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That time of year: He's useful again
OF Justin Ruggiano, Chicago Cubs
Junior Lake's slumping ways could once again open things up for the Ruge, who's 9-for-22 with a HR and 7 RBI in his last six games. He'll actually offer similar HR-SB, low-BA potential to Lake as long as he's playing. Though he's generally regarded as a platoon guy versus southpaws only, he's holding his own against righties this year.
SP Tyler Skaggs, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
His return from the disabled list Wednesday (7 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K) teases what he can offer the rest of the way. A positive swing in rate of runners left on base should help. His pair next week might not be the best showing, but the long term, buy.
3B Chris Johnson, Atlanta Braves
His rebound since the start of June (.333-1-13 in 117 AB) refocuses on his clip abilities, especially with the .432 BABIP in that time. He's one to keep a high average when he's on, and he's on right now.
RP Brad Ziegler, Arizona Diamondbacks
RP Junichi Tazawa, Boston Red Sox
Today's Closer Depth Charts update tells you why you should consider these two.
Players losing value, potentially drop candidates.
1B/OF Michael Morse, San Francisco Giants
With Brandon Belt coming back, maybe the slumping Morse will lose more at-bats. He has power potential the rest of the way but hasn't done much since June started. He hasn't homered since June 5. Maybe this means he'll start clubbing again soon, but he's more likely experiencing an unfortunate correction.
2B/3B/OF Martin Prado, Arizona Diamondbacks
It's obvious that many cling to Prado, hoping he'll turn things around, because of his diverse positional eligibility. His value typically leans on BA, and when he doesn't perform there, he's not worthy of starting in standard mixed games.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Texas Rangers (July 11-13)
Despite his career-best pace in stolen bases, Howie Kendrick suffered through June as he hit .232 with a homer and 8 RBI. He should do more at the dish during this series. Most who visit Arlington tend to hit better. Kendrick should do so thanks to his career line of .273 BA, 8 HR and 26 RBI in 209 career AB when visiting Rangers Ballpark. He's also clipping at .318 in 22 AB against this woeful Texas pitching staff in 2014.
Miami Marlins at New York Mets (July 11-13)
The Fish have surprised this season but still have some notable flaws: They carry one of the worst staff-wide ERAs on the road (4.30 through 36 games). Lucas Duda is in the middle of taking a big step at the plate, despite his continued weakness versus left-handed pitching. This season, 7 of Duda's 12 homers have come at the typically hitter-suppressant Citi Field, and he's 9-for-30 (.300) with an .816 on-base-plus-slugging against the Marlins.
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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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