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This week’s fantasy baseball stock market is very Red Sox heavy with a couple roster changes and a red hot John Lackey headlining the show. With a new closer and new third baseman in Boston, fantasy owners suddenly have a chance to make up for any draft or waiver mistakes, i.e. drafting Jurickson Profar or Carlos Marmol. Let’s take a look at who’s heating up and who’s burning a hole in your fantasy roster.
Raul Ibanez: Strong Buy. Ibanez keeps pulverizing the ball and with 18 home runs on the season, his 78% availability rate (in Yahoo leagues) is simply unjustifiable. After a tough April, Ibanez owns a .268/.309/.601 line with 16 home runs, 37 RBI, and 21 R in 39 games since. He’s not going to double his current total and hit 40 but he’s a legitimate 30+ homer threat who needs to be owned universally while he’s on a streak like this.
Hector Santiago: Strong Buy. We’ve been talking about Santiago all season, we even talked to him this season, and he’s another guy whose 87% availability rate is inexplicable. On the season, Santiago owns a 3.03 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, and 9 K/9. As a starter, he’s been even better. Over eight starts he is 3-3 with a 2.68 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, and 9.6 K/2.4 BB. Even more impresive, since returning to the rotation to take over for Jake Peavy, Santiago is 2-1 with a 2.29 ERA, .174 BAA, and 19 K/8 BB over 19.2 IP. What more does a guy have to do to get picked up?
John Lackey: Strong Buy. I really had my doubts about him this year but with a 2.99 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, and 8.4 K/9 it’s hard to doubt him any longer. He’s getting better too, going 4-1 with a 2.44 ERA and 46 K/9 BB over his last eight starts. He’s available in nearly 60% of Yahoo leagues and I wouldn’t leave him out there much longer.
Koji Uehara: Strong Buy. Not only is Uehara having a great season, he’s now the closer for quite arguably the best team in the AL East. He picked up his second save of the season on Wednesday and now owns a 2.03 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, and 44 K/7 BB on the season. He can still be had in 50% of Yahoo leagues and I wouldn’t hesitate to pick him up in any league.
Jose Iglesias: Solid Buy. Despite great play all season, Iglesias’ fantasy relevance has been limited by his lack of playing time. With Will Middlebrooks being sent to the minors, this is no longer the case as he will be playing third base every day. That said, it’s hard to tell just how fantasy relevant Iglesias is. On one hand, he has a ridiculous .419/.469/.556 line. On the other hand, he only has one homer, eight runs batted in, 20 runs scored, and one steal on the season. I think Iglesias will be a help in the BA (though his .419 obviously won’t last) and runs categories but I don’t see him lighting up too many other categories.
Ricky Nolasco: Solid Buy. Nolasco has been a very solid get this year, even on a lousy team. With rumors wildly flying of an imminent trade to a possible contender, his value is likely to increase even more. Nolasco owns a 3.68 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, and 6.9 K/9 on the season. Over his last seven starts, he is 2-2 with a 2.87 ERA and 38 K/12 BB. He’s been fairly reliable so far and his high-3s ERA is pretty sustainable so he’s definitely worth an add in most leagues – especially once he leaves Miami.
Eric Young Jr.: Solid Buy. I was excited to see what the Rockies’ 25th man could do as the new everyday lead off hitter for the Mets and so far he has been stellar. In 29 at-bats since moving to Queens, Young owns a .414/.469/.552 line with six RBI, four runs scored, and a steal. Last season he batted .316 in limited action and looked pretty good in the runs and steals categories. Look for him to be a very fantasy relevant player the rest of the way.
Kelly Johnson: I don’t think there’s any player I’ve hated on more than Johnson and for good reason. He has 11 homers on the season, just one in his last 21 games. That’s the kind of player he is, there may not be a streakier guy in the league. Over that 21 games he’s batting just .133 and has seen his average plummet from .299 to .240. Just cut bait and get a middle infielder that shows up for 162 games.
Josh Rutledge: I really thought Rutledge would have a resurgance after being recalled to take over for Troy Tulowitzki but instead has gotten worse. In his last nine games, Rutledge is batting .129 with no homers, no RBIs, and no steals. DJ LeMahieu is a much better pickup and I wouldn’t hesitate to cut Rutledge loose.
Andy Pettitte: Pettitte got off to a fairly good start but since returning from a strained trapzieus a few weeks ago he just hasn’t been the same. In five starts back, he has given up four or more runs in four of them. Over that five starts he is 1-3 with a 4.83 ERA and .295 BAA. It’s impressive that he can still hold his own at 41-years-old but he isn’t going to come close to the 2.87 ERA and 1.14 WHIP he had last season in a very limited 75 IP stretch.
Jurickson Profar: While guys like Yasiel Puig and Wil Myers have wasted no time making a serious impact, Profar has been rather mediocre with a .263/.317/.368 line and two homers, seven RBI, seven runs, and no steals on the season. With Ian Kinsler returning, Profar will only play part-time, mostly pinch hitting off the bench.
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