We’re in the home stretch of our fantasy baseball season and it’s getting tougher to separate your team in the standings. With just over a month remaining, FBS is digging deep into the numbers and recommending guys that will help your team move up the rankings. We’ve got some real intriguing selections this week, so owners will want to make sure that they’re not left in the dust. Hitters
1.Jose Bautista, OF TOR: .263 AVG, 42 HR, 97 RBI, 6 SB, 87 R
There are no words to describe Bautista’s incredible season as he continues to blow everyone out of the water with his unprecedented production. We suggested him even before his hot August and now almost in September we’re still floating his name to owners. After never belting more than 16 dingers in a season, Bautista is now up to an incredible 42 this year with still over a month remaining. Crediting his hitting coach for helping to adjust his swing, it really looks like Bautista’s work has paid off in a big way. He’s been the fantasy steal of the season, going undrafted in most leagues as he wasn’t even supposed to be a regular player for the Jays this year. He’s currently leading the entire MLB in runs scored in addition to homers and is about to surpass the 100 RBI-plateau for the first time in his career. Congratulations to Mr. Bautista and his owners.
2.Wilson Betemit, 3B KC: .331 AVG, 9 HR, 26 RBI, 0 SB, 22 R
Finally getting an opportunity to play, Betemit is certainly making the most of it in Kansas City. He’s really been a pleasant surprise for both the Royals and for fantasy owners as he’s batting .316 with eight runs and 10 RBI over his last 11 games. He’s got a real chance to do some damage for owners this week as the Royals will have to be involved in some offensive slug-outs if they hope for a win this week against the Rangers or Tigers.
3.Juan Pierre, OF CHW: .282 AVG, 1 HR, 35 RBI, 50 SB, 74 R
Just like Bourn, Pierre’s fantasy value is based on his ability to rack up those steals. Currently the MLB leader in the category, Pierre’s second half surge continues to get more impressive by the day. The double-flapped helmet wearer is batting an incredible .352 in August with 12 RBI and 14 runs scored. Always known as a second-half player, his impressive season at age 33 shows that he’s not slowing down any time soon. As long as he bats atop the Sox lineup, he should stay productive through season’s end.
4.David Wright, 3B NYM: .297 AVG, 21 HR, 85 RBI, 18 SB, 71 R
Numbers don’t lie and Wright is rewarding his owners who gambled on him this season. After a 2009 season that saw him belt just 10 homers and drive in a measly 72 RBI, Wright is showing that he’s certainly no slouch. An absolute machine for owners in rotisserie leagues, Wright has a shot at a 25/25 season, which is not easy to accomplish by any stretch. He’s always been a streaky player, and owners should certainly take advantage while he’s on his current wave. Over his last 13 games he’s batting .392 with four taters, three doubles, 13 runs, and seven RBI.
5.Michael Bourn, OF HOU: .255 AVG, 2 HR, 29 RBI, 44 SB, 70 R
Bourn’s value in fantasy leagues is based on one thing & one thing only: his steals. The former Phillie would be a lot more valuable if he scored a few more runs, but batting atop the lineup for an offensively challenged Astros lineup is no small task. The speedster is 10-23 over his past five, including five steals. He may kill owners in OPS and certainly won’t help in average, but he’ll keep your team afloat in the SB category with his production alone and has a very good chance to steal 55+ bags by season’s end; not many can say that.
1.Mat Latos, SP SD: 13-5, 2.29 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 150 K
I don’t know how many times I have to say that Latos is better than Strasburg for owners to start believing me, but perhaps this week’s news on Washington’s phenom will help my case. With Strasburg shelved for the remainder of this year and the majority of next as well, Latos can now rightfully claim his title as the best young pitcher in baseball. He’s been amazing this year and seems to pitch a beauty on every day that ends in “Y”. The team wants to limit his innings but with him pitching as well as he is there’s not much incentive to do so. With an incredible K:BB ratio for the season, he’s a legitimate contender for NL ROY award as well as the CY Young. He’ll take on the D-Backs this week who he shut out in his only previous start against them for six innings while taking home the W.
2.Roy Oswalt, SP PHI: 9-13, 3.12 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 155 K
Oswalt got off to a rough start in Philadelphia but has really settled in quite nicely since that time. He’s now 3-1 with a 2.17 ERA since being acquired from the Astros and is living up to his billing. In August, the southern boy has been absolutely scorching with a 3-0 record and a 1.53 ERA in five starts. His ability to strike hitters out at a high clip while keeping his walks in check really add to his fantasy appeal and the veteran should be a top-20 option the rest of the way. He’ll take on the Dodgers this week who he shut out for seven innings (for the win) in his only start against them this season.
3.Mike Pelfrey, SP NYM: 13-7, 3.61 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 91 K
If not for an absolutely abysmal July (10.02 ERA), Pelfrey may have been in contention for one of the top fantasy pitchers this season. Over his last seven starts, big Pelf has looked much like his usual self with a 3-2 record and a 2.78 ERA. He really seems to have re-gained his swagger on the mound and is back to pitching deep into ball games quite effectively. He’s gone eight innings in each of his last two starts (both wins) and will look to build off of that solid momentum this week when the Mets head down to Atlanta to battle the Braves. In four starts against Atlanta this season, Mike is 2-2 with a 3.80 ERA.
4.Edwin Jackson, SP CHW: 8-10, 4.44 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 138 K
Jackson tossed one of the more memorable no-hitters from this season, needing 150+ pitches to finish the game. Walking eight in that game, Jackson showed not only why he was considered a top prospect, but also the reason that caused him to fall out of favor with so many organizations (walks). After a deadline deal that sent him to the AL and the White Sox, Jackson has been superb, going 2-0 in four decisions. He’s allowed just three ER over a 28-inning span and has amassed 34 Ks to boot. He’s scheduled to take on Cleveland in his next start and is 5-1 with a 2.56 ERA in nine career starts against them. Start him with confidence.
5.Ian Kennedy, SP ARI: 8-9, 4.22 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 140 K
It’s been a scorching month of August for Kennedy as he seems to have found his early-season form. Now 2-0 with a 2.37 ERA over his last three starts, the young right-hander hasn’t lost since August 4th. His K:BB ratio is fairly impressive considering he’s got 140 Ks and even struck out 12 in his most recent outing. Despite the team beginning to watch his innings count, he hasn’t shown any signs of fatigue and appears to be a very viable option against the Padres this week. For the season, Kennedy is 1-0 with a 1.58 ERA against San Diego.