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We are halfway through the Fantasy Baseball season and that means it is time to really start making some decisions. At this time of year, active teams can get a big push up the standings. It is also the same time of year when complacent owners can start to slip a bit. Do not be one of those owners. You should always be looking to improve your roster and one way to do that is by taking advantage of another owner’s frustration. If a player they own is not
living up to expectations, that could be an opportunity for you to swoop in and grab them at a discount. While not true buy lows, these five players will all have bigger second half statistics than they did in the first.
- Carlos Gomez (Brewers, OF) – Since breaking through in 2012, Gomez has been a flat out stud. GoGo has always had a Fantasy-friendly skill set because of his elite speed, but it has been the power development that advanced his game to the next level. He has established himself as a Top 25 player over the past two seasons with his all-around game. This year, though, he has battled some injuries, and even when healthy he has not seemed like the same player. The numbers are far from horrific, but for a late first or second round selection, you want big numbers and you want them immediately. Gomez has provided solid, but not spectacular stats thus far with a .274 average, eight HRs and seven SBs through 237 at-bats. This is exactly the type of player that you want to go after. As he gets healthier, Gomez will find his groove and be a second half savior for many teams. There is a lot of upside here, but you better move quickly as he just launched two HRs on Wednesday night.
- Ian Kinsler (Tigers, 2B) – It is not that Kinsler is having a bad season, but his two HRs and six SBs are not the counting stats you’d expect from him. Other than an injury-shortened 2010 season, Kinsler has had at least 13 HRs in every single big league season. The stolen bases have declined from earlier in his career, but you are still getting his standard double-digit swipes. He is a threat to score 100 Runs again this year, push his HR total past 10 and chip in at least 10-15 SBs along the way. He’s easily a Top 5 2B for the rest of the season and you can potentially have him at a discount right now because of his power outage. Kinsler is a recommended buy right now even if it’s just for MI or FLEX help.
- Gio Gonzalez (Nationals, SP) – Since 2010, Gonzalez has not had an ERA higher than 3.57 and only once made less than 32 starts. The 29-year-old had a forgettable first half but has been showing signs of life lately. In his last two starts, he’s gone 14 IP with one ER and 10 Ks. His ERA still sits at 4.16 and an ugly WHIP of 1.43. That is going to improve in the second half and you can reap the benefits of those stats by acquiring him while the price is down. He will be a solid source of strikeouts with an ERA around 3.50 and 5-7 wins pitching in front of a robust Nationals offense. The window to buy Gonzalez is still open but expect it to be closing very shortly.
- Yasmany Tomas (Diamondbacks, 3B/OF) – How is someone hitting .315 in his rookie season going to have a bigger second half? Power. That was the calling card driving Tomas’s value as a preseason sleeper. So far this season, he has just five dingers but four of those have come since the beginning of June. He could approach 20 for the year and that means if you acquire him now you can get upwards of 15 HRs in the second half. That is the reverse of what we saw with fellow countryman Jose Abreu, who launched 29 HRs in the first half but just seven during the remainder of the year. Tomas is somewhat of an unknown, which means his owner could hold tight on that potential. An aggressive offer that features an established veteran should be enough to lure Tomas away. Expect the average to dip a bit, but an overall rise in counting stats is something all Tomas owners will embrace. He is the type of talent that can be a major boost to your second half championship push if he breaks out.
- Phil Hughes (Twins, SP) – Hughes was in control of his 2014 destiny, walking just 16 batters all season long in 209.2 innings. That came along with a 3.52 ERA and 16 Wins, giving him the true breakout that many had been waiting on for years. Hughes has always had the talent, but a fly ball pitcher at Yankee Stadium was never the best recipe for success. He had also battled numerous nagging injuries earlier in his career, but he does seem to be past that now. The Fantasy community seemed split on the projections for his encore performance. After 4.55 and 4.64 ERAs during April and May, Hughes has turned a corner. He has a. ERA under 3.00 in his last six starts, pitching no less than six innings in each. The long ball has continued to be his undoing, though, having already given up a staggering 21 dongs through 17 starts. With his impeccable control and decent strikeout rate, Hughes can give you SP3 numbers in the second half. While he is not a star or quite as good as we saw last year, he is the type of player that can be an integral part of your staff with an improved second half.