(Photo by Keith Birmingham/Zumapress/Icon Sportswire)
It continues to be the Wild, Wild (AL) West in the American League this year as the Houston Astros have now made it 6 straight Ws here in late August. A large reason behind their recent success has been their talented, young third baseman Alex Bregman whose 4-5, 2 R, HR, 2B, 4 RBI line last night helped propel the defending champs to victory yesterday. Bregman has been red-hot as of late sporting an 8-game hit streak, and he’s slashing .386/.471/.632 over the last two weeks. He’s among the league leaders in wOBA this year, has increased his hard contact to 40% on the year, and last night made it 25 dongs on the year. He’s on pace to finish with 107 R/30 HR/99 RBI/12 SB/.286, and I can’t see how you could justify anything later than the 2nd round in next year’s drafts.
Let’s take a look at some of the other performances from Monday:
Kole Calhoun (OF, Los Angeles Angels) – 3-4, R, 2B, BB, SB. This was just his 6th swipe of the year, but Calhoun and speed go together like peanut butter and eggs. Just trying to pick the most random thing I could think of. Anyways, Calhoun has almost matched his 1st half stats in the month and a half that has been the 2nd half so far, and that’s just great for those who jumped on board at the beginning of it. He’s going to be a weird one to analyze heading into next year with the splits he’s posted this season. Who’s the real Calhoun?!
Carlos Gonzalez (OF, Colorado Rockies) – 3-5, SB. Unexpected swipe alert! We need a name for that. Maybe something like Sneaky Swipe? Accidental Theft? I don’t know. Let’s keep working on it. He’s only produced moderate counting stats so far, but you can’t be disappointed by the triple slash of .294/.347/.488. Hey, it’s better than last year!
Marwin Gonzalez (1B/2B/3B/SS/OF, Houston Astros) – 3-4, 2 R, 2B, RBI, BB. Another Astro who has been hot during their win-streak! He was just dreadful for a good chunk of the first half, but he’s been heating up here in the 2nd half. In fact, over his last two weeks of games, he’s got 4 tates with a slash of .356/.397/.644. He’s also owned in 69% of leagues. Nice.
DJ LeMahieu (2B, Colorado Rockies) – 3-5, 2 R, HR, 2B, 4 RBI. This tate actually gives him a career high of 12 on the year. He’s actually been hitting quite well in August with a .296 AVG and an OPS of .806. His .283 AVG on the season feels a bit low to what we’re accustomed to, but we know the upside at home in that lineup is pretty high. I could see him getting hot and lifting the average to normal levels down the stretch.
Anthony Rizzo (1B, Chicago Cubs) – 3-5, 2 R, HR, 2 2B, 2 RBI. Taters Gonna Tate as that makes it 22 on the year. He will need to have a hot September in order to post his 5th straight 30 HR season, and I would say that’s most definitely within the realm of possibilities. It’s been a bit of a step back for him production wise this year, and this could be his first time slugging under .500 since 2013.
Jose Altuve (2B, Houston Astros) – 2-4, R, 2B, RBI, BB. My heart hurts for his owners when I look at his 10 HR and 15 SB on the year. Though it’s been a bummer of a season for the 2nd overall pick in most drafts, he’s been heating up with 4 multi-hit efforts over his last 5 games. The Astros are hot in general, and he’s no exception. Obviously, the upside is there to give you tons of production in a hurry.
Tim Anderson (SS, Chicago White Sox) – 2-5, R, 2 2B, 2 RBI, SB. Swipers Gonna Swipe as that makes it 25 on the year. That’s not only a career-high, but it’s also 10 more than his previous high of 15 last year. Wow. Now, whoever predicted a 20/30 season from Tim Anderson…could you please email me? I’d like to purchase some lottery tickets, and I’d like for you to help me out.
Matt Chapman (3B, Oakland Athletics) – 2-4, R, HR, 2B, 2 RBI. That makes it 21 bombs on the year from Oakland’s Other Matt. That also brings his slash up to .284/.367/.533 on the season. He’s been straight fire in the 2nd half with 11 bombs, a .352 AVG, and general all-around fantasy awesomeness. He’s been super underrated the whole season, and I like him as a value pick in next year’s drafts.
Rhys Hoskins (1B/OF, Philadelphia Phillies) – 2-3, R, HR, RBI, BB. Taters Gonna Tate as that makes it 27 on the year for the young Phillie. It’s amazing that he’s turned into a Major League power hitter after his turn in the Goonies about 30 years ago. We don’t give him enough credit for that. Anyways, over the last two weeks, Hoskins has 5 tates with a .564 slugging. He’s locked in.
Trey Mancini (1B/OF, Baltimore Orioles) – 2-4, 2 R, HR, 2B, 5 RBI. Baltimore has moved on to talking about
Joe Flacco being elite the Ravens since about June 1st, and Mancini has been a microcosm of the team itself. Disappointing production and a season he’d like to forget. He is on a mini-hot streak over his last 3 games, though, as he’s gone 6-12, with 4 R, 2 HR, and 6 RBI.
Daniel Murphy (2B, Chicago Cubs) – 2-4, R, 2B, BB, SB. Those who gambled and took Murphy in drafts this year have been disappointed. Those who picked him up later in the year after a frustrated owner dropped him have probably been less disappointed especially since joining the Cubs. Since coming to the North Side, he’s been outstanding slashing .407/.448/.704. He won’t sustain this production, but he is definitely in a much better spot down the stretch than he was two weeks ago.
Kevin Plawecki (C, New York Mets) – 2-3, 2 R, HR, RBI, BB. The Onomatopoeia (think about it….Pla-WECKI! Possible nickname?! It’s like the sound of a loogie hitting the wall…) slugged his 5th dong of the year, and here I am pretending like anyone cares about that. You can forget this ever happened now.
Amed Rosario (SS, New York Mets) – 2-5, R, RBI, SB. That makes it 16 swipes on the year as he’s trying to get us to start that hype train for next year! *Sees his .652 OPS on the year and changes mind* Anyways, Paul Sporer told you in a recent podcast that Rosario was a name to watch down the stretch thanks to the SB upside. Considering his 10 swipes in the 2nd half so far, I’d say Paul knows what’s up. You know what to do if you need the steals.
Mike Trout (OF, Los Angeles Angels) – 2-3, 3 R, HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB. Taters Gonna Tate! He needs to have a spicy September to do so, but a 40/25 season is a very distinct possibility for this fantasy god.
Jonathan Villar (SS, Baltimore Orioles) – 2-2, 2 R, 2 BB, SB. Swipers Gonna Swipe as that makes it 20 bags on the year for Villar. Though he plays in a terrible lineup and won’t give you much else, there’s tremendous stolen base upside here for those that need it down the stretch.
Tyler White (1B, Houston Astros) – 2-4, R, HR, 4 RBI, BB. He’s been a regular in the Astros lineup for about a month now, and he’s most certainly run with the opportunity. Over his last 30 games, he’s slapped 9 tates and slashed a very impressive .303/.378/.657. He’s yet another Astro who’s red hot here in late August when you need it the most.
Marcus Semien (SS, Oakland Athletics) – 1-4, R, HR, 2 RBI. This was just his 11th dong of the year, and I honestly expected more from a healthy Semien. Though it’s been a letdown as a whole, possesses that coveted power-speed upside. There are far worse floors than his on your waiver wire right now.
George Springer (OF, Houston Astros) – 1-3, 2 R, 2B, RBI, 2 BB. It’s been a disappointing year for the Astros’ outfielder since the calendar flipped to June, but a hot lineup is like the poison ivy that was on my leg last week. It’s infectious and tough to stop once it gets going. Injuries have limited him to just 8 games in August, but if he can get healthy down the stretch, the upside is there to make him a great play rest of season.
Trevor Story (SS, Colorado Rockies) – 1-4, BB, SB. That makes it a career-high 20 swipes on the year, but I give you this word of warning. This has all the makings of an outlier year. I liked him this year because he was falling to about the 11th round. I will most definitely not be paying the inflated price next year.
Gleyber Torres (SS, New York Yankees) – 1-2, R, HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB, SB. The combo meal that we all know and love! That gives Torres 20 dongs on the year, and I don’t think many saw that coming this season. Regardless, it’s been a rough 2nd half for the budding star as he’s hit just .220, but we’ve seen what he can do when fully healthy. He has the talent to produce top 10 production at the position rest of season.