Fantasy Forward: Yankees Gary Sanchez raking in August

While the lead could have been Aaron Judge thankfully ending his dubious strikeout streak, which reached 37 games, it was overshadowed by the power surge from his teammate, Gary Sanchez. Last night, Sanchez launched two home runs and drove in four. He has now hit 25 home runs this year and nine in 69-bats in August (One in less than every eight at-bats). Although Willson Contreras stole the headlines prior to his injury, Sanchez also warrants attention as the first catcher taken next year. Both could be considered prior to Buster Posey.

Over the last 365 days, Sanchez’s played 128 games with 84 runs, 39 home runs, 99 RBI, two stolen bases and a .273/.352/.561 slash line. He’s hit more home runs (in fewer games) than Nolan Arenado, Charlie Blackmon or Manny Machado during the last statistical year.

  • Corbin stays hot versus the Mets

Patrick Corbin won his third straight start and fifth in the second half. Corbin worked eight innings giving up four hits, one earned run and two walks with six strikeouts. He’s rediscovered his slider on his way to allowing one run over his last 23.1 innings. As the Diamondbacks hang in the Wild Card chase, they will need Corbin to stay hot on the mound and fantasy owners will hope for the same.

  • Tanaka’s back

In his first start off of the disabled list, Masahiro Tanaka picked up where he left off. Tanaka defeated the Tigers on the road allowing six hits, three earned runs and striking out four for his ninth win. Since the All-Star break, Tanaka’s thrown 38.2 innings with 42 strikeouts, six walks, a 3.26 ERA and 0.96 WHIP. Like Corbin, the Yankees need a healthy and effective Tanaka to make the postseason, so this start could fuel his last six weeks, if he can stay healthy.

  • Congrats to Albert Pujols

Albert Pujols tied Sammy Sosa for eighth all time in home runs hitting the 609th of his career. Pujols continues to be a shell of his former self, but will take another step forward in the history books with his next home run. On the season, Pujols has hit 19 homers this year with 79 RBI but his .231/.277/.384 slash line does not bode well for him aging gracefully in the seasons to come.

  • Solarte drives in six

When thinking about fantasy players, San Diego does not head the list of free agency targets. Yangervis Solarte’s missed time this year to injury, but set a career high with six RBI last night in St. Louis. He’ hit two doubles and his 14th home run in five at-bats en route to driving in six. In August, Solarte’s hit four home runs with a .507 slugging percentage and owns an OPS of .800 in the second half. He’s on track for a career high in homers and RBI. His multiple positional eligibility along with a chance to finish strong should put him on fantasy radars.

  • Rupp blasts off

In game one of the Phillies doubleheader, Cameron Rupp started and hit a home run for his third straight game. Over his last 28 played prior to game two, Rupp’s hitting .297 with seven doubles, eight home runs and 14 RBI. With many searching for a second catcher in fantasy, Rupp’s power makes him an intriguing target. Just plan on some volatility with his boom or bust approach at the dish.

By the way, his teammate Rhys Hoskins, launched his sixth home run in nine games during game one as well.

  • Bullpen musings

Keep tabs on Kelvin Herrera of the Royals. He left his save chance with the training staff for, “forearm tightness”. This could be a troubling injury for fantasy owners and the Royals alike. Herrera’s been up and down this year but still a reliable source of saves. Another potential committee with Brandon Maurer and Scott Alexander will be the last thing fantasy owners wish to see. News will surface throughout the day regarding a potential MRI for Herrera, his owners should pay close attention.

San Francisco did use Mark Melancon on back-to-back days on Sunday and Monday, yet maintain they will not rush him back to the closer role. It’s easier to manage a player’s injury keeping him in a set-up role so Melancon does not have to get up multiple times to warm-up in a game. Plus, Sam Dyson’s performance also allows the team to be patient with Melancon.

Fun facts

  • Nick Castellanos became the first Tiger since Carlos Guillen in 2004 to hit a home run over the fence and an inside the park homer in the same game last night.
  • Eduardo Nunez has more home runs with the Red Sox (5) in 21 games than he did for the Giants (4) in 76 games.
  • The Dodgers have used nine starting pitchers this year. All of them spent time on the disabled list at least once with four of them on it multiple times.

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Greg Jewett

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I am a father, PE teacher & fantasy baseball writer. Using saber metrics & information to evaluate players & trends is exciting to me."Passion is the oxygen of the soul." Bill Butler