And we are back for another heat check. No matter how totally awesome your team is it can always be better. So let’s dive right into who’s hot and see if they can help you out. One of the past week’s hottest hitters has been Santiago Espinal.  He really shouldn’t be this widely available given that he’s eligible at second and third base and is hovering around the top 12 at both positions. Did I mention that he’s in the middle of a monster stretch at the plate? His power is on the rise and he batted .310 last season so we know he can hit. He’s already been a guy who should at least be on your bench and he could be even better. Advanced stats say that he’s actually been getting a little bit unlucky with his batting average and it should be a few ticks north of .300. I like that he doesn’t strike out a ton and that the Jays lineup is strong surrounding him which should boost his production. I would be shocked if his roster percentage doesn’t spike after the week he just had so you’ll likely have to act fast if you want what he brings to the plate.

Marcus Semien – What’s that, he’s alive? If you drafted him you were probably forced to stick it out with him. There’s reason to hope he’s coming out of his funk because he was so darn good last season. Unfortunately, if you take off last season’s rose-tinted glasses… his xStats say that he’s earned his poor performance this year. I wouldn’t be opposed to moving him if someone else in your league believes last season is his new reality and will give you good value. But you don’t have to take my word for it, here’s the man, the myth the legend, Grey with his thoughts.

Kyle Farmer – The power surge has been really nice, with 4 bombs over the last couple weeks. Mind you that brings him up to a grand total of 5 on the year and he hit a career high of 16 last season. He can hit for a decent average and he will give you some doubles. Kick the tires and add him if you’re in a pinch. The dual eligibility at short and third is a nice little bonus. But just be ready to move on when this streak comes to an end.

Alejandro Kirk – If you’re in an ESPN league it’s fifty-fifty that he’s available. If you’re on CBS, yeah, he’s long gone. Either way, Captain Kirk has been on a hot streak that feels like it’s been going on all season. OK, it took him the first few weeks to find his stride, but he hasn’t looked back and is proving to be an incredible value if you drafted him late or snagged him off waivers. His xStats are pristine so there’s no reason to quit on him now.

Christopher Morel – Touched on him here last week and since then he’s batting .323 with 3 doubles and a home run. More importantly, he’s played in every game since then. Even better, his season numbers look legit. The Cubs are trending towards another sub-par year and I can’t think of a reason they wouldn’t keep him in the lineup as they look towards next season and beyond. His roster percentage has spiked since last week but he’s still widely available. Act fast if you want him, and you should. Everyone should want More(l).

Brandon Drury – Huh, maybe there was more to his hot performance than I thought as he turned another strong two week stretch after down Week 7. He was scratched from Wednesday’s game with Achilles soreness so keep that in mind if you find yourself in a position to add him. Unfortunately, I have no additional information as of this writing but it’s definitely a situation to monitor. Prior to the injury, he was swinging a big stick with 11 home runs, 3 of which came in the past seven days. Even with 41 strikeouts, you have to be happy with his performance.

Albert Almora Jr. – Imagine my surprise at seeing Almora up there on the list over the past couple weeks. You’d have to be in a pretty deep league to consider adding him and he will no doubt go back to being irrelevant for fantasy in short order.

Lane Thomas – A 3 home run game is a good way to shoot up the leader board, although the .474 average over the past week helped out as well. He’s also playing more often than not and his bat should find its way into the lineup because the Nats need hitters. His advanced stats are favorable as well so his season numbers should start to look better. There could be a breakout coming and I’d rather be a couple weeks too early than a week too late. Seems well worth the risk for the worst hitter on your bench.

Jake Burger – His last two weeks have been strong and that seems to have elevated him into a battle for DH. That’s enough to give him deeper league value if you’re hurting at your corner infield spot. I’m not rushing to add him but I would be watching.

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