Fantasy Baseball Second Half NL Preview

John WoelfelContributor IJuly 14, 2010

ATLANTA - JUNE 27:  Tommy Hanson #48 of the Atlanta Braves against the Detroit Tigers at Turner Field on June 27, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Now that we are just over halfway through the baseball season and the All-Star Game has come and gone, it’s time to take a look at your fantasy baseball team.

A key to a winning season is making the right moves at the right time.

So, as we head into the second half, here’s a look at some buy-low, sell-high opportunities that can give you an advantage in your league.


Buy low

Matt Kemp: Kemp was banished to the bench for a few games during his slump. He’s hit four homeruns in his last six games, with 9 RBI and 3 SB. It may be too late to get him at a discount, but you should try.

Aramis Ramirez: Spending some time on the disable list seemed to do the trick for Ramirez. He’s still not all the way back, but he may be on his way. In the last 10 games, he had 10 hits, and three of them were homeruns, raising his batting average 20 points. His stats still look really bad for the season, which is a major advantage for you when acquiring him.

Jimmy Rollins: Rollins has been plagued by injuries so far this year, but the former MVP should be on your radar for a second half run. He stole his first base since coming off the DL on Tuesday night, a good sign that he’s healthy.

Wandy Rodriguez: Don’t forget about this guy. Rodriguez won 14 games and struck out 193 last year with an ERA of 3.02. The beginning of this season was ugly, but he’s won three straight starts now. It looks like he’s turned the corner, and you may not have much time left to get him cheap.

Jair Jurrjens: Jurrjens had some injuries he was dealing with to start the year but won a combined 27 games over his first two years. Last season, his ERA was 2.60. This year his ERA stands at 5.40. Since coming off the disabled list, he has given up just four earned runs over his two starts on eight hits with 10 strikeouts. Get him quickly.

Ricky Nolasco: Nolasco seems to be a second-half pitcher. He’s won his last three starts, striking out 28 over 21 innings while walking just two. His ERA still stands at 4.69, so you may have a small window here.

Ryan Braun: Braun has averaged 35 homeruns, 110 RBI, and 17 SB over the last two seasons. He has just 11 homeruns so far this season but is still on pace for almost 100 RBI and 20 steals. He’s too consistent of a hitter to not pick up the pace, especially in that Brewers lineup. Prince Fielder is getting back on track, which will only help Braun.

Tommy Hanson: Over his last 10 starts, Hanson has given up two runs or less six times. He’s given up five runs twice, eight runs once, and nine runs the other. Those two really bad outings have kept his ERA up to 4.19. Take those two starts out and you have one of the best pitchers in the league. He has 98 strikeouts this season in 96 2/3 innings. He went 11-4 last season in his rookie year with a 2.89 ERA. This kid is the real deal—get him now!

Evan Meek: Evan Meek’s value lies in the fact he plays for the Pirates. When the annual fire sale comes, Dotel will be a valuable commodity for some teams. That will leave the Pirates with an opening in their closer role, and Meek is the most likely candidate.


Sell high

Corey Hart: Hart has never hit more than 24 homeruns in a season. He has 19 homeruns already. His real value was in his ability to combine power and speed, but after two seasons with 23 steals in 2007-08, he had just 11 last year and just 4 this season. Sell him while he’s at the top.

Juan Uribe: Uribe is having a career year and is a solid player. The problem is there are too many other options for the Giants if Uribe starts struggling. With Freddie Sanchez and Edgar Renteria healthy, any prolonged slump could put Uribe where he was slotted to be all season: utility man.

Troy Glaus: Glaus is a really good player when he’s healthy. The problem is, he rarely is.  He played just 14 games last season. He’s been held out of the last few games with knee problems.

Uh oh.

Ryan Franklin: I’ve been waiting for Franklin to implode for two seasons now. He just doesn’t have overpowering stuff and lets too many balls get put in play. LaRussa has other options if Franklin falters, and I think that day may be coming soon.

Livan Hernandez: Livan has won 12 games total over the last three seasons, and his ERA hasn’t been under 5.00 since 2007 when it was 4.93. This year, he is 6-4 with a 3.12 ERA for a Nationals team that is quickly falling out of contention. You do the math.

Octavio Dotel: Dotel has been a solid closer for the Pirates this year. Unfortunately, he will probably be dealt to a team that will use him as a set-up man, leaving Dotel with little to no fantasy value.

Chris Young: Maybe it’s just a breakout year for Young, but I’m not so sure. He already has more steals this year (16) than he did in each of his last two years. He also has tied his season total in home runs from last year and has more RBI’s than he did all last year. He is still striking out at about his career rate and his batting average is 25 points higher than his career .240 average. If you have him on your team, be thankful for the first half and walk away.

Ubaldo Jimenez: Jimenez is really, really good. But he started off too good. Since May 31st he has seen his ERA rise from 0.78 to 2.27.  In his last three starts he has given up 17 earned runs. He’s still 14-1 and a great option, but you may never get as much in return for him as you will now.

Read more:  John Mark runs a blog that covers the Cubs and the Cardinals over at