Daisuke Matsuzaka has quietly turned into one of the best pitchers in baseball. After a mediocre first two months in the states, Dice-K has posted a 1.28 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 51:16 K:BB ratio over his last 42 innings. He still has command issues from time to time, but itís clear Boston is going to get their moneyís worth. There was too much mystery for me to draft him in fantasy leagues, but those who did are going to be repaid handsomely for taking the risk.
With a poor start to July combining with an already bad overall line, it might not be a terrible idea to throw an offer at Alex Gordonís owner. Heís still striking out far too often, but the skill set is so obviously there. Add in the fact heís been willing to chip in on the base paths, and youíre looking at someone who could go 12/12 during the second half of the season. Kauffman Stadium is an underrated hitterís park, and Gordon only figures to improve as he accumulates more and more major league at-bats.
Takashi Saito has a 43:3 K:BB ratio this season. He has 19 more strikeouts than baserunners allowed. Thatís pretty good.
Tim Wakefield has faced the toughest combination of hitters so far in the 2007 season, with an opponentsí aggregate OPS of .770. Roy Halladay ranks third, with Gil Meche, Daniel Cabrera and Curt Schilling sliding in next. As for those who have been lucky enough to face a decidedly easy schedule so far, Ted Lilly has pitched to the weakest opposition through the first three months of the year (.703 OPS). Scott Olsen, Tom Gorzelanny, Doug Davis and Randy Wolf have also faced easy competition.
Chris Duncanís overall numbers donít jump out at you, but against right-handers, heís clubbed 14 homers over 171 at-bats, good for one big fly per 12.2 ABs. For comparisonís sake, Prince Fielder, the NLís leader in HRs with 27, has a rate of one HR per 11.5 at-bats.
Congratulations to Joey Chestnut, who took down reigning champ Takeru Kobayashi when he inhaled a record-setting 66 hot dogs during Nathan's Famous hot dog eating contest Wednesday.