All Star week is a short fantasy week at RTSports that runs from Thursday until Sunday (7/19 - 7/22).
Starting lineups can be adjusted up until a player's first game of the week on Thursday or Friday.
If your league has a free agent add/drop period, it will end on Monday at 11:59pm ET.
Here are what some talking heads think about fantasy baseball 2018:
Please let us know if you have any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or (636) 447-1170
Seattle Mariners outfielder Denard Span is slashing .310/.350/.492 in 38 games since being acquired via trade from the Rays. The veteran has two triples, four home runs, seven doubles and 15 runs batted in over his last 126 at-bats. Span has been rejuvenated playing for a team in the playoff hunt and is hitting a scorching .342 over his last 38 at-bats with runners in scoring position. Span finished up the first half strong, slashing .347/.389/.551 over his last 15 games with seven runs batted in. Span has fantasy value in deeper formats and AL-only leagues heading into the second half of the season.
Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg is expected to be activated from the disabled list and starting against the Atlanta Braves on Friday. Strasburg has been on the DL since June 10 with a shoulder injury. Prior to going down, Strasburg pitched to a 6-6 record with a 3.46 ERA and a 95/19 K/BB ratio. With the Nationals faltering in the standings a bit heading into the All-Star break, a Strasburg return has to greatly boost their morale. While he'll be making his first start in over a month against a potent Braves lineup, Strasburg is safe to use on Friday and should be re-inserted into all fantasy lineups.
Seattle Mariners outfielder Ben Gamel will be stuck in a part-time role heading into the second half of the season. After posting 509 at-bats in 2017, Gamel will fall well short of that mark due to an early season oblique injury and the team's acquisition of veteran Denard Span. The Mariners are in the hunt for a playoff spot this season and could also be in the market to add outfield help at the deadline. Add to that the eventual logjam they may have with the return of suspended Robinson Cano in August and it is hard to envision Gamel getting consistent playing time. Gamel bounced back from a dismal start this season and is currently slashing .286/.356/.389 with one home run, three triples and 10 doubles through 185 at-bats this season. But Gamel lacks fantasy relevance heading into the second half despite a scorching .349/.407/.494 line in 83 at-bats at Safeco Field this season.
Seattle Mariners first baseman Ryon Healy has added a jolt of power to the first base position this season for the playoff-hungry Mariners. The team really struggled getting production last season from the position and Healy has delivered 18 home runs and 46 RBI heading into the second half. Healy is the type of slugger that can put runs on the board in bunches but sports a below average on-base percentage of .270. If Healy wants to take his game to the next level he will have to improve upon his .215 batting average and .367 slugging with runners in scoring position. Expect Healy to finish the season with 25-30 bombs and 70-80 runs batted in but it will be the little things that will make him a viable fantasy asset the rest of the season.
Seattle Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz has a career track record of taking his play to another level in the second half of seasons. Cruz is on pace for 37 home runs this season, which would be the fifth straight season of 35 home runs or more for the veteran. The slugger has hit for more power in the second half of previous seasons, slugging .581 (2017), .571 (2016) and .592 (2015) over the past three years. Cruz is hitting an impressive .301 through 73 at-bats with runners in scoring position this season and sports an OPS of 1.002 in 38 road games. Fantasy owners of Cruz should be salivating based on his track record and the possible rise of a current BABIP (.272) that, right now, is at its lowest since 2009.
Seattle Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager looks forward to the second half of the season with 16 home runs and 56 runs batted in at the All-Star break. But Seager's .282 on-base percentage is far below his career numbers and his 88/22:K/BB ratio would be a career worst at that rate. Seager certainly has shown improved play in his career in the second half of the season but currently is slugging only .388 halfway through July. Seager is a proven hitter that will have plenty of chances to drive in more runs and improve upon his current BABIP of .262 heading into the second half of the season.
Seattle Mariners outfielder Mitch Haniger leads the Mariners with 67 runs batted in at the All-Star break. The first-time All-Star has enjoyed a breakout first half of the season, slashing .272/.358/.488 with two triples, 17 doubles, 18 home runs and 48 runs scored. After a down month of May, Haniger has rebounded with 26 RBI over his last 39 games played. He is hitting .287 with runners in scoring position and has entertained the fans at Safeco Field with a .518 slugging percentage through 46 home games. Haniger teased fantasy owners last season with his potential but injuries knocked him off of his game. Whether Haniger can put an end-to-end season together is a bit uncertain but, to this point, he has exceeded most fantasy expectations.
Seattle Mariners second baseman Dee Gordon has enjoyed a solid, if unspectacular, first half with his new team this season. Outside of a .248/.264/.273 line in the month of June following a broken toe injury, Gordon has been a consistent presence at the top of the order. His 22 stolen bases by far leads the team but continues to post low on-base totals despite a batting average of .283. Through 361 at-bats this season, Gordon has walked an astoundingly low six times all season. His .301 on-base percentage must improve if the Mariners intend on playing into October. Lack of power plus a lack of consistently getting on base will continue to supress Gordon's fantasy value.
Seattle Mariners shortstop Jean Segura will open up the second half hoping to duplicate his fantastic start to the season. The All-Star is tied for second in all of baseball with 120 hits and is slashing an impressive .323/.354/.458 through 371 at-bats. He currently is on pace to set a new career high in RBI and is a huge reason why the Mariners are in the hunt for a playoff spot. The key for Segura the rest of the way is consistency and health. The 28-year old was posting similar numbers last season but an ankle injury proved to be a significant setback. In 269 at-bats after the All-Star break in 2017, Segura hit only .253 with a .375 slugging percentage. He will not have to carry the load hitting in an improved Mariners offense so fantasy owners should rest easy as to whether Segura can continue his elite play moving forward.
Updating previous reports, Baltimore Orioles shortstop Manny Machado is expected to be traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday, barring any last-minute snags, according to a baseball official with direct knowledge of the deal. The Brewers and Phillies could still be in the mix. Machado will likely play shortstop with Corey Seager out for the year, pushing Chris Taylor back to center field. Entering the All-Star break, Machado is hitting .315 with 24 home runs, 65 RBI and a .963 OPS. This potential trade will only help his production in the second half. Back in Baltimore, expect Tim Beckham to move to shortstop and Danny Valencia to cover third base regularly. It's not known what the exact package is from the Dodgers side, but top outfield prospect Yusniel Diaz, pitcher Dustin May and middle infielder Gavin Lux could all be included. Stay tuned for more.
New York Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes (hip) started his rehab assignment on Tuesday and went 1-for-4 with a single while playing seven innings in left field for the Gulf Coast Mets. Barring any setbacks, he should return from the disabled list as soon as Friday against the Yankees. It'll be a big boost to the struggling Mets. Cespedes has been out since May 13 and was hitting .255 with eight home runs, 28 RBI and three steals in 137 at-bats before his injury. Patient owners will want to get him back into their lineups immediately, and hopefully he can start contributing right away to fantasy rosters.
Houston Astros outfielder Tony Kemp has carved out for himself a nice role in the Astros outfield rotation heading into the second half. The speedy outfielder has beat out the struggling Jake Marisnick for at-bats and is hitting .297 through 118 at-bats. Kemp has been a fantastic source of energy for the team at Minute Maid Park, slashing .345/.448/.436 in 26 home games this season. He has almost identical splits against left/right-handed pitching and is 6-for-20 (.300) with runners in scoring position. Kemp is not a player worth investing in for fantasy purposes but is a key role player for one of the best teams in the American League heading into the second half.
The Philadelphia Phillies remain "aggressively motivated" to get a deal done for Baltimore Orioles shortstop Manny Machado, according to a source. They remain confident that they can acquire him, even though it was reported Tuesday morning that the Dodgers were the favorites for Machado. The Phillies upped their offer to include their No. 2 prospect, pitcher Adonis Medina, on Monday. Right now the Orioles are likely comparing their offers from the Dodgers, Phillies and potentially Brewers, but a trade of Machado could come within days, if not hours. At this point, it'd be a surprise if Machado is still with the Orioles to start the second half of the season on Friday.
Houston Astros catcher Max Stassi capped off his first half on a down note, hitting only .200 with a .275 slugging percentage over his last 40 at-bats. Stassi emerged as a reliable player after hitting .340 in the month of May with three home runs and six doubles. But once veteran Brian McCann was put on the shelf with a knee injury, Stassi's role has increased to mixed results. He is hitting only .191 over the last month and a half and rumors that the Astros may be interested in Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto persist. Stassi lacks fantasy relevance right now and his value could take an even more serious hit if the Astros hit the trade market for the stretch run over the next few weeks.
The Cleveland Indians are reportedly showing interest in San Diego Padres closer Brad Hand. Hand has pitched to a 3.05 ERA and a 65/15 K/BB ratio with 24 saves. He has been named to back-to-back All-Star teams. Cleveland currently ranks 29th in the MLB with a bullpen ERA of 5.28. They're in desperate need of a dominant reliever and Hand certainly fits the bill. Hand is also under team control until 2021 while currently closer Cody Allen and reliever Andrew Miller are free agents after the season. Multiple teams have shown interest in hand yet there's no word if the Padres will trade him. If moved to the Indians he would lose his value as he likely would no longer see save opportunities.
The Baltimore Orioles, who are clearly about to trade shortstop Manny Machado, could also listen to offers for starting pitchers Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy and second baseman Jonathan Schoop. "I think their goal is to trade their walk-year guys Machado, Britton, [Brad] Brach and Adam Jones, but they are not hanging up the phone if you ask on [Kevin] Gausman or [Dylan] Bundy or [Jonathan] Schoop," an executive said. With the worst record in baseball, the Orioles are clearly looking to unload and gain young, controllable prospects in return. As far as fantasy values go, any of the Orioles playing moving to contenders will certainly benefit.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have offered top outfield prospect Yusniel Diaz in a package for Baltimore Orioles shortstop Manny Machado, according to sources. Diaz is currently ranked as the team's No. 4 prospect behind Alex Verdugo, Keibert Ruiz and Mitchell White, per MLB.com. Pitcher Dustin May and middle infielder Gavin Lux could also be in the package for the All-Star Machado. It'd be a lot to give up for the Blue, but Machado is a difference-maker and would immediately slot in at the 6 with Corey Seager (elbow) out for the year. This trade is close to being completed and could be finished as soon as Tuesday.
The Baltimore Orioles have the structure of a deal in place and are going through the medicals/paperwork of a deal to ship shortstop Manny Machado away. The Dodgers have been very invested, as have the Brewers and Phillies. The situation is fluid, but as of Tuesday morning the Dodgers have emerged as the favorites to land the All-Star. With the All-Star game being played Tuesday evening, we may have an announcement very soon on where Machado will be going. He's been an elite fantasy shortstop on a bad team, so moving to a contender will only help his numbers.
The Philadelphia Phillies are monitoring Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher J.A. Happ as they await word on whether they can acquire Orioles shortstop Manny Machado and closer Zach Britton. The Blue Jays have also spent time scouting Philadelphia's minor league system recently, according to a league source. The 35-year-old Happ is in the final year of a three-year, $36 million deal. He has recently had a string of bad starts but is 10-6 with a 4.29 ERA and 1.19 WHIP in 19 starts on the season. Happ was drafted by the Phils in 2004 and won a World Series with them in 2008. The veteran southpaw would benefit from a move back to where it all started, and his 10.0 K/9 has definitely been useful to fantasy owners this year.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are now the leading candidate to land Baltimore Orioles shortstop Manny Machado in a trade. However, the situation is fluid and the Brewers and Phillies still have an outside chance. Barring something unexpected, Machado should be with a different team before the second half of the season starts. Machado is the most sought after trade chip at this year's deadline, and he's also been one of the most productive all-around players in baseball at the halfway point. A move to the Dodgers would drastically improve their lineup and Machado's fantasy value with better hitters around him. He'd serve as their shortstop with Corey Seager out for the year and push Chris Taylor back to center field. In Baltimore, Tim Beckham would likely move to shortstop, with Danny Valencia manning the hot corner every day.
No Games Scheduled
|FW||7/17 4:18 pm ET|
|Arli$$ XII||7/16 11:32 am ET|
|Underrated V||7/16 12:36 am ET|
|Chief Wahoo||7/15 11:21 pm ET|
|HereForBeer||7/15 11:07 pm ET|
|Infinite Jest||7/12 9:38 pm ET|
|Grambolean||7/8 9:56 pm ET|
|Miracle Muts||5/29 7:58 am ET|
|Pepe LeMahieu||5/27 8:39 am ET|
|Sandlot Kids||4/9 11:10 am ET|
|Commissioner||3/28 10:10 pm ET|
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