1. Wandy Rodriguez (SP - Astros) - Wandy got roughed up a bit on Tuesday night, allowing 5 ER and 8 hits in 6 IP to get the loss. It was the 2nd time in his last 3 starts where he has given up 5 ER. His ERA on the year is now 3.25. For the most part, Wandy has been solid this year, posting 10 QS in 15 GS. My one big concern for him continues to be his K-rate drop. He is currently posting a K/9 of 7.3, which is his lowest since 2006. From 2007-2010, his average rate was 8.2. The one saving grace is that his walks have dropped as well, going from a 4-year average of 3.0 to a BB/9 in 2011 of 2.6.
2. Tim Stauffer (SP - Padres) - Stauffer gave up a quick 2 ER in the first inning last night, but settled down and cruised to a quality start of 6.0 IP, 2 ER and the Win. He scattered 8 hits and didn't have his best stuff (recorded just 1 K), but it was a serviceable outing for fantasy owners. Last week, I posted about Stauffer and reflected on just how well he has been pitching of late. He now has 8 QS in his last 9 starts including 7 in a row. It was certainly his lowest K total of the year, but Stauffer still boasts one of the better K/BB rates you'll see with a 3.42. This start also brings his season ERA sub-3.00 with a 2.97 as his WHIP climbs slightly to 1.21. Stauffer's ownership climbed this week in anticipation of two starts in weekly fantasy formats. He'll face the Dodgers on Sunday.
3. Matt Kemp (OF - Dodgers) - Matt Kemp's HR totals may be down recently, but that isn't stopping him on the basepaths. Two more SB on Tuesday night gives him 24 for the season in 27 attempts. He is now just 11 away from his career high of 35 from 2008. Going back to the long ball, Kemp only has 2 HR dating back to June 13th, which has "dropped" his HR rate to 14.1 That is still an incredible mark and you had to assume that he was going to keep a pace of sub-10.0 the entire season. Either way, Kemp will still likely flirt with the 40/40 mark, an exclusive club that is only occupied by 4 players - Jose Canseco, Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, and Alfonso Soriano.
4. Ian Stewart (3B - Rockies) - Ian Stewart was recalled from Triple-A and quickly fell back into his old ways, going 0-for-3 with a walk. Stewart was dreadful in his first 50 games of the season before being sent down to the minors, hitting just .064 with a 3-for-50 performance. In the minors, Stewart had 14 HR in 167 AB but still recorded 49 K's and a .269 average. His playing time will be inconsistent until he can somehow figure a way to hit big league pitching. I don't see him reaching fantasy relevance this season, so keep him on the wires.
5. Edinson Volquez (SP - Reds) - Its becoming more likely with each start that Volquez will never be consistent enough to be owned with confidence in mixed fantasy leagues. At times, he looks unstoppable with a K/I of 1.0. Other times, he'll show his true colors which is why he has a 5.93 ERA, 1.64 WHIP, and BB/9 of 5.8. Last night was one of those nights for Volquez and his owners. He allowed 6 ER in 5.1 IP, 7 hits, 2 BB, and recorded just 3 K's. He has only put together consecutive QS once this entire season and now has just 5 QS in 16 outings. That's a a really rough percentage. Its almost the All-Star break and all he has been able to do is give fantasy owners K's. The potential will remain for the 2nd half of the season, but for my money, it will remain on the waiver wires or as a risk that another team can take.
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