Clay Buchholz, Boston Red Sox - Buchholz actually turned in his second straight quality start, tossing seven innings of two run baseball while striking out nine which is his second highest total for the season behind the 12 he struck out last time he faced the Astros. So Buchholz can pitch against the Astros, that's what we've learned based on this start but it doesn't erase the fact that he has been pretty terrible this season. After going 12-1 with a 2.76 FIP last year, Buchholz only has five wins this year with a 4.46 FIP. His strand rate has also dropped 20% so that will contribute to the huge rise in his ERA and FIP. While he's pitching better, I still can't recommend him for anything behind the deepest AL only leagues especially with facing the Angels next time out.
Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers - Verlander's status for whether he will be able to avoid the DL will have to be tabled until next week as doctors have determined that his shoulder soreness is just inflammation. Manager Brad Ausmus says he won't pick up a ball until Tuesday and he team will reevaluate where he is then. Verlander has been one of the bigger fantasy dissapointments this year with a 10-11 record and a 4.76 ERA. Compared to 2013, Verlander's K/9 is down by two and his strand rate is down by almost 10% so he's allowing more baserunners and is unable to keep them from scoring, showing the jump in ERA. His FIP is above 4.00 for the first time since 2008 and last year was the first year it was above 3.00 since that same season. He had turned in our straight quality starts before getting roughed up and leaving with his shoulder injury, but I don't like his chances for the rest of the season.
Marcus Stroman, Toronto Blue Jays - Stroman was shelled by the White Sox, only recording two outs in the contest while giving up five hits and five runs. This start comes just two starts removed from a 3.0 inning outing, but in between he tossed an absolute gem going 9.0 innings allowing just two runs. Stroman has a 3.03 FIP over 87.0 major league innings and has been a very reliable fantasy pitcher since the All-Star Break. Continue to deploy Stroman as you did prior to this start, and if he's available in your league I'd consider adding him before he faces the Rays in his next outing.
Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels - August has not been the kindest of months for Trout as he has already turned in five 0-for-4 performances and one 0-for-5 game, dropping his average down to .292. He still has three homers this month and has four multi-hit contests in August so it's not like he's completely slumping. Across the board Trout is showing why he is in fact the best player in baseball as he closes in on 30 homers and 100 RBI for the season (would mark the first time he's completed both in same season). Trout's stolen base numbers are down this season due maybe to slightly lower OBP than the previous two seasons, but I'd credit it more to him hitting second and having a healthy Albert Pujols and a productive when healthy Josh Hamilton following him in the lineup.
Edwin Encarnacion, Toronto Blue Jays - Encarnacion was activated from the DL Friday and was immediately slotted into the DH spot and hit fourth in the lineup. Encarnacion is having a ridiculous season with a .311 ISO combined with a slim 15.1% K Rate, which is a very surprising combination of numbers as usually huge power hitters strike out a decent amount. His numbers are weighted heavily thanks to a ridiculous May where he launched 16 homers, but he is still having one of the best seasons for a first baseman. He'll be a great boost back to lineups as the playoff push approaches.
Josh Sperry - @jsperry1991
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