Update from last week:
Some people think Chris Davis might be cursed from the homerun derby, but that is purely a myth. He should continue to “crush” balls into the upper deck for the rest of the year.
Matt Harvey was dominant on Sunday. Seven shutout innings, three hits, ten strike-outs and no walks. Owners don’t need to worry about Harvey breaking down, but they have to be concerned when the Mets will shut him down.
Jean Segura should continue to rake at the plate as long as he stays healthy. The recent suspension of Ryan Braun and the injuries to Carlos Gomez and Aramis Ramirez won’t help him score or drive in runs, but he will still be very valuable for years to come.
Verlander got creamed by the Royals in his first start out of the All-Star break. Owners need to be a little worried about him right now. Something is wrong with Verlander.
Matt Kemp might have to go on the D.L. once again. You’re shocked aren’t you?
Starlin Castro finally broke out of a huge slump by going 4-5 on Sunday. Castro has the ability and needs to start showing it soon.
Desmond Jennings (OF TB) 92% owned in Yahoo! leagues – Jennings is finally starting to live up to the hype after a very slow start. He is batting .338 in July with these numbers: .338, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 17 runs and 6 SB. If he can continue to show the power-speed combo, he will have a huge second half. The buy-low window has closed.
Marlon Byrd (OF NYM) 42% owned in Yahoo! leagues – Byrd has resurrected his career in New York. He is one of the rare Mets hitters that is on fire right now. He is batting .338 in July with 5 homers, 16 RBI and 13 runs scored with a .360 OBP. If he is available, he is worth riding the hot streak.
Wily Peralta (SP MIL) 17 % owned in Yahoo! leagues – Peralta has been one of the rare bright spots for the Brewers lately. He has been downright filthy in July. He has a 0.31 ERA, 26 K and only 10 walks in four starts. He is worth a flyer while he is pitching this well. He has nice potential and could be very useful in the second-half. Peralta has to pitch, because the Brewers need to see if he has a big upside and need somebody to step up in the rotation besides Kyle Lohse.
Matt Cain (SP SF) 94% owned in Yahoo! leagues – Cain is having a terrible season. He has a 5.00 ERA and 41 walks. He is a buy-low candidate, but he did not look good against Arizona on July 20. He only lasted five innings, walked four and gave up two runs. Like Verlander, Cain might be hurt.
Nelson Cruz (OF TEX) 94% owned in Yahoo! leagues – As you’ve heard, Ryan Braun got suspended the rest of the season because of the Biogenesis scandal. Cruz is also on that list of potential suspended players. Players might serve the suspensions instead of going to court to face worse charges. It will be interesting to see what happens, because the Rangers can’t afford to have him suspended the rest of the season. He is also having a great year and fantasy owners will be crushed if he gets caught. The only thing owners and the Rangers can do is wait and see what happens.
Ryan Braun (OF MIL) 74% owned in Yahoo! leagues – Braun cheated and paid the price. He will now be suspended the remainder of the season after agreeing to a deal with MLB. He admitted that he used PEDs and destroyed his reputation. Fantasy owners that took a chance on Braun despite the Biogenesis saga are paying the price as well. He’s the biggest name to be suspended in years, and who knows what will happen next year? At least the wait is over and fantasy owners can act now rather than later.
Guys like Marlon Byrd, Michael Brantley and Colby Rasmus are worth picking up to try to fill the void. Nobody can replace Braun, but the position has to be filled.
By: Joe Kleiber