- Eric Karabell, ESPN.com Senior Writer
Houston Astros veterans Roy Oswalt and Lance Berkman shined Thursday, enhancing their possible trade value. Oswalt tossed a one-hit shutout, while Berkman provided all the run support with a pair of home runs. Fantasy owners have complained about both players this season, but each remains a smart buy-low option. Oswalt is 100 percent owned, but Berkman, at 91.8 percent, is not, and he has five home runs in his past four games.
Chicago White Sox lefty John Danks spun a two-hit shutout Thursday, but he's owned in every league already; he topped Los Angeles Angels right-hander Ervin Santana, who can still be found in some leagues. Santana allowed three hits and one run in eight innings, his best performance since May. Santana isn't quite the fantasy ace he was in 2008, but he's still fantasy-worthy.
Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Wade Davis beat the Cleveland Indians on Thursday, his first win since May. However, Davis did walk four and allowed two home runs, which are troubling. He has walked 12 hitters in his past four outings and served up six home runs over three starts. Stronger offensive teams will take advantage and could force the start of the Jeremy Hellickson era in Tampa.
Colorado Rockies first baseman Jason Giambi, in his first start since Todd Helton went on the disabled list, went 4-for-4 Thursday with a pair of RBIs. Giambi is going to play and could be the National League version of Russell Branyan, which does have value.
Five Toronto Blue Jays homered Thursday, but the one with the lowest batting average was by disappointing Adam Lind. His solo homer was his second in four games, possibly a harbinger of a second-half surge. Lind is hitting .207, 98 points below his final 2009 mark, so he has plenty of room for improvement.
Seattle Mariners lefty Jason Vargas proved his mettle with seven solid innings against the mighty New York Yankees on Thursday. Vargas, who entered with a 2.30 ERA at Safeco Field (and 4.50 ERA on the road) continued his home success, and his presence on ESPN's most-dropped list seems short-lived.