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Fantasy Baseball Rest-of-Season Projections: Second-Half Slumpers

Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia
Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia

Jul 31, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia (15) watches his fly ball during the twelfth inning against the Seattle Mariners at Fenway Park. Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The second-half of the baseball season is notorious for drastic turnarounds in production. Some guys come back and put up a big second half while other guys unravel. In June, I took a look at some players who were likely to have drop-offs in production in the second half. Now that we’re roughly 25 games into the “second half”, we can see how the All-Star break has affected some of the league’s top players. Let’s take a look at some fantasy studs who are slumping and what we can expect from them the rest of the way.

Evan Longoria:

First Half: 93 G, .278/.356/.507, 18 HR, 42 XBH, 52 RBI, 54 R

Second Half: 23 G, .232/.305/.463, 5 HR, 12 XBH, 12 RBI, 15 R

After batting .325 through May, Longoria’s average has plummeted to .268 and his run production has evaporated. His struggles go farther back than the All-Star break, over his last 41 games he’s batting just .195 with six home runs, 17 RBI, and 17 R.

SJN’s AccuScore Projections have Longoria batting a more reasonable .253 the rest of the season with eight home runs, 23 RBI, and 21 R. That would put the 27-year-old third baseman at 31 HR, 87 RBI, and 90 R on the season. I don’t think he hits eight home runs but otherwise that seems pretty close.

Giancarlo Stanton:

First Half: 51 G, .250/.357/.458, 10 HR, 19 XBH, 27 RBI, 23 R

Second Half: 24 G, .209/.337/.395, 3 HR, 11 XBH, 8 RBI, 15 R

Stanton has proven a very streaky hitter and is currently in a bad funk. Over his last 14 games, he’s batting just .135 with two runs batted in and 19 strikeouts. This is the Giancarlo Stanton we’ve come to know and his current slump in production is nothing a Giancarlo Stanton three-week hot stretch can’t make up for.

SJN’s AccuScore Projections have Stanton hitting .230 with seven home runs, 18 RBI, and 19 R the rest of the way. That would put him at 20 HR, 53 RBI, and 57 R which sounds about right.

Dustin Pedroia:

First Half: 96 G, .316/.396/.436, 6 HR, 32 XBH, 56 RBI, 57 R, 13 SB

Second Half: 26 G, .213/.295/.296, 2 HR, 5 XBH, 13 RBI, 9 R, 3 SB

Pedroia’s slump started shortly before the All-Star break and over his last 34 games the second-baseman is batting just .218 with three homers, seven extra-base hits, three steals, and 12 runs. Unlike Stanton, Pedroia consistently hits around .300 and also unlike Stanton, he’s starting to pick it back up a bit. Over his last 11 games, Pedroia is batting .304 with four RBI, three doubles, three runs, and two steals. It’s not much but an uptick in his batting average and on-base is surely to be followed with an increase in RBI and runs.

SJN’s AccuScore Projections have him batting .288 with 3-4 HR, 19 RBI, 21 R, and five steals the rest of the season. That would put him at 11-12 HR, 88 RBI, 87 R, and 21 SB on the season. I don’t know if he has another 20 RBI in him but the rest of it sounds right.

Buster Posey:

First Half: 90 G, .325/.395/.536, 13 HR, 41 XBH, 56 RBI, 38 R

Second Half: 24 G, .217/.290/.289, 1 HR, 4 XBH, 5 RBI, 8 R

After a stellar first half, Posey has completely disappeared. He’s 5-for-13 in his last three games so there’s some hope but over his last 22 games, Posey has not hit a home run and has driven in just two runs while scoring five.

SJN’s AccuScore Projections have Posey batting .278 with four home runs, 17 RBI, and 14 R which are all low for a player of his caliber but sounds right.

Carlos Santana:

First Half: 88 G, .275/.382/.466, 11 HR, 35 XBH, 44 RBI, 41 R

Second Half: 25 G, .215/.288/.376, 3 HR, 9 XBH, 8 RBI, 12 R

Santana began the month batting .280. He’s gone ice cold in his last 12 games, batting just .111 with two homers and three runs batted in. We’ve come to expect ups-and-downs like this from Santana and the 27-year-old catcher did bat .294 in 24 games in July so his production should see an upswing once his current mini-slump ends.

SJN’s AccuScore Projections have him batting .236 with 4-5 HR, 16 RBI, and 17 R the rest of the season which would put him at 18-19 HR, 68 RBI, and 70 R on the season. He hit seven home runs in his first 27 games this year and has only hit seven in 86 games since so I’m not sure if he’ll be a power threat but he should come close to those numbers.

Mike Napoli:

First Half: 87 G, .259/.343/.448, 11 HR, 37 XBH, 58 RBI, 47 R

Second Half: 23 G, .190/.306/.393, 4 HR, 9 XBH, 11 RBI, 13 R

Napoli continues to play worse and worse, batting just .127 with one homer, five runs batted in, six runs scored, and 25 strikeouts in his last 15 games. In his career, August has always been his worst month – he has a career batting average of .232 with 15 HR in August. Compare that with .258 with 31 HR in July and .293 with 33 HR in September. Hopefully his hot September trend continues because the traditional August funk sure is.

SJN’s AccuScore Projections have Napoli batting .254 with seven home runs, 21 RBI, and 20 R the rest of the way so he would need an excellent September to pull that off. I don’t think he hits another seven home runs and the other numbers should be a little lower because of that but it’s close to what you should expect.

Cliff Lee:

First Half: 138.2 IP, 2.86 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 125 K/21 BB, 13 HR

Second Half: 17 IP, 5.82 ERA, 1.59 WHIP, 20 K/5 BB, 3 HR

Lee has only made three starts since the All-Star break because he’s been dealing with a stiff neck but over his last five starts, he owns a 5.64 ERA, .312 BAA, and eight home runs allowed in just 30.1 IP. July and August have traditionally been Lee’s worst months, putting up a 4.33 career ERA over 52 July games and a 3.70 ERA over 49 August games. September is one of his best months, 3.24 ERA in 55 September games and fantasy owners should expect the trend to continue.

SJN’s AccuScore Projections have him putting up a 2.88 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, and 56 K/9 BB which all sound right.

Alexi Ogando:

First Half: 55.1 IP, 2.93 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 43 K/22 BB, 6 HR

Second Half: 25 IP, 4.68 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, 11 K/11 BB, 4 HR

Ogando has dealt with injuries all season so it’s no surprise he’s not pitching like he was at the start of the season. He’s also failed to get to the seventh inning in nine of his last 10 starts, mostly because of pitch count concerns, not poor pitching.

August has also been very bad to Ogando. His numbers are amazing in every other month – 2.55 ERA in April, 2.67 in May, 2.62 in June, 3.34 in July, and 2.68 in September. In August, he has a 5.05 ERA over 66 IP in August. It’s a small sample size so I wouldn’t be too concerned, he looks like a good bet heading toward September.

SJN’s AccuScore Projections have him putting up a 3.46 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, and 33 K/15 BB the rest of the season which is right around where he should be.

Gio Gonzalez:

First Half: 118.2 IP, 3.03 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 114 K/47 BB, 11 HR

Second Half: 26 IP, 5.19 ERA, 1.65 WHIP, 32 K/10 BB, 3 HR

This one is actually an anomaly and Gio isn’t really slumping, the numbers just suggest that he is. He has allowed more than three runs just once since May, giving up 10 over 3.1 IP against the Tigers. Remove that one start and he actually has a 2.01 ERA over 12 of his last 13 games.

SJN’s AccuScore Projections have him at 4-2 with a 3.13 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, and 45 K/17 BB which all sound right.

John Lackey:

First Half: 100.1 IP, 2.78 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 93 K/23 BB, 14 HR

Second Half: 32.2 IP, 4.96 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, 30 K/6 BB, 4 HR

Before this rough five game stretch, Lackey hadn’t allowed more than two runs in six consecutive starts. His ERA is still at 3.32 on the season and will probably level out in the 3.45-3.60 range. His K/BB has actually improved over this time but he’s given up too many hits. Again, this is all just leveling out to his norm of around 9.0 H/9.

SJN’s AccuScore Projections have him putting up a 4.68 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, and 36 K/12 BB the rest of the season. I don’t think it will be that bad and would peg him at around the high-3.00s the rest of the way.

CC Sabathia:

First Half: 137 IP, 4.07 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 117 K/20 BB, 21 HR

Second Half: 29 IP, 7.45 ERA, 1.76 WHIP, 23 K/14 BB, 5 HR

This year has been one to forget for Sabathia and to say that this is a second half slump would be to dismiss his 5.11 ERA in June and 6.60 ERA in July. He’s given up way too many home runs, way too many hits, and of late, he’s also started walking too many batters.

Over his last 15 starts, he is 6-7 with a 5.47 ERA and 17 home runs allowed. He’s never been this bad so comparing his past production to this season’s seems moot but September has always been his best month. He doesn’t have an ERA under 3.31 in any of the first five months of the season throughout his career but a lifetime 31-17 with a 2.86 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in September so maybe, just maybe there’s a bit of hope.

SJN’s AccuScore Projections have him putting up a 3.69 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, and 47 K/12 BB the rest of the way. That seems generous but CC could go either way. Despite a terrible season overall, he did put up a 3.35 ERA in April.

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