Stephen Piscotty (OAK)– The A’s (60-43) are currently in third place in the AL West yet have a better record than the Indians, Phillies, and Dodgers, all of whom sit in first place in their respective divisions. A large part of Oakland’s success can be attributed to the newly acquired Stephen Piscotty. The former Cardinal has been on an absolute tear in July, hitting .297 with 17 RBIs and 7 home runs, 4 of which have come in consecutive games. MoMo has been doing most of his damage on the road, where he is batting .283 with 13 of his 14 home runs this year. The A’s will be in the thin air of Colorado, which has been the best offensive ballpark this season, so be sure to pick him up before his value further skyrockets.
Rougned Odor (TEX)– Many had high hopes for the second baseman coming into the 2018 season, but a lack of power and a career-high 25.3% strikeout rate have marred Odor’s early numbers. By the end of May, the 24-year-old was hitting an ugly .206 with two home runs. However, since the calendar turned to June, Odor has been steadily rising. He is now batting .259 on the season, with seven long balls and eight swipes. His strikeout rate is still concerning; however, he is walking at a three percent higher clip than any previous season and owns a career high.332 OBP. He seems to be rounding into form and should be primed for a much better second half. Odor is coming off consecutive seasons with at least 30 home runs and 14 stolen bases.
Sergio Romo (TB)– Tampa Bay’s closer role was left vacant after the Rays traded Alex Colome to Seattle back in late May. Though Romo claimed the job, fantasy owners did not pay much attention as he was inheriting the position with a shaky 5.75 ERA and 1.62 WHIP. Even his first save opportunity failed to inspire hope as Romo gave up two runs and nearly lost the game. Since then, however, he has looked more like the dominant closer we once saw back in San Francisco. He has converted 12 of his 14 save chances and has worked his ERA down to a respectable 3.73. Owning any closer seems like a no-brainer, but with Tampa Bay being so competitive (52-50), it is even more baffling as to why Romo remains under-owned.
Kirby Yates (SD)– With Brad Hand being dealt to the Indians, the ninth inning now belongs to Kirby Yates down in San Diego. On the season, Yates currently holds a sparkling 1.40 ERA and a 0.85 WHIP with a healthy 11.64 K/9. While he has garnered much trade interest from other ball clubs, Yates is a must-own for the time being. If the Padres decide to hold onto the veteran, he would retain strong fantasy value for the rest of the season. However, if he were to be traded, he would most likely be relegated to a setup role. Regardless, he needs to be picked up everywhere.
Scott Schebler (CIN)– Schebler may not get the same attention as other high-profile players, but he is every bit as deserving since he is essentially a poor man’s George Springer. Schebler is a power hitting leadoff man who finished with 30 home runs last season. In 2018, the left-hander is hitting .278 with 12 home runs, 37 RBIs, and 3 steals in 266 at-bats. Compare that to Springer’s line of .252, 17 home runs, 54 RBIs, and 6 steals in 393 at-bats and it becomes increasingly more difficult to discount the Cincinnati outfielder. The Reds are the eighth best offense hitting in the third best ballpark, which bodes well for Schebler. He has a clear path to playing time and should be a steady source of production once he returns from the DL.
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