Rocket Fantasy Baseball 8-22-15

By on August 21, 2015

Rocket Sports’ Fantasy 500

  • Our weekly look at some movers, shakers and difference-makers in the world of fantasy baseball.

Note: all stats current as of close of play on August 20, 2015. Position designations are determined by Yahoo eligibility rules; check your league settings for eligibility requirements.

fantasy baseballFriday is here, so once again we take cyber-pen in hand and jot down a few players whose names you should know as you jockey for position in your fantasy baseball leagues. Grabbing these hot hands before it’s fashionable to do so is one of the keys to making a late-season run, and we’re here to try to help you do just that.

Hitters:

Travis Shaw, 1B, Boston Red Sox: Shaw’s .434 batting average and .830 slugging percentage in August are both second among qualifying hitters, while the 25-year-old’s .475 OBP ranks third. While Shaw should be rostered while he’s on such a torrid hot streak, it’s important to remember that he owns a rather pedestrian .261 career average in the minors, and that he batted just .249 in 77 games at Triple-A this season. Shaw has plus power, but be prepared for a batting average correction if you choose to add him to your fantasy team.   

Jackie Bradley, Jr., OF, Boston Red Sox: Only three players have plated more RBI in August than Bradley, who is also slashing a cool .340/.438/.774/1.211 this month. The 25-year-old defensive wizard batted .305-9-29 in 71 games at Triple-A, and it appears that the adjustments he made to his swing are paying dividends. Bradley is owned in only about 30 percent of Yahoo leagues, but that number figures to continue its upward climb while he’s going this well.

Odubel Herrera, 2B/SS/OF, Philadelphia Phillies: Herrera has been one of the few bright spots in what has been a lost season in Philadelphia: he tops the team’s regulars with a .294 average; he is tied for first with 47 runs scored, and is second with 14 stolen bases. Herrera doesn’t have much pop, but the 23-year-old is batting .362 in August – and his five stolen bases this month is tied for third best among all major leaguers. Herrera is owned in only about 40 percent of Yahoo leagues.

Pitchers:

Raisel Iglesias, SP, Cincinnati Reds: Iglesias has endured a rather uneven rookie campaign, but he has been outstanding since rejoining the Reds’ rotation back on July 11. Since the All-Star break, Iglesias has fashioned a 2.89 ERA and 0.91 WHIP, while fanning 37 batters in 37.1 innings of work. Opponents are batting just .188 against him in the second half, and the 25-year-old former Cuban League star appears to have a bright future ahead of him. Daily players take note: Iglesias has a 3.15 ERA at home versus 5.81 on the road.

Junichi Tazawa, RP, Boston Red Sox: We’ll talk more about Tazawa in this week’s edition of Bullpen Briefs, but for now, you should know that the former set-up man has notched saves in back-to-back games, and he looks like he has taken the clear lead in Boston’s closer competition. Tazawa has scuffled to a 4.61 ERA and 1.39 ERA in the second half, but if you’re hunting for saves, he is clearly the reliever to own in Beantown.

Nathan Karns, SP, Tampa Bay Rays: Karns has been one of baseball’s most consistent pitchers over the last two-plus months, allowing two earned runs or fewer in 10 of his last 12 starts. He owns a 2.81 ERA and 1.16 WHIP in the second half, and he has fanned 34 batters in 32 innings since the break. A cautionary note: Karns’ 94.8 strand rate in the second half is almost certainly unsustainable, but Karns – who is owned in roughly 40 percent of Yahoo leagues – should be in your lineup while he’s pitching this well.

That’ll do it for this week; good luck in your fantasy leagues and we’ll talk again soon.

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