The All-Star game has come and gone, which means the 2nd half is upon us.  During the beginning of this 2nd half, now is a good time to go back and look at anticipated return times for some of the players that have been on the IL since the start of the season.  While the majority have been stored away in the designated IL spots, there are always a few stragglers available for the picking.  Since this is a weekly H2H article, I don’t want to speculate on weeks in the future.  Let me just take this time to give a couple extra pointers to help you gain an edge on your competition.  Hell, the majority of your competition is digging into fantasy football.  Keep grinding Razzball family…Keep Grinding!



Mentioned for the weekend series, but keep them in for this week also:

Garrett Hampson, 2B/SS/OF, COL– 49% rostered in Yahoo-  With Brendan Rogers having the bubble guts, it has been Garrett Hampson who has been the beneficiary of the missed time.  Even if Rogers is back, I see Hampson in a great spot against the Dodgers.  Over the past 14 days, Hampson has a .311/3/0/3 with a SB.  Not staggering numbers, but the Dodgers have allowed the most SB to date, and Hampson has speed to burn.

Added for this week:

Luis Arraez, 2B,3B,OF– 21% rostered in Yahoo- The Twins are playing 8 games this coming week, and Arraez is set to lead off in the majority, if not all of them.  Currently riding a 7-game hitting streak (8 runs during the streak and a stolen base) and having a very strong past 30 days with 17 runs scored.

Joc Pederson, OF, ATL– 27% rostered in Yahoo- Expected to bat leadoff for the Braves, and facing a bevy of right handed pitchers.  Obviously the power comes in bunches, but so do the runs for Joc.  Multi-hit games in 3 of the last 4, to go along with 6 runs.



Mentioned for the weekend series, but keep them in for this week also:

Max Kepler, OF, MIN– 44% rostered in Yahoo- Since June 25th, Kepler has hit .286 with 4HR, 9RBI, and possesses a wRC+ of 173.  Kepler has 9 of his 10 HR’s this year against RHP, and he is set to face a handful of them during this 8 game week.

Added for this week:

Starlin Castro, 2B,3B, WSH– 17% rostered in Yahoo- Hitting a robust .500 over the past 14 days in the middle of the Nationals lineup is the epitome of “ride the hot hand”.  Traveling to Baltimore is always good for a middle-of-the-order bat as well.

Ben Gamel, OF, Pit– 7% rostered in Yahoo- Gamel has been hotter than the stolen goods on a Pirate ship leaving the West Indies.  With 4 HR and 8 RBI over his past 14, it’s hard to argue with his success.  Set to face a 29th ranked D’Backs team, he should feast in Arizona before heading to SF.



Tarik Skubal, SP, Det– 44% rostered in Yahoo- Skubal has a tasty couple of matchups against the Rangers and Royals in what should be one of the best 2-start options.  It’s been a tale of two halves….in the 1st half?  Yep, you read that right.  Skubal has pretty much ditched the splitter and now relies more heavily on the change.  K% has improved, walk% has gone down, and I can happily trot him out every 5th day.  Until his innings are up.

Alec Mills, SP, CHC-3% rostered in Yahoo- Since June 20th, Mills has been what the Cubs had hoped, and needed out of their starters.  Over those 20.1 innings, he collected 19k’s, 3.10 ERA (supported with a 3.08xFIP) and given the Cubs a couple much needed wins.  He will take on my Cardinals and then he goes on the road to Arizona.


Speculation and Saves

With no changes to the RP landscape over All-Star Weekend, these names are still relevant. 

Paul Sewald, RP, SEA-19% rostered in Yahoo- Paul Sewald has been incredible this season.  He hasn’t allowed a run since June 1st.  His 43% k% is tops among RP, and he has collected 2 saves over the past 14 days.  Add in the speculation that Kendall Gravemen will be dealt, and Sewald should be an immediate target!

Anthony Bender, RP, MIA-13% rostered in Yahoo- Despite the rough patch over the past 3 appearances, Bender hadn’t allowed an earned run from 5/5-6/29.  The Marlins have no distinct reason to keep Yimi around, so it would assume to be Bender as the next man up.

Heath Hembree, RP, CIN-38% rostered in Yahoo- Another week….another Reds RP with a save.  With Sims and Antone both on the IL, the Reds have turned to Hembree as of late, and he has rewarded the team with 5 saves in July.  I personally believe it will still be Sims with the most saves over the 2nd half, but Hembree is capable of adding in a few more saves if you need them.  Remember…SAGNOF

Ranger Suarez, RP, PHI-30% rostered in Yahoo- If Joe Girardi doesn’t have an ulcer the size of the Liberty Bell, color me shocked.  While it has been a revolving door at RP, it does appear that Ranger Suarez could be a good answer to the 9th.  He limits hard contact and allows very few barrels, and unless Philly brings in an outside closer, I don’t see them turning to anyone else consistently.