With the MLB season winding down, we have now reached the home stretch of the fantasy baseball season.
This means that the clock is ticking for owners looking to make a late push at the league championship.
However, if you’re not in first place, this does not mean it’s time to give up.
Every year, in every league there’s always one team that catches fire late in the season. Usually, it’s the team that pulled off a few clever and devious trades at the expense of some dimmer-witted owners who have given up on their underperformers. To be nice, let’s just call them “inexperienced.”
Odds are, these inexperienced owners are growing tired of their team’s weak links and are willing to sell them at a bargain price. If you're playing to win, this is a great opportunity.
The following buy-low candidates are bound to end the season on fire. They may even lead your team to championship glory.
Unless you own Buster Posey, Carlos Ruiz or Joe Mauer, you're probably having a bad time at catcher.
After all, it's no fun getting home from a long day at the office to find Mike Napoli went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, a regular occurrence nowadays.
Odds are, your team could use an upgrade at catcher. Look no further than Indians catcher Carlos Santana.
Santana, who was one of the league's best prospects a couple years back, is ultra-talented and underperforming.
Many even expected Santana to seize the reins as the league's best fantasy catcher. Believe it or not, this anticipated breakthrough is finally starting to happen.
Since the All-Star break, Santana is hitting .287 with seven home runs. With Santana's talent, there's no reason he won't continue to build on this and hit for more power.
And because Santana's season-long numbers are still poor, this means he can be had for cheap.
If you're tired of Mike Napoli or any of the other catchers who make you want to pull your hair out, grab Santana while you can.
The L.A. Dodgers went on a spending spree at the trade deadline and shook up the entire NL pennant race in the process.
L.A. not only bolstered their offense by adding Shane Victorino and Hanley Ramirez, but also put their current players in a better position to succeed—most notably, Andre Ethier.
Ethier was supposed to be the team's greatest beneficiary of the offensive makeover. With Ramirez behind and Kemp in front, Ethier should be absolutely destroying NL pitching.
Ironically, Ethier has been the team's worst hitter over the last two weeks. He's batting a horrendous .219 since the trade deadline with zero home runs.
Ethier will figure it out.
He's too skilled of a hitter not to. And that Dodgers lineup offers too much protection for him not to dominate opposing pitchers.
"The Freak" has arguably been the worst pitcher in all of baseball this season, sporting an atrocious 5.35 ERA. Lincecum is even a viable candidate for baseball's unofficial award of least valuable player.
As a result, some owners are cutting Lincecum in frustration. Other owners are tired of Lincecum plunging the team's aggregate ERA into the ground and would be willing to trade him for, well, anything they can get.
However, Lincecum shouldn't spend more than one second in your league's free-agent pool. Pick him up if he's somehow available or send his owner a low-ball offer, because Lincecum is starting to turn his season around.
He's thrown three straight quality starts, but he is, more importantly, regaining his legendary command.
Lincecum is the ultimate ace in the hole, so grab him before it's too late.
However, there's no need to over-analyze it. Clifton (yes, his real name) is one of the best pitchers in baseball and needs to be treated like one.
Lee was a man among boys in July, boasting a 2.75 ERA in five starts while only walking five. Owners can expect more of the same for the rest of August and into September.
The wins will come. Lee is just too good late in the season to ignore as a top-tier trade option.