Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Achievers/Bums 7/28/09

Ryan Braun - 3B/OF - Milwaukee Brewers - 1/3 HR, RBI - I was not on the Ryan Braun bandwagon as the season began. To me, Braun had sophomore slump written all over him. Eh, I was wrong. Really, really wrong. Braun hit another HR last night in a loss against the Cubs. It was his eight HR of the month, bringing his line for 2008 to .303/29/81. While he will lose a little value when his 3B eligibility expires next season, he will only be 25 when 2009 begins and will be a great player for seasons to follow.

Alfonso Soriano - OF Chicago Cubs - 2/4, 3 R, HR, RBI - The Lovable Losers stood up to the Milwaukee Brewers and the unstoppable force that is CC Sabathia last night in a 6-4 victory. Soriano homered against Sabathia and scored the go-ahead run in 9th inning. Beating Sabathia in Milwaukee was a big statement for the Cubs last night, and Soriano did more than his fair share. In his six games since returning from the DL, his line is .296/2/5 with one SB. Your chance to buy low on him has passed.

Kevin Slowey - SP - Minnesota Twins - CG SHO, Win, 5 Ks - While his overall stats are not impressive, (7-7, 4.00 ERA, 69 Ks in 96.2 IP), Slowey continues to pitch pretty well at home, shutting out a decent White Sox lineup on Monday. If you are looking for a streamer, you could do worse than pitching Slowey in the Metrodome, where he has four wins (including two SHO) with a 3.20 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP.

Hiroki Kuroda - SP - Los Angeles Dodgers - L, 3.2 IP, 7 ER - While streaming can be an effective way to manage your pitchers, you can also get burned. Entering Monday's game against the Giants, Kuroda was 3-0 at home, with a 2.63 ERA and two SHO. I pitched him in all of my leagues and was sufficiently charred. I can understand a bad start at home, but against the Giants? A team with Bengie Molina batting clean-up? Regardless, Kuroda has another start this week at home against the D'backs, and I will probably start him again.

James Shields - L, 7.1 IP, 5Ks, 3 ER - This is nitpicking a little bit, as Shields did have a quality start; however, it is Monday, so cut me some slack. While Shields has looked like a burgeoning ace for the last two seasons, he has possessed some Ervin Santana-esque qualities this year, and I mean that in a bad way. At home, Shields is dominant (7-1, 72Ks, 2.16 ERA, 0.88 WHIP), but he is stinky on the road (2-6, 44Ks, 5.93 ERA, 1. 40 WHIP). If the Rays are going to win the AL East this season, Shields needs to pitch better on the road, which he is capable of doing (4.25 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in 2007).

Jason Giambi - Despte my promptings, Giambi has continued to be very un-Dude this month with a .200/1/4 line since the All-Star break. He has been streaky this season, so hopefully Giambi and his 'stache are due for a hot streak soon. I wouldn't abandon ship yet, but I also wouldn't look away from picking up another hot hitter (Fernado Tatis, dare I say?) either.

Mike Mussina - SP - New York Yankees - L, 5 IP, 6 ER - I come not to bury Mussina, but to prasie him. On May 19, I picked up Mussina in my money league for a spot start. On May 20, he did not get out of the first inning at home against the Orioles. Like a petualant child not getting his way, I dropped the Moose before the game was even over. Since then, Mussina has gone 7-2, 2.66 ERA before last night's game. For some reason, the Orioles have it on Mussina, as he is 0-2 with an 11.12 ERA against the Birds this season. If there a point to this rant? Not really, but Mussina has been a pleasant suprise this season. If you own him, don't think that this is the beginning of the end of Mussina's great 2008 run.

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