Ryan Church- WAS- Rise Value- With Wily Mo Pena sidelined by injury, Church should get some increased playing time. He has not performed poorly recently, hitting .273 over his last 14 games with 3 homers in 44 at bats. That's a pretty good homer ratio and makes it somewhat ironic that the Nationals have been disappointed in Church's power numbers this season. They should be more concerned with his Batting EYE, which is a woeful .06 during this recent stretch. If Church can get that back to the .51 it was earlier this season and also smack some homers he would vastly improve his standing with the Washington brass, which would increase his value going into 2008. These next few days present him with an opportunity.
Brian McCann- ATL- Hot- McCann has been on a power tear. He hit his second grand slam in 8 games, his 4th homer overall in that period. McCann knocked in 14 runs and scored 5. It hasn't been all great, as his average is only .257 and he has not taken a walk.
Scott Olsen- FLA- Cold- Olsen turned in his poorest performance of the season last night, giving up 10 runs (6 earned) in 4 IP on 11 hits and 2 walks while striking out 4. Olsen was hit hard, allowing 4 doubles to the first 5 batters of the game and 2 homers. It was his second straight poor performance, coming on the heels of another outing in which he allowed 6 earned runs and 10 hits, but in 6-1/3 IP. Olsen has had some decent outings this season, but his performance has been too uneven to count on for fantasy production.
Josh Fogg- COL- Hot- Fogg rebounded from a pair of poor starts to recapture the form he had showed since the All Star Break. He allowed just 1 run on 3 hits and 4 walks while striking out 1 in 6 IP. The number of walks is a concern, as is the fact he as pitching in San Francisco, a pitcher's park. As we noted earlier this month, Fogg has thrown an inordinate number of games since the Break at pitcher-friendly venues, so that may be hiding his true ability level. He did turn in a couple of decent performances at Coors Field, though, so if you have a need for a short term starter, you could do worse than Fogg, especially when he is scheduled to pitch on the road.
Barry Zito- SF- Hot- It took him until August, but Zito is finally giving the Giants the kind of performances that they shelled out the big bucks for last offseason. After going 7 innings yesterday and allowing just 1 run on 4 hits and a walk while striking out 7, for the month he has a 2-1 record, 2.50 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 30 Ks in 39-2/3 IP. Be careful, though. From 2004-06 Zito had a trend of gaining a second wind in August before fading in September.
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