Aug 30, 2018
MLB FANTASY UPDATE AUGUST 30TH, 2018
The NFL season may start in a week, but the MLB season is just starting to get really exciting. Don’t let the return of the NFL distract you from what is shaping up to be a very interesting September for baseball. While the AL East and Central are all but set, the other four divisions are still wide open. The Astros and A’s will be battling down the stretch for the AL West, as Oakland has caught fire in the second half. In the NL the Phillies are trying to run down the Braves in the East, the Cardinals and Brewers are trying to catch the Cubs in the Central, and the D-Backs, Rockies, and Dodgers are caught up in a dogfight out West.
One of the hottest players in the second half this year has been Christian Yelich. Yelich has a career-high 26 home runs this year, 15 of which have come in the second half of the season. To say Yelich is red hot right now is an understatement. Last night he went 6-6 and hit for the cycle and a grand total of 46 fantasy points. All that just a day after Yelich launched two long balls and posted 38 fantasy points. He has eight homers over his last ten games and is driving the Brewers’ playoff push. Milwaukee sits just a game up in the second wild-card spot and are eyeing the NL Central title as they trail the Cubs by five games. They will need Christian to stay hot down the stretch if the Brew Crew wants to catch the Cubbies.
On the topic of red-hot players, Kendrys Morales saw his fantasy value skyrocket last week as he went on a historical week-long tear. Morales has 21 deep shots this season and eight of them came in a seven-game stretch. A game shy of tying the MLB record for consecutive games with homers, Morales averaged nearly 23 fantasy points in that week-long stretch.
National League Rookie of the Year contender Ronald Acuña has exploded in the second half of the season. He spent the first 40 games of the season in the minors before getting called up and already has 21 home runs. 14 of those homers are from the second half of the season alone. This young Braves team is enjoying the early success of Acuña as they sit 16 games over .500 and 3.5 games up in the East. Team mate and fellow youngster Ozzie Albies has had a large hand in this surge. The multi-lingual Albies went three-for-three with a walk in a 9-5 win over the Rays, including his first extra-base hit since August 12th, and a lot of that can be attributed to his more patient approach at plate.
The Oakland A’s have been the surprise story of the second half. On June 15th the A’s were two games under .500, 4th in the AL West, and trailed both the Astros and the Mariners by over ten games. Since then the A’s have caught and passed the Mariners and are 2.5 games behind the Astros for first. Khris Davis with 18 home runs, 39 RBI, and 25 runs and Matt Chapman who has 11 home runs, 23 RBI, and 35 runs are big reasons for this surge. But a somewhat surprising performance by pitching staff has really boosted this A’s club. With no real aces in the roster, the A’s have a 3.17 ERA in the second half, lowered from 4.01 in the first. Unfortunately for the A’s, Sean Manea just hit the DL with rotator cuff tendinitis. This does not bode well for the A’s chances of catching the defending champions the Astros. But as Oakland has already shown us this season, you can’t just count them out.
Preseason football ends today and the regular season is just a week away. But don’t let the return of the NFL distract you from what is a very interesting September for baseball. Keep playing with us at Draftboard as we will have contests throughout September and into the playoffs.