Padilla went six strong innings without allowing a run, only to see his potential victory taken away by a blown save. Over his last two starts, Bumgarner has allowed two earned runs and, more importantly, won both starts.
This week focuses on a former Fantasy favorite who has owners wanting his services.
Starting Pitchers in Focus: Edinson Volquez
Only 11 months ago, Volquez had Tommy John surgery, yet in his first start he reminded Fantasy owners of his old self. He dominated the Rockies over six innings and allowed one earned run. What was impressive was his nine strikeouts, and his velocity was in the mid-90s. With Volquez only owned in 57 percent of ESPN leagues, Fantasy owners should put in a claim on the veteran.
After winning six starting decisions, Dickey has lost his last two decisions yet has an ERA of 1.74. Over that span, he has 13 strikeouts in 20.2 innings pitched. Dickey's next scheduled start is against the slumping Diamondbacks on the road, where he has an ERA of 3.00. With Dickey only owned in 32 percent of ESPN leagues, Fantasy owners looking for immediate help should consider adding him.
Position Players: Infielders
After struggling in the first three months of the season, 2B-3B Gordon Beckham is back! He is batting .429 in the month of July and has two home runs and eight RBI. His OPS in July is an astounding 1.109, and he has scored eight runs over that stretched. With Beckham owned in 64 percent of ESPN leagues, if available, Fantasy owners should put in a claim.
2B-SS-3B-OF Jerry Hairston Jr. is starting to pick up his production in the month of July. He is hitting .306 with two home runs and five RBI and has scored eight runs in 12 games. Hairston Jr. is only owned in 25 percent of ESPN leagues; he is a must grab for Week 17.
After hitting under .200 for the last two months, SS Jason Bartlett is having a fantastic start to July. He is hitting .359 with six RBI, two stolen bases and seven runs scored. Although he has not hit a home run, Bartlett has hit in six straight games and, if available, is a quality middle infielder for mixed leagues.
Position Players: Outfielders
OF Drew Stubbs has started to flourish in July. He is hitting .327 with five home runs, 13 RBI and two stolen bases. His OPS is a stellar 1.009, and he has scored 10 runs. Despite a mediocre batting average (.248), Stubbs' fantasy value comes in home runs (13) and stolen bases (18). Currently, Stubbs is only owned in 47 percent of ESPN leagues and is a viable mixed league option for Week 17.
Position Players: CatchersAfter injuries depleted his 2009 season, C Geovany Soto has started to play well in July. In 14 games, Soto is hitting .370 with three home runs and 11 RBI. His OPS is 1.127, and he is back in the groove for a stellar second half. Fantasy owners looking for a reliable catcher should put a claim on the veteran.
By John Arias, analyst at Fantasy Baseball Maniaxs