Chris Carter is playing his best ball of the season heading into the All-Star break.
Analysis: Carter has a nine game hitting streak right now. That is very impressive for a guy that is currently hitting .205 and is a career .216 hitter. Carter has 6 home runs, 10 runs batted in, 13 hits and 9 runs scored during his nine game hitting streak. Carter now has 19 home runs and 40 runs batted in this season. He ranks 5th among designated hitters in home runs and RBI. He also ranks 6th among first baseman in home runs and 20th in RBI.
Unfortunately, Chris Carter only has one walk during his nine game hit streak. His .281 OBP this season is obviously garbage. He has the highest strikeout rate in baseball at 33%, the second lowest contact percentage at 64.5% and the second highest swinging strike percentage. We know Carter has some of the best raw power in baseball but he simply needs a bit more plate discipline.
Chris Carter is available in 65-80% of fantasy leagues. Carter’s play has been great of late and we are all left to ask- is the risk worth the reward?
Derek Jeter has been playing very well as of late and remains a viable fantasy option.
Analysis: Jeter has 12 hits, 5 runs batted in and 3 stolen bases in his last ten games. Over the last month of the season Jeter is the 4th rated fantasy shortstop. He has five of his six stolen bases in the last month as he continues to improve his fantasy numbers. He is hitting just .273 this season but that mark is actually 8th best among big league shortstops. We know he is capable of posting a .280 plus batting average by season’s end.
The big red flag with Jeter is obviously the power. He ranks 22nd among shortstops in slugging percentage. He only has 2 home runs this season but he still ranks among the top 20 of shortstops in RBI, runs and stolen bases in addition to his strong(for a shortstop) batting average.
Do not underestimate what Jeter can do…. which is hit for average, get on base and swipe some bags. He is in a playoff chase and I highly doubt that he underperforms. Derek Jeter is available in 55-70% of fantasy leagues.
Josh Harrison is having a career year this season for the Pirates but can he keep it up?
Analysis: Harrison is batting .296 this season, with 5 home runs, 9 stolen bases and 33 runs scored. The twenty-seven year old is a career .264 hitter. Harrison’s BABIP this year is about forty points above his career average so that accounts for his unusually high batting average. He does have some pop and a bit of speed but his stolen base total suffers from his low walk rate. Typically guys hitting .296 have a better OBP than .332. Harrison’s 4.9% walk rate is 6th lowest in baseball among outfielders.
Harrison has spent most of his time in the outfield(36 games) for the Pirates this year but he does have position eligibility at second base and third base. He is a useful fantasy player at the moment but he will lose tons of value as soon as his batting average drops off. Keep in mind that Harrison stuck out at a lower clip last year and he still hit just .250.
Josh Harrison is available in 10-30% of fantasy leagues.
Jose Quintana pitched another great game in his last start against the Seattle Mariners. Quintana pitched 7.2 innings, struck out 10, gave up 4 hits and did not allow a run.
Analysis: Jose Quintana is one of the hottest pitchers in baseball right now. He has allowed just 3 earned runs over his last four starts. In that four game span he has struck out 31 batters to just 26 hits/walks. Over the last month of the season he is the 33rd best fantasy starter. He also ranks as the 47th best starter this season.
These rankings should not come as a surprise considering Quintana has been pitching very well since April. He currently has a 3.20 ERA, 3.31 xFIP, 1.24 WHIP and 100 strikeouts. He ranks 35th among starters in ERA and 26th in strikeouts. Keep in mind that the twenty-five year old Quintana posted a 3.51 ERA last year with a 1.22 WHIP and 164 strikeouts.
At the moment Jose Quintana is available in 25-70% of fantasy leagues. His next start should be in Boston on Thursday.
Jesse Chavez has allowed 9 earned runs over his last two starts. Many fantasy owners are bailing on the thirty year old but now is not the time.
Analysis: Jesse Chavez is the 56th best fantasy starter this season despite the two bad starts recently. He’s ahead of guys like Cole Hamels, James Shields, Gerrit Cole and Hiroki Kuroda. Chavez has a 3.23 ERA, 3.62 xFIP, 1.27 WHIP and an 8.04 K/9 rate this season. He ranks 34th in ERA among major league starters, 59th in BB/9, 58th in WHIP, 31st in K/9 and 33rd in strikeouts. It is fair to say he has been producing and has been quite consistent this season.
It is understandable that many fantasy owners are dropping Chavez. His last two starts have not gone well but there aren’t many options of his caliber available on the wire. Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain have both been on fire lately but aside from them there are a lot of risk/reward guys left on the wire.
Jesse Chavez is available in 15-30% of fantasy leagues. His next start is July 7th at home against the Giants.