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Players on the rise in value or with great upcoming matchups. For more players to pick up, click on our Fantasy Baseball Free Agents!
SS Brad Miller, Seattle Mariners
Since being benched for three games in late May, Miller has hit .294 with four homers and 10 RBI (85 at-bats). He might be ready to cash in on his preseason hype, which says he can approach 20 homers and 20 steals over a full peak season.
1B C.J. Cron, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
The release of Raul Ibanez should've tipped off fantasy players to pick up the talented and recently unblocked masher. He should get the majority of DH at-bats for a hot-hitting Halos horde.
2B/3B/OF Kelly Johnson, New York Yankees
With Yangervis Solarte crashing back to earth, KJ could see majority reps at the hot corner soon. Any semblance of regular playing time will make the diversely eligible lineup filler more valuable.
Players losing value, potentially drop candidates.
3B/SS Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox
Will Middlebrooks (finger) may bump him from third base. Luckily, Stephen Drew hasn't proven effective, so X-man may be salvaged. But a Pawtucket trip may be in his future if his 2-for-29 slide continues.
OF Austin Jackson, Detroit Tigers
Might be the ultimate loser in the outfield shuffle instigated by J.D. Martinez. Decent buy-low candidate, but tread lightly.
OF Norichika Aoki, Kansas City Royals
May not be an everyday player when he returns from the disabled list. Aoki (groin) may not get a chance to have a rebound season.
Kansas City Royals at Cleveland Indians (July 4-6)
Lorenzo Cain continues to fall short of the power expectations many scouts had for him as he was coming up through the Milwaukee Brewers system. But he's showing more of the contact and acceptable speed that made him an intriguing long-term fantasy asset a few years ago (.310 batting average through 197 at-bats this year). Despite his mediocre splits on the road in 2014, the trip to pitcher-friendly Progressive Field won't hurt him. He's 7-for-23 lifetime there with a .407 on-base percentage, and the Indians' pitching staff ranks near the bottom in home ERA.
Los Angeles Dodgers at Colorado Rockies (July 4-6)
Any hitter traveling to Coors Field would have increased lineup consideration anyway, but former Rockie Juan Uribe, who returned from the disabled list last week, could provide extra use to deep-league fantasy players. He's quietly putting up another notable season (for him) with his .303 batting average. The Dodgers third baseman goes on stretches like this, and his road performance in 2014 (.333 BA, .847 on-base-plus-slugging in 93 AB) should continue in Denver, where he boasts a .280 clip with 14 homers and 102 RBI in 700 career AB.
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About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.
He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.
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