In our daily fantasy baseball news and notes column, we'll be discussing hot topics in the fantasy baseball world, as well as offering up tidbits of information to help you set your lineup. Comments are welcome below.
Don't let Eric Hosmer trick you.
The Kansas City first baseman has hit well this season, putting up a solid .292 average, but his production of counting stats has been absolutely vapid. Hosmer went 2-for-4 against the White Sox and knocked in three RBI last night, but he's only totaled 21 RBI this year, and this was only his third multi-RBI game of the year. On top of that, he hadn't driven in a run since May 9.
Also, he not only has hit just one homer, he hasn't stolen a single base this year -- and stolen bases were what was supposed to make him a fantasy asset. Hosmer is merely 24 and he's extremely talented, but at this point, he's shown very few signs that he'll ever hit more than 20 homers in a season, if even that. He's not worth using as a designated first baseman, and as a utility hitter, he's always going to be outclassed by whatever random waiver wire outfielder is having a good week.
In other words, Hosmer's owners should seriously consider cashing in on his name recognition and batting average, because the actual production that he's hauling in is pretty weak.
For your consideration
• With Jose Abreu on the DL, Paul Konerko got a second straight start and hit a two-run homer, his second of the year. Konerko has had a long, awesome career, with 436 home runs and a .280 career average. But the 38-year-old has become afterthought with the rise of Abreu, and while Konerko's brief return to the lineup has made him a not-entirely awful stream option in deep leagues, anyone who adds him is likely doing it out of sentimentality, as he'll go right back to being irrelevant once Abreu returns. For what it's worth, these could be the last dozen or so games in his career where he'll have a regular role in a lineup, so if you're a diehard Konerko fan, you might want to get on that.
• Dallas Keuchel was outstanding against the Angels, limiting them to two runs and five hits over 8 2/3 innings. He struck out eight, and Keuchel now has a fantastic 55:12 strikeout-to-walk ratio to go with a 2.92 ERA and 1.05 WHIP. When we think of the best pitcher on a terrible team like the Astros, our first impulse might be to doubt how good their ace could truly be. And there's no question that Keuchel is the best pitcher on the Astros staff. But Keuchel's stats are legitimate, and after a start like this, he needs to be owned in all leagues.
• Carlos Santana went 0-for-4 yesterday and saw his average drop to .148. The playing-everyday-at-third-base thing hasn't worked out so far, and for some reason, Santana has been incapable of sustaining a high average in his career, even though his plate discipline isn't that bad. But despite managing only 23 hits this year, Santana has 18 runs, 13 RBI and five home runs, which is a good indicator of how well he can perform when he's not ice cold; despite his horrible hitting, he's only five runs and three homers shy of tying for the most in those categories amongst catchers. He's a viable buy-low candidate, although you should really be buying as low as humanly possible given how bad he's been.
• Cody Allen allowed a game-tying home run to J.D. Martinez, blowing a save against the Tigers. Allen and Bryan Shaw have been splitting the closing duties since John Axford got removed from the role, but Axford has thrown four straight scoreless innings and is rapidly gaining traction in the Indians bullpen. Now available in 42 percent of Yahoo! leagues, Axford makes for a solid stash on the grounds that he may become the Cleveland closer again, and sooner rather than later. In the interim, Shaw looks like the sturdier short-term source of saves while Axford toils in middle relief.
• Matt Lindstrom exited in the ninth inning after sustaining a leg injury, which allowed 25-year-old Jake Petricka to record the last two outs of the game and secure his first career save. With Nate Jones hurt, Lindstrom holds a pretty firm grasp on the closer's role with the White Sox. However, in the event that his ankle injury forces him to miss some time, Petricka could be the man who fills in for him. Those poaching for saves might want to monitor Lindstrom's status over the next few days.