(Photo by Quinn Harris/Icon Sportswire)
It’s a cold, harsh reality that the fantasy baseball season is coming down the home stretch and will be leaving us in about 6 weeks. I know. I’m taking the news as hard as you are, trust me. Football season aside, this is the time of year where we can start to make statements about our year in general. For example, it’s safe for me to say that my Pitcher List staff league team was ruined by taking Greg Bird in a far-earlier-than-I’m-comfortable-admitting round this year. Yeah, we’re very close to that point.
So, let’s do a little exercise. Without peeking, would you say you were happy or disappointed with the production you’ve gotten from Jose Abreu having taken him anywhere from rounds 2-4? If you had asked me that question before I looked up his stats and info, I would have said disappointed. My perception has been this is a down year for the slugging Cuban, and I think he’s going to fail to reach 30 HR this year. The reality is that my, and many others, perception is incorrect. In fact, after last night’s 2-5, R, 2B, 2 RBI, SB line, Abreu is on pace to put up a very Jose-like line of 87 R/29 HR/101 RBI/.274. The only category that’s off previous years is the average, but he’s still giving you pretty much what you drafted. My point here is that consistency is not sexy. In fact, it’s often overlooked and underrated. Guys like this, and not Greg Bird, are what can get you to the title game. Hope you’ve still got a shot.
Let’s take a look at some of the other performances from Monday:
Jesus Aguilar (1B, Milwaukee Brewers) – 3-4, R. “The Holy One” came through in real life baseball with 3 singles, but us fantasy owners were left with little to no fantasy production to speak of. Still, there’s been so little to complain about this year with him, and he’s slashing a cool .311/.436/.533 with 3 bombs and 12 RBI over his last two weeks.
Johan Camargo (3B, Atlanta Braves) – 3-3, BB. He’s got Austin Riley breathing down his neck, but Camargo hasn’t let that get in the way his productive-for-NL-only-formats line of 47 R/13 HR/59 RBI/.271. It’s hard to believe that he’s just 24 years old as I could’ve sworn he was teammates with Andruw Jones, but alas…that’s a fact. He’s got a very solid .876 OPS over his last 30 games.
Wilmer Flores (3B/SS, New York Mets) – 3-6, 2B, RBI. Give it up for single-digit K rates! I see you, 9.2%! Anyways, the Flushing Town Crier (get it?) has hit safely in 6 of his last 7 games, but he has just 2 extra base hits to show for it. One fun fact is that he’s been playing enough first base to make him eligible there already in some leagues. Multi-positional party!
Robinson Cano (2B, Seattle Mariners) – 3-5, 2 R, HR, 2 2B, 3 RBI. He’s been back for about a week now, and this was far and away his best game yet. He had been getting hits, but he hadn’t flashed much power at all until tonight’s outburst. I think a .280 average with 8-10 HR isn’t out of the question for him rest of season.
Marwin Gonzalez (SS, Houston Astros) – 3-4, 2 R, HR, 2B, 3 RBI. This was just his 12th dong of the year, but we’ve been over how last year was an outlier. I won’t bore you by repeating that phrase. Though he won’t repeat the totals of last year, he has found his power stroke in the 2nd half with 5 dongs, an ISO of .226, and a 12% increase in hard contact rate. I’d grab him now to try and catch lightning in a bottle.
Kevin Kiermaier (OF, Tampa Bay Rays) – 3-4, 2B. I’ve always said that when he’s healthy, he’s ownable. He is one of those things (allegedly) at the moment. I’ll give you a hint. He’s hitting .127 in August and has an OPS of .549 in the 2nd half. You’re not rostering him until further notice.
Stephen Piscotty (OF, Oakland Athletics) – 3-5, 3 R, HR, 2B, RBI. That makes it 16 dongs on the year for former Cardinal. He had gotten hot last month for a nice stretch but has cooled lately with just 1 dong over his last 2 weeks and an OPS of .670. He has the upside and lineup to make him intriguing down the stretch.
Marcus Semien (SS, Oakland Athletics) – 3-4, 2 R, 2B, RBI. He’s now hit safely in 8 of his last 9 games and continues his hot August for a hot ballclub. He’s now slashing .310/.375/.500 this month and has the power-speed upside to make him worth a look especially in AL-only leagues.
Brandon Belt (1B, San Francisco Giants) – 2-6. This was just his 6th game back from the DL, and honestly, I just threw him in here because I wanted to see how he’s been doing since being back. The verdict? He’s gone 5-24, R, 2B. Now, you don’t have to look it up yourself. You’re welcome.
Melky Cabrera (OF, Cleveland Indians) – 2-3, R, HR, RBI. He was the lead in Ben Palmer’s Batter’s Box yesterday, and so it looks like we have a repeat customer. He’s now homered in 4 of his last 8 contests, and he’s piling up counting stats in a solid playoff lineup. He’s going to get tons of opportunities down the stretch as the Indians’ outfield is riddled with injuries.
Lorenzo Cain (OF, Milwaukee Brewers) – 2-4, SB. Swipers gonna swipe as that makes 24 on the year. He needs just 5 more to set a new career-high, and he has a very real shot at his first 30 swipe season if he does so. Give it up for the one of like 6 guys who still steal these days!
Matt Davidson (3B/DH, Chicago White Sox) – 2-5, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI. This was his 18th dong of the year, and we know who he is at this point. He will put some balls over the fence, hit for a poor average, and strike out at around a 35% clip.
Khris Davis (OF, Oakland Athletics) – 2-4, R, HR, RBI, BB. Let’s check on his attempt to pull a Khris Davis (42 HR, .247 AVG)…37 HR and a .261 average. Ok, woah. He’s on pace to get past 42 HR and he’s hitting way too well for a .247 average. What’s happening here? Jokes aside, he’s so locked in, and that’s 16 dongs in the 2nd half alone.
Max Kepler (OF, Minnesota Twins) – 2-4, R, HR, 3B, RBI. This is dong #17 for the young German, and that means he needs just 3 more to set a new career-high. The Twins have started the process of rebuilding, so it could get a little funky around him next season. Still, I’ve been a fan of his since last year, and I will definitely have him on my radar to take a big step forward next year.
Ramon Laureano (OF, Oakland Athletics) – 2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 5 RBI. Congrats to this youngster on his first and second career MLB bombs. He’s been up most of August in Oakland, but he’s serving as a 4th outfielder at this point. He does have an intriguing power-speed combo that would be worth owning in deeper formats were he to get more playing time.
Jose Martinez (1B/OF, St. Louis Cardinals) – 2-5, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI. This was his 15th dong of the year, which is actually a career-high for him. We know he doesn’t have crazy-high power upside, but he has been slashing .370/.424/.500 over his last two weeks of games. The Cardinals have been red hot as of late and has he.
Kendrys Morales (1B/DH, Toronto Blue Jays) – 2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI. This makes it 16 dongs on the year, but I’m looking pretty foolish for saying he could be a sneaky factor down the stretch. In fact, these were his 3rd and 4th dongs of the 2nd half, his hard contact has gone down to 39%, and his ISO is all the way at .122. You will be frustrated trying to chase nights like these.
Greg Allen (OF, Cleveland Indians) – 1-3, R, HR, 2 RBI. Another benefactor of the banged-up Cleveland outfield is Allen. He’s not particularly known for his power as this was just his 2nd dong of the year, but he has an above average hit tool and great speed. That’s why you should be rostering him especially in AL-only leagues.
Jonathan Villar (2B/SS, Baltimore Orioles) – 1-4, R, BB, 2 SB. That brings him up to 18 swipes this year, and in today’s game, that equals a swipers gonna swipe label. He’s now stolen 4 bags since coming over to Baltimore, and he’s slashing .270/.343/.444 over that time frame as well.
Matt Carpenter (1B/3B, St. Louis Cardinals) – 3-5, 2 R, HR, 2B, RBI. The sun came up this morning, and Matt Carpenter bashed another HR. Taters. Gonna. Tate. That’s now a remarkable career-high of 34 HR for the 32-year-old, and can you imagine how many bombs he would have if he had started off the year halfway decent?