Are Fantasy RBs in Decay?

Are Fantasy RBs in Decay?
Graham Barfield takes an in-depth look at fantasy scoring among running backs and notes key trends at the position.
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Ken Giles handled ninth-inning duties against the Orioles on Thursday, allowing one run on two hits before shutting the door to earn his first save of the season.

Luke Gregerson had thrown 43 pitches over the previous two days, so it was Giles who got the call to close out the Orioles. Two singles in the inning produced a run, but Giles got Chris Davis to ground out as the tying run to end the game. Giles has settled down after a miserable start to the year, posting a 2.62 ERA this month with 13 strikeouts in 10 1/3 innings. The closer's job is still Gregerson's to lose, but Giles looks more like a viable alternative, should Gregerson stumble, than he did a few weeks ago.
May 26 - 11:37 PM

Luis Valbuena hit a two-run home run in a win over the Orioles on Thursday.

The home run was his third in as many games, as Valbuena apparently likes batting against Orioles pitching. Thursday's blast came against Kevin Gausman, one of three homers Gausman gave up to Astros hitters on the night. Valbuena's power display has more than doubled his home run total since the start of the series, as the 30-year-old now has five homers and 15 RBI to go with a .220/.303/.402 line.
May 26 - 11:32 PM

Kevin Gausman allowed four runs over five innings -- all on home runs -- in a loss to the Astros on Thursday.

Gausman gave up just five hits on the evening, but three of them -- two solo blasts by George Springer, and a two-run shot by Luis Valbuena -- left the yard. Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play? Dingers aside, Gausman pitched well, striking out seven while walking one. He owns a 3.24 ERA and 1.13 WHIP with a 37/9 K/BB ratio in seven starts this year, and he'll try to get on the right side of the ledger Tuesday against the Red Sox.
May 26 - 11:29 PM

Lance McCullers had an interesting outing Thursday, striking out 10, walking six and allowing just one run on one hit over five innings in a win over the Orioles.

The one hit McCullers surrendered was a solo homer by Mark Trumbo. Otherwise, he was virtually untouchable, registering his highest single-game strikeout total since July 12 of last season. Of course, the six walks were also a record for the 22-year-old. All told, McCullers is now 1-1 with a 4.60 ERA, 1.60 WHIP and 21/12 K/BB ratio through his first 15 2/3 innings. An interleague date with the Diamondbacks is on tap for Tuesday.
May 26 - 11:28 PM

Ryan Braun left Thursday's game against the Braves for precautionary reasons.

He never came back after a one-hour, 19-minute rain delay in the seventh inning. It doesn't look like Braun is injured but after missing time with back and wrist injuries earlier this month, the Brewers weren't taking any chances. Braun went 1-for-3 with a solo home run before exiting. Kirk Nieuwenhuis replaced him in left field.
May 26 - 11:03 PM

Red Sox manager John Farrell said there's no decision on whether Clay Buchholz will make his next start.

With Eduardo Rodriguez (knee) ready to come off the disabled list, Buchholz was likely pitching for his rotation spot Thursday against the Rockies. It didn't go well as the right-hander allowed a season-high six runs while watching his ERA balloon to 6.35. The Red Sox are famous for inventing injuries for struggling players and that might be their best option with Buchholz here. Buchholz has no confidence right now and is having a really difficult time with runners on base. We'd be surprised to see him make his next start Tuesday against Baltimore.
May 26 - 10:45 PM

Dustin Garneau hit one of three, two-run home runs on the night as the Rockies thumped the Red Sox 8-2 on Thursday.

Garneau's two-run dinger in the fifth inning followed two-run shots by Carlos Gonzalez, who hit his in the fourth, and Trevor Story, whose homer came two batters before Garneau's. The catcher also doubled and scored in the game. The home run was the first of the season for the 28-year-old, and his .270/.317/.459 line while filling in for the injured Nick Hundley could leave the Rockies' front office with a tough decision when Hundley returns.
May 26 - 10:43 PM

David Ortiz continued to rake Thursday, finishing 2-for-4 with a double and a two-run home run in a loss to the Rockies.

Ortiz was basically the only Red Sox hitter able to get something going against Rockies starter Jon Gray, taking the youngster deep for the two-run jack in the first inning. The home run was his 12th of the season to go with a whopping 45 RBI, most in the AL, and 24 runs scored. He's doubled in five consecutive games, and the good stretch has the 40-year-old's season line up to a ridiculous .337/.420/.706.
May 26 - 10:39 PM
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