Fantasy Baseball Risers and Fallers

by Tyler Gettmann

A lot of players could be affected in both fantasy and reality by this Thursday’s trade deadline. For example, less playing time, a better offense to work with or even losing out on their current closers role could all have an effect on decisions even you as a fantasy owner make in the next few days as well. To be honest, I actually like when this week is over and we can think of what is happening more on the diamond than off the field. So without further ado here are this week’s risers and fallers.

Josh Harrison (PIT)Josh Harrison (PIT – 2B, 3B, OF) – When I first saw that this guy was selected to represent the National League in the All-Star game, I was very skeptical. After this week though he has made me a believer, especially because of his versatility. By far Harrison is having the best year of his career in 2014. I am sure he will be moving up certain people’s draft board entering next year’s season, but as for now he is moving up my board. In the past week, he is hitting .417 with 5 Rs, 3 HRs, 6 RBIs and 2 SBs. He is also exciting to watch on the bases. Click here to see a rundown that happened a little over a month ago against the Mets. In fact, this past week he did it again. He over slid second base and had another rundown between 2nd and 3rd base. Well by the looks of the first time, you already know the results. He made it safely into third with his elusiveness. Harrison certainly had a chuckle over it once again. I believe that Harrison has proven he’s legit and may be a name that sticks around when dealing with fantasy in the next couple of years.

Ben Zobrist (TB – 2B, SS, OF) – This is another flexible man crush I have since the beginning of the year. I will admit Zobrist did get off to a bad start this year. In fact, I know a couple of leagues I am in people dropped him. In one league, I was fortunate to pick him up. Here is the reason why. In the last seven days, he is batting .450 with 5 Rs, 2 HRs, 4 RBIs and 2 SBs. Zobrist is striking out 3% less than his career average this year and has a higher average and on base percentage. It is hard to imagine that Zobrist is going to have another breakout year like he did in 2009, but his statistics speak for themselves this week. I find him a very solid player to have on your team.

Alex Cobb (TB – SP) – Cobb has now won three games in a row. As we go into August he has only given up three runs in his last 20.2 innings. In his last ten starts he has lowered his ERA from 4.39 to 3.54. With a monstrous week this certainly has helped out his numbers. Cobb was 2-0 in the last week with 15 IP only allowing 8 hits, 1 ER, 2 BB and 22 SOs. This all adds up to a 0.67 WHIP and a 0.60 ERA in the last seven days. And it is not like his last two starts were against slaughters either. He started against the Brewers and Cardinals. With the Rays recent success, it is making their front office wondering if they are sellers or buyers as the trade deadline looms. Cobb is certainly making this a tough decision. It looks like he is certainly in a groove and I believe will be for the rest of the season.

Ian Desmond
(WSH – SS) – Desmond is having an interesting season. He is reverting into a player that only hits for average. With a 29.2% K rate, he is feast or famine when he is up to bat this year. Right now, he is posting a .250 average with 17 HRs. These numbers are comparable to players like Lucas Duda, Khris Davis and Ryan Howard. In the past week, Desmond is hitting a dismal .130 and has only 1 R. There have been times in the season where Desmond was hitting as low as .200 on a consistent basis. Obviously, this is not a guy that is going to help you on average this year and you need to keep him in your lineup because of his boom factor. It is a shame because he is athletic enough to be hitting closer to .280 or even .300 for a whole year.

Hunter Pence (SF)Hunter Pence (SF – OF) – Confession time. I never liked Pence and actually have made a promise to myself that I would never draft him in any of my leagues. I don’t know what it is about him, but he is one player that I try to avoid like the plague when it comes to drafting my team. Admit it, you have a player like this too. His performance in the past week exemplifies my reasoning. In the past seven days, Pence is hitting .107 with 4 RBIs. He has lowered his batting average from .305 to .291. I feel like Pence is a very streaky player at times. This is just one of those streaks.

As the trade deadline looms, I expect to hear what I do not want to on Thursday and that is that Jon Lester has been traded. I know that it is time for the Red Sox to do something like this, but it will be sad to see him go. The only thing that I am hoping for is that he does resign next year, like he said he will keep the Red Sox in mind after he becomes a free agent at the end of the year. Hey, one can hope, right? Best of luck to you this week.

May the risers be in your favor and the fallers on your opponents’ team!

You can follow me on Twitter @RedSox_SF49ers for more fantasy baseball news and advice. Also be sure to like us on Facebook, Google+ and Instagram for all updates from Fantasy Six Pack.

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