Ups and downs: June 30th

Ups:

AJ Burnett had 11 strikeouts on Sunday and also won on June 24th after a stretch of terrible pitching. The Burnett situation in Toronto has been a rollercoaster of trade rumors and very streaky pitching. Looks like he is on an upswing now and will rack up the Ks.

OF Michael Bourn of the Astros has gotten is average up to .235 and keeps stealing bases. He has 31 steals this season. His numbers at the plate make it hard to justify starting him but Bourn is probably your best option if you need base stealers at this point since all the good ones are most definitely taken.

Nationals P John Lannan has a favorable matchup against the Reds on Thursday, July 3rd. He is going up against Johnny Cueto who has improved his last few starts, but still pitches for the last place Reds. Another favorable matchup on Thursday is Justin Verlander facing Carlos Silva when the Tigers visit Seattle. Verlander has been pitching very well lately and Silva and his equally large contract is a testament to the Bavasi era in Seattle.

Downs:

Braves 3B Chipper Jones may be placed on the DL and Tigers OF Magglio Ordonez was just put on the DL with a strained oblique. These are two guys you don’t want to be without, but they can be replaced for a few days. In looking for a new third baseman, look for Blue Jays 3B Scott Rolen to fill in. He is 6 of his last 12 and has 3 homers since June 22. That’s half his season total. For an outfield replacement, another Blue Jay Vernon Wells has been hitting and Tigers Gary Sheffield is on a tear since being activated from the DL.

Marlins Jorge Cantu hasn’t hit a home run since June 11th. He got off to a Chris Shelton-like start but has fizzled quite a bit lately. He did get the game-winning RBI on Sunday though in a 2-5 effort so he may be revving back up. Cantu has been disappointing with his average since June 11 below .210. Give him a few more days but be open to moving him before the deadline.

Padres Randy Wolf has gone 4, 6, and 3.1 innings in his last three starts which have been losses. His strikeout total was nice the other day (10 Ks against Detroit on June 22) but his WHIP is way high (2.3ish) in this span. The Padres have lost eight straight game so outside of Peavy and Hoffman, starting another Padre is not a good idea. Greg Maddux has been feeling the full effect of this poor play as he can’t buy a win (last win was May 10th).

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