MLB Fantasy Fixer-Uppers July 23rd Edition
If you are still reading these then you deserve a big congratulations. You have navigated through the first half and then some of this season and your fantasy team is still relevant. While that is a feat to behold it isn't time to celebrate just yet. Not fully. That's why you are here, isn't it? You want to make sure you know which players can help you in the second half of the season and hoist that fantasy trophy at the end of the year. Well, you asked for it.
Jake Peavy, SP, Chicago White Sox (82% owned ESPN leagues)
Maybe I am stretching it a little here as Peavy is owned in more than 3/4 of leagues but in reality he should be owned in all leagues. The 2007 National League Cy Young winner has won (seven) more than half of his starts (12) this year and is striking people out (8.5/9) at a clip right in line with his career mark (8.7). If you are concerned he plays for a bad team, which he does, don't be. Odds are good that he will be moved before the July 31st trade deadline. Rumor has it that the Boston Red Sox are seriously interested and they would provide Peavy with a much better chance to win. Grab him now before he changes his sox.
Chris Archer, SP, Tampa Bay Rays (60% owned)
Has any team been hotter than the Rays? Winners of 20 of their last 24 Tampa is scorching hot an they have an equally hot rookie pitcher to thank for it. Archer has given up a total of one run in his last three starts and has turned in nine straight quality starts since a loss at Cleveland June 1st. His 2.76 ERA and 1.18 WHIP are nothing short of sterling. A strong candidate for American League Rookie of the Year Archer is still available in 40 percent of leagues but I don't expect that number to stay that way for long. If you have any concern it might be the idea that Archer loses his rotation spot when Alex Cobb comes back but I just don't see how you can take someone like this out. Joe Maddon is a smart manager. I am sure he will figure out what *cough remove Roberto Hernandez cough* to do.
Brad Ziegler, RP, Arizona Diamondbacks (48% owned)
Arizona is on their third closer this year after J.J. Putz was injured early and Heath Bell was ineffective later. Enter Ziegler? It appears that way as he has notched four saves in his last six appearances., his first saves since he was in Oakland in 2011. Ziegler doesn't have overpowering stuff as his modest strikeout rate of 4.8/9 will tell you. Couple that with his high walk total of 2.6/9 and you wouldn't think he would be closer material. But he does have one intangible that manager Kirk Gibson can't get enough of: grit. That must be it right? Regardless of how I feel what matters is how Gibson feels and right now he feels like handing the ball over to Ziegler when a save opportunity presents itself. If you are looking for saves on the cheap, especially if you are a Jason Grilli owner, snap up Ziegler.
Derek Jeter, SS, New York Yankees (39% owned)
The captain missed almost the entire first half while he recovered from a broken ankle suffered in last years ALCS. He came back for one game, hurt his quad and went back on the disabled list. That caused a lot of owners to drop the future Hall of Famer. Depending on how many DL spots your league allows I view this as a mistake. Shortstop has been weaker than usual this year and while Jeter is battling Father Time he is still quite productive when healthy. The captain said he expects to be back in the lineup this weekend and if that is true you can bet Jeter will be among the most added players as opposed to the most dropped list he is on this week. That is why you should add him now. Expect a .300 BA with modest power and run production. If Joe Girardi is penciling him into his lineup you should follow pinstripe suit.
Junior Lake, OF, Chicago Cubs (3% owned)
I have to admit that I was surprised when someone in one of my leagues added Lake. I figured most people had not heard f him. A tip of the ol' hat to you Guy. Lake was having a fine year in his first go around in AAA putting up a slash line of .295/.341/.462 while adding double digit steals. With the thought that Alfonso Soriano will be traded before the deadline the Cubs figure to give Lake a good look the rest of the year. So far it has worked out well as he is 9-for-17 with a homer and a stolen base. He could be worth taking a flyer on if for no other reason than that great baseball name.