OK, so by now everyone knows what Chris Davis and Miguel Cabrera are doing. Davis’s 37 homers before the break are the second-most all time, second only to Barry Bonds's 39 in 2001 (the year he broke the single-season home run record with 73 dingers in a season). However, when Bonds hit 73 HR, he only managed 137 RBI, while Davis is currently on pace for 158 RBI and showing no signs of slowing down. Miguel Cabrera’s 95 RBI, 30 HR and .364 BA may have him en route to the greatest overall offensive season ever-- yes, even better than Babe Ruth’s 1927 season of 60 HR and 164 RBI with a .356 BA. Don’t take this season for granted, folks-- it’s an historic year in the making. Everyone is waiting for Davis to drop off; though predictions of regression may to some extent come to fruition, he certainly seems to have finally put it all together, and he may be giving Miggy a run for his money over the next few years.
Jean Segura came out of the gates like a man on fire, and he has simmered down a bit in July. He hasn't homered since June 21, and he only has four RBI over 51 AB so far in July. He’s still getting on base, scoring runs and stealing bases, which makes him a valuable fantasy asset at shortstop, but it looks like his power may not stick around. He’s a better bet for 45 SB than he is for 25 HR at this point. I still think Segura is the biggest sell high on the market.
Jason Kipnis has put the pedal to the metal over the last month and is actually ranked #4 in standard 5x5 roto scoring through the last 28 games with his four HR, 23 RBI and six SB while carrying a .382 BA. While Kipnis battled injuries in the first few months of the season and got off to a slow start, he isn't showing any signs of slowing down at this point in the season. He’s a budding star at second base for the Tribe.
Pedro Alvarez has hit nine homers and driven in 21 RBI with a surprising .329 BA over his last 97 at-bats. "El Toro" is still striking out around 30% of the time with 33 K over that span, but he’s also making more productive contact. He’s super-streaky, to be sure, but no one will complain about a .245 BA when you hit 45 HR and drive in over 100 RBI. Ride the Alvarez rollercoaster to glory in the second half. Do not sell high! Keep him!
Don’t look now, but post-hype breakout stud Eric Hosmer has seven homers and a .314 BA over his last 105 at-bats. Hosmer had a terrible start to the year in the power department, but it looks like his swing is finally where it needs to be. He’s definitely got the ability and the raw talent to surprise some people in the second half. Hosmer hit 19 homers in 128 games when he was called up in 2011, so the power is certainly there. If you were heady enough to grab Hosmer before the recent hot streak, you’re going to be glad you did. He is going to keep heating up this summer, and he could be a crucial part of your run at fantasy stardom.
AL Hot Shots
- Chris Archer had the best start of his young MLB career, tossing a four-hit shutout with eight strikeouts against the Astros. He’s solidified his spot in the rotation for the foreseeable future in Alex Cobb's absence; Alex Cobb threw batting practice without a screen on Sunday at the Trop. He could be back sometime in August.
- Jake Peavy is aiming to return to the rotation after the break and it could be one of his last starts as a member of the White Sox. Trade rumors are swirling around the talented right-hander, with his name linked to the Diamondbacks and Giants, among others. The White Sox are certainly looking to retool, and Peavy is one of the most valuable assets they have, so be on the lookout for a potential deal.
- Justin Verlander will not participate in the ASG festivities as he left his final start before the break with a quad injury. He was brilliant, not allowing a hit until the seventh inning. He’ll be fine for the second half.
NL Hot Shots
- Yasiel Puig returned to action and looked to be running without hesitation. He should be an All-Star, but whatever.
- Ben Revere suffered a tough blow on Saturday as he fouled a ball off the inside of his foot causing a fracture which will require surgery and six-to-eight weeks of recovery. Revere had just begun to hit his offensive stride and had been a crucial component in the Phillies attempts to stay above water. John Mayberry will take over everyday center field duties, locking Darin Ruf in for full-time duty at first base.
- Freddie Freeman, after being named the final vote winner for the NL All-Star team, will now miss the All-Star game due to a strained thumb. The second-place winner of that vote, Yasiel Puig, was not chosen to take his place. Brian McCann, who has played just 53 games this season, got the nod instead.
- Giancarlo Stanton was 6-for-21 with two HR and five RBI and eight BB over the last week of the first half. He should be a huge power threat in the second half.
- Ike Davis has gone back to being offensively worthless. Josh Satin, who isn't in a platoon with Davis per Manager Terry Collins, has been getting all of the playing time versus lefties, which minimized Davis’s ability to stay hot. If it looks like a platoon and quacks like a platoon, it’s a platoon. Davis is once again off-limits in roto until he pulls his head out of his… quack.
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