Another week of MLB action is in the books and it personally had me yelling at my TV multiple times (Mets, how does it take five pitchers to record three outs while simultaneously blowing a 6-1 lead!?!). Anyway, at this point in the season everyone’s respective fantasy baseball standings should be taking place and teams now know what they need to improve on. Here is some information that will hopefully help you on your path to fantasy glory.
Stud of the Week: Jed Lowrie, Second Base, Oakland Athletics
Nobody has been hotter than Jed Lowrie this past week. Since last Wednesday, Lowrie has hit a .423 average with three home runs, six runs scored and eleven RBI. This is just an improvement on what has already been a good season for Lowrie, as he currently is slashing .351/.407/.595 on the season. He is currently the No. 1 ranked second baseman in fantasy baseball. Lowrie’s ownership is up a staggering 45.9 percent but only sits at 68.9 percent total so if he is still available, scoop him up.
Dud of the Week: Yoenis Cespedes, Left Field, New York Mets
The production that Yoenis Cespedes has put out over this past week has been pitiful, hitting just .227 with three RBI and not crossing home plate once. The only possible positive is that he struck out only seven times over six games this week. When compared to the 16 strikeouts over six games that occurred the previous week, it is a drastic improvement. However, this does not even come close to making up for the lack of prowess at the plate. If you have Cespedes on your fantasy team it might be time to bench him until he shows signs of life again. However as soon as he begins to produce again plug him right back into your starting lineup. Cespedes is a proven beast at the plate, and it is only a matter of time until he shakes out of this funk.
Injury Fallout: Josh Harrison, Second Base, Pittsburgh Pirates
After being hit by a pitch on Sunday, Harrison was diagnosed with a broken bone in his left hand and placed on the 10-day disabled list. This injury will sideline him for about six weeks. Harrison qualifies at both second base and third base, so owners could now be struggling to find someone to replace him at either spot. White Sox infielder Yolmer Sanchez has had a good season so far and also qualifies at both positions. He is currently owned in only 13.4 percent of leagues and could be a good filler until Harrison returns. Second baseman Ketel Marte (12.0 percent OWN) and third baseman Derek Dietrich (20.2 percent OWN) are also viable options that are not too widely owned.
Free Agent Find: Alex Cobb, Starting Pitcher, Baltimore Orioles
Alex Cobb got absolutely destroyed in his first start for the Baltimore Orioles, lasting just 3.2 innings, giving up 10 hits, seven earned runs and striking out no one. To be fair, he was facing the red-hot Boston Red Sox who are 14-2 at the time of this being written. The next two scheduled starts for Cobb present much more favorable matchups. On Thursday, Cobb faces a 6-9 Detroit Tigers team that is currently 26th in the Majors for runs scored and OPS. On Tuesday, he is scheduled to go up against the 5-13 Tampa Bay Rays who, like Detroit, are in the bottom third of the league in both categories. Cobb is not a pitcher who typically gets lit up like he did against the Red Sox, so I fully expect him to bounce back and have two very strong outings against two of the weaker teams in the league. Heavily dropped after his first game, he is now only owned in 28.7 percent of leagues, so he could be a nice steal. Grab him before his value goes back up to where it belongs.
Free Agent Find: Miguel Rojas, Shortstop, Miami Marlins
Last week I listed Rojas as a potential replacement for Elvis Andrus who was placed on the DL, and his performance in the week that followed supported it. Rojas is currently riding a ten-day hitting streak and is slashing .299/.356/.433. He is currently the 17th ranked shortstop in fantasy and is owned in only 5.9 percent of leagues. Now, being in the Marlins lineup means that the opportunities for scoring and RBI can be less than average, but if he keeps hitting like he has been he will for sure get a decent amount. At the very least Rojas will provide a boost to your team batting average as well as be a valuable pickup for teams that are weak in the shortstop or middle infield positions.