Wrapping Up: Brad Bounces Back

First off, those of you who are regular readers of CPR are probably noticing that I am not the usual writer of the “Wrapping Up” column, but I am in fact the new fantasy baseball writer for Fantasy CPR.  My name is Oliver and I also am the lead writer for Fan Sided’s Nebraska Cornhuskers blog “Husker Corner“.  But enough about me, on to the column.

Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Brad Lidge pitches against the New York Yankees during the ninth inning of game 4 of the World Series in Philadelphia on November 1, 2009. UPI/Kevin Dietsch Photo via NewscomHitting Heads Up

Matt Holliday is one of the hottest hitters in baseball these days and is thoroughly enjoying the Cardinals’ AL swing.  After going 3-5 with a homer and two RBI last night, Holliday is 11 for 17 with 5 home runs and 10 RBI in his last four games.  That’s simply nuts.

Holliday’s Cardinals took on the Toronto Bluejays last night in what was quite the homer fest.  Among the six home runs that were hit by the two clubs, Jose Bautista continued to improve on his career best season.  The outfielder/third baseman hit his 19th and 20th home runs of the year.  Coming into 2010, Bautista had never finished a season with more than 16 home runs.  It isn’t July yet, and Bautista has already obliterated his career high in home runs.  Bautista also ended a home run drought last night but hitting his first bombs since June 4th.  In fact the last two times Bautista has hit a home run, he’s hit two of them.

Holliday is owned in almost all leagues, so the only way you are going to get him is by trading and trying to trade for him when he’s at his hottest wouldn’t be a very good idea.  Bautista is only owned in about 75% of fantasy leagues and while that may be shocking, you need to keep in mind that he is only hitting .232 this year.  Bautista is good for home runs and home runs only and the fact that he went almost three weeks between homers is going to lessen his value.  If you need a third baseman or utility outfielder he might be worth taking a flyer on to see if he’s going to heat up, but he shouldn’t be an everyday starter unless you have a bad team.

Pitching Pulse: Closer’s Edition

In 2008, Brad Lidge put together the kind of season few relief pitchers ever see.  In 2009, he put together the kind of season people have seen from Brad Lidge a little too often, saving 31 games but racking up 11 blown saves.  Lidge has struggled with injury problems early this season having not seen game action until April 30, and then missing time again between May 9th and the 31st.  Lidge is finally back and he is saving games again.  Since returning to the closer’s role, Lidge has gotten 5 saves in 6 chances including his latest save in which he pitched 2/3 of an inning, struck out 2 and closed out a 2-1 victory for the Phillies.  Lidge has an ownership rate of around 61%, so there’s a pretty decent chance that he’ll be available in your league.

Trevor Hoffman is no longer the every day closer for the Milwaukee Brewers and if John Axford continues to pitch like he did last night he could be dubbed the closer of the future.  Axford has been getting into the game in the late innings since May 23rd and has managed to go 3-1 with a 2.50 ERA and has gone 5 for 5 in save opportunities.  Tueday night Axford actually recorded a two inning save, allowing one hit and one walk while striking out two.  Axford is still a relative unknown so snap him up quick!

Tags: Brad Lidge Fantasy Baseball Fantasy CPR John Axford Jose Bautista Matt Holliday Trevor Hoffman

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