Cliff Lee finally earned his first victory as a Ranger and pushed the club’s lead in the AL West to six games. Lee, who pitched 8 1/3 innings in the win, gave up two runs on five hits with no walks while adding four strikeouts.
Fantasy owners should expect Lee to give up more runs in Texas, but he will almost always give them eight or nine solid innings. Expect more of the same when he takes the mound against the A’s.
In other fantasy news from Thursday…..
- By trading Alberto Callaspo, the Royals are finally opening the door for a promising group of infielders in their minor league system. Alex Gordon is thriving at AAA Omaha with an OPS over 1.000 in 260 at-bats, but the Royals are trying to make him an outfielder. Mike Moustakas is likely the future for the Royals at this position, but he hasn’t done well since he was recently brought up to AAA. The player that might ultimately stand to get the immediate rewards of Callaspo’s trade is Kila Ka’ahue who has a .455 OBP on the season for Omaha. This is a trade that will eventually give new faces a chance to shine in fantasy.
- Carl Pavano delivered one of his best starts of the year as he won his seventh consecutive decision and remained unbeaten in nine starts since early June. During that span, his ERA has dropped from 4.11 to 3.26. His next start is at Kansas City so expect the roll to continue.
- Edinson Volquez lasted just 2 1/3 IP in his second start of the season. He allowed six earned runs on five hits and four walks with four strikeouts against the Nationals. Fantasy owners can expect Volquez to be inconsistent this season and may want to sit him in his next start at Milwaukee.
- Ian Stewart hit one. He has put up solid production numbers in July with a .281 BA, 3 HR, 11 RBI after struggling to a .167 average in June. With 12 homers and 45 RBIs on the year, Stewart has value in NL-only leagues. Unfortunately, his .252 average prevents him from having value in mixed leagues.
- Alex Rodriguez hit one. It was career #599. Rodriguez went 3-for-5 with a double, a home run, and four RBIs on Thursday.
- Neil Walker has 6 straight games with at least two hits.
- Prince Fielder hit another solo shot. Rickie Weeks hit a two-run shot. Weeks now has six homers and 15 RBIs in 19 games this month.
- John Axford is a perfect 13 for 13 in save chances.
- Hong-Chih Kuo earned his third save of the season as Jonathan Broxton was not called upon last night against the Mets. Fantasy owners should not read too much into this as Broxton still has a firm grasp as the closer despite his recent struggles.