AL West Report: Oakland’s Scott Kazmir enters the All Star Break strong while the Mariners Iwakuma keeps on rolling; both starters provide a steady presence in their respective rotations.
Every week Three Up Three Down examines each division and offers an in-depth look at the highs and lows with insight for fantasy owners and baseball fans alike.
Scott Kazmir, SP Oakland Athletics
Kazmir had everything working in his last start before the All-Star break against the San Francisco Giants. He threw seven scoreless innings and struck out nine batters. This was the second consecutive start he threw at least seven innings and allowed less than two runs.This was also the 11th time in 19 starts that he allowed one or zero runs. Kazmir has been the model of consistency for Oakland in their rotation.
Hisashi Iwakuma, SP Seattle Mariners
Iwakuma looked phenomenal on the mound in his last start against the Minnesota Twins. He struck out 10 batters over seven shutout innings, and surrendered just four hits. This was the second straight start he allowed one run or less, and he has struck out 17 batters over his last two outings.
Kole Calhoun, OF Los Angeles Angels
Calhoun is having a good season for the Angels with a .304 batting average and .900 OPS in 207 at-bats. He has 26 extra-base hits and 25 RBI, while scoring 48 runs. He handles right-handed pitchers with no issues, as indicated by his .314 average in 159 at-bats against them. Calhoun is also solid with two outs and runners in scoring position, as he has a .286 average and 1.128 OPS with 11 RBI in this situation.
Colby Lewis, SP Texas Rangers
Lewis was rocked hard in his last start against the Angels, as he allowed a season-high 11 earned runs in only 2.1 innings pitched. This marked the sixth time that he allowed at least five runs in a start. The opposition has a .353 average, and left-handed batters are hitting .402 in in 189 at-bats against him.He has a 6.54 ERA in 16 starts across 84 innings pitched, while sporting a WHIP of 1.82.
Fantasy Advice: Jake Odorizzi has a 4.10 ERA in 18 starts through 94.1 innings pitched with 109 strikeouts and 34 walks issued. He has allowed three runs or less in each of his last six starts.
Roenis Elias, SP Seattle Mariners
Elias seemed lost on the mound in his last start against the Twins. He allowed six runs in 3.1 innings pitched on seven hits. This was the third consecutive start that he gave up at least five runs. Elias at times can be dominant, but in other starts he becomes easy prey for opposing batters. He has a 4.54 ERA in 113 innings pitched across 19 starts.
Fantasy Advice: Tom Koehler in 106.1 innings pitched has a 3.98 ERA in 18 starts, and is limiting teams to a .235 batting average. He has allowed two runs or less in three of his last four starts.
Robbie Grossman, OF Houston Astros
Grossman in 125 at-bats is hitting .176 with nine extra-base hits and 13 RBI. He has a .599 OPS, and his batting average is .189 against right-handed pitchers.
Fantasy Advice: Nick Castellanos is hitting .269 in 294 at-bats with 27 extra-base hits and 34 RBI. The OPS for him is .719, while having a .265 average against right-handed pitchers.