turned the corner?  Let’s look at these stories and all the rest from yesterday’s games:


Matt Kemp (0-3, 1 R) – While Andre Ethier shines (2-4, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 R), Kemp’s bat has gone completely silent.  Since April 22 he’s gone 13-55 with zero HR, zero RBI, seven R and one SB.  At least he’s scored in each of his last four games (six R), otherwise the line would look even worse, if you could believe that.  Obviously, we all know things are going to turn around soon enough, but it’s been a tough stretch for fantasy owners depending on him.

Vladimir Guerrero (2-4, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R) – Ian Kinsler (3-4, 1 RBI, 2 R, 1 SB) also deserves a mention here (as does a lot of players in a game that featured seven HR), but Guerrero has simply been on fire, so let’s focus on him.  He’s now on a six-game hitting streak, but it’s the last three where things have really clicked (5-12, 3 HR, 10 RBI).

Billy Butler (2-4, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 R) – He hadn’t homered since April 26 and had just two entering the game.  Obviously, that’s not what owners had hoped to see, as many were expecting him to take the next step in the power department in 2010 (myself included).  Don’t be deterred, however.  He’s still producing, with a .333 average, and the power certainly could still come in 2010.

Raul Ibanez (2-3, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R) – Since April 24 (the only other day he’s homered in 2010), he’d gone 7-31 with four RBI and four R.  Needless to say, this is the type of day fantasy owners have been waiting for.  We all know last season’s explosion was a bit not likely to be repeated, but even at 38-years old you know he has more in the tank then what he’s shown in the early going.  If someone in your league is ready to give up on him, I’d certainly try to bring him in.

Lastings Milledge (2-3, 4 RBI) – He’s one of those perpetual breakout threats, isn’t he?  Considering how bad he’s been prior to yesterday, it’s hard to say that this is turning the corner (four for his last 19 and hadn’t had an RBI since 4/20).  Still, we all know the talent, so it’s hard to give up on him.  He was dropped to seventh in the order, so maybe it helped relax him and let him find his groove.  A couple of more days like this certainly would help his cause.  For now, let’s just monitor him for a day or two unless you’re in desperate need of outfield help.



Roy Halladay (7.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 H, 3 BB, 9 K, W) – It’s just another day at the office for Halladay, who is now 6-1 with a 1.45 ERA.  Did we really expect anything else?

Jeff Niemann (7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 6 K, W) – He just continues to roll.  However, as we discussed recently in the Top 10 Pitcher’s BABIP (click here to view), he’s benefited from a lot of luck, which has to end sooner or later.  He may never have more value than he does now, so selling high may not be a bad idea.

Wandy Rodriguez (3.2 IP, 5 ER, 9 H, 1 BB, 4 K) – He’s now sporting a 1.62 WHIP and has just one win on the season.  His strikeouts are down (8.45 in ‘09 vs. 6.21 in ‘10) and he’s suffered some bad luck (.366 BABIP).  Something just doesn’t add up, honestly.  Could he be suffering from sort of injury?  It is possible, but who knows.  The fact is that you would expect more luck and better results, in time.

Scott Olsen (7.1 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, 8 K) – He actually carried a no-hitter into the eighth, but ultimately didn’t even muster a win.  He’s pitched well, with a 3.54 ERA thus far and having allowed just one ER over his last three starts (20.1 innings).  Still, having never posted an ERA below 4.00, I’m not buying into this hot stretch quite yet.

Daisuke Matsuzaka (5.1 IP, 5 ER, 5 H, 3 BB, 3 K, W) – He may have won, but that doesn’t mean you should be entirely happy with the performance.  Granted, he settled down after the first inning, where he gave up four runs and walked three.  That should bring hope, but I’m not sure I’d have him in your lineup for next week against the Blue Jays unless you absolutely need to.

Dana Eveland (7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 4 BB, 3 K, W) – Nice start, but don’t just focus on his 3.82 ERA for the season.  He has 1.44 WHIP, doesn’t generate enough Ks (16 in 35.1 innings) and his next start comes in Boston.  Basically, keep your distance at this point.


What are your thoughts from yesterday’s games?  Which of these stories interests you most?  Did anything else catch your eye?

To read the previous article, click here .


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