>July is already halfway over is it’s time to start looking for those notorious “second-half-studs.” Scanning over the last two seasons, using OPS as my guide, I found two constants that could be had a potentially moderate price.
Aubrey Huff should be owned in all fantasy leagues. He’s not a guy who you’re going to just ‘pick up’ from waivers without giving up anything substantive. To date, Huff started out like a bat from hell in 2009. Recently, though, his numbers have been dipping. His once-.300 batting average has dipped to Elvis Andrus territory at .250, and he’s seemingly been stuck on 11 home runs forever!
Rewind to 2007, Huff slugged 8 home runs in August. On top of that, he scored 19 runs and drove in 19 RBIs of his own. His OPS was an astronomical 1.135, placing him in vintage David Ortiz, Alex Rodriguez, and David Wright territory.
In hopes that 2007 was not an aberration, we look to August 2008, when, you guess it, Huff clubbed 8 home runs (…again…), scored 20 runs, and drove in 26 RBIs. His 1.056 OPS, again, placed him fractions of a point away from the 2008 AL MVP, Dustin Pedroia (1.060).
Officially, I suggest you chase Aubrey Huff. He shouldn’t take much to land in a deal because he’s stumbled into the All-Star Break. The one caveat surrounding Huff is that he’s in a contract year and is highly likely to be traded within the next several weeks. If he goes to a team like the Mets or the Mariners, he’ll be hard pressed to club 8 home runs in such a huge home ballpark. That all said… I still think he’s a worthwhile investment for your team down the stretch… especially in August.
>Thank God for Manny Ramirez. Not only does he have the best hair in baseball, but now he’s also hogging the Hollywood spotlight and I LOVE IT! Not because I enjoy living vicariously through the most abominable baseball players, but because it takes some attention off other Dodger players who may be on the cusp of fantasy (and baseball) dominance/stardom/relevance (take your pick).
Look back a few months to how much attention Clayton Kershaw received in May. Dodger fans and fantasy aficionados treated this kid like the second coming of the Messiah
while others (like myself) found more reliable options
while Kershaw took his hits before being demoted to Triple-A.
Now, about two month later, I am ready to jump on board the Clayton Kershaw express. He’s pitched two efficient, impressive games in a row and hasn’t allowed an earned run in 13.1 consecutive innings. His walks have been cut down over this span and his innings have increased.
Basically, my official recommendation with this kid is to grab him and watch what happens. If you have the room, take a flier and cross your fingers that he does exactly what Chad Billingsley did at the end of 2007 (straight up dominate).
>Any goober (like myself) that didn’t dive all over Jonathan Broxton when Takashi Saito injured his arm last week was in a bit of a pickle for this shortened week. A few days ago, I gave one short term solution. This solution wasn’t going to get you any saves, he probably wasn’t going to get you any strikeouts, in fact, he probably wasn’t going to do much… other than pitch beautifully against one of the most fierce offenses in the Majors.
Anyone who took that advice got this nice little stat line added to their Box Score for the week:
6 Innings Pitched, 0 Earned Runs, 3 Hits, 3 Walks, 1 Strike out, and 1 Win
Okay, so he didn’t set the world on fire, but he helped your ERA with 6 shut out innings and a ‘W’ never hurts. In points-leagues, he was more than serviceable accruing a respectable number for your team, despite not having very many strike outs.
For now… It’s time to say ‘Good-Bye’ to Glen. That’s right, I want you to drop Glen Perkins from your team. You have to always remember what some experts refer to as the “Shawn Chacon
Rule:” DON’T CHASE WINS!
More second half pitching recommendations to come soon.