We are officially approaching the dog days of summer with the calendar flipping to July.
The All-Star game is just two weeks away and baseball will be at the forefront of the sports scene for the next 2-3 months or so.
Itâ€™s not just the weather thatâ€™s heating up (seriously have you seen the temperatures out west?). Some slumbering bats are heating up as well and weâ€™ll start this column off with a player on one heck of a streak.
Michael Cuddyer: Colorado Rockies
Riding a 27-game hitting streak (longest in Rockies’ history), Cuddyer has carried many fantasy teams in the month of June.
During this torrid stretch, Cuddyer is batting .372 with six home runs and 19 RBIâ€™s. It should be interesting to see if Cuddyer can keep this up in July.
Cuddyer will look to continue his streak with matchups at home against the Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Chris Capuano) and on the road against the Diamondbacks (Trevor Cahill, Wade Miley and Pat Corbin).
David Price: Tampa Bay Rays
After spending nearly a month and a half on the sidelines with a triceps injury, Price is finally set to rejoin the Raysâ€™ rotation this week.
For owners who spent a high pick or significant dollars on him, Priceâ€™s return couldnâ€™t come quick enough. His return will be an instant boon to his owners, as heâ€™ll be lined up for two winnable starts (@Houston, vs. Chicago White Sox).
Jason Kipnis: Cleveland Indians
While he doesnâ€™t have the hitting streak Cuddyer owns (although he does have a 12-game streak going for him), Kipnis has been as equally impressive in the month of June.
Kipnis is batting .500 with three dingers and 17 RBIâ€™s during his hitting streak. With his sizzling play of late, Kipnis has to be viewed as a must-start.
This week Kipnis and the Indians will face off against the Royals (Luis Mendoza, Jeremy Guthrie and James Shields) on the road and then come back home to face the Tigers (Rick Porcello, Jose Alvarez and Doug Fister).
Scott Kazmir: Cleveland Indians
After missing all of last year and most of 2011 (only appearing in one game), Kazmir has had a lot of catching up to do to earn back the trust of fantasy players.
Kazmir has done an admirable job coming back from injury and is doing a quasi-good job as a back-end rotation filler.
Thus far on the season Kazmir is 4-4 with a 4.83 ERA while striking out 66 batters in 69 innings pitched.
With Kazmir pitching better of late (3.76 ERA in last seven starts) and two starts (@Kansas City, vs. Detroit) to work with, Kazmir is a decent, deep mixed-league start this week.
Rickie Weeks: Milwaukee Brewers
There is no other way to say it. Weeks was pathetic to start the 2013 season and he started the 2012 season in similar fashion.
Whether it be the warm weather or simple statistical variance, Weeks is starting to get it in gear. Weeks is 18-47 with four home runs and seven RBIâ€™s in his last 15 games.
Weeks will look to keep it going with a full slate of games against the Nationals (Jordan Zimmermann, Stephen Strasburg, Ross Detwiler and Jordan Taylor) on the road and the Mets (Zack Wheeler, Shaun Marcum and Jeremy Hefner) at home.
Cole Hamels: Philadelphia Phillies
At 2-11 with a 4.58 ERA and 1.30 WHIP, Hamels is certainly not living up to his lofty early-round status. Hamelsâ€™ peripherals (K and BB rates) are solid, yet he is not getting results.
Hamelsâ€™ owners are at a crossroads with the struggling ace. With two starts (@Pittsburgh, vs. Atlanta) this week fantasy GMs have to trot Hamels out there in the hopes he will rebound sooner rather than later.
Asdrubal Cabrera: Cleveland Indians
Cabrera is making up for lost time after quickly coming back from a quad injury,.
Since his activation on June 26, Cabrera is 8-19 with a home run and seven runs scored. Considering this streak and the fact that he plays at a shallow position, Cabrera has to be reinserted into lineups without hesitation. (See Kipnis above for matchups).
Lance Lynn: St. Louis Cardinals
After a breakout campaign in 2012, some people had doubts about Lynn repeating his success.
Lynn has put those doubts to rest this year, as he is even having a better run of it this year. So far, Lynn is 10-2 with a respectable 3.52 ERA and 1.16 WHIP to go along with 98 strikeouts in 99.2 innings pitched.
Lynn could be in for a good week with two winnable starts (@Los Angeles Angels and home against the Marlins).
Eric Hosmer: Kansas City Royals
Another player rising from the ashes has been Hosmer.
In the month of June, Hosmer hit .302 to go along with six home runs and 17 RBIâ€™s. As such, Hosmer is making for a good play at first base or corner infield again.
Hosmer, who has as much raw ability as any player in the game, will look to continue his hot ways with six home games against Cleveland (Corey Kluber, Scott Kazmir and Ubaldo Jimenez) and Oakland (Tommy Milone, TBA and A.J. Griffin).
Stephen Strasburg: Washington Nationals
There were some concerns when Strasburg suffered a lat injury in late May that he may be out a while. However, Strasburg only served the minimum amount of time on the DL.
Strasburg has been effective upon his return, tossing 19 innings while giving up just four earned runs on 12 hits and six walks.
With two great starts (vs. Milwaukee and San Diego) at home, Strasburg can carry his owners this week.