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Fantasy Baseball Bests, Busts and Waiver Wire: July 30

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Stay tuned each week to Athlon Sports for a 2012 Fantasy Baseball Weekend Waiver Wire every Monday.

Top 25 fantasy baseball hitters of last week (7/23-7/29):

 

Name

Team

Pos.

R

HR

RBI

SB

BA

OPS

1.

Carlos Gomez*

MIL

OF

10

4

10

3

.346

1.264

2.

Drew Stubbs*

CIN

OF

9

3

10

3

.370

1.197

3.

Adam Dunn

CWS

1B/OF

9

3

8

1

.375

1.256

4.

Jose Reyes

MIA

SS

6

2

5

3

.409

1.344

5.

Ike Davis*

NYM

1B

6

6

6

0

.276

1.173

6.

Anthony Rizzo*

CHC

1B

5

3

7

1

.348

1.139

7.

Josh Willingham

MIN

OF

6

4

10

0

.208

1.004

8.

Corey Hart

MIL

1B/OF

5

2

5

2

.379

1.040

9.

Yoenis Cespedes

OAK

OF

6

1

9

1

.360

1.047

10.

Michael Morse

WAS

1B/OF

5

3

9

0

.321

1.066

11.

Paul Konerko

CWS

1B

4

3

7

0

.435

1.310

12.

Ryan Braun

MIL

OF

6

2

5

2

.310

.961

13.

Denard Span*

MIN

OF

8

0

2

2

.458

1.161

14.

Shane Victorino

PHI

OF

6

1

2

3

.400

1.105

15.

Adam LaRoche

OAK

OF

4

2

3

1

.455

1.293

16.

Alex Rios

CWS

OF

6

2

8

1

.250

.894

17.

Aramis Ramirez

MIL

3B

5

2

6

0

.417

1.256

18.

Ryan Ludwick*

CIN

OF

6

2

5

0

.444

1.444

19.

Torii Hunter*

LAA

OF

6

1

3

1

.385

1.029

20.

Hanley Ramirez

LAD

3B/SS

5

1

8

1

.320

.953

21.

Coco Crisp*

OAK

OF

6

2

5

1

.304

1.056

22.

Chase Utley

PHI

2B

5

2

5

2

.250

1.073

23.

Ben Revere*

MIN

OF

4

0

5

3

.364

.872

24.

Chris Johnson

ARI

3B

4

2

4

0

.458

1.394

25.

Miguel Montero

ARI

C

3

2

5

0

.529

1.608

* - less than 70% owned in Yahoo! leagues

Opportunity Knocks

The non-waiver trade deadline is 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday and while the majority of the attention is paid to the "name" players who change uniforms, such as Hanley Ramirez going from Miami to the Dodgers or Ichiro Suzuki moving from Seattle to the Yankees, what shouldn't get overlooked is those players who receive more playing time as a result of said moves. For example, while Ramirez has settled in nicely with the Dodgers (.333, 1 HR, 7 RBI in first five games), the beneficiary of the trade on the Marlin is Donovan Solano. The new Marlins' third baseman, the 24-year-old Salano has been somewhat productive (.282, 6 RBI, 4 SB in 71 at-bats) when given the opportunity and now he should get an extended look at third base with Ramirez elsewhere.

In Suzuki's case, the main beneficiary in Seattle appears to be Michael Saunders, who has been moved into the No. 3 spot in the Mariners' lineup. Saunders was already offering valuable production in both the power (10 HR) and speed categories (15 SB), and now should have more opportunities to drive in more runs. Suzuki's absence also presents an opportunity for someone to seize the starting right field job, whether that be Mike Carp, Carlos Peguero or Trayvon Robinson.

A trade isn't the only avenue to increased playing time as an injury could open the door and allow some unknown the opportunity to make a name for themselves. Look no further than Justin Ruggiano. A bench player for the Marlins at the start of the season, Ruggiano made the most of the playing time he got filling in for injured outfielders Emilio Bonifacio, Logan Morrison and Giancarlo Stanton and has since became a mainstay for manager Ozzie Guillen. As a starter, Ruggiano has posted a respectable .350-7-21 line to go along with eight stolen bases in just 33 games so far. With Stanton still on the disabled list and Morrison going back on it late last week and facing the prospect of season-ending knee surgery, it doesn't look like Ruggiano will be returning to the Marlins' bench anytime soon.

Washington recently lost shortstop Ian Desmond to an oblique injury, which resulted in them moving Danny Espniosa over from second base. Steve Lombardozzi was given the first chance at replacing Espinosa at second and so far he has made the most of his opportunity. The versatile Lombardozzi, who has played second, short, third and left field this season, is hitting .292 in July with one home run, 12 RBIs and three stolen bases. His numbers may not blow you away, but any sort of consistent production from a middle infield spot is worth mentioning, especially in deeper leagues. Keep in mind that besides the aforementioned Desmond, other middle infielders currently on the DL include the likes of Troy Tulowitzki, Jed Lowrie, Dee Gordon, Erick Aybar and one of this year's fantasy revelations, Trevor Plouffe.

Top 20 fantasy Starting Pitchers of last two weeks:

 

Name

Team

IP

W

K

ERA

WHIP

1.

Hiroki Kuroda

NYY

22.0

2

18

1.23

0.73

2.

Ian Kennedy

ARI

22.1

3

23

2.42

0.94

3.

Paul Maholm*

CHC

22.2

2

16

1.19

0.84

4.

Jordan Zimmerman

WAS

18.0

2

16

1.00

0.78

5.

Mike Minor*

ATL

21.0

1

20

1.71

0.71

6.

David Price

TB

14.0

2

17

0.64

0.86

7.

Doug Fister*

DET

23.0

2

23

1.96

1.00

8.

Jeremy Hellickson

TB

18.1

2

11

1.96

0.60

9.

Blake Beavan*

SEA

20.2

3

14

3.05

0.77

10.

Edinson Volquez*

SD

16.0

1

13

1.13

0.63

11.

Mike Fiers*

MIL

19.1

1

17

0.47

1.03

12.

Matt Moore

TB

19.1

2

16

1.86

0.98

13.

Scott Feldman*

TEX

15.0

2

10

0.60

0.93

14.

Jeff Samardzija*

CHC

19.0

1

21

1.42

1.05

15.

Homer Bailey*

CIN

15.0

1

17

0.60

1.00

16.

Max Scherzer

DET

14.0

2

17

1.93

1.00

17.

Adam Wainwright

STL

20.1

1

21

2.21

0.93

18.

Joe Blanton*

PHI

23.0

1

20

2.74

0.83

19.

Wei-Yin Chen*

BAL

19.1

2

22

2.79

1.09

20.

A.J. Griffin*

OAK

12.0

2

15

1.50

1.00

* - less than 70% owned in Yahoo! leagues

Recommended Articles

Top 5 Spot Starts for the Week (Mon. - Sun.):

1. Homer Bailey, CIN: San Diego (Tues.)
Has posted five straight starts of 6 2/3 innings or more in which he has given up two earned runs or less in each. Since the All-Star break he has gone 2-0 with a 0.78 ERA, 19 strikeouts and seven walks in three starts (23 IP).

2. Mike Fiers, MIL: Houston (Wed.)
Has been a revelation for Brewers since entering starting rotation in late May. Has posted eight quality starts out of 10 total, including seven in a row. Gave up a total of three earned runs and struck out 26 in 26 2/3 innings in July (four starts).

3. Ben Sheets, ATL: Miami (Wed.)
Has given up one earned run (0.50) and posted three consecutive quality starts (18 IP) since joining Braves' rotation on July 15.

4. Doug Fister, DET: Cleveland (Sat.)
After struggling with injuries in the first half, right-hander has been at his best since the All-Star break. He has posted four consecutive quality starts, going 3-1 with a 1.80 ERA, 31 strikeouts and just five walks during that span. Only loss during this stretch was last Tuesday when he surrendered three runs on nine hits in seven innings in a 3-2 loss at Cleveland.

5. Tommy Milone, OAK: Tampa Bay (Tues.), Toronto (Sun.)
Has gone 5-1 with a 0.91 ERA (6 ER in 59 2/3 IP) in eight home starts. Also gets another shot at Blue Jays, who roughed him up for six runs (5 ER) on eight hits, including two home runs, in seven innings in his last start.

Other Pitchers to Watch

Oakland's A.J. Griffin and Boston's Clay Buchholz are each scheduled for two starts this week. The rookie Griffin (TB, Mon.; TOR, Sat.) has put together six quality starts witn a 2.25 ERA and 0.97 WHIP since joining the starting rotation in late June. Buchholz (DET, Mon.; MIN, Sat.) has posted consecutive solid outings in which he's given up a combined two earned runs in 15 innnings. Everyone will be watching Mets' rookie Matt Harvey on Tuesday in San Francisco after the right-hander set a franchise record with 11 strikeouts in his first major league start last Thursday. Harvey shut out the Diamondbacks on just three hits over 5 1/3 innings, walking just three, and will make his second career start in pitcher-friendly AT&T Park. A pair of lefties also have been doing good work lately as Atlanta's Mike Minor (MIA, Thurs.) has given up just six earned runs over his 27 1/3 innings and is coming off of a gem (8 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 K) against Philadelphia, while Washington's Ross Detwiler, who had posted a 2.35 ERA in his previous five starts before getting roughed up (4 ER in 4 2/3 IP) by the Brewerst last time out, will look to rebound against those same Phillies, who are hitting just. 232 as a team against southpaws.

Top 20 fantasy Relief Pitchers of last month:

 

Name

Team

IP

W

SV

K

HLD

ERA

WHIP

1.

Aroldis Chapman

CIN

13.1

0

12

30

0

0.00

0.60

2.

Craig Kimbrel

ATL

11.0

0

8

19

0

0.82

0.27

3.

Huston Street

SD

10.2

1

6

15

0

0.00

0.47

4.

Jason Motte

STL

10.1

1

7

13

0

0.00

0.68

5.

Rafael Soriano

NYY

13.1

0

9

17

0

2.03

0.83

6.

Joel Hanrahan

PIT

11.1

1

11

12

0

2.38

1.15

7.

Kenley Jansen

LAD

13.1

0

8

18

0

0.68

0.98

8.

Fernando Rodney

TB

12.0

0

8

11

0

0.00

0.83

9.

David Phelps*

NYY

11.2

1

0

20

0

0.77

0.51

10.

Carlos Torres*

COL

12.0

1

0

12

0

0.00

0.42

11.

Tom Wilhelmsen*

SEA

14.2

0

8

16

0

1.84

1.23

12.

Jerry Blevins*

OAK

10.0

3

0

12

3

1.80

0.80

13.

Alfredo Aceves

BOS

15.1

2

4

8

0

1.76

1.11

14.

Steve Cishek*

MIA

11.1

0

3

11

4

0.00

0.71

15.

Kevin Jepsen*

LAA

9.1

1

1

9

4

0.00

0.54

16.

Ryan Cook*

OAK

8.2

2

4

7

0

3.12

0.92

17.

Casey Janssen*

TOR

9.0

0

4

10

0

1.00

0.67

18.

Vinnie Pestano*

CLE

13.0

0

0

17

11

0.00

0.77

19.

J.J. Putz

ARI

8.0

0

5

8

0

0.00

0.88

20.

Fernando Salas*

STL

12.2

1

0

13

1

0.71

0.79

* - less than 70% owned in Yahoo! leagues

Keep up to date all season long with Athlon Sports' Fantasy Baseball Closer Grid

- by Braden Gall

Follow @bradengall