Christian Yelich (OF-MIA): Yelich hit his first major league homer as part of a 3-for-4, 2-RBI, 2-run night. This pushed his season line to .318/.366/.439 with 5 RBI and 9 runs through 16 games. He also carries .33 EYE, a workable mark for a rookie. Yelich looks to have solidified himself into the leadoff position, and should be owned and started in the vast majority of leagues. Those is shallower leagues may want to play the matchups down the stretch, as his minor league lefty/righty split has has carried over (.862 OPS vs. righties, .377 vs. lefties). In terms of keeper/dynasty options, there aren't many with Yelich's upside.
Gerrit Cole (SP-PIT): Cole allowed 4 earned runs in 5 innings of work, earning the no-decision. This was the first start in which Cole allowed more than 3 earned runs. I'm not too concerned about the start, as some growing pains are to be expected. He has shown a better K-rate as of late, and the 49% GB rate for the season will continue to serve him well. With an ERA/xFIP of 3.95/3.55, I wouldn't expect much performance regression for Cole. However, GM Neal Huntington recently suggested that Cole's workload would be managed closely down the stretch so that he'll be available for a possible playoff run. This is something to watch for fantasy owners when setting lineups.
Jeff Samardzija (SP-CHC): The struggles continued for Samardzija, as the righty allowed 9 earned runs on 11 hits in 3 and 1/3 innings to earn the loss. It has been quite the odd season, as he has increased his groundball rate, cut down on his linedrive rate, and maintained a nearly identical strikeout rate from 2012. The 4.23 ERA/3.47 xFIP suggest that better things are in store. However, I'm concerned about Samardzija's health. He has been very inconsistent from start to start, and his swinging strike rate is down nearly 2%. Perhaps the huge spike in innings from 2011 to 2012 has caught up with him, and perhaps an offseason of rest will do him some good. But for the rest of 2013, proceed with caution.
Tim Lincecum (SP-SF): Lincecum was solid yet again, allowing only 1 hit and 1 walk and striking out 8 in 8 shutout innings to pick up his 6th win. After getting rocked by the Reds on July 22nd, Lincecum has reeled off 3 consecutive quality starts, although two of those have come against the Cubs and Brewers. His 4.18 ERA/3.26 xFIP suggests more good times could be ahead, especially when the matchups are there. A nearly 2% increase in his K-rate and 2% decrease in his BB-rate from last year could make him a solid add to the back-end of your rotation in 2014 as well. Perhaps Timmy is reinventing himself with his diminished velocity and it's time to reassess his value.
Carlos Martinez (SP-STL): After struggling in his first major league start, Carlos Martinez left the game in the 5th inning with cramps in his right hand. He had allowed 4 earned runs on 7 hits and 3 walks while striking out 2 through 4 and 2/3. He has made 10 relief appearances in the majors and 13 starts in the minors this year and the theme has been the same: inconsistent control. Martinez has electric stuff, stuff many point to as closer material down the road. But he isn't ready, and I was puzzled at the Cardinals choosing him to make this start. Even if he makes another one for Shelby Miller, I wouldn't trust him in anything outside of a deep NL-only league.
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