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Astros’ Mike Fiers posts another stellar start

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JUPITER, Fla. — Right-hander Mike Fiers Jerseys is performing this spring like someone who wants to force the Astros to make some tough decisions in a few weeks.

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Fiers, competing for a spot in the rotation, retired all nine batters he faced in Saturday’s 4-3 loss to the Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium, striking out four. He’s allowed only two hits and is scoreless in five Grapefruit League innings.

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• Spring: Tickets | Ballpark | 40-man roster | NRIs

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“He was exceptional today — very, very good,” Houston manager A.J. Hinch said. “I was really impressed with the use of his changeup. He got some really good swings and misses and some mis-hits. He’s a good pitcher. We saw it a little bit last year in the second half after we traded for him, but he’s good and he gets some funky swings when he’s on.”

Fiers said he felt he’s progressed from his first start against the Yankees in Tampa, Fla., on Monday, when he threw two innings. His fastball was better this time, he said, along with his changeup and his cutter. He threw some good cutters to lefties and mixed in some sliders to righties, along with the occasional curveball.

He said he was working on command in the strike zone and throwing different pitches in different counts.

“Every time out is a chance for me to prove myself to this team and to this coaching staff and let them know that I can be one of the five starters here in Houston,” kevin durant jersey cheap he said. “Every good outing counts; every good time out just helps my cause, but I’m just focusing on myself, really. I’ve got to do whatever I’ve done in the past and not try to go outside what I can do.”

Fiers, 30, went a combined 5-9 with a 3.89 ERA in 31 games (30 starts) last year with the Brewers and Astros, who acquired him and outfielder Carlos Gomez Jerseys in a July trade. With the Astros, he was 2-1 with a 3.32 ERA in 10 games (nine starts), including an Aug. 21 no-hitter against the Dodgers.

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag’s Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs. Share This Email Print + Hide Comments

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Fantasy Weekly: Weekend Playoff Pickups

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With Yahoo! Fantasy playoffs in full swing in many leagues, here are five waiver-wire players who look ready to contribute this weekend:

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Brandon Jennings, Orlando (26 percent owned)

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The veteran point guard has taken over the starting point guard role in Orlando with Elfrid Payton (elbow) injured. Since entering the starting lineup two games ago, Jennings is averaging 14.0 points on 44.4 percent shooting, 2.0 3-pointers, 7.5 assists and 4.5 rebounds in just 25.5 minutes. There are few players widely available that will tally assists at the rate of Jennings, so he’s definitely worth an addition as long as Payton is out (he’s currently listed as day-to-day). cheap jersey The Magic matchup with Cleveland on Friday and Toronto on Sunday.

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Josh Richardson, Miami (22 percent owned)

The Heat rookie is getting more and more opportunities off the bench. Over his last three games, the No. 40 pick of the 2015 Draft is averaging 12.5 points on 52.9 percent shooting, 2.5 3-pointers, 3.5 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 1.5 blocks in 29.6 minutes. He does a little bit of everything and could be a great plug-and-play option this weekend if you want to pad all your stat categories without hurting your field goal percentage or turnover categories. The Heat host LeBron James and the Cavaliers on Saturday.

Michael Beasley, Houston (15 percent owned)

Consistency has always been an issue for Beasley and you never know when a stretch of strong play will quickly end. All that said, Beasley has been solid for the Rockets over the last four games after they signed him at the beginning of March. Over this four-game span, the former No. 2 overall pick is averaging 15.0 points on 54.2 percent shooting, 6.8 rebounds and 1.0 steals in just 19.0 minutes of action. He’s taking a ton of shots (12.0 per game) in those limited minutes, so he can still produce enough points to be worthy of an addition if you need scoring. He’s a risky pickup, but he could be a difference maker for your squad if he tallies another 18-point, eight-rebound line like he did last Friday against the Celtics. The Rockets matchup with Minnesota on Friday and Atlanta on Saturday.

Bobby Portis, Chicago (13 percent owned)

The Bulls rookie started the second half of their game against the Wizards on Wednesday after starter Taj Gibson went down with a hamstring injury. Gibson is listed as questionable for Thursday and will be day-to-day all weekend, which opens up the door for Portis to see some solid action. Over his last two games, Portis is averaging 7.0 points on 42.9 percent shooting, 1.0 3-pointers, 6.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 23.8 minutes. These certainly aren’t earth-shattering numbers. But they’re solid for a one day addition if Gibson is out, which should allow Portis to hover around the 30-minute mark. Give him a look if you need rebounds this weekend. The Bulls matchup with Utah on Saturday.

Channing Frye, Cleveland (7 percent owned)

The veteran sharp-shooter is starting to carve out a role with the Cavaliers and his role could continue to grow as the regular season winds down. Over his last four games, Frye is averaging 14.3 points on 67.7 percent shooting, 3.5 3-pointers, 4.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 20.4 minutes. He likely won’t shoot at such a high percentage for long. But he should still be able to provide a solid amount of 3-pointers if you need to boost that category this weekend. The Cavaliers matchup against Frye’s former team Orlando on Friday and Miami on Saturday.

Stat Line Of The Week

Bojan Bogdanovic

Nightly Notable: Bojan Bogdanovic

Bojan Bogdanovic scores 44 points on 17-27 shooting with four triples and eight rebounds to lead Brooklyn over Philadelphia.

March 15 vs. Philadelphia — career-high 44 points (17-for 27 FG, 4-for-9 3P, 6-for-7 FT), 8 rebounds, 2 assists in 37 minutes

Be sure to follow @NBAFantasy on Twitter for analysis, tips and advice throughout the 2015-16 NBA season! Trending