Clearly, Dallas Braden’s perfect game was the biggest story of the day, but there certainly was plenty more worth discussing.  How about Clayton Kershaw out-dueling Ubaldo Jimenez?  How about Hunter Pence showing signs of breaking out?  Let’s look at all the stories from yesterday’s games.



Dallas Braden (9.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 6 K, W)

Prior to this Braden was best known in 2010 for his verbal sparring with Alex Rodriguez for crossing the mound on the way back to first base.  Braden has been pretty solid all year and while he doesn’t offer much in the strikeout department, he always had value thanks to his control and WHIP upside.


Clayton Kershaw (8.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 3 BB, 9 K, W)

After it took 30 pitches and allowing a hit and two walks in the first inning, people had to fear a “here we go again” type moment.  Instead, Kershaw rebounded from his debacle in his last outing to out-duel Ubaldo Jimenez (7.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 4 BB, 5 K).  That’s clearly more like it.  He’s a must start option, especially with his next start coming in San Diego.


Mitch Talbot (5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 H, 4 BB, 4 K, W)

He’s now walked 14 batters over his last four starts and 19 overall (he had one start where he didn’t walk anyone).  Considering he entered the game with a .213 BABIP, you can see that there’s a lot of potential problems on the horizon.  Granted, he should see an increase in strikeouts, but that’s probably not enough.  You also can’t expect a significant number of wins pitching for the Indians, can you?


Jon Lester (7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 7 K, W) 

After allowing 15 ER in his first three starts, he clearly has turned the corner and is once again a clear fantasy ace.  Over his last four starts he is 3-0 while allowing 3 ER over 27.2 innings.  That’s not to mention his 30 Ks over that span, as well.  He’s a must use option in all formats, no matter what the matchup.  It was thought that he may be in store for a pitcher’s duel with A.J. Burnett (4.1 IP, 8 ER, 9 H, 3 BB, 4 K), but that clearly didn’t happen.


Mike Leake (7.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 6 K, W) 

He struggled with his control early (12 walks in his first two starts), but has just five walks in his last 27 innings.  With the control in order, it’s not as big of a surprise that he’s succeeding in the big leagues.  He has been a little lucky (.263 BABIP entering the game), but he does a solid job of generating groundballs (54.5 percent entering the day), which should allow him to succeed at home.  His next start comes against the Cardinals, so you may not want to use him yet, but I certainly would stash him away if he’s still available.


Adam Wainwright (6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 7 K, W)

We all know he’s one of the best in the league, now at 5-1 with a 2.08 ERA.  He has been aided by some luck (entered the game with a .236 BABIP), but I wouldn’t view him as a sell high candidate.  Would anyone?


Tyler Clippard (1.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 K, W) 

He’s now 6-0 with a 0.76 ERA setting up for Matt Capps (13 saves with a 0.98 ERA).  Drew Storen who?  The back end of the Nationals bullpen has been spectacular, to say the least.  At this point, Clippard could get some vulture saves and is worth owning in all deep formats.




Denard Span (3-4, 3 RBI, 2 R, 1 SB)

After going 0-8 in a Saturday doubleheader, owners had to fear that his hot streak had come to an end.  That clearly isn’t the case, huh?  He ended April hitting .211 but now has it up to .271 and is always a threat to score runs with Joe Mauer (who returned to the lineup as the DH going 1-3) and Justin Morneau hitting behind him.


Jose Reyes (2-4, 2 R, 2 SB)

He now has four SB in his last three games, which is what owners have been waiting for.  Unfortunately, the Mets continue to run him out there in the third hole, where he just doesn’t belong.  It’s a spot to produce runs, yet in 15 games he has just five RBI.  Of course, if they moved him back to the leadoff spot Angel Pagan (who does have value in five outfielder formats thanks to his runs potential), would lose significant value.


Troy Glaus (2-3, 2 RBI)

He was viewed as a sleeper prior to the season, but an awful start caused many to forget about him, but he’s finally starting to pick things up.  He’s now on a five-game hitting streak (7-19) and has gone 12-31 with nine RBI in May.  While he’s still not a top option, he clearly has value in deeper formats.


Hunter Pence (3-5, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R) 

Both Astros outfielders who owners have been waiting for (the other being Carlos Lee) went deep in this one.  I know it’s easy to look at the numbers and give up hope, but both guys have very good track records.  Keep running them out there, because why miss out on the good that should be coming after enduring so much bad.


Carlos Quentin (3-4, 1 RBI, 2 R) 

This was just his second multi-hit game since April 14.  Needless to say it was much needed and I would expect there to be plenty of more hits in his bat (he entered the day with a .160 BABIP).  If someone in your league has given up on him, I’d certainly be listening to buying low on him.


Vernon Wells (3-5, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R) 

Are we ready to say that he is back to the form he showed from 2003-2006?  He’s certainly not showing signs of slowing down.  Granted, the .348 BABIP and 21.1 percent HR/FB he entered the day with are on the high side, but would you call it a guarantee that he regresses to a point that he’s not usable?  I don’t think so.


Ichiro Suzuki (3-5, 1 R, 3 SB)

The Mariners offense is anemic, so he’s not the threat to score runs that he once was, but at least he showed off the wheels.  That, and his average, is where his value now lies, so don’t overvalue him.

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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