Lineup Tips from the team at insideinjuries.com
Randal Grichuk, OF (Blue Jays) –Cautious Start
Kevin Pillar is expected to miss 4-6 weeks with a shoulder injury, so Grichuk will likely be starting in his place. Grichuk was hot in June (.294/.341/.467) but has cooled considerably in July. He does most of his damage against right-handed pitchers so Fantasy owners in leagues with daily moves should consider sitting Grichuk against southpaws.
Willie Calhoun, OF (Rangers) – Start
The injury to Nomar Mazara created an opportunity for Calhoun to get some Major League reps. Calhoun looked good during a brief stint in September last season, and he was batting .306/.360/.444 at Triple-A Round Rock this season prior to his promotion. Calhoun has the talent to be an impact hitter for Fantasy owners.
James Paxton, SP (Mariners) – Start
Paxton has surpassed his Optimal Return to Health date and is scheduled to return to the mound for the Mariners on Tuesday. Paxton’s performance has been a bit uneven over the season’s last two months after a red-hot start over the first two months. The extra rest over the All-Star break should help Paxton return to form, so start him with confidence
Jakob Junis, SP (Royals) – Cautious Start
Junis was shelled for 12 HRs over the five starts he made prior to his July 3 trip to the disabled list. As a result, his ERA ballooned from 3.62 to 5.13 before his first start off the DL lowered it to 5.03. Fantasy owners can start Junis in favorable matchups, but be wise and keep an eye on him in every start. If he starts coughing up homers again, bench him or consider dropping him if you have other options.
Ryan Braun, OF (Brewers) – Sit
Braun has batted injuries all season and it shows in his performance, as he is slashing just .236/.284/.430 to date. The best you can hope for at this point is that he puts together a couple of good games so that you can trade him to someone convinced he’s going to redeem his season over the second half. His Health Performance Factor is Above Average but he remains at High Risk for injury.
Keon Broxton, OF (Brewers) – Sit
Braun’s return likely spells the end of Broxton’s playing time, and he could end up back in the minors. His .186/.327/.395 wasn’t any help to anyone anyway.
Elias Diaz, C (Pirates) – Start
As the primary beneficiary of the injury to Francisco Cervelli, Diaz will get the majority of the playing time. With a triple slash of .290/.333/.467, Diaz has been surprisingly good, and he’s hitting pitchers from both sides well to date while showing decent power with seven homers in 183 PA. Take advantage of Diaz’s good fortune while it lasts.
John Gant, SP (Cardinals) – Start
Michael Wacha (oblique strain) still hasn’t been cleared to begin throwing, so Gant will remain in the Cardinals’ starting rotation for the foreseeable future. Gant has a 3.49 ERA, and he’s exhibited excellent skills thus far with a 21% strikeout rate and a 12% swinging strike rate. He should continue to rack up decent strikeout totals for his Fantasy owners, so add him if he’s available and start him if necessary.