Kevin Millwood (SP - Rangers) - It was easily Millwood's least effective start of the year on a rainy, damp Tuesday night in Texas. After a LONG rain delay, Millwood took the mound against the Yankees and last 5.2 IP (his shortest outing of the season) and gave up 3 ER, 9 hits, and 4 walks with just 3 K's. It was his 2nd straight non-QS and is only 2-for-5 in QS this month with a 4.50 ERA and 1.53 WHIP. The big concern for the month of May was his BB:K totals. He allowed 13 BB to just 6 K's while earning 2 W's and 2 L's. Millwood has definitely come back to the crowd in May after posting a solid April. Even if this is the Millwood you end up getting for the remainder of the season, its still not bad. He's averaging over 7.0 IP per start and has a 1.24 WHIP for the season. The one major area for concern is his 10 HR's allowed (1.25 HR/9) which could prove to be some big trouble in the high-run scoring ballpark in Texas.
Zack Greinke (SP - Royals) - Another complete game gem from the leading Cy-Young contender in the AL. Zack Greinke earned his 8th win of the season with his 5th complete game of the year. He gave up just 1 ER, the 8th time he has given up 1 ER or less in 2009. He struck out 8 while not allowing a walk as his WHIP goes to 0.88 and his ERA actually rises to 0.84. He's the first pitcher to post an ERA under 1.00 through his first starts since Juan Marichal did it in 1966 (thank you MLB Network for that tidbit). For posting a K/9 of 9.72 and pitching deep into games, Greinke has been incredibly efficient with his pitch counts, averaging a little over 14 pitches per inning for the season. If you haven't had a chance to tune-in and watch Greinke, you need to soon. Its fun to watch the 25-year-old completely dominate hitters and take complete control of the flow of the game.
Denard Span (OF - Twins) - Span returned to the lineup on Tuesday after sitting out two consecutive games with the flu. He wasn't able to extend his modest 6-game hitting streak, but did reach base and swipe his 10th base of the season. I'm a little surprised at the lack of fantasy interest in a guy like Denard Span. Through almost two months of the season, Span has a 0.71 FPI, .301 average, 26 runs, and 10 SB in 13 attempts. ESPN has him owned in less than half of all fantasy leagues, probably because of the lack of power (just 3 HR for a HR/AB rate of 57.7). But, he's on-pace for 35 stolen bases and will not hurt you in the AVG/OBP categories with a .394 OBP.
David Ortiz (DH - Red Sox) - Tuesday night brought another attempt by the Red Sox to try something (anything!) to help shake-loose the slumping David Ortiz. They dropped him to 6th in the lineup and he "responded" with a 1-for-3 performance with a double and a walk. Everybody has their own opinion about Ortiz's ability to rebound this season and become a fantasy-viable utility player. For me, the naked-eye doesn't lie. Ortiz's bat looks slow, he's clueless at the plate, and you can see the frustration continue to set-in with every AB. I think we'll be lucky to see an average higher than .230 and HR's in the double-digits at this point. With limited position flexibility (if any) and the now constant threat of perhaps sitting-out from time-to-time, Ortiz is a hindrance much more than a "slumping star who will break-out."
Jon Lester (SP - Red Sox) - Another dreadful outing for the Red Sox lefty who now has an ERA of 6.07, WHIP of 1.60, and a 3-5 record. In 10 starts this year, he only has 4 QS despite posting a 9.41 K/9 (1.05 K/I). The 25-year-old has really struggled at times this year and only has a few bright spots mixed-in. One indiciator that sticks out like a sore thumb is Lester's GB/FB compared to 2008. Last year, his GB/FB was 0.99 as he evened his outs in the air and on the ground. So far this year, he's at just 0.80 with 100 outs in the air versus 80 on the ground. That has led to 11 HR allowed for a HR/9 of 1.67 while 2008 yielded a rate of 0.60. If we see the GB/FB start to inch higher, it could be a good leading indicator for a turn-around.
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