Clay Buchholz might be ready to help fantasy squad again.
Sunday's outing lowered Buchholz's ERA to a still-awful 5.42.
Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images North America
By John Halpin
How was my vacation, you ask? Just fine, thanks. Except for the night I heard about Masahiro Tanaka's elbow and cried myself to sleep, anyway.
We'll start today's entry with studs & duds, and there was no bigger stud on Sunday than Red Sox SP Clay Buchholz, who shut out the Astros on three hits while striking out 12 batters. Since coming off the DL three weeks ago, Buchholz is 2-1 over four starts with a 2.73 ERA, a 0.71 WHIP and 23 strikeouts against one walk in 29 2/3 innings. Buchholz is owned in just 40.1 percent of FOXSports.com leagues; is it time to grab him?
Yes, even with the caveat that the Astros have struck out more than any other team in the majors. Buchholz is throwing harder than he did before his DL stint, and is reminding manager John Farrell of the first half of 2013, when he posted a 1.71 ERA over 12 starts before missing three months with a neck injury. One dominating outing doesn't mean everything, but Buchholz is certainly worth a look if he's in your free-agent pool, no matter how deep the league. He'll start Friday against the Royals.
Stud:Brian Dozier, who slugged his 17th and 18th home runs of the year for the Twins. You knew he'd be this good, right?
Stud: Buchholz's teammate, Brock Holt, had a homer among his five hits against the Astros.
Dud: Let's go with Pirates SP Francisco Liriano, who allowed three runs on three hits and SIX WALKS over four innings in his return from the DL. You just never know when this guy will completely forget how to throw strikes.
News & notes
Jake McGee has four saves over the last 10 days for the Rays, and is owned in 8.8 percent of FOXSports.com leagues. No-brainer, right?
Looking to identify some players that will decline in the second half of the season? This Baseball Prospectus on FOX article will help. I spent much of last week's vacation telling my dad to unload J.D. Martinez in our AL-only league, and maybe the BP folks will help to convince him.
Rookie 2B Arismendy Alcantara, who hit his first big-league home run on Sunday, is making it awfully difficult for the Cubs to send him back to the minors. That doesn't mean it won't happen before Friday, though.
FYI, our streaming starter record is 55-40 heading into the break. We're almost as good as the Oakland A's!