In the last few weeks, I’ve made some crazy big trades in my leagues. How about trading away Trout in one league and McCutchen in another? However, I’ve also acquired Braun, Adam Jones, and Goldschmidt, so I really can’t complain. It’s nice to have new fantasy studs to root for.
Players on the Rise
David Price – Five starts with 10+ strikeouts now. He’s pitching like the ace he’s always been. Oh, and he’s got a career best in K/9 and BB/9 this year to boot. You’ll pay up the nose to acquire him in keeper leagues right now, so if you’re on the other side of the coin and want to trade him, now’s the time.
JD Martinez – He’s retooled his swing, and so far the results are promising. It’s certainly time to run with him in redrafts leagues, if he’s not already taken. It may turn out to simply be a hot streak, because his BABIP is pretty high, but he’s also hitting a lot of line drives to support it, so maybe he can maintain most of this surprising improvement.
Brad Miller – He’s been pretty bad all year, so maybe I’m getting excited for nothing, but given how much he was valued at the start of the season, you have to hope that he’s turned the corner and will be good enough in the second half to offset the cold start. In the league I have him, it was deep enough that I didn’t really have a better option for MI anyway, so I’ve stuck with him. That was painful, so he owes me a few good months, right?
Drew Smyly – I love how people talk about “slumps” in reference to a “two-game losing streak” that Smyly had. He had a hard time in his first start back in the rotation, but look at his ER in the five games since: 3, 1, 1, 2, 0. He’s pitching well in the rotation, and he should stay there.
Jake Odorizzi – He’s given up only 3 ER in the last three starts, after two not so great games. What I most like to see is the fact that he’s given up two walks or less in the last six games. His time to shine is quickly approaching, and though he may not be available in the FA pool, in redraft leagues I’d consider acquiring him as a nice secondary piece in any big trade.
Players on the Decline
Josh Donaldson – It’s not a real big decrease in his overall season value, but man, it’s been a pretty awful slump. After an 0-for-25 week, he bounced back to a .280 average, only to start this week 1-for-9. His highest GB% weeks of the season all come in the last four weeks, and he hasn’t been making hard contact. That being said, he’s been too good this year to take a strong hit in value for the rest of the season — at least not yet.
Carlos Correa – I don’t often put minor leaguers on my lists, but given that he’s such a big name, it really sucks that he’s got a fracture leg, and it’s right above his ankle. You’ve gotta wonder how that’ll affect his development in the next year or two. I could see it delay his MLB debut for a season.
Stephen Drew – Did anyone else expect a huge value right out of the gate with Drew’s return to Boston? I didn’t, but this cold start is particularly bad. You can hope that he’s just getting back into the swing of things, but I’m not buying. His best AB total in the last three years was 2013’s 442 AB, and he was barely worth a slot as a MI.
Jake Peavy – Aside from the strikeouts, he’s more of a hindrance than a help to your team this year. What’s more, he’s been pretty awful in the last five starts, with only two quality starts, and his last game was a real klunker. If you haven’t cut and run yet, then odds are your team is near the bottom of the standings, anyway.
Luis Valbuena – He had a great month, and now he’s back to being like every Cubs 3B we’ve known in recent years (with the exception of A-Ram). I was hoping he’d turned a corner as a Cubs fan, but he needed crazy-lucky BABIP and high LD% to make his streak happen. When his luck comes back down to earth, he’s nothing special and only worth rostering in very deep leagues. Still, it was fun while it lasted.
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