The All-Star break is over and the second half of baseball is underway. Hopefully you are refreshed and ready to go because the season is drawing closer to its end every single day and the winner of your league is soon to be determined.
Will that winner be you?
Who knows. Take a look at the week’s hitting planner and prepare your squads for victory.
For anyone who follows the Reds, there is a noticeable change in the way that catchers are handled. Instead of switching things up on a daily basis, players like Ramon Hernandez are enjoying the two- to three- day rotation. Can’t argue with a .322 average and 10 home runs while only playing in 53 games.
Staying in the NL Central, Michael McKenry is in a good position. The Pirates are in the midst of an unusually good season and one must believe that his play should stay at a high level.
Trivia! I am hitting a career low .243, I have ZERO home runs, jus NINE RBIs, and have an owned percentage of 100…so who am I? Don’t take this as a bashing of Joe Mauer, but his production is simply terrible and a lot of it has to do with the injuries.
Someone else who should get a shot first is John Buck who is the third ranked catcher over his last seven games and has a favorable matchup against a further depleted Mets staff.
Let’s compare two players who offer similar end production but go about it in different ways.
First is Joey Votto, who offers a .324 batting average to go along with 59 runs scored this year; his home run and RBI numbers are down a little in comparison to last year, but managers know that he can have a big game at anytime. Next we have Ryan Howard. While he does rank near the top of league in power departments, he is hitting near a career low of .257, and his OPS is a dismal .828. If you had to chose between the two it looks as if Votto is the better all-around hitter.
Going into the break, Freddie Freeman was one of the hottest players at 1st base and looks to keep the trend going as play resumes.
If you were afraid that Albert Pujols came back too early from injury, then you might want to retract that statement and get him back into the starting lineup.
Maybe Adam Dunn will have a better second half of the season.
It’s easy to argue that Robinson Cano is the best 2nd basemen in baseball right now. Will his historic effort in the Home Run Derby help or hurt his production? We think he will be riding high.
Ben Zobrist has rebounded greatly from his slow April and May. If you have him on your squad, look for some top-5 production for the rest of the year.
Slipping to the five spot came with some growing pains for Howard Kendrick, but he showed some comfort just before the break and those RBI numbers should jump a little with the lineup change.
The excitement of the trade of Mark Ellis has dwindled just a little since coming over from the A’s, but it is hard to deny the benefits of playing in Coors Field. Give him a few games to get settled in to his new home before too many judgments are made.
It may seem bold but Chase Utley should see the bench while Aaron Hill starts to heat up.
Emilio Bonifacio’s popularity has skyrocketed lately with his hitting and stolen base numbers improving. He has eligibility all over the field but we’ll peg him here for now. The time to acquire him is running out so you know what needs to be done. What also needs to be done is putting him in your lineup in place of Chase Headley, who is not in the top 25 for fantasy 3rd Basemen over the last seven days and is dinged up.
What’s the deal with Ryan Zimmerman? If there is anyone who feels that they have a reason as to why he has an owned percentage of 100 with a .254 average, four home runs, and 15 RBIs (which ranks 28th at the position) please feel free to comment below.
Good news comes out of Minnesota with the name of Danny Valencia. Yes he has had a few difficult months hitting for average, but he has started the first half of July with a bang and a 1.010 OPS to boot. Same goes for Ryan Roberts. He is showing good power numbers with a low average, but the only difference here is that he is losing playing time to teammate Sean Burroughs.
Derek Jeter took care of business the best way he could with a 5-5 game on the night of his 3,000th hit. While that may have happened, Hanley Ramirez proves to be the much better choice when it comes to fantasy. Not that you didn’t know that already.
Strangely, Tsuyoshi Nishioka hits much better when playing shortstop than he does when playing 2nd. The Twins like him there and it looks like the success should continue.
Even though Asdrubal Cabrera’s home run numbers have fallen off after the first couple months of the season, he has come back off the break strong to start the second half.
A lot of owners like Ian Desmond, but there is not much to benefit when there hasn’t been an RBI in the month of July. Also, he is only hitting .216 this month to go along with the .223 yearly mark.
Travis Snider has made the most of his time since being called up from the minors, as he has established himself as the best outfield option over the last seven days. Things obviously won’t stay this way for long, but he could be the surprise of the second half.
Along with Snider, teammates Rajai Davis, Eric Thames, and Jose Bautista were also ranked in the top 10 fantasy hitters at the position this week. So, four Blue Jays in the elite group of hitters are certainly reminiscent of last year’s home run champs.
For an all around game, look no further than Nyjer Morgan. This Brewer has good batting average and decent power numbers to go along with an above average ability to steal bases. Milwaukee is improving as a team so there is no doubt in my mind about him being a valuable asset to almost anyone out there.
On the flip side there are some players who’s hitting has been on a downward trend and they are: Lance Berkman, Nelson Cruz, Carlos Beltran and Alfonso Soriano.