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Monday, July 8, 2013

MLB Weekly Walk-Off - July 8th

Wild on Sports
http://media.zenfs.com/en_us/Sports/ap/201307031949713418872
MLB Weekly Walk-Off
July 8, 2013
By Wild on Sports Analyst Kyle Kargel


Before the all-star rosters were revealed on Saturday everyone was wondering if rookie sensation Yasiel Puig was going to make the cut. He has almost made the cut, but it is up to the fans if he’s going to play in the game or not. He was selected as one of the five nominees for the fan vote that will be revealed on Thursday. For now though Puig continues to impress fans sporting a +.400 batting average through almost a month and a half of play. The Tigers lead the way for the American League with six all-stars, potentially seven if closer Joaquin Benoit wins the fan vote for the American League. The Cardinals landed five all-stars on the National League team while still holding tough with the Pirates in the NL Central. The Angels are still lingering in the AL West having won eight of their past ten games and it seems the NL West is taking form after a week where four teams were within a couple games of one and other. Now that the Diamondbacks have won five straight and the Padres losing nine straight, the Diamondbacks have found themselves up five games on the second place Dodgers. The Wildcard scenario will be clustered for the NL come September.


Studs of the Past Week

1. Robinson Cano 2B NYY
- Leading the team in runs, RBIs, homeruns and average, Cano is trying to keep the Yankees afloat in the AL East, but the support is starting to run out with all their stars still not healthy. Early last week Cano had a four game stretch where he hit four homeruns and nine RBIs. He’s the starting second baseman for the AL squad, but he hopes he gets enough support before September before it’s too late to contend for a playoff spot.

2. Homer Bailey SP Cin- Obviously everyone knows why Bailey made it on this list for the week. The no-hitter he threw against the Giants last Tuesday was the first in the MLB this season surprisingly after many close calls with other pitchers throughout the league this season. Bailey had only one walk in the game while striking out nine.

3. Madison Bumgarner SP SF
- Bumgarner is one of the leagues most underrated pitchers, but his numbers were more than enough to get him into the all-star game this season. He has five consecutive starts where he’s pitched exactly seven innings, and in that span he went 4-1 while lowering his ERA from an already impressive 3.30 to 3.05. In the last week alone he’s allowed only three earned runs in 14 innings pitched.


Duds of the Past Week

1. Michael Bourn OF Cle- The reason Bourn is on this list for the week is not because of his hitting, but the fact that Bourn hasn’t been anywhere near the base stealing threat that he used to be in the past few years. Although he has only gone one for 12 in his past three games, Bourn hasn’t been able to generate any runs stealing bases for the time being. In 208 games before this season he stole 64 bases. In 60 games this season he only has 12. He only has one steal since June 21.

2. Aramis Ramirez 3B Mil- The power of Ramirez has plummeted since the end of last season were he racked up 27 homeruns. The past week though Ramirez has only gone four for 16 while only notching a couple RBIs and a run scored. The Brewers are toying with finishing dead last in the NL Central and with Ryan Braun still on the DL it’s going to be hard to argue that won’t be the case in Milwaukee.

3. Yovani Gallardo SP Mil- In three starts from June 10- June 20 Gallardo allowed zero earned runs. In the three starts since then he has allowed 15 earned runs while raising his average from 4.09 to 4.85. The Brewers number one starter has to get back on track if they want anything to root for in Milwaukee. His last three starts also were more than likely the reason why he was left off the all-star roster.


Sleepers for the Next Week

1. Cody Ross OF Ari
- Coming off a five hit game on Saturday, Ross has found himself in a deep mix of outfielders in Arizona that has been a key reason to their success so far this season. During the Diamondbacks five game winning streak he has gone eight for 21 with a homerun and four RBIs. He’ll continue to get starts if he displays some of the power he had in Boston last season.

2. Juan Uribe 3B LAD- Like Ross, Uribe also had a very impressive game over the past weekend tallying seven RBIs against the Giants on Friday. Before Sunday since July 2, Uribe has gone six for 16 with a couple homeruns and 11 RBIs. Uribe has the third base spot locked down for the Dodgers and Uribe is an everyday player so you won’t have to worry about him losing starts should he have a subpar stretch of games.

3. Ivan Nova SP NYY- With the hitting in New York slimming down due to injuries, the pitching has had to pick up most of the slack while staying in the hunt in the AL East. Nova was out a month, but in the three starts since his return he has gone 1-1 while pitching 21.1 innings allowing only seven earned runs. It’s critical he stays healthy for the rest of the year and the Yankees playoff hopes are partly riding on it. Nova knows this so he should pitch decent for the rest of the season.


Top Matchups for the Next Week

Dodgers at Diamondbacks- The Dodgers may have finally gotten their break with this series. They’ve been playing well as of late and have a shot to actually take over first by the all-star game if they play how they have been recently. This series can set the tone for the second half of the season.

A’s at Pirates- This is next week’s top interleague matchup. In a battle of surprise teams in opposite leagues, the A’s and Pirates already have over 50 wins each, but it should be interesting to see how the A’s hitters handle the great Pirates pitching staff.

Cardinals at Cubs-
The biggest rivalry series of the next week, the Cubs don’t want to bow out on the season already and a sweep of the first place Cardinals would assure everyone of that. They only stand ten games out of the .500 mark, but could possibly squeak their way into the wildcard picture if they continue to play good against playoff teams.

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