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Sunday, June 16, 2013

MLB Weekly Walk-Off - Back at it Again

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MLB Weekly Walk-Off
Back at it Again!
By Wild on Sports Analyst Kyle Kargel

The best team in the MLB is starting to form and they have one of the best run differentials through 65 games in MLB history, matching them with the Braves team from the late 90s. The St. Louis Cardinals have once again stunned MLB fans with no name players such as Matt Carpenter, Daniel Descalso and closer Edward Mujica who only had four career saves before the 19 he’s already put up this season. He only has induced one walk this season which is good for tops in the league in K:BB ratio among closers. The NL West is taking their stand as the most exciting division in baseball. Besides the top and bottom being only separated by nine games, there was a second NL West brawl which included the Diamondbacks and Dodgers last week. The Padres and Dodgers got into a bench clearing brawl earlier this year when Carlos Quentin and Zach Grenkie went at it. Ian Kennedy was suspended for 10 games for his actions in the brawl which will cost him two starts. The Diamondbacks surprisingly lead the division as of today, but that could easily change in the next week. Also, Yasiel Puig is still blazing on the Dodgers batting .487 in 11 games.


Studs of the Past Week

1. Hunter Pence OF SF- Pence has surprisingly turned into one of baseball’s biggest base stealing threats. He had a minimal five steals last season, but has turned in 13 so far this season. Even in the past week Pence has three steals and a couple homeruns while batting .423. Pence could be a 30-30 threat if he stays on this pace the rest of the season, but that could be in doubt given Pence’s history.

2. Ervin Santana SP KC- He is one of the most inconsistent pitchers in the game today, but when Santana is on point he has the potential to dismiss any MLB team in the league. The past week though, Santana has pitched 14.2 innings while allowing only two earned runs and striking out nine, which was good for two wins. He plays for the Royals which won’t net him too many wins, but Santana could easily finish .500 or just over it.

3. Starling Marte OF Pitt- Since Jun. 8 Marte has eight hits in 17 at bats lifting his average ten points, but Marte has quietly racked up 20 steals for the Bucs in their lead-off spot on the season including five in the past week. Paired up with Andrew McCutchen, these two have the potential to rack up 75 steals combined which will make for a nice threat if the Pirates make the play offs. Look for Marte to climb the ranks in the steals category in the NL and be at the top by the end of the season.


Duds of the Past Week

1. Yoenis Cespedes OF Oak- The injury bug has made its way to Oakland and Cespedes over the past week. Cespedes has experienced hamstring tightness which has allowed him to only gain two hits in the past week lowering his average to .236. Cespesdes has also seen a decrease in his speed only stealing two bases so far this year. Cespedes should pick it up to where his average is around .250-.275, but his base running will probably continue to stay where it is.

2. Paul Goldschmidt 1B Ari- I know I praised Goldschmidt not too long ago on here, but that’s not the case in this week’s installment. He’s only gone three for his last 26 lowering his average almost 30 points. It was inevitable that Goldschmidt was going to come back down to earth from his amazing month of May. He should level out as a .300 hitter which Diamondback fans should have no problem with as he did lead them to the top of the division thus far.

3. Matt Moore SP TB- Moore went from a possible all-star game start to possibly not even making the team. His past three starts have been dreadful, and that’s an understatement. He’s tallied 12.1 innings while allowing an astonishing 19 runs after he only allowed 14 in all his previous starts. If the Rays want to make a run at the playoffs Moore better figure out what is wrong and fix it quick or this could be a long season for him.


Pickups for the Next Week

1. Rick Porcello SP Det- In years past Porcello hasn’t been a fan favorite in Detroit due to the high expectations. He’s pitched well, but when you have to pitch behind Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer sometimes good doesn’t seem that good. In his last two starts Porcello has gone 2-0 while allowing one earned run in 13 innings. For the moment Porcello is actually pitching better than Verlander, but don’t expect that trend to continue.

2. Adam Dunn 1B OF CWS- If your fantasy baseball team is lacking power, look no further than Dunn who has the potential to take the ball out every time he comes to the plate. Dunn is batting only .181 on the season but that’s higher than the .156 it was at a week ago. He has hit four homers in the past week for the White Sox who have been struggling to put runs up as of late, but if Dunn can raise his average to even .220, that could mean 30 homeruns for the big man.

3. Tyler Colvin 1B OF Col- Colvin hasn’t put up monsterous numbers since being called up, but he’s one of the Rockies most prized prospects, and already has a couple homeruns in his 18 at bats this season. He’s not going to put up numbers like Puig, but Colvin has the potential to hit 15-20 homeruns and gain 50-60 RBIs if he continues to start for a majority of the rest of the season.


Top Matchups for the Next Week

Pirates at Reds- This is a battle for the two spot in the NL Central. The Pirates feel they have something to prove after last year’s meltdown and the Reds want to prove that they can make it out of the first round of the playoffs for once. Both teams are still on the rise so something has got to give in this intense series.

A’s at Rangers- The A’s have reclaimed the top spot from the Rangers in the AL West so the Rangers will be looking for some retribution in this series, especially at home. It’s a four game set, but I’m sure the tone will be set early on in this series with each team still in the top half of the league as far as team ERA goes.

LA Dodgers at Yankees- This is next week’s top interleague match up as Puig makes his first trip into Yankee Stadium. It will be interesting to see how Puig handles the pressure in the Big Apple, and finally if the Dodgers can get their engines going. Carl Crawford and Matt Kemp are still on the DL so the Yankees should take full advantage of the Dodgers misfortunes.

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