Soriano's Lucky 13
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Let's check in on which players have been driving fantasy owners' success and which ones have been driving us mad recently in this week's edition of "Who's Hot, Who's Not."

Who's Hot

Hitters

Alfonso Soriano, LF, New York Yankees - Soriano's 2,000 career hit was a home run off Justin Verlander and he went 6-for-9 with a double four homers and 13 RBI over his last two games. His 13 RBI are the second most by a Yankees player over a two-game span, trailing only Tony Lazzeri's 15 in 1936. Yeah, it's safe to say Soriano's last few days have been pretty good.

Aaron Hill, 2B, Arizona Diamondbacks - Hill has an eight-game hitting streak and has picked up two hits in six of his last seven while hitting .433 with three doubles, a triple, three homers and 11 RBI in that span.

Miguel Cabrera, 3B, Detroit Tigers - Just when we think Cabrera can't possibly get any better, he reels off an eight-game stretch in which he hit .353 with six home runs, 14 RBI and a 1.348 OPS. Two of those round-trippers came off Yankees closer Mariano Rivera. However, Cabrera has been unable to close the gap for the AL lead in homers between himself and Chris Davis because Davis has hit seven blasts over his last 14 games.

Other: Matt Holliday (.435/.514/.581 with two HR, 12 RBI, nine BB, 13 R last 17 games); Jason Heyward (.400/.466/.631 with six 2B, three HR, 12 RBI, seven BB and 20 R last 17 games)

Pitchers

Bronson Arroyo, RHP, Cincinnati Reds - Arroyo has yo-yoed between hot and not over the past month. He was hot on July 25 after going 2-0 with a 0.56 ERA in his previous two starts, not on Aug. 8 after giving up 10 earned runs in his previous nine innings and now he's hot again. Over his last two starts, he went 2-0 with a 0.64 ERA, a 14/0 K/BB and just six hits allowed in 14 innings. All that back-and-forth action has him at 11-9 with a 3.35 ERA, his lowest since 2006.

Yu Darvish, RHP, Texas Rangers - A missed strike-three call led to Darvish losing a perfect game and catcher A.J. Pierzynski's ejection -- way to go to bat for your pitcher, A.J. -- in the eighth inning Monday, but that shouldn't take away from what Darvish has accomplished lately. He struck out 15 batters in that start and has fanned 46 over his last 28 frames, a 14.79 K/9.

Stephen Strasburg, RHP, Washington Nationals - Fantasy owners might take the 2012 version of Strasburg because he had 15 wins and 197 strikeouts in 159 1/3 innings, but the 2013 version has been just as dominant and more efficient. After throwing his first career complete game and shutout Sunday against the Phillies, Strasburg has allowed 6.7 H/9 and owns a 2.83 ERA with 153 K in 146 1/3 innings. He threw 16.36 pitches per inning last year and averaged 5.69 innings per start; this season, he has reduced his pitches per inning to 15.63 and raised his innings per start to 6.36. Unfortunately, he has received some of the worst run support in baseball and is just 6-9.

Other: Bruce Chen (2-0, 0.93 ERA, 0.67 WHIP last 38 2/3 IP); Hyun-Jin Ryu (2-0, 0.64 ERA, 0.79 WHIP last 14 IP)

Who's Not

Hitters

B.J. Upton, CF, Atlanta Braves - Upton was oh so close to reaching the Mendoza line for the first time this season; he went 4-for-5 on Aug. 7 to raise his average to .198 but has followed that up with a 0-for-15 stretch that has him back down to .188. Hopefully he's all caught up on "Breaking Bad" so he can steer the conversation away from baseball at the Upton family reunion.

Anthony Rizzo, 1B, Chicago Cubs - Rizzo is just 6-for-48 (.125) over his last 12 games and yet his average has only dropped 13 points in that span. If that doesn't speak volumes on what type of season Rizzo has had, I don't know what will. He's hitting .232 with 18 homers and a .754 OPS.

Chase Headley, 3B, San Diego Padres - We might one day look back on Headley's 2012 season in which he hit 31 homers and 115 RBI as increduously as we view Brady Anderson's 50-homer season in 1996. Headley has homered once over his last 33 games, eight times all season and is hitting .091 (2-for-22) over his last five games. From July 14, 2012 to the end of last season, Headley hit 23 homers in 285 at-bats, an average of one every 12.4 at-bats. In his other 2,600 career at-bats, Headley has hit one homer every 50 at-bats.

Other: Kyle Seager (.128/.261/.128, 10 K last 11 games); Michael Bourn (.188/.258/.263, 18 K last 19 games)

Pitchers

Bartolo Colon, RHP, Oakland Athletics - After going 0-3 and scoring four earned runs in 19 innings off Colon this season, the Astros finally caught up to the Oakland starter Tuesday, tagging him for five earned on seven hits over four innings. Colon's effort was actually better than his last outing, in which he allowed five earned runs on seven hits and walked three over 2 2/3 at Cincinnati.

Justin Masterson, RHP, Cleveland Indians - In his last two starts against the Tigers and Angels, Masterson allowed nine earned runs on 14 hits with six walks over 11 1/3 innings. There hasn't been any way to predict when Masterson will melt down this season -- of his 10 worst starts, five came at home and five came on the road. A good rule of thumb, however, would be to avoid starts against the Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers; five of those 10 starts came against those two teams.

Jeff Samardzija, RHP, Chicago Cubs - If Samardzija is looking to break the bank with a fat contract extension from the Cubs or from another team when he becomes a free agent after the 2015 season, he needs to develop more consistency. When Samardzija allowed nine earned runs on 11 hits over 3 1/3 innings last week at Philadelphia, it was his second nine-run outing in six starts. He followed that up by allowing four runs with six hits and four walks over six innings his last time out and is 6-11 with a 4.29 ERA.

Other: Matt Garza (5.23 ERA, 1.31 WHIP last 20 2/3 IP); Jeremy Hellickson (9.75 ERA, 2.00 WHIP last 12 IP)




Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Thomas J. Harrigan at tharrigan@sportsnetwork.com.