We’ve got just over two months of regular season baseball left in 2016. As the pennant races get interesting, we’ve got some equally interesting decisions to make when it comes to building our DFS lineups.
When doing so, we’re always looking for a value. Here are 10 star players who had a forgettable first half of 2016, but could get hot at the right time…
10. David Price
Price has been Boston’s third-best starting pitcher so far this season. Not quite what the Sox had in mind for $217 million. Price’s problem is all between his ears … not sure if that’s good or bad. If you want to look for the good, he’s healthy and has all the ability in the world. However, he’s allowed 22 hits over his last two starts for a grand total of 4.6 DraftKings Fantasy Points (DKFP). If he can lock in down the stretch, Price could be the 30+ DKFP guy we expected.
9. Gerrit Cole/Andrew McCutchen
Cole and Cutch’s down seasons have been a huge part of why the Buccos aren’t as high up in the NL standings as they had hoped to be. Big second-halves from these two could totally transform Pittsburgh’s season. Cole missed more than a month, but he managed his best DK outing since May 15th in his last start, while McCutchen has been very hit or miss. McCutchen’s bat has heated up in terms of getting the ball out of the park over the last month. These guys could be worth getting in on while the price is right.
8. Miguel Sano
Sano basically missed all of June due to injury — a huge reason the Twins have been so brutal offensively. Sano doesn’t make them a playoff team or anything, but he makes the top end of the order better. His bat is starting to come around, so as his health improves he makes for an obvious candidate to finish the season strong.
7. Tommy Joseph
Since taking the 1B job from Ryan Howard, Joseph’s been fantastic for the Phillies. In just 54 games, Joseph has 13 homers and seems to be steadily improving at the dish. The Phils’ offense isn’t too scary for opposing pitchers, but Joseph is going to be the guy doing the majority of the damage for his team as another rough season winds down in Philly.
6. Troy Tulowitzki/Jose Bautista
The Blue Jay’s historic offense last season hasn’t been quite the same this year, but it’s still been damn good. Donaldson and Encarnacion have maintained dominance, but Tulo’s slowed down and Joey Bats has simply been injured (and hitting just .231 prior). While 16 homers for Tulo is great, he needs to improve upon his .248 average. Bautista is now back in the lineup and got a hit in his first game back. These guys are still in the $4,000 range, but expect them to jump back to the big bucks by the end of the season. Their production will come.
5. Bryce Harper
Speaking of production on the way, these next two guys have some explaining to do. Harper’s numbers are insane for most other players, but considering who he is we need more. Hitting just .244, Harper’s become HR-or-bust, and that’s not the type of player he is. He needs to boost that average and do a better job getting on base (where he’s fantastic at swiping bags and finding his way around the diamond). Harper should be hitting well over .300. Let’s see if he can for the next couple of months.
4. Giancarlo Stanton
Basically just “see above.” Stanton (.240/21 HR/55 RBI) and Harper (.244/20 HR/55 RBI) have almost identical numbers. Did you watch the HR derby? This guy is a stud with the type of power that should lead to way more production. We need to see it before the season’s over, especially with the Marlins actually in wildcard position.
3. Howie Kendrick
Kendrick had been having a really slow season, but he’s been on fire of late. I guess this means he hasn’t been a disappointment anymore. With only six home runs on the season, Kendrick finds more ways to get DKFP than the other names you’ll find here. Don’t be fooled by Kendrick’s 6.3 DKFP per game this season. He’s averaging 12.1 DKFP over his last 10 games at just $3,600-ish.
2. Todd Frazier
The Todd Father has 29 freaking home runs this season, so by no means has he been a bust. He is hitting just .211, though. That’s bad. Frazier hit .255 last season, so watch for his average to rise before the end of the season. Another thing worth keeping in mind is that Frazier could be on the move by the trade deadline. If he gets thrusted into a more high-power offense, he could become even more dangerous.
1. Adam Jones
The Orioles’ offense has been spectacular so far this season, but Jones is the only piece that hasn’t rounded into full form. His .265 average and 17 homers are a little behind where he’d typically be at this point in the season, but Jones should be flourishing in this O’s lineup. If Jones can turn it up, Baltimore could really use him in this three-way race for the AL East.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jedlow) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.