Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
While there may not be any real correlation, the three hitters on the "hot list" haven't faced Cliff Lee this month (5-0, ERA 0.21, WHIP 0.690, three consecutive shutouts), while the three on the "not list" have gone up against the Phillies' lefthander. Just sayin'.
Nick Swisher, New York Yankees - Swisher was in danger of losing his starting job in right field earlier this season having posted some ugly statistics in April (batting .226, one HR, OPS 0.626) and May (.200, two HRs, 0.671 OPS). But patience by manager Joe Girardi has paid off in June as Swisher has exploded for seven homers, 22 RBIs and batted .325 with an OPS of 1.116. Swisher is on a roster in two out of three leagues, but is worth a pickup while he is in this hot streak.
Vernon Wells, Anaheim - Despite 31 HRs, 88 RBIs and an OPS of 0.847 in 2010, it's apparent that fantasy owners didn't like his move from Toronto to the offensively challenged Angels. His ownership level has hovered around the 50% mark for most of the season which makes him a logical free agent waiver claim while he's on his current hot streak. Wells has homered in three of his last four games and his OPS over the last two weeks is 0.896 which makes him a viable fantasy asset.
Brian McCann, Atlanta - McCann leads all catchers this season in home runs (14), RBIs (46) and OPS (0.924). He's been even better over the past two weeks, batting a scorching .400 with an OPS of 1.264, five homers and nine RBIs. Getting production like this from the catching position is an added bonus, particularly when you get it from a fifth-round draft choice. Those owners who "squandered" an early pick on Joe Mauer or Buster Posey are jealous of your evaluation skills.
Lance Berkman, St. Louis - That was quite an offensive explosion we witnessed from the "Big Puma" back in April (batting .393, eight homers, 22 RBIs), but those days are long gone. He batted .262 in May and a paltry .213 in June. He's batting just .192 with an OPS of 0.596 since Albert Pujols was injured. Berkman's season-long numbers still look good, so investigate what you can get for him in a trade and take any reasonable offer. By the way, Berkman went 2- for-4 against Lee who has yielded just 21 hits this month.
Logan Morrison, Florida - It appears that Morrison has hit a "wall". He was putting up tremendous numbers in April (batted .327, OPS 1.061) and May (.313, OPS 0.912), but June has been a completely different story. His batting average is below the "Mendoza Line" in June and his power has all but disappeared with five extra base hits in 104 plate appearances. It's about four weeks too late to trade him at his peak value, so now all you can do is hold on to him and hope he quickly figures out his hitting problems.
Mike Stanton, Florida - Stanton is another part of the Marlins outfield who has forgotten what he was doing over the first two months of the season. He's got as much power as any youngster who's come up in the last couple of years (38 HR in 173 games), but over the past two weeks he's had trouble making contact. Stanton has struck out 14 times in the last 10 games while batting just .237 with an OPS of 0.566. Sit him down, but don't let the 21-year-old go as his upside over the long haul is as high as any young hitter in baseball.
Asia stocks rise as Fed official backs easy policy
BANGKOK (AP) -- Asian stock markets were mostly higher today after investor confidence was boosted by a Federal Reserve official's comments that the U.S. central bank should stick with its super-easy monetary policy.
BC-US--Dow Record-Three Personal Stories, 1st Ld-Writethru,1173 Dow Record: Three tales of ups, downs and changes AP Photo FX102, FX103 Eds: With BC-US--Dow Record. Adds photos. By SCOTT MAYEROWITZ AP Business Writer NEW YORK (AP) -- When the Dow first crossed 14,000, investors were overjoyed. ...