Now that the Fourth of July has come and gone, Major League Baseball is entering the back end of its tumultuous 162-game season. Teams are making moves, showing their true colors, and officially declaring themselves as contenders or pretenders. The same goes for your fantasy teams. Similar to actual games, fantasy leagues across the country are starting to get serious.
Whether it’s your sleeper picks needing to perform better, your top players performing at their expected levels, or just your ace pitcher not getting shelled, it’s time to put the nose to the grindstone. While it might be difficult to pick up a quality player on the waiver wire at this time of the season, you never know, especially as injuries heal and slumps break. And even more importantly, you need to closely examine match-ups each week. Teams get hot and cold, and if you can even predict half of what might happen, your fantasy team will thrive: it’s just a matter of allowing it to do so. So without further ado, here are five players to watch for that might have very productive weeks, at least in fantasy terms.
1. Brock Holt, Boston Red Sox
Though the 26-year-old outfielder might not hit for power (he only has two home runs and 18 RBIs on the year), his average has made him a solid option in the outfield. He currently sits at .320 on the year, putting him 26 points above his career average. Though his average has dropped in the last week, he still was able to finish at .308 with five runs scored and one RBI. Again, he’s not going to light up the stat line, but he’s consistent.
Looking ahead to this week, Boston has seven games against two teams — the Cleveland Indians and the Houston Astros — that give up a lot of runs. Take Houston for example: they’ve allowed 415 runs this season, which is good enough for fourth worst in all of the majors. Even if Holt doesn’t get hot, given Boston’s opponents, he’s almost a guarantee to play a role in a lot of Red Sox runs.