The first major MLB trade of July could end up being beneficial to your fantasy baseball teams.
Andrew Cashner, who was traded from the Baltimore Orioles to the Boston Red Sox on Saturday, is now in a more favorable situation in a pennant race, and he comes into it off a handful of impressive pitching performances.
Before he left the Orioles, Cashner was one of a few players on the roster with strong stat lines in July.
Renato Nunez is worth looking at for the upcoming week, and he could be targeted less in some leagues because he plays for a last-place team.
There is also a streaking hitter in the National League worth going after as soon as Sunday in order to maximize the production from every position in your lineup.
Notable Pickups to Target
Andrew Cashner, SP, Boston
Cashner's arrival with the Boston Red Sox could not have come at a more perfect time for the team and player.
He enters the Red Sox rotation, which was in need of a fifth starter, off three consecutive victories for the Baltimore Orioles.
In those three starts, the right-handed hurler gave up three earned runs and struck out 13 batters.
Cashner's form on the mound stretches back to the start of June, as he has thrown at least six innings in each of his past five starts, and he has conceded five earned runs and walked just four batters.
The recent outings from the 32-year-old should help the Red Sox rotation improve their runs against per game, as they sit a bit over the league average at 4.97.
Boston is going to need all the pitching help it can get down the stretch since the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays will also be in the mix for the American League East. It will also be in contention with Cleveland, the Oakland A's and Texas Rangers for the AL wild-card spots.
Cashner's arrival two-and-a-half weeks before the July 31 trade deadline allows Boston to get him acclimated for a potential start against the Toronto Blue Jays or Baltimore before a nine-game stretch to end July against the Rays and Yankees.
He last started July 6 against Toronto, which is next up on Boston's schedule. In that appearance, he gave up three hits and one earned run over seven innings.
With that in mind, it is worth picking up Cashner right away, and if he keeps rolling like he has, he could be a valuable piece to keep as a constant fixture in your lineup.
Renato Nunez, 1B/3B, Baltimore
One of Cashner's now-former teammates is heating up at the plate and deserves some looks because of his recent performance and positional versatility.
Nunez, who is listed as a first and third baseman, has brought his batting average up 12 percentage points from .231 to .243 since June 26 thanks to four multi-hit games.
His overall numbers are not exactly intriguing given he is batting .243 and has a .306 on-base percentage, but sometimes you have to ride a hot bat.
In his past nine games, Nunez has 11 hits against four teams, and he has a chance to extend his run at the dish at home against the Washington Nationals and Boston Red Sox in the next week.
At Camden Yards, Nunez has hit 13 of his 21 home runs and possesses a batting average 67 points better than his mark on the road.
In 10 games against the Red Sox, Nunez has 10 hits, two doubles, one home run and six RBIs.
If you combine his splits at home and recent results at the plate, Nunez is a worthy pickup in most leagues.
One of the few concerns to have about Nunez in the next week is he only plays five games because Baltimore has two off days on Monday and Thursday.
If you can't justify picking up Nunez because of Baltimore's light schedule, he is worth keeping on the radar for coming weeks, especially if he flashes more consistency.
Adam Frazier, 2B/OF, Pittsburgh
Adam Frazier is another position player worth looking at with versatility and a hot bat.
Since the start of July, Frazier has put together five multi-hit games, including a five-hit performance to kick off the month.
While it may seem odd to include Frazier on this list because of his recent success, he was dropped 1,203 times in Yahoo leagues Saturday after he was given the day off.
Frazier's day of rest could be beneficial to some owners who missed out on adding him during his initial surge at the beginning of July.
The 27-year-old has increased his batting average from .254 to .283, on-base percentage from .311 to .337 and slugging percentage from .361 to .411 in two weeks.
Those numbers, plus his ability to be lined up at second base or outfield, should make him an easy addition if he is on the waiver wire in your league.
Most of Frazier's July success came at PNC Park, and he has three games in the next week against the Philadelphia Phillies in his home stadium.
The front end of Frazier's week features a three-game away series versus the St. Louis Cardinals, who he has seven hits against in 25 plate appearances.
Four of those seven hits have been of the extra-base variety, as he has three doubles and a home run against one of the Pittsburgh Pirates' NL Central foes.