On today’s agenda:
1. John Lackey with another quality start
2. Welcome back, Johnny Cueto
3. B.J. Upton finds his power
4. A beacon of hope from Tommy Hanson
John Lackey with another quality start
After yesterday’s seven innings of two run ball, Lackey has recorded a quality start in nine of his 11 starts. His 3.08 ERA and 7.83 K/9 are his best numbers since 2007 and 2006 respectively. More good news is that Lackey’s velocity remains steady and his control, at least from his 2.24 BB/9 would suggest, is the best it has been since 2008. The rest-of-season projections expect some regression on those fronts, however Lackey’s home run rate should also come down. For all of this resurgence, Lackey is still under valued in fantasy circles. He is available in 30% of CBS leagues, 52% of ESPN formats, and 62% of Yahoo! leagues.
Welcome back, Johnny Cueto
The Cincinnati Reds — as well as fantasy owners everywhere — welcome Johnny Cueto back from a lat injury today that has sidelined him since May 31. Cueto said that he won’t be limited to a pitch count (insert Dusty Baker joke here), but the injury may linger on his mind. For all intents and purposes, Cueto is good to go with his full arsenal at his disposal.
B.J. Upton finds his power
Yesterday’s 2-for-4 game was B.J. Upton‘s first multi-homer game of the year. He now has eight long balls to go along with his .166/.264/.312 line. To say his 2013 season has been disappointing would be an understatement. He is currently striking out in almost one third of his plate appearances, but there is reason for hope. His .212 BABIP is unsustainable and while his 27% IFFB% hasn’t done the BABIP any favors, that too should come down. Upton’s walk rate has rebounded nicely from last year, as his current 10.9% BB% is a tick above his career average. A worry is that his Contact% — especially his Z-Contact% — is down, but that may be chalked up to him pressing at the plate. Rumors of him being sent down to the minors probably wouldn’t help settle any second guessing that Upton may be doing. All in all, just to see Upton contribute to a day’s fantasy line is encouraging. Hopefully yesterday’s homers will help Upton get back on track to hitting a few home runs and stealing bases. A 30-30 season is all but gone, but 20-20 is still possible.
A beacon of hope from Tommy Hanson
In Tommy Hanson‘s latest start, prior to yesterday’s that is, he walked four in just five innings of work and served up a home run. Yesterday Hanson lasted 6.1 innings (which tied a season best) and struck out eight (another best) while allowing just one walk and two runs. His velocity was up across the board on his pitches compared to his season to date averages and this may represent the return of Hanson. He is owned in a mere 37% of CBS leagues, 18% of Yahoo! leagues, and 15% of ESPN formats. For now Hanson should be used cautiously, however he is a good stream option and may work his way up to a roster spot. Standard 12-team mixed leagues should only roll the dice on him in favorable match ups, but that goes for all stream candidates. The present author is reasonably optimistic regarding Hanson, and has grabbed him in a 14-team mixed league.
Print This Post