Fantasy Forward: And the Angels closer is…..

Trying to predict how Mike Scioscia will use his bullpen can prove tricky. However, he loves veterans. With Cam Bedrosian off of the disabled list along with Huston Street and Keynan Middleton emerging, if a save chance happened on Monday night, it was going to be David Hernandez. A home run allowed by Sergio Romo to Martin Maldanado removed the save chance, but watching this unfold tells the story. Plan accordingly, and do not waste a waiver priority or FAAB on Hernandez. It’s not worth it.

Not only did Dexter Fowler land on the disabled list, he will see a podiatrist to determine the severity of his injury. Brandon McCarthy will head to the disabled list, extending Kenta Maeda’s stay in the rotation. It’s hard to fathom other teams not the Dodgers using injuries to provide rest to their rotation. Depth pays. Starlin Castro left the Yankees game early due to a hamstring injury. This will pave the way for super-utility player Tyler Wade to join the team. Both Carlos Gonzalez (shoulder) and Tyler Anderson (knee) landed on the disabled list for Colorado. In case you missed it, Madison Bumgarner tossed three innings of no-hit ball on Sunday. Ryan Braun and Jonathan Villar will return to the Brewers on Tuesday. Off to the recaps.

Starting Pitcher Observations

During the day games, Zack Greinke and Michael Wacha recorded wins with five strikeouts each. Greinke notched his ninth win over five innings ceding three hits, one earned run, and three walks. Wacha yielded five hits, one earned run and walked one in a much-needed bounce back outing.

Eddie Butler continues to benefit from strong defense and won his fourth game in Washington. Butler only pitched five innings, allowing four hits and striking out one. Gio Gonzalez did not win, but turned in a quality outing despite issuing five walks in six innings. Gonzalez did limit the Cubs to two hits and one earned run with eight strikeouts on 10 swinging strikes.

Chris Sale racked up nine strikeouts on a whopping 22 swinging strikes to win his 10th of the year. Sale pitched 6.1 innings giving up four hits, one earned run, and walking two. Jose Berrios just missed a quality start with the Twins trying to get an extra inning out of him in the seventh. He’s still on the right track.

In a battle of southpaws in Chicago, Jordan Montgomery’s strong outing with eight strikeouts over seven innings trumped the White Sox on the road. Montgomery allowed five hits, one earned run and walked one with 19 swinging strikes, the second best total of the day.

Entering Monday’s match-up with a 9.33 ERA in three previous starts versus the Rockies, Jeff Samardzija righted the ship at home winning his third game of the season. He worked 6.1 innings giving up six hits and two earned runs with five strikeouts on 14 swinging strikes.

Ricky Nolasco defeated the Dodgers and Rich Hill on the road, hurling 6.1 shutout innings. Nolasco allowed five hits and two walks with five strikeouts.

Bullpen Musings

Although a save opportunity did not present itself, those in head-to-head leagues should take note of Rubby De La Rosa. He made his third appearance of the year as a reliever striking out two.

Wade Davis and Aroldis Chapman struggled on Monday night. Davis allowed three hits, two earned runs and a walk while striking out two for the only outs he recorded in a one-run Cubs win, with no save. Chapman also worked two-thirds of an inning and did notch his eighth save, but, he yielded two hits and an earned run in the process raising his ERA to 3.12 this year.

Craig Kimbrel keeps rolling along with his American League leading 21st save and the first of his career against the Twins.

Hitter Highlights

Not only did Chris Herrmann hit his seventh home run, he led off on Monday afternoon. He finished with two RBI and two walks as well. Chris Owings tallied two hits with two runs, a double and a walk. Daniel Descalso drove in three on two hits. Both Rey Fuentes (2) and Jeff Mathis (1) stole a base.

Jose Peraza, and not Billy Hamilton, led off going 2-for, but did get caught stealing. Scooter Gennett scored two runs with a hit in four at-bats. Joey Votto tallied two hits and doubled with a walk. He’s hitting .305 with a 1.004 OPS before July when he normally heats up. Tommy Pham ascended to first in the order going 2-for-3 with three runs scored, an RBI, two walks, and stole his seventh base. Randal Grichuk hit his sixth home run, and second in two days, to drive in three runs. Jedd Gyorko added his 12th home run with three RBI and a walk.

In the ever evolving Cubs lineup, Willson Contreras led off and homered, his eighth. Javier Baez playing sparkling defense, went 2-for-5 with a run, double, RBI, and stole his third base. Albert Almora reached base four times with a hit and three walks in four plate appearances. Bryce Harper recorded three more hits, and Matt Wieters added two with a double, run and RBI.

Chris Gimenez homered, his fifth of the season, to provide the Twins only run. Mookie Betts finished 2-for-4 with two runs. Mitch Moreland homered for the second straight game, his 12th, with two RBI for Boston. Moreland has hit 10 homers over his last 33 games.

Elvis left the building twice in Cleveland hitting two home runs and driving in four for the Rangers on three hits while scoring three times. Adrian Beltre hit his fourth home run with two RBI. Joey Gallo launched his 20th home run and walked twice. Francisco Lindor racked up two hits and drove in three while walking once. Jose Ramirez and Lonnie Chisenhall each recorded three hits with Chisenhall driving in three as well. Edwin Encarnacion, Brandon Guyer and Roberto Perez all finished with two hits with Perez hitting two doubles and driving in two.

Tyler Austin homered for the first time this year and drove in two with a sacrifice fly. Chase Headley may be heating up again with three hits in four at-bats, a double, and an RBI. Tim Anderson wore corrective glasses for the first time all season and went 2-for-5 with his seventh home run and three RBI. Keep them on Tim. Melky Cabrera and Jose Abreu each tallied three hits with Abreu doubling in a run. Todd Frazier hit his 13th home run.

Kole Calhoun went 1-for-3 with a run, a walk and stole two bases (4). Cameron Maybin only recorded one hit in five at-bats, but scored a run and swiped his 24th bag. Yunel Escobar racked up two hits with two RBI, and Martin Maldanado hit his eighth home run.

Trevor Story and Tony Wolters drove in the only Rockies runs with an RBI each. Denard Span went 2-for-4 with two runs, a triple, an RBI, and a walk. Span is hitting .347 (33-for-95) over his last 23 games. Joe Panik stayed hot with two hits in four at-bats, scoring twice and driving in two. Hunter Pence went 3-for-5 with two runs. Buster Posey also tallied three hits, one of which was a double, and drove in three. Brandon Belt tripled, drove in one, and walked twice as well.

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Greg Jewett

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I am a father, PE teacher & fantasy baseball writer. Using saber metrics & information to evaluate players & trends is exciting to me."Passion is the oxygen of the soul." Bill Butler