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The last time we checked in on Cleveland 2B Jason Kipnis ($8,271) last month, he was just about to match a hitting streak record for his home park. Sure enough, he did tie that mark and soar on by, building his home hit streak to 29 games before it ended three weeks ago.
Kipnis is enjoying a career year (he’s already surpassed last season’s total by five hits — in 116 less at-bats), but has definitely slowed in July, as it’s been a very unproductive month for the Indian leadoff hitter. Still, we’re going to recommend him Tuesday. Kipnis shook off his woes Monday with three hits, a run and a walk, and he’s owned opposing pitcher Chris Young (4-for-8, two runs, one homer, three RBI and a walk).
Just over a month ago, we advised you to overlook Kelly Johnson ($8,185), who had failed to take advantage of his extra PT in Atlanta with Freddie Freeman out. Since then, Johnson has been traded to the Mets to take over 3B while David Wright heals, and Johnson enjoyed a great debut before taking an 0-fer on Sunday. The clincher? He’s just 2-for-16 in his career against SP James Shields, having fanned 10 times. Spend a bit more and land KC 3B Mike Moustakas ($8,366) instead.
Another player we’re avoiding right now is Miami SS Adeiny Hechavarria ($5,483). He had a rough weekend leading to a benching on Sunday, part of a tough July (.241 BA). After his fast start, Hechavarria has definitely been coming down to earth as the season has progressed, but the fact that he’s just 7-for-28 with three strikeouts against Jordan Zimmermann suggests that he’s not likely to turn things around Tuesday. Invest some more on a safer bet like KC’s Alcides Escobar ($8,159).
- Will Tuesday mark the final start as a Tiger for David Price ($28,897)? He must be getting used to being a gun for hire, so you know it isn’t likely to distract him from the task at hand. We love his matchup against offensively starved Tampa Bay.
- Texas SP Matt Harrison’s return from injury has been as expected — very inconsistent. He got shelled, then pitched great, then got shelled again. Harrison hasn’t been able to throw the ball by hitters enough yet.
- We’re still trying to wrap our heads around what Toronto was thinking when it traded Jose Reyes and some prospects for Colorado SS Troy Tulowitzki. The Jays don’t address their biggest need (pitching), become more right-handed leaning and lose a top of the order bat to add another middle of the order bat, of which they now have too many. Um, okay.
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