B. J. Upton- TB- Hot- Upton went 2-for-4 with 5 RBI last night. This breaks a 4-for-40 slump in his previous 13 games. Upton's average has been dragged down by a .273 BABIP this season and has in fact been lower than expected for the last 3 seasons for a player with his speed. Upton just turned 27 so he may be poised for a bounce back in 2012 if his luck turns around.
Luke Hochevar- KC- Hot- Hochevar was impressive last night, allowing just 1 run on 3 hits and a walk while striking out 8 in 8 IP. It is his 2nd quality start in his last 3 and even his non-quality start wasn't horrible. In it he allowed 5 runs on 8 hits and 2 walks while striking out 7 in 7 IP. Hochevar has 26 Ks in his last 27 IP, which is a very good sign looking forward to 2012. Hochevar threw a season high 117 pitches last night, but it was only the 3rd time this season he has thrown more than 110, so the worry factor is low.
Nick Markakis- BAL- Hot- Markakis was hitless in 5 games before he broke out by going 1-for-2 with a homer and 2 walks yesterday. Even during his hitless games he was getting on base as he walked 6 times and only struck out 3. Markakis only has an ISO of .119 this season, but the drop is due almost entirely to disappearing doubles. After hitting at least 43 doubles from 2007-2010 he only has 24 this season. Still he has already surpassed last year's homer total by hitting 14 so far. Markakis has hit double digits in steals for the first time since 2008. Combine that with his lowest BABIP of his career and Markakis should have value in 2012.
Ricky Romero- TOR- Cold- It is now September and maybe the downward trend Fantistics' Mike Leone warned about has started. Romero allowed 5 runs on 8 hits and 3 walks while striking out 5 in 6.2 IP yesterday. With a .249 BABIP and 80.6% LOB%, a combination of fatigue and regression to the mean could be ugly for Romero.
Adrian Beltre- TEX- Hot- Beltre has a hit in each of his 3 games since coming off the DL, going 3-for-11. He doesn't have an extra base hit yet but does have 4 RBI and 2 runs in that span. Despite Beltre reportedly not running at full speed yet it looks safe to put him in your lineup if you haven't already.
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