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."
(All stats as of Wednesday, Aug. 21)
Robinson Cano, 2B, New York Yankees - Cano has just two homers in 31 games since the All-Star break, but he is batting .333 in that span after going 21- for-37 (.568) over his last nine games.
Martin Prado, 2B/3B/SS/OF, Arizona Diamondbacks - After experiencing bad luck for most of the season -- he had a .269 BABIP and a .263 average through July -- Prado has found plenty of holes this month. He's hitting .392 with a .400 BABIP, three homers, 19 RBI and a 1.031 OPS in August and is 15-for-35 (.429) over his last seven games.
Khris Davis, LF, Milwaukee Brewers - No, this isn't a typo; I didn't mean to list Baltimore's Chris Davis (though he has made a case to be in this space every week). Milwaukee's Davis, who found himself with more at-bats after Ryan Braun's suspension, has gone 12-for-27 (.444) with three homers and a 1.368 OPS during an eight-game hitting streak. The 25-year-old has some pop -- he hit 13 home runs in 69 games with Triple-A Nashville this season.
Other: Giancarlo Stanton (9-for-20, three HR, five RBI, 1.426 OPS last five games); Adrian Beltre (28-for-77, three HR, 17 RBI, 1.157 OPS last 18 games)
Sonny Gray, RHP, Oakland Athletics - Do the A's have a factory in Alameda County that just produces young pitching prospects by the dozen? When one breaks, Oakland always seems to be ready with another, and Gray is the latest impact arm to come up. The right-hander has posted a 16/3 K/BB, a 1.20 ERA and a 0.60 WHIP over his last two starts after putting up a 3.42 ERA and 118 strikeouts in 118 1/3 innings with Triple-A Sacramento this year.
Zack Greinke, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers - While I doubt the Dodgers ever regretted giving Zack Greinke a huge contract because they basically print money at this point, fantasy owners likely weren't as forgiving of his first three months which included a broken collarbone, a month-long absence and a 4.30 ERA on July 3. However, Greinke is 6-1 with a 1.41 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP over his last nine starts and has gone 4-0 with a 0.96 ERA in August.
Francisco Liriano, LHP, Pittsburgh Pirates - Even though he has 68 2/3 fewer innings than Adam Wainwright and 42 less than Jordan Zimmermann, Liriano is tied with those two players for the NL lead with 14 wins. He has zero no decisions in 19 starts (14-5), a 2.53 ERA, a 1.18 WHIP and a 9.4 K/9. Over his last two starts, Liriano went 2-0 with a 0.56 ERA and 19 K in 16 innings.
Other: Dan Haren (4-0, 1.32 ERA, 0.74 WHIP, 0.53 HR/9, 30/5 K/BB, one SV last 34 IP; Jon Niese (1-0, 1.38 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 18 K last 13 IP)
Starlin Castro, SS, Chicago Cubs - Castro batted seventh on Aug. 18, fifth on Aug. 19, eighth on Aug. 20 and leadoff on Aug. 21; it didn't matter, he went 2- for-16 (.125) with five strikeouts those four games and is 2-for-32 (.063) with 10 K over his last nine games.
Jimmy Rollins, SS, Philadelphia Phillies - Rollins hit 23 homers, stole 30 bases and scored 102 runs last year, so it wasn't a big deal that he only hit .250. This year, however, he has five homers, 15 steals and 45 runs, all while hitting .245. He's also 2-for-25 (.080) over his last eight games.
Yasiel Puig, RF, Los Angeles Dodgers - Puigmania never has a dull week, even when he hits .125 in 24 at-bats. Puig's struggles got him benched on Aug. 20 and he was also fined for showing up late to the ballpark that day, but the 22- year-old hit the first pitch he saw in a pinch-hit appearance later that night for a go-ahead two-run homer. However, he went 0-for-5 Wednesday in his return to the starting lineup and is 4-for-30 (.133) over his last seven games.
Other: Nick Markakis (6-for-38, four RBI last nine games); Jose Altuve (4- for-28, one RBI last seven games)
Jeff Locke, LHP Pittsburgh Pirates - Regression has been chasing Locke all year and finally caught up to him on Aug. 17 when he allowed 10 hits and eight earned runs in 2 2/3 innings. The left-hander has posted a 2.02 WHIP in 30 2/3 innings since the All-Star break.
Ryan Dempster, RHP, Boston Red Sox - I don't know why Yankees manager Joe Girardi was so upset that Dempster wasn't thrown out of Sunday's game after intentionally hitting Alex Rodriguez; his team got to face the right-hander for five more innings. Dempster ended up allowing nine hits and seven earned runs over 5 1/3 to New York and has a 7.40 ERA in August.
Rick Porcello, RHP, Detroit Tigers - Porcello, who allowed 18 hits and eight earned runs in his last 10 1/3 innings, continues to dramatically underperform his FIP due to terrible luck with RISP. Despite posting a stellar 16.3 percent line-drive rate and a 58.2 percent line-drive rate with RISP, he has a .347 BABIP in those situations and has stranded just 68.8 percent of his baserunners. He has a 4.52 ERA, 1.06 runs higher than his FIP.
Other: Matt Garza (5.60 ERA, zero quality starts last 27 1/3 IP); Mike Leake (6.26 ERA, 1.57 WHIP last 23 IP)