If your fantasy portfolio is anything like mine, it probably means that there’s some work to be done to ensure you’re sitting at the top of the standings at the end of the season. Sure, there have been some good calls along the way. Drafting Mookie Betts looks like it’ll work out just fine. That late round SAGNOF pick of Jonathan Villar is making you look like Nostradamus right about now. But it hasn’t exactly been all sunshine and katydids for your fake teams. That Stanton/Upton/Heyward monster outfield that you assembled on draft day has put up some scary numbers this year (and not in a good way). Perhaps you decided to go the two ace route since a Harvey/Archer combo was just too good to pass up back in March. And just like that, you went from feeling like Nostradamus to Nostradumbass. Fantasy can be so cruel sometimes. The point is that things don’t always go according to plan. Fortunately, there’s still plenty of time to turn things around, and plenty of widely available players with which to do so. The purpose of this article is to identify some of those players who have the potential to provide significant fantasy value in the second half of the season as well as a few of the expendable players who might be burning holes in your roster.

Today, we’re going to look at some hitters of interest while focusing on pitchers in the near future. Without further ado, here are some potential second half treasures on the hitting side who are widely available in ESPN leagues (ownership percentage in parentheses):

Young Outfielders: If you’re looking for offensive upside over the next few months, the outfield is a good place to find it. Minnesota Twins outfielder Max Kepler (24.4% owned) has produced an 18/8/31/2/.250 line over the past month and has displayed some serious power (.310 ISO) for a 23-year-old rookie. Randal Grichuk (24.5%) is another solid source of power who has raked (9/22 with 2 homers in 6 games) since being recalled from the minors by the Cardinals a week ago. Tyler Naquin (13.8%) has slashed .315/.400/.728 with 16 runs, 9 homers, 19 RBI, and 3 steals for the Indians since June 3rd (107 PA). Padres outfielder Travis Jankowski (4.0%) is a solid SAGNOF option if you have a need for speed (14 steals in 63 games). Two other players to keep an eye on are Padres prospect Hunter Renfroe (3.6%) and Mets left fielder Michael Conforto (17.5%), who are patiently awaiting their calls (or recall in Conforto’s case) to the majors.

Masters of Versatility: These are the players who are eligible at a minimum of three different positions and are especially valuable in formats with shallow benches (like RCLs). Mets superutility man Wilmer Flores (9.4% owned) is 1B/2B/SS/3B eligible and is the hottest schmotato in the land after slashing .440/.464/1.080 with 5 homers and 10 RBI over his last eight games (28 PA). Padres cleanup hitter Yangervis Solarte (38.4%) is nearly as hot as Flores with a .353/.389/.824 line including 4 homers and 12 RBI over his last eight games. Javier Baez (37.9%) has seen regular playing time for the Cubs over the last few weeks and has a .314/.364/.549 slash line to show for it over his past 13 games. Finally, Steve Pearce (25.8%) is still working his way back to full health following a hamstring injury that landed him on the disabled list, but his 1B/2B/OF eligibility and production this season (.322/.393/.540) ensures that he’s likely to be useful for the fantasy owners who exercised patience.

Corner Infidels: While Flores, Solarte, Baez, and Pearce are all CI eligible, there are also a couple of veterans who merit some attention over the next few weeks. Rockies donkey Mark Reynolds (23.4% owned) is 1B/3B eligible and has produced the lowest K-rate (25.4% K%) and highest batting average (.283) of his 10 year career this season thanks to the cozy confines of Coors Field. Pirates 1B/3B David Freese (16.7% owned) has enjoyed a similar resurgence in his age 33 season and is on pace to duplicate his career best 2012 season when he hit .293 with 20 homers.

Behind the Plate: Can’t forget about everybody’s favorite position: catchers, of course! While the catching position has predictably been a fantasy wasteland for the most part this season, there are two widely available players who project to be solid contributors at this weak position over the remainder of the season. Travis d’Arnaud (25.4% owned) hasn’t quite lived up to expectations mostly due to durability issues, but the 27-year-old Mets backstop has slashed .341/.370/.477 with 2 homers and 8 RBI over his last 13 games (46 PA). Phillies catcher Cameron Rupp (10.6% owned) has produced a .314/.367/.602 slash line with 15 runs, 8 homers, and 17 RBI over his last 32 games (128 PA). Both players appear to be solid additions for the stretch run.

As promised, here are a few players who have underwhelmed in recent weeks and are likely to continue to do so for the rest of the season (aka trashes):

Joe Mauer (32.2% owned): Remember the prime Mauer, the guy who hit .320 with elite counting stats year after year? That player is gone. The current 33-year-old version of Mauer has hit .225 with zero homers and 2 RBI in his last 19 games (82 PA). Mauer hasn’t hit more than 11 home runs since 2009 or knocked in more than 66 runs since 2012. The .320+ hitter has settled into the .270 average range in his thirties as well.

Brandon Phillips (40.2% owned): The 35-year-old Phillips hasn’t homered since May 7th and has just two steals since April 25th. Oh and he just suffered a hairline fracture in his hand (that he’s apparently going to attempt to play through) a few days ago. Run far away.

Mark Teixeira (17.7% owned): After smashing 31 homers in just 111 games last season, the 36-year-old Teixeira has struggled to stay healthy and has produced a paltry .193/.272/.317 slash line with 7 homers in 61 games this season. His sore knee appears to still be an issue as well.

Yadier Molina (71.1% owned): Are you sensing a theme yet with these underperforming players? Molina is yet another thirty-something (turns 34 tomorrow, to be exact) whose most productive seasons appear to be firmly in the rear-view mirror. He’s hitting .259 with 2 homers and 2 steals in 82 games this season, and his offensive numbers have been declining for three consecutive seasons. In one catcher leagues, you can do better.

  1. knucks says:
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    In honor of Cram and his general opinion of the Catcher position, the Phildo’s have just announced that Rupp will be changing his name to Crameron Rupp for the remainder of the 2016 season

    • Cram It says:
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      @knucks: Ha. I love Rupp!

      • Big Magoo

        Big Magoo says:
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        @Cram It: But he’s a catcher. Is this possible?

        • Cram It says:
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          @Big Magoo: There are always exceptions. Well, and as soon as his average drops below .250, then screw him like the rest of ’em!

          • Big Magoo

            Big Magoo says:
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            @Cram It: There’s the Cram that I know!

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @knucks: Ha!

  2. Scott says:
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    D’Arnaud, Wellington or Grandal as C ROS?

    • knucks says:
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      @Scott: Cram, you gonna handle this one?

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Scott: Not Grandal. He’s too inconsistent and injury-prone for my liking. Kind of a coin flip between the other two, but I’d probably give a slight edge to Welington. Better park and hits for power more consistently.

  3. Steve D. says:
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    Jankowski, Revere or Dyson, ROS?

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Steve D.: I like Jankowski the most out of this group at the moment, but he’s not guaranteed regular playing time through the rest of the season. Have to go with Revere here.

  4. John says:
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    Shipped Vogt out for KRod once Gattis earned catcher status. Felt smart then. Since then, Gattis has been awful. Be patient or is it time to look at Rupp, Travis etc?

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @John: Depends on the format. If it’s a weekly and/or deep format, I’d hold Gattis for now. If it’s an RCL or similar format (daily/shallow), play the hot hand (which would be Rupp at the moment).

      • Johnc says:
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        @Big Magoo:

        Makes sense. This is a H2H 12 teamer with 7 moves allowed per week (usually pitchers).

        • Big Magoo

          Big Magoo says:
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          @Johnc: Yeah, holding onto Gattis and saving your transactions for pitching is probably the best way to go in that format.

  5. Nico says:
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    What player has the best chance of outlasting his Hot Schmotato-ness, in your opinion?

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Nico: Of all of the players that I mentioned? Solarte is probably the safest. Has good job security, solid contact skills, hits in a prime lineup spot for counting stats. Kepler is an interesting upside play. Reynolds is a solid option especially in daily formats where you can use him in Coors only.

      • Nico says:
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        @Big Magoo: Solarte is that guy who’s always around, but I can never trust… This year might be different! Thanks!

        • Big Magoo

          Big Magoo says:
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          @Nico: No problem

          • HomerHWBush says:
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            @Big Magoo: picked him up around this time last year and he was a solid cog in my eventual championship roster. Of course early this year when I looked back at the lineup I said “holy shit I had Yangervis Solarte on my team!?”

            • Big Magoo

              Big Magoo says:
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              @HomerHWBush: Haha. Sometimes it’s the unsung heroes that make the difference.

  6. Don't Under Do it says:
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    Need an OF. I’m weak in RBI’s but mostly interested in overall value.
    PLZ rank ROS in a vacum:

    Reynolds, Naploi, Kepler, Maybin, Grichuk

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Don’t Under Do it: Reynolds and Napoli aren’t OF eligible, so not them. Maybin probably has the most overall value but is weakest in HR/RBI out of the other three. I’d go with Kepler there.

      • Don't Under Do it says:
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        @Big Magoo:

        I should have mentioned that this is a yahoo league. Nap and Rey are both OF in Yhoo.

        Does that change anything?

        I know MAX is a hot name around here but i’m unfamiliar with his work and or potential.

        Thank you

        • Big Magoo

          Big Magoo says:
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          @Don’t Under Do it: Yahoo has some pretty lenient eligibility requirements! I’d go with Reynolds if you have the roster space to play matchups. If not, Kepler. He’s playing everyday and has solid power upside.

  7. Scott says:
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    Do you like Colby Rasmus or Alex Gordon for 5th OF?

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Scott: In 12 team mixed leagues (or shallower), I’d look elsewhere. Probably a slight edge to Rasmus if forced to choose.

  8. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    hoping benintendi gets a call soon

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @AL KOHOLIC: Hey Al! Yeah, I expect him to be a September callup at worst, but he’ll probably be up a bit sooner than that.

  9. Pshh says:
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    S1) shoemaker and Bergman for archer

    2) Lorenzo Cain/shoemaker/Bergman for David price

    3) Cain / Bergman for Jon Lester

    4) nelson Cruz/Bergman/fulmer for David price/archer.

    5)grienke/Cruz/Bergman/shoe for price/Lester

    I should mention I have to do. 2-1 or 3-2 or Bergman or shoemaker gets dropped when Lorenzo or grienke come back from the DL

    Thanks a ton! Trade deadline for me is in 2 days sorry for all the questions. Soon there will be no more!

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Pshh: Is this a redraft or dynasty format?

      • Pshh says:
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        @Big Magoo: sorry it’s a keeper league. We keep 6 players/ year. 10 team league. A minimum keeper is $10, which Lester, Cain and Bergman are all at $10. The others are in the $20s and frankly not on my keeper radar.

        • Big Magoo

          Big Magoo says:
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          @Pshh: Archer hasn’t looked great at any point this season, so I’d probably pass on him. Lester’s recent struggles have me concerned about a potential injury, though it could just be a dead arm period or bad luck. Price has been really sharp since mid-May. If you’re in contention this year, #2 might be a bit of an overpay (unless it’s a points format) but reasonable if you’d have to cut one of those players anyway.

          • Psh says:
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            @Big Magoo: jeeze sorry I need to give you better info on my league. 10 team h2h roto so I’m a lock for the playoffs but essentially all that matters is how my team performs August 25-sept 25 (playoffs)

            Yea I currently have 2 guys on my DL (Grienke/Cain) so will ultimately need to drop 2 players soon.

            So you’d be most inclined to try deal #2? What about deal #4 or 5. I ideally need to deal Bergman and shoemaker otherwise those 2 will be dropped anyway. Figure adding Grienke and Nelson Cruz to them will “spice up” a trade and get a nice return back?

            • Big Magoo

              Big Magoo says:
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              @Psh: Ah ok. If Bregman and Shoemaker are both expendable, then I like the #2 and #5 deals the best (assuming you can spare Cruz’ power in the second deal). Price has looked good recently and should pitch every 5th day the rest of the way. Same goes for Lester unless the Cubs lock up home field advantage early on (and then he probably just gets skipped once).

  10. Chad Donaldson says:
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    Khris Davis or Kepler?

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Chad Donaldson: Davis. He’s a 30/90 guy, which is quite valuable.

  11. Nitro says:
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    Do you drop D. Espinoza and/or Sano for Trea Turner and/or Bregman?

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Nitro: If Espinosa is a bench bat, you can lose him for Turner.

    • Alex says:
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      @Nitro: Dusty Baker, enough said

  12. The Hack Formerly Known as Hate says:
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    Do you have any second half bold predictions?

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @The Hack Formerly Known as Hate: Hmm… haven’t really thought about it. I guess I’ll go with:

      1. Chris Davis leads the majors in homers yet again

      2. Altuve continues raking and finishes as the #1 overall fantasy player

      3. MadBum finishes the year as the #1 fantasy pitcher

      4. At least a half dozen more MLB pitchers succumb to TJS, including Syndergaard and one of the Ross brothers

      5. The Cubs World Series drought continues

      • The Hack Formerly Known as Hate says:
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        @Big Magoo:
        1) agreed
        2) agreed
        3) number 4, Big Head will save him for the playoffs
        4) Im going to say 5 TJ’s
        5) Oh yeah, the funny thing is the Mets pitching problems makes the road easier for the Cubs, To be honest the NL blows ass this year, it wont take much to get home field.

        • Big Magoo

          Big Magoo says:
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          @The Hack Formerly Known as Hate: The Cubs definitely look like the best team in baseball, but I’ll take the field. I could see the Giants giving them trouble. They’re well-rounded and tough as nails. The Nats seem a bit soft to me, but they have the talent to make some noise.

  13. Jerry says:
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    Hey, Big Magoo. Do you like Kemp or Dee Gordon ros? Thanks!

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Jerry: Hey Jerry! Apples and oranges, but I’d go with Gordon for overall impact

  14. Alex says:
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    Everyone loves to get a tiny sample and say d’Arnaud is something. He is the Drew Hutchison of catchers. Always love but never results, Pass on this bum

  15. Kendrick Llama says:
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    Kepler or Naquin? OBP league

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Kendrick Llama: That’s a good one. Slight edge to Kepler because I expect Naquin’s BABIP and HR/FB to regress a bit.

      • Kyle Kendrick says:
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        @Big Magoo: I went with Kepler myself. I hope the average goes up… He’s been quite good recently.

        • Big Magoo

          Big Magoo says:
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          @Kyle Kendrick: His plate discipline has been solid recently, and he’s been making a lot of hard contact, so I expect his BABIP to rise some. He looks like the real deal.

  16. Mike Schenk says:
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    I’m looking to offer the likes of cespedes, Steven wright, betances and kendrys M. as trade bait to try and snag an ace and SB.

    One team just outside the playoffs in my league has strasburg and arrietta. Of these 2, who do you think would stay healthy, remain productive and worth offering cespedes for? I think both are worthy but I’m trying to get the most “bang for my buck.” Or any other arms you think I should target?

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Mike Schenk: I think that any highly productive SP who’s healthy and not on an innings limit is fair game. Those two are solid targets, though I’m never confident that Strasburg will be able to stay healthy for an extended period of time. Scherzer and Carrasco look like terrific targets. Might be able to get Price at a discount. Jo-Fer is likely to be skipped or shut down early, so I’d probably avoid him. Same goes for pitchers like Fulmer, Velasquez, Sanchez, etc., though they’re not quite fantasy aces anyway.

  17. Chad Donaldson says:
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    Dynasty League, I trade Sale for Betts/Tijuan

    Good Deal?

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Chad Donaldson: Unless your scoring system heavily favors pitching, I’d want the Betts/Taijuan side.

  18. Clint says:
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    Great post Magoo! Should help me gather some SAGNOF for my roto.

    Question regarding Solarte for help:
    I snatched Travis at 2B because as my SAGNOF comment denotes, I need some help w/runs/sbs/obp but Solarte is available and eligible there in Yahoo too. I’m leading most power categories so I figured I should stick w/Travis but would you make a swap considering Solarte’s been pretty good all year now?

    • Clint says:
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      @Clint:
      Oh, if it matters, I also have the suspended Gordon on my bench so regardless of who I’d keep at 2B, they’d be replaceable in a matter of weeks & Solarte’s multi-position eligibility was also enticing to me for that reason.

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Clint: Thanks, Clint! I think that Travis and Solarte will provide similar value in that format, so if you could use Solarte’s positional versatility on your bench once Gordon returns, that’s a fine swap to make.

  19. PHIL says:
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    I need to drop one…who should it be ? Bud Norris Hyun-Jin Ryu Nick Tropeano Lucas Giolito

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @PHIL: Tropeano is the odd man out. He tends to get whippy with all of the walks and homers that he allows.

  20. Ryan says:
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    Magoo, I have one NA slot and Giolito is in it. Do I drop him for Alex Bregman? I don’t necessarily need hitting or pitching, just looking for a second-half surge.

    Thanks!

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Ryan: Yeah, grab Bregman. It sounds like he’ll be up at any time now.

  21. Steve says:
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    Hundley or Rupp?
    Heyward or Conforto?

    Thanks Magoo

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Steve: Rupp hits higher in the order and has hit for more power, so I’d take him over Hundley. Heyward over Conforto unless you really need power, especially since it’s uncertain when Conforto will be called back up.

  22. Scott says:
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    In an OBP league, what about this trade?

    Starling Marte + Maikel Franco for Harper + Mark Reynolds
    or
    Marte for Myers + Reynolds

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Scott: I like that first deal. Harper is a monster in that format.

  23. David says:
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    5 keeper league, 5×5 roto. I was offered Carrasco and K. Seager for Arenado. I could use a little pitching help although I’m not sure that’s enough to put me over. The others to choose from as keepers are: Goldy, Rizzo, Marte, Polanco, Bautista, Bregman and Arrieta. Do l make the deal? Thanks.

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @David: It’s not a terrible deal, but I’d want to hold onto Arenado in a keeper league. Bautista isn’t likely to crack your list of keepers, so maybe you could deal him for some pitching help (someone in the Kluber, Price, or Greinke range).

  24. AU! says:
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    I have a trade question for you. 16 team h2h dynasty points league (QS for pitching). I am trying to win now, but its not a given. He offered Hector Santiago/Wei-Yen Chen/Roberto Osuna/Dillon Tate for my Alex Bregman/Jorge De La Rosa/Bassitt/Alex Gordon. The hard part for me is parting with Bregman. Is this enough for him? It feels kind of gross. Thanks

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @AU!: Santiago and Chen are definitely useful in that format, but I’d want more for Bregman.

  25. What Would Dykstra Do? says:
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    In a 12 team h2h points keeper league, who’s a better bench bat , Moya or Grichuk?

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @What Would Dykstra Do?: I like Grichuk more. Moya has a higher K-rate and nowhere to play once JD gets healthy.

  26. Frankgrimes says:
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    u really went out
    on a limb in the continue
    to underwhelm list!

    • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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      @Frankgrimes: there was somebody on here back in april saying some gibberish that mauer’s “eyes were fixed” for the first time since his most recent concussion and that he should go right on back to being a high average, at least 20 HR guy. hahahahah

  27. Portbigcity says:
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    Magoo, ok Of help. 12 team H2H -1 So
    currently have Riddick, Bradley Jr, Marte, Werth, Kepler Hitter Tron likes werth a lot this weekend bradley Jr not so much. I dropped Chisenhall for the weekend but should have no trouble picking him back up.

    questions, current starters for the weekend as to hittertron is Riddick, Werth, marte and kepler. Do I bet on Bradley or wait until next week?

    ROS do you see a big regression for Chissonhall? Would you rather werth for ROS? Oh and would you take Keplar or Chiss ROS.

    3b J Turner is rated high this weekend, I also have Franco and Cast. HT likes Cast over Santana but not by much for the weekend. Santana has been really good for me in my DH. Who would you start?

    last week I posted about a trade but no takers. trying to move Franco , cast or marte but no one would bite.

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