We’re nearing the halfway point of the season so by now managers should have a pretty good idea of what they will need coming down the home stretch and into the playoffs. In Fantasy leagues we’re more than half-way through the regular season’s as there are usually 22 weeks on the schedule. You should start choosing a bit more wisely now and so we’re here to help with this week’s pickups…
1. Brandon Belt-1B/OF-S.F. Giants– This late season call up last September proved one thing was clear; he has power. He hit 9 home runs in just 187 AB which equates to around 27 in a full season. On June 7th Belt began to play everyday and he has not disappointed. He had a modest 11 game hitting streak snapped on Sunday, and he still has the team’s highest on-base percentage- even though surprisingly he continues to bat seventh in the lineup. Over his last 37 AB he is hitting .405 with 4 HR and 12 RBI. He clearly is worth a flier and should be picked up in 12+ leagues. He is owned in just 32% of leagues.
2. Pedro Alvarez- 3B-Pirates– The former second over-all pick in the 2008 draft of the Pittsburgh Pirates, is playing on a team where the bulk of the offense comes from two players; Andrew McClutchen and Pedro Alvarez. As of Sunday they were both tied for the most HR on the team with 13. Over Alvarez’s last 10 games he has scored 10 runs, hit 5 HR, knocked in 11, and has batted .317. Although he’s on pace to hit 28 HR, his only liability is his low batting average. In just under 800 career AB, his average is 5 points higher than his weight; .228. Maybe the surge he’s on now will continue- but just be mindful. For now we recommend Alavarez in deeper and A.L. only leagues. He can be easily had as he’s only owned in 28% of leagues.
3. Michael Fiers-SP/RP-Brewers- This 27 year old who prior to this year had only 2 innings pitched in the majors on his resume, has done an excellent job since getting the starting nod and with Shaun Marcum hitting the disabled list, Fiers will have even more of an opportunity to continue to start. He has started seven games so far this season and has gone 2-2 with a 2.70 ERA to go with a 1.11 WHIP. He also has 14 K’s in his last 15 1/3 innings pitched. However his main strength lies in his 31:5 K:BB ratio. He doesn’t have much velocity on his ball as he barely goes above 90, but his control more than adequate. He should be considered in deeper leagues at this point and in 12+ leagues especially if you’re into streaming and the matchup looks favorable. He is widely available in 95% of leagues.
4. Glen Perkins-RP-Twins-This is a move that should be made by all leagues with managers in needs of saves. Matt Capps, the Twins’ usual closer, has only pitched one inning since June 15th and is more than likely headed to the DL. This should give Perkins an opportunity to keep the role for another 2-3 weeks possibly. He has converted the two save opportunities he’s had and has excellent control as witnessed by his 40 K and 13 BB this season; all coming in relief. Owned in only 10% of leagues at the moment, you can bet that he will be gobbled up at a faster pace over the next several days. Don’t procrastinate, and keep an eye on Capps and monitor his eventual trip to the DL. A ‘Must Add’.
5. Cody Ross-OF-Red Sox- With all the commotion surrounding Kevin Youkilis’ departure from Boston to the White Sox, little know Cody Ross has been slipping through the cracks. Keen managers has taken notice of his performance of late, but for those of you who haven’t, this could be a steal. Even though he’s missed almost a full month with a broken bone in his left foot, Ross had his ninth career multi-homer game on Sunday in a win over the Braves. Since coming off of the DL, he has gone 7 of 22 (.318) with 3 homers and 10 RBI in just 6 games. He is available in 2/3 of most leagues and makes for a great pick up in leagues of 12 or more.