Who’s Hot and Who’s Not in Fantasy Baseball
The MLB trade deadline is Tuesday, July 31 at 4pm EST. We have already seen some impact Fantasy players that have been dealt. Usually, I cringe when one of my key players gets dealt. If they are playing well, I don’t want them to move, not unless the ballpark they are going to will have a significant impact on their performance. If I was a Manny Machado owner, so I certainly don’t like the trade to the Dodgers. Sure, he goes to a team in the playoff hunt, but he also leaves cozy Camden Yards for a more pitcher-friendly Dodger Stadium. Nathan Eovaldi could easily be on my hot list this week with his trade to Boston (I didn’t include him because he was on this list just two columns ago). Sure, his ratios are likely to suffer a bit pitching in Fenway Park, but his chance for Wins also increases. You have to take the good with the bad and all. Zach Britton’s trade to the Yankees on Tuesday wasn’t good for Fantasy owners as his chances for saves was greatly diminished with the move to the Bronx. These are all just notes to keep in mind when looking to acquire players traded between now and Tuesday.
- Stephen Piscotty, Oakland Athletics: Piscotty was traded from the Cardinals to the Athletics during the offseason, not so much for poor performance or because the Cardinals didn’t believe in, but because they were doing Piscotty a favor. His mother was ailing, and he wanted to play closer to home. Piscotty has been on fire of late. Over his last 30 games he is batting .302 with 10 HRs and 21 RBI. Sure, this could just be a hot streak, but let’s not forget that he was once a prized prospect and may finally be realizing his full potential.
- Corey Dickerson, Pittsburgh Pirates: The Pirates are the hottest team in baseball and for that reason I could’ve placed several of their hitters in this spot (Gregory Polanco/Starling Marte). Dickerson was unceremoniously dumped by the Rays before the season started and was gift-wrapped for Pittsburgh. He’s batting .373 with five bombs and 10 RBI over his last 14 games. Keep in mind. Though. that PNC Park is not the best of hitter’s parks and Dickerson is dealing with a hamstring injury that could hamper him for a few days.
- Dallas Keuchel, Houston Astros: It may have taken a few months, but it does look like Keuchel has figured out whatever he was struggling with during the early part of the season. He struggled mightily until about mid-June, but in his last seven starts he has only given up 10 ER, and six of those came in a start versus the Blue Jays. What’s even scarier is that he is still no better than the fourth or fifth best starter on Houston, as that staff is loaded with Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, Charlie Morton, and Lance McCullers leading the charge. I was selling Keuchel six weeks ago, now I’m regretting that decision.
- Zack Wheeler, New York Mets: Sure, everyone would love for the Mets to trade Jacob deGrom, but perhaps Wheeler wouldn’t be a bad consolation prize. He will certainly come cheaper in Fantasy and MLB than deGrom would. A change of scenery couldn’t hurt either (you could say that about any Met at this point). Wheeler’s overall numbers aren’t exciting, but he does have a 3.40 ERA and 1.13 WHIP over his last six starts. If the price is right, I’m willing to roll the dice here, but not if I need Wins, as I don’t want to bet that Wheeler gets moved to a contender.
- Khris Davis, Oakland Athletics: Davis really doesn’t get the love he deserves, as he has developed into one of the best power hitters in the game. Davis hit for power in Milwaukee but has exploded since the trade to Oakland. Davis hit 85 HRs combined his previous seasons and has already hit 27 this year. Davis has 77 RBI and is hitting a respectable .253. He won’t win Fantasy or AL MVP, but he deserves to be in the voting.
- Cole Hamels, Texas Rangers: Any chance the Rangers had of getting a strong haul at the deadline for Hamels seem to be diminishing by the day. His season ERA is 4.72 and he has allowed 25 ER in his last five starts. Sure, his splits say he can still be a useful pitcher away from Texas, but will anyone pay a premium price and take on his contract with the hope it’s just pitching in Texas that is hurting him? I wouldn’t.
- Marcell Ozuna, St. Louis Cardinals: Ozuna is not having anywhere near the season the Cardinals or Fantasy owners expected of him when he was traded from the Marlins before the season started. Ozuna hit 60 HRs combined the past two seasons in Miami’s Grand Canyon of a ballpark but only has 10 this season. I’m always wary of players being traded as we never know how they will react to a new team, ballpark, fans, and city. Ozuna seems to be Exhibit A for this caution.
- Drew Pomeranz, Boston Red Sox: Pomeranz returned from the disabled list Tuesday but the results were no better than before he was injured. Pomeranz only lasted 4.2 innings as he gave up four runs to the Orioles. If you want to make excuses for him, sure, the game was played in terrible conditions (rain), but then what happened earlier this year? With the acquisition of Eovaldi earlier Tuesday, Pomeranz could be left without a spot in the rotation when Eduardo Rodriguez returns from his ankle injury.
- Luis Severino, New York Yankees: The lack of hustle/injury by Gary Sanchez on Monday overshadowed yet another sub-par performance by Severino. Over his last three starts, Severino has allowed 13 ER in 15 IP. This could just be the ebb and flow of a long season, but it does have to raise at least a yellow flag. His velocity is fine, so an injury doesn’t seem to be the reason for the poor performance. Severino is just not hitting his spots and his slider does seem to lack the same bite it had earlier this season.
- Eric Hosmer, San Diego Padres: Most seemed to know that when the Padres signed Hosmer to a long-term contract, it would end badly. He’s batting .161 over his last 30 games with a single HR and nine RBI. If you haven’t already, it’s time to move on here. The Padres will be regretting this signing for years to come.
As always feel free to follow me on Twitter and ask any questions you like, @georgekurtz.