For those of you who listened to me on players like Chris Sale…your welcome. Sale was a must have for me before the season started and now you see why. He’s putting up Cy Young caliber numbers. I also wrote on here and tweeted that everyone should have gone and picked up Felipe Paulino. Paulino keeps blanking teams, putting up over a K/IP, and has a 1.70 ERA on the season. Follow my advice towards a winning team.
Before I get into the hot adds I want to talk about Will Middlebrooks. I praised him a lot in this article in previous weeks. The last few days he has been taking groundballs at SS. With Pedroia out the Red Sox could put Aviles at 2B and move Middlebrooks to SS. After he gains fantasy SS eligibility he’s fantasy gold. Having a young 3B who can play a weak SS position is amazing. Because of his .300 25-30 HR upside he immediately becomes an upper-tier fantasy SS. If you didn’t listen to me and you don’t have him, try to trade for him now. Even if he doesn’t ever get that eligibility he still has long term value as Boston is trying to move Kevin Youkilis to another team.
Another guy to target is Freddie Freeman. Freeman has been blind the last year and a half. And his numbers were solid. Now he has his eyes fixed. I expect the increase in vision to put him on a tear. His first game after the vision change he had 3 hits and a HR. The last two days he’s had to face two of the top pitchers in baseball (Strasburg and Gio) so I don’t blame him for slumping a little. I expect him to really pick up the pace starting this week. Trade for him now. Also trade for Eric Hosmer who is starting a hot streak of his own. I still have huge faith in him and think he will have a gigantic second half.
Hot pickups time:
Wilin Rosario (COL, C)- I expected him to show power this year. I just didn’t expect him to show this much this soon. He’s perfect for all of you that have lost multiple catchers like Ramos and Lucroy. I do expect his playing time to take a small hit when Ramon Hernandez returns from the DL however. He’s a decent option right now. He won’t help your average though.
Jesus Flores (WAS, C)- I’m honestly liking what I’m seeing. He is showing a lot of raw power that I didn’t know he has. The numbers might not necessarily be there yet, but he’s hitting some balls extremely hard. I expect him to get hot this week and to start racking up some homers. He’s worthy of a spot in a deep league.
Justin Smoak (SEA, 1B)- Part of his success has been the tear that Seattle has been on. Smoak is a legitimate power threat though and should eventually become an upper tier fantasy 1B. He was a high draft pick, has a high ceiling, and was the centerpiece to a very important Cliff Lee trade. I don’t see any reason why he can’t stay consistently good for the rest of the year.
Matt LaPorta (CLE, 1B)- Don’t pick him up unless your in a ridiculously deep league. Just keep an eye on him. He’s a major league 4A bust. Once again he’s tearing up AAA. And now he’s been called up. He will soon gain OF eligibility, so that’s good. But you can’t trust him. It’s hard to tell if he will stay with Johnny Damon returns from paternity leave. If he’s hitting I’m sure he will stay. You always need to watch post hype sleepers like him though. They could finally break out at any time.
Gordon Beckham (CWS, 2B)- It pains me to name him as a good pickup after all the years he has burned fantasy managers. His ceiling was too high for him to be that bad forever. Yes, he’s just on a hot streak right now, but maybe he’s figured something out and can finally start to reach his ceiling a little bit. He’s a good add in deep leagues.
Lonnie Chisenhall (CLE, 3B)- A few weeks ago I had him in this article telling people to wait on him. Now he’s here, and he’s hitting. If your struggling at 3B and missed Middlebrooks, this could be your last shot at a legit fantasy 3B. His ceiling is to be right up there with the top guys at the position.
Steve Lombardozzi (WAS, 3B/OF)- He’s the everyday left fielder for the Nats after hitting for a consistent average all year. He doesn’t offer much power, although he homered to start the game on Sunday. He does offer runs and average in an improving Nationals offense. Now that Michael Morse has returned he has him as well as Harper, Zimmerman, and LaRoche hitting behind him. He’s a decent fantasy guy in pretty deep leagues.
Yoenis Cespedes (OAK, OF)- He’s back from the DL. Don’t forget about what he did earlier this season. At one point he was leading the league in HR. Expect a low average, lots of homers, and some speed.
Carlos Quentin (SD, OF)- He’s back from injury and he’s in his hometown. I see him putting up solid numbers there regardless of how big the park is. The main thing is that he’s motivated to play well in front of his hometown crowd. He’s a good #3 or utility outfielder in any league right now. You can’t really find power like his in the bank.
Alfonso Soriano (CHC, OF)- He’s been on a tear lately with the homers. This guy un-noticeably still hits 25-30 HR each season. So you can expect him to continue to hit bombs consistently. There’s also the chance that he gets traded to a contender at the deadline. That would really sky rocket his value. I’m really liking Soriano right now better than your typical #3-#4 outfielders.
Delmon Young (DET, OF)- Now that the whole arrest thing has died down, Delmon has become a decent fantasy player. He hits behind MCab and Fielder. Enough said. Massive RBI opportunities. He also has 20-25 HR power and can put up a .300 AVG. He should be owned at least as a utility OF.
Dexter Fowler (COL, OF)- Everyone has been waiting for his breakout for years now. He’s finally playing the way he’s been projected to. Here’s the big question. Legit or streaky? I’m going with streaky. I expect him to come back down pretty hard after this hot streak. Just in case he stays this good forever you might as well take a no risk chance on him. Right now he’s offering power, speed, and average. He is 5 tools at the moment.
Dayan Viciedo (CWS, OF)- He’s been playing consistently and that’s what you want out of your outfielders. He was a sleeper coming into this year and he’s certainly a second half sleeper. Decent #3-#4 outfielder depending on how steep your league is. He has decent power and will continue to improve.
Daniel Nava (BOS, OF)- He plays everyday, and that’s the most important thing. He also hits consistently. He’s the kind of guy that will do something for you every day. Whether it’s a hit, a run, or the occasional HR or SB, he always does something. I like guys who hit in high powered offenses.
Scott Podsednik (BOS, OF)- I’ve always been a Pod guy. I used to draft him every single year. Now that he’s in a powerful lineup and is starting to hit leadoff, he could become a very nice sleeper. He’s starting to play everyday and if that sticks he has nice value. Especially if he continues to hit atop of that great Boston offense. Keep an eye on him.
Tony Campana (CHC, OF)- If steals are important in your league, he should already be gone. He doesn’t play everyday, but when he does he will steal a base.
Manny Ramirez (OAK, Util)- Were on Manny watch. He could come up in a week or so. What will he do? I have no idea. If I had to guess I’d say he will hit .300 and be a major comeback story. Because he was that good of a hitter. Watch him.
Felipe Paulino (KC, SP)- What do you mean he’s still available? Don’t you listen to me. Get him.
Roy Oswalt (TEX, SP)- Of course you should add him. It’s Texas.
Julio Teheran (ATL, SP)- My boy. I don’t know what Atlanta is waiting on. Mike Minor has been awful. Guess what Teheran did in his last outing at AAA on Sunday? Complete game win with 1 ER and 6 K. As soon as he’s called up he needs to be added right away. He is my official pick to win Rookie of the Year.
Homer Bailey (CIN, SP)- I’ve always been a Bailey guy so of course I believe he’s legit. 8/9 quality starts in a row is pretty solid. He may have finally arrived as a solid big league pitcher. He was a high draft pick so this was expected…eventually.
Clay Buchholz (BOS, SP)- He’s baaaaccckkkk. Dominant his last few starts. Of course he made major struggles after major injuries. Can you blame him? There’s still a whole second half left for him to dominate. Remember when he won 18 games? He has upside.
Francisco Liriano (MIN, SP)- Do you trust a guy after one really good start? If it’s a guy that used to get Cy Young talk then sure. Roll the dice on a high upside guy.
Brian Matusz (BAL, SP)- See Homer Bailey. A lot of the same here. High draft pick who is starting to put it together. Matusz may be a little inconsistent though.
Zach Britton (BAL, SP)- He’s coming back after one more rehab start. Last year he was looking like a rookie of the year candidate before he naturally regressed. Still a solid pitcher who is much better than most guys in your bank. Grab him now and stash him on your DL for a few more days.
Mike Leake (CIN, SP)- 3/4 quality starts in a row. He’s worth a spot at the bottom of your rotation. Former 1st round pick.
Nathan Eovaldi (LAD, SP)- Both of his big league starts have been solid so far. Keep an eye on this guy. He could be a breakout star if he continues to pitch well. With guys like this your never sure if they will have bumps in the road or continue to have success. I expect some bumps, but expect a pretty good ERA over all.
Drew Hutchison (TOR, SP)- He’s been solid lately. Hard to trust him long term because of his limited ceiling and division, but it’s good to add pitchers like this while they are on streaks. When he starts to come back down to earth let him go.
Barry Zito (SF, SP)- Don’t know what’s got in to him, but he’s been great his last 2 starts. He seems to have good streaks like this every year. Ride him while he’s hot, then dump him before he gets shelled.
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Do you know what is going on with Jon Lester? He has been pretty frustrating and with the way he hasn’t been able to put away batters it is a little worrisome. What do see him doing the rest of the year? Would you swap him for say Josh Johnson, Latos, or Adam Wainwright?
A lot of the big aces are frustrating this year. Lester, Lincecum, and Latos all are. Yes, I would deal him for Wainwright. I wouldn’t sell low on him for the rest. You can’t sell a guy like that low at all. You just have to hope he gets better and ride it out. Selling low eliminates that potential from your team and decreases its total value.
I’m in a points league, would you trade Matt Garza for Freeman?
Yes, that seems fair if you really need hitting. Garza is another candidate to be dealt at the deadline, so he has the potential to put up nice 2nd half numbers. Freeman has the potential to be as good as someone like Fielder in the second half.
My outfield right now is Bautista, Bruce, Morse. I have Jennings coming off the DL would you trade Bruce for Price or Greinke owner has left it up to me what one I would want. I am set in my utility spots I have Kipnis, Freeman, and Hosmer to stream.
Tough to deal Jay Bruce. If you really need pitching I’d rather have Price.
In a points based league, would you rather have LaHair or Goldschmidt from here on out?
Goldschmidt. LaHair is starting to run out of steam. He’s only playing against righties now. I do think that he’s just in a slump and will start to hit better again, but nothing like the way he started.
In a points based league, I need to pick up an utility hitter, out of these guys who would you pick?
Luke Scott, TB LF, DH
Bryan LaHair, ChC RF, 1B
Denard Span, Min CF
David DeJesus, ChC RF
Chris Johnson, Hou 3B
Aaron Hill, Ari 2B
J.D. Martinez, Hou LF
Quintin Berry, Det CF
Jordan Pacheco, Col 1B, 3B
Brett Gardner*, NYY LF
Lonnie Chisenhall, Cle 3B
I am a hoarder when it comes to my fantasy team: I have 2 trades that I need to evaluate.
Giving up: Adam Jones, Ian Kinsler, and Fernando Rodney
Getting: Josh Hamilton, Ben Zobrist, and Josh Johnson
Giving up: David Wright
Getting: Kevin Youkillis and Gio Gonzalez
Should I do both, neither or just one over the other? I do need some Starting Pitching and have plenty of Closers
geez they are tough. One #1 I say no because of the injury history to Hamilton and Johnson. If not for that I’d do it. If you trust them staying healthy then do it.
I like #2. I think Youkilis gets moved and contributes elsewhere while Gio competes for Cy Young.
I’d do the 1st one, but not the 2nd one.
Do you write a daily column anywhere? What else do you do? I look on here every day for your baseball insight but I don’t see many columns, so I’m figuring your a busy man.
Thanks for checking all the time! It would be very tough to daily. I’m on the same work schedule as the Washington Nationals which means I have 10-12 hour work days everyday with barely any off days. Very busy during baseball season. I have about 6 jobs lol.
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