Connect with us

Fantasy Baseball

Fantasy Baseball Rest-of-Season Projections: Hot August, Cool September?

Twins 1B Justin Morneau
Twins 1B Justin Morneau

Aug 15, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins first baseman Justin Morneau (33) hits a RBI single in the eighth inning against the Chicago White Sox at Target Field. The Twins won 4-3. Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The hot summer months can have a significant impact on fantasy baseball production and this August has seen many a bat come alive in the fifth month of the season. At this point in the year, it’s pointless to look at the entire season’s production to predict what a player will do in the final month. Felix Hernandez has looked far from an ace in the past month (1-4, 5.13 ERA, 1.48 WHIP) while Martin Prado (.364 BA, 30 RBI) is a far cry from the bust he seemed like in the early months of spring.

Let’s take a look at some players heating up in August and whether we can expect them to cool down as summer winds down.

Victor Martinez

BA

OPS

HR

XBH

RBI

R

August Stats

.383

.917

2

6

11

11

 

Victor Martinez has been the prototypical cold first half, hot second half player thus far. Over his first 77 games, Martinez posted a rough .225/.283/.332 line with six home runs, 40 RBI, and 28 R. Over his last 55 games, Martinez has been reborn, posting a .391/.439/.527 line with five home runs, 31 RBI, 29 R, and 15 2B. He’s not hitting home runs at the rate he once did but the doubles have helped him make up for it. Still, despite his .383 BA this month, he hasn’t contributed much in run production while batting in arguably the best lineup in the league.

XN Sports’ AccuScore Projections have Martinez putting up a .295 BA, two home runs, 14 RBI, and 11-12 R which are all solid and are particularly valuable if he’s eligible at catcher in your league.

 

Justin Morneau

BA

OPS

HR

XBH

RBI

R

August Stats

.250

.821

8

15

20

11

 

While Martinez has been hitting a lot of singles and not particularly driving in a lot of runs, Morneau has only hit .250 this month but has blasted eight homers and driven in 20. He’s also hit seven doubles.

It’s been a weird season for Morneau. He only hit four home runs through the first three months of the season. Then he hit four in July but only drove in five runs. In May he had hit none and drove in 23. It’s hard to predict what a streaky player like that will do, especially since his average is only .230 this half but he’s producing at a better rate than when he batted .280.

XN Sports’ AccuScore Projections have him batting .257 the rest of the way with three homers, 14-15 RBI, and 11 R. That all sounds about right though I would expect about four to six home runs.

 

Brandon Moss

BA

OPS

HR

XBH

RBI

R

August Stats

.311

1.094

8

14

19

14

 

Unlike the other two, Moss has been hitting for average and power. He’s also much streakier than the other two. His monthly RBI totals have been 19, 7, 15, 8, 19. One month up, one month down. On one hand, that would lead one to believe September will be a down month. On the other hand, he came on strong in August last season as well and really got going in September with a .369 BA, six home runs, 18 RBI, 19 R, and nine doubles.

It’s a tough call so let’s go with XN Sports’ AccuScore Projections which have him somewhere inbetween. Our internal projections have him batting .263 with five home runs, 12 RBI, and 11-12 R which is solid but his potential to repeat last season’s September success makes him one to watch.

 

Darin Ruf

BA

OPS

HR

XBH

RBI

R

August Stats

.232

.825

9

11

16

15

 

Ruf came up in early July and looked impressive as he batted .297 but only hit two home runs and drove in four runs over 19 games. He did hit six doubles and was more of a gap hitter. He’s since changed his style to a more power hitter approach, batting just .232 and hitting just two doubles but blasting nine home runs and driving in 16. In the minors, he was a good combination of both home runs and doubles, hitting 38 homers and 32 doubles in Double-A last season. He’ll certainly work it out in the future but right now the rookie is an interesting player for the fantasy playoff season.

XN Sports’ AccuScore Projections have him batting .243 with four to five home runs, nine RBI, and 11 runs. It’s a fairly conservative estimate but considering how impossible rookie performance is to predict, I wouldn’t get overly optimistic and go for the conservative number.

 

Ricky Nolasco

IP

W

ERA

WHIP

K/BB

August Stats

38.1

5

1.64

0.89

35/6

 

The move from the worst team in the National League to arguably the best team in the National League has been good to Nolasco. Since coming to the Dodgers, Nolasco is 6-1 with a 2.20 ERA and 1.06 WHIP. In Miami, he was 5-8 with a 3.85 ERA and 1.22 WHIP. While his Miami numbers pale in comparison to his Los Angeles numbers, the 3.85 ERA and 1.22 WHIP were both the best we’d seen from him since 2008. Coming into this season, he had put up a combined 4.68 ERA over his previous four seasons and not one year with an ERA under 4.48.

He will certainly level out before the year’s end and XN Sports’ AccuScore Projections have him putting up a 4.20 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, and 22 K the rest of the way.

 

Joe Kelly

IP

W

ERA

WHIP

K/BB

August Stats

34.2

5

2.08

1.44

18/16

 

Joe Kelly is a rare pitcher who struggled in the bullpen but has excelled since moving to the rotation. Although his WHIP isn’t stellar, he is 6-1 with a 2.17 ERA and 31 K/24 BB as a starter this season. That’s a lot better than the 3.74 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 59 K/32 BB line he put up last season as a starter. That’s also a lot better than his 3.89 ERA and 1.40 WHIP in 77 minor league games. What I’m getting is, he’s over achieving and that WHIP is eventually going to cause that ERA to rise no matter how good he is at keeping the ball in the park. That, coupled with his low strikeout rate, make him a tough own for the rest of the season but he’s still a good streaming candidate.

St. Louis won’t see too many great offenses the rest of the way, facing the Pirates, Reds, Pirates again, Brewers, Mariners, Rockies, Nationals, and Cubs in the final month of the season. Of those teams, only the Nats rank in the top 15 offenses in the month of August.

 

Jarrod Parker

IP

W

ERA

WHIP

K/BB

August Stats

37.1

4

1.93

1.07

31/7

 

We’ve seen this from Parker before. In June, the 24-year-old went 3-0 with a 2.08 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, and 26 K/9 BB. Of course, he also went 1-4 with a 7.36 ERA and 2.01 WHIP in April so that only brought his ERA down so much. It’s been a good summer for Parker which is a far cry from last season when he put up a 5.34 ERA in July and a 4.71 ERA in August.

April was a fluke and he hasn’t put up an ERA over 3.91 in any month since. That’s more or less his basement so while his 1.93 rate certainly won’t hold up, there isn’t a lot of leveling out to be seen in September.

XN Sports’ AccuScore Projections have him putting up a 3.46 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and 25 K/11 BB the rest of the season which all sound right.

 

Jhoulys Chacin

IP

W

ERA

WHIP

K/BB

August Stats

42.1

4

1.91

1.02

33/11

 

As with Parker, we’ve seen months like this from Chacin before. In April, the 25-year-old went 3-0 with a 1.46 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, and 16 K/6 BB. Then in May, he put up a 5.87. The rest of his season has been stellar and he hasn’t put up an ERA over 3.15 in any other month.

I like to look back at splits from previous years to see if there’s a trend. Over his last three Septembers, Chacin has put up a 3.24 ERA in 2012, 3.75 ERA in 2011, and 1.78 in 2010. At the same time, his WHIP usually goes up (my guess would be from season fatigue). He put up a 1.65 WHIP last season, 1.50 in 2011, and 1.27 in 2010.

It’s hard to tell with Chacin because he’s looked much better this season than we have ever seen. XN Sports’ AccuScore Projections have him putting up a 3.48 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, and 21 K/10 BB which all sound right.

Click to comment

More in Fantasy Baseball