Blake Snell (Rays, 1st Half stats: 5-7 with 4.55 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 126 K:33 BB, and 3.31 xFIP through 95 IP, 19 GS) is a reigning Cy Young award winner and likely a 2nd/3rd round pick in your fantasy drafts. And it is true that he has been coming along in in past few starts, allowing 4 ER while posting 21K:4 BB in his last 16 IP. However, his numbers on the season are still pretty gross if we’re being honest and there are lots of frustrated owners that may want to cut ties with Snell. You may not be able to get him as cheap as you could a couple of starts ago, but he can be had at a pretty substantial discount.

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Right when the season started, I wrote a piece where I gave my predictions for who I thought had the best shot to lead the league in each of the 5 main hitting categories among guys drafted outside the top 100. As we all could have guessed, I did not get them all correct. Using the same NFBC ADP data, I wanted to see which players outside the top 100 are actually leading in each main hitting category at the end of the 1st half. I also wanted to include how my picks stack up to the competition thus far.

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As we are just about H2Heading into the All-Star Break, more than half of our fantasy season is in the books. By now you should have a pretty good feel for how your team matches up to the other teams in your league. If you have not yet, you should go ahead and check in to see how you rank in each of the H2H categories to assess where you can make improvements to your team. Oh, everywhere? Me too! Joking aside, you should constantly be checking the waiver wire to see if there are options that are outplaying some of your starters. Because at this point in the year if you are not a lock to make the playoffs, you need to start having shorter leashes on your guys. Here are 3 guys under 30% owned in ESPN leagues in descending order.

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At this point in the season, nearly all of the highly dependable closers are off the waiver wire. However, given the significant turnover at the closer position, there are still arms that pop up that can be a viable source of saves. The window to pounce on them can be small, so it is imperative to stay on top of who has been getting the save chances and react accordingly. Below I have 3 closers all less than 25% owned on ESPN. For those in deeper leagues these guys may be gone already, but they are all available in 75% or more of ESPN leagues. I have listed them in order of their value in my eyes.

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Mike Soroka (Braves, ESPN position rank: 9)has been excellent so far this year, to the tune of a 7-1 record with a stellar 1.38 ERA and 0.87 WHIP.  Through his first 65 1/3 innings of work, he has posted 57K:17BB and opponents are batting just .169 against him. Soroka has been a top 10 SP according to ESPN’s positional Player Rater. Not bad for someone who went undrafted in most formats, with an NFBC ADP of 388. He has been elite through his first 10 starts, allowing more than 1 run just once. Soroka has only let up 1 HR so far this year, and holds a solid 6.5% walk rate. He has displayed great command with his pitches and has been excellent at generating ground balls. His 58.4% ground ball rate ranks 3rd among MLB pitchers with at least 60 IP.

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If you know me then you know I’m a sucker for guys with a Pop N Speed combo in H2H leagues. By having a lineup full of guys that can sprinkle in some HR and SB any given matchup, it maximizes your chances to compete for these categories week in week out. While 15 HR and 10 SB over the course of a year may not sound like a lot, having a bunch of guys that can hit those marks certainly adds up. Stolen bases are a tricky category to try to focus on so I like to have many guys that won’t necessarily get one every week, but have the ability to record one any given week. It may not sound like much but with speed down league wide, many weeks are decided by a single SB. Here are some guys that are pretty widely available in ESPN leagues that display the beloved power/pop combo.

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Since many of you play in highly competitive or deeper leagues, this week I wanted to focus on players in 10 or 12 team leagues that will almost assuredly be available on your waiver wire. For deeper leagues, these guys will most likely still be available as they are all owned in under 2% of ESPN leagues. I noticed I accidentally unfairly discriminate against deeper leagues in my pieces, so I wanted to make sure I am giving player recommendations for those that play in them. So here is 3 From Me: deep dive edition.

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Especially in H2H, you really can never get enough starting pitching. I’m a firm believer that most of your bench spots should be utilized for having SPs. One, because it is frustrating trying to decide between what hitters to start and seeing stats sitting on your bench. And two, because I’m also a believer that the more the merrier when it comes to starts and pitching strategy in H2H. Yes, there is a greater likelihood that your ERA and WHIP can get blown up with just a couple bad starts. However, I think that giving yourself more starts and trying to win strikeouts and wins every week will pay off more times than being conservative and trying to win ERA and WHIP. Because let’s face it, even the times you try to do that it can all come crashing down with a bad start or two anyway. And then you’re at a disadvantage in strikeouts and wins too because you only used 6 or 8 starts.

Since I love chasing winning strikeouts and wins every week, I’m always trying to find guys to add to my pitching staff. Here are 4 starting pitchers that are less than 40% owned in ESPN leagues.

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You hear that? It sounds like the Angels may actually be forming a respectable lineup around the best player in baseball. Over the past few years critics have rightfully been pointing out that Trout’s prime years have been going to waste due to lack of a supporting cast. The Angels still have a ways to go if they want to fulfill our wish of seeing the best player of this generation back in the playoffs, as his lone appearance in 2014 isn’t enough. However, as of late his supporting cast has been putting forth some under-the-radar production to help the Fish Man out. Ohtani’s 2019 debut was much awaited to help give Trout some additional protection, and the Angels have won 5 of their 8 games since his return to the lineup.

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It’s hard to not like the man. The MLB needs more players like Derek Dietrich. Whether he’s smacking dongs, fending off a horde of bees, or rocking a sweet eye black mustache, he never ceases to entertain. In the words of Will Ferrell in Blades of Glory, it gets the people going! His success so far this season makes for a great story, as he was forced to settle on a minor league contract to begin the year. The utility man has seen the bulk of his playing time at 2B thus far, taking advantage of Scooter Gennett going down. With Scoot set to miss another month or so and the release of OF Matt Kemp, Dietrich should have a path to pretty consistent playing time.

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