- Matthew Berry, Fantasy
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Fact: Of the many complaints I get about my columns, the one that recurs most often is that I am prone to write extensively long introductions that I sometimes only barely manage to relate to fantasy sports. So this one's for all of you out there who want fantasy by the numbers. Here are 50 facts. Do with them as you will.
1. Roy Oswalt's ERA this year is 3.79.
2. Cliff Lee's ERA this year is 2.83.
3. Cole Hamels ERA this year is 2.71.
4. Roy Halladay's ERA this year is 2.57.
5. Vance Worley's ERA this year is 2.02.
6. Worley is available in 46 percent of leagues.
7. More Phillies. Since July 1, Raul Ibanez is hitting .308 with four home runs and 14 RBIs in 52 at bats.
8. Johnny Cueto has gone six innings and given up three earned runs or fewer in 11 straight starts.
9. I asked Nat Coombs about this on our podcast: I don't get the obsession with Pippa Middleton. She's cute but ... that's all I got. Baffled by Pippa mania.
10. July 3 was Juan Rivera's last game with the Blue Jays.
11. On July 4, Travis Snider was recalled. Since then, Snider is hitting .357 with two home runs , 17 RBI, 11 runs and three steals. He is available in 30 percent of leagues.
12. His teammate, Rajai Davis, is hitting .279 with 12 runs scored and 11 steals this month.
13. Over the past three years, Davis has hit .252 pre-All-Star break and .308 afterward.
15. Since July 4, Encarnacion (41 percent owned) is hitting .367. He has two home runs and nine RBIs for the month.
16. Thames is hitting .333 with three home runs and 13 RBIs in July. He's available in over 70 percent of leagues.
17. You may be thinking about a quick spot start for John Lackey on Friday, what with the light-hitting Mariners coming to town. But as ESPN Stats & Information points out, the temperature for Boston on Friday is expected to be 94 degrees. And in his career, when the first pitch temperature is at 90 degrees or higher, Lackey's ERA is 5.14, with just one win in his past seven starts under such conditions.
18. Juan Nicasio (99 percent available) now has a 1.58 ERA at home (six games).
19. In 102 innings pitched this season, Charlie Morton has allowed just three home runs. Three.
20. More Pirates: Paul Maholm has a 1.93 ERA at home this season and has allowed only eight home runs on the year.
21. If it wasn't because of "tradition" at ballgames, I would never eat a hot dog.
22. Top "you only eat/drink because of tradition but would never otherwise"? Eggnog, Cranberry sauce, anything green that isn't normally (St. Patrick's Day only).
23. How good has Jered Weaver been this year? Elias notes that he is only the fifth American League pitcher in the designated hitter-era with an earned run average under 2.00 at the 20-start mark of a season.
24. More pitching: This year, only five pitchers have had at least two games with at least eight innings pitched, at least 10 strikeouts and no earned runs: Clayton Kershaw, James Shields, Justin Verlander, Cliff Lee and ... Ian Kennedy.
25. Since coming off the DL, Jeff Niemann has a 0.84 ERA, a 1.08 WHIP and has faced the Red Sox, Yankees and Cardinals.
26. So, the now-11-year-old son of the Current Mrs. Roto recently had a birthday. My mom, the Mayor, considerate woman she is, sent him a gift card in the mail. We got the cards from the post office in one of those "Sorry, your card got damaged" envelopes. The birthday card envelope was ripped wide open, the card was still in there, but ... just the "Happy 11th!" card. No gift card. If there's an afterlife, I hope there's a special level of hell for whoever decided to open a birthday card and steal a gift card from an 11-year-old kid.
27. Josh Reddick is hitting .377 with four home runs and 14 RBIs in his past 24 games.
28. He has only J.D. Drew in front of him. He is available n 94 percent of leagues.
29. No batter this season has a higher pitches-per-plate appearance percentage than Curtis Granderson.
30. Dan Uggla is hitting .267 with five home runs in July.
32. Have recently seen "Bad Teacher," "Horrible Bosses," "Bridesmaids" and "Hangover Part II" this summer. Enjoyed all of them. Been a good summer for comedy movies it seems.
33. You have no idea how hard it is to make a funny movie. So many people touch a screenplay from first writing until you see it on the screen, it's amazing anything funny ever happens.
34. The funniest movie of them all -- and it wasn't close -- was "Bridesmaids." For those that don't think women are funny ... you're wrong.
35. More guys heating up in July (see what I did there?): Over the past 30 days, Cameron Maybin (21 percent) has been the eighth-best outfielder on our Player Rater.
36. He is hitting .288 this month with 10 runs scored, six RBIs and six steals.
37. This year, as a No. 5 or 6 hitter, Angel Pagan is hitting .303.
38. With the return of Jose Reyes to the lineup, Pagan is batting fifth.
39. In the suddenly available women rankings, I still have Elin at the top, though J-Lo is making a big surge.
40. Over his past 11 games, Mark Trumbo now has five home runs and eight RBIs.
41. Since returning to the majors on July 4, Mike Napoli is hitting .448 with three home runs and nine RBIs.
42. Brian Duensing now has five quality starts in his past six.
43. He had a brutal May, but since then he's had a 3.25 ERA in June and a 2.01 ERA in July.
44. I continue to like Duensing more than I should.
45. Speaking of unhealthy obsessions, Kyle Blanks is hitting .312 with 15 home runs and 62 RBIs in 78 games between Double-A and Triple-A this season.
46. I know I will get sucked in again. Warning you now. Fantasy Kryptonite.
47. Only the Padres have scored fewer runs this season against left-handed pitching than the San Francisco Giants.
48. In four games since joining the rotation, Cory Luebke is 2-1 with a 1.50 ERA and a 26-to-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 24 innings pitched.
49. He is available in 48 percent of leagues.
50. By this time next week, I'll be Uncle TMR to my younger brother's newborn kid. In the words of Bart Scott … CAN'T WAIT. CAN'T. WAIT!
Matthew Berry -- The Talented Mr. Roto -- also really liked "X-MEN: First Class," but it wasn't that funny. He is the creator of RotoPass.com, a website that combines a bunch of well-known fantasy sites, including ESPN Insider, for one low price. Use promo code ESPN for 10 percent off. He is a charter member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association Hall of Fame. Cyberstalk the TMR | Be his cyberfriend
5dDavid M. Hale