The season is long and right now it's coming down to the wire for the top owners in their respective leagues. These few players that are poised for either a huge week or a week you will want to avoid. Pay attention, this could mean winning or not winning your league.
Bill Hall | Boston Red Sox | 2.1% : Take a walk on the wild side with this streaking player. In his last 15 games Hall has crushed 4HRs with an OPS of .979. In the next week he'll be playing at both Yankee Stadium (Number one HR factor field) and the Ballpark in Arlington (Number two HR factor field), two of the best places to hit for power.
Chris Johnson | Houston Astros | 52.5% : Chris Johnson has been hotter than the sun over the last two weeks. While he probably wont be able to maintain these astounding numbers, he will most likely be able to post large numbers for the upcoming week. Five of the six starters that Johnson will face are right handers. Hitting righties is Johnson's strength: .364 avg. 1.000 OPS in 107 ABs. He also has 4HRs and 20RBIs against righties as well.
Jon Jay | St. Louis Cardinals | 7.8% : Since his call-up, Jay has been a pure hitter. He's been raking ever since and has yet to stop. In his 32 ABs this year against the Reds and Cubs Jay is hitting .406 with an OBP of .441. Unfortunately, Jay is mainly a three-trick pony depending on how many categories your league has. He can typically be expected to help in average, on-base, and runs.
Jay Bruce | Cincinnati Reds | 76% : Bruce's upcoming stretch against the Cardinals is going to be brutal for his owners. Bruce's career numbers against the Cardinals are: .199 avg, .259 OBP. Not to mention he is currently on a long cold streak, hitting .188 over the last 30 games.
Jack Cust | Oakland A's | 10% : Jack Cust and the rest of the Oakland A's have the worst schedule for power this upcoming week. They will be playing at Safeco and Target Field next week. These two fields are the third-worst and worst fields for homeruns. Cust has also slowed down as of late, hitting .222 over the course of the last seven games.
Two-Start Pitchers To Use:
Max Scherzer | Detroit Tigers | 86% : Scherzer has been fairly dominant as of late. Fantasy players should look for him to continue this dominance through his upcoming two-start week. His first start comes against the Rays at home. Scherzer is 6-2 at home this season and has a 2.90 ERA since the All-Star game. Further supporting his start, the Rays are hitting .091 (2 for 22) against him for their career. Scherzer has pitched against the White Sox twice this year with fairly strong numbers. In the 14 innings against them Scherzer has a 3.14 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP and a K/9 ratio of nine.
Ervin Santana | Los Angeles Angels | 86.8% : Santana has been on a skid as of late but he should be able to correct this with his upcoming two starts. His first opponent is Kansas City then Toronto, both starts coming at home. In a combined 33.1 innings this year against both teams Santana has 2.47 ERA and a 3-1 Win-Loss record. In over 250 ABs, the players of both teams have a combined career batting average against Santana of .255.
Two-Start Pitchers To Avoid:
Jair Jurrjens | Atlanta Braves | 77% : Jurrjens has pitched with mixed success since coming back from the DL this season. Now is not the time to take a chance on the two-start opportunity he faces this upcoming week. His career against the Dodgers goes to the tune of a 4.03ERA, a 1.61 WHIP, and a .284 BAA. Meanwhile, the heart of the Dodger's order (Ethier, Kemp, Loney) have a collective career .360 avg. against Jurrjens. Jurrjens has faced the Astros a limited amount and has not done much better. His ever descending GB/FB rate should put his start in the Band Box of Minute Maid Park.
Edwin Jackson | Chicago White Sox | 40% : Jackson's two-start week is bound for disaster. His first start is against Baltimore, at Baltimore. Normally Baltimore is not much of a threat, but in three starts at Camden Yards Jackson has a 6.48 ERA and 1.50 WHIP. His next start against his old team the Tigers at his new home at U.S. Cellular Field. At U.S. Cellular Field Jackson has a career 4.88 ERA 1.63 WHIP, and players are hitting .301 against him. Fantasy owners have to also take into account that U.S. Cellular Field is the second-most homerun friendly park in existance.
For curiosity sake, here is how last week's predictions held up through games as of 8-6:
Jorge Cantu: One for four. Played in only one game.
Josh Willingham: .357 avg. .438 OBP, 0R 0HR 1RBI. The hitting is great, but there is more to fantasy than two categories.
Rajai Davis: .200 avg. .273 OBP, 3R 1HR 2RBI
David Wright: .063 avg. 1 for 16 as of print time. Gotta pat myself on the back for this call.
Matt Kemp: .400 avg. .471 .OBP, 2R 1HR 3RBI. His 5-5 game inflates last week's line
Carl Crawford: .125 avg. .222 OBP, 2R 0HR 2RBI. The Runs and RBI are decent, but Crawford should be held to higher standards.
Travis Wood: 7IP 2H 0ER 1BB 4K
Mat Latos: 6IP 4H 2ER 2BB 6K
All Statistical Information was obtained through ESPN.com
Written exclusively for TheFantasyFix.com by James Bryce. James is a Grad student at UCSD and is currently in his 13th year of fantasy sports.
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