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Brewers to apply full Nelson?
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SP Jimmy Nelson, Milwaukee Brewers
Starting Saturday for the Brew Crew, he begins his trial run in the rotation as Marco Estrada exits. Nelson, who had a cameo earlier this year, has improved on prior control issues (32 walks to 114 K's with his 1.46 ERA at Triple-A Nashville). There's a chance it's a one-start deal, but he should get a chance to lock up a spot and could have a useful second half for mixed leaguers if he makes a good first impression..
SP Dillon Gee, New York Mets
Over seven innings, Gee compiled four strikeouts while allowing just one run, six hits and one walk in his return Tuesday. He's still widely available, and despite his decreased rate of punchouts, his control-fueled approach works since he calls Citi Field home.
C/OF Stephen Vogt, Oakland Athletics
His eligibility, which may soon add first base, amplifies his recent 10-game hit streak (16-for-35, HR, 4 RBIs). Oakland has kept him around for times like this when they need a versatile defender, so don't expect him to sit much in the next few weeks, making him a fine C2 play.
1B Dan Johnson, Toronto Blue Jays
Promoted following Adam Lind's (foot) DL placement, Johnson could be a sneaky power source in AL-only and some deep mixed formats. Anyone with his history of leaving the yard receiving at-bats in that park deserves consideration.
Players losing value, potentially drop candidates.
RP Addison Reed, Arizona Diamondbacks
Kirk Gibson's confidence and their identification of mechanical issues aside, Reed isn't performing like a closer right now. If you're well off in saves besides him, he shouldn't be in your lineup because he's hurting your ERA and WHIP.
Kansas City Royals at Boston Red Sox (July 18-20)
Typically better known for his ability to make contact, Omar Infante is on pace for his third straight season of double-digit home runs. His BA, which finished at a whopping .318 in 2013, has taken a tumble as Infante has chased more pitches. But the 32-year-old has enjoyed his time on the road this season (.285, four HRs, 28 RBIs) than at Kauffman Stadium (.256-1-16). Fenway Park, in particular, has welcomed him as he's compiled a .317 BA and a .820 on-base-plus-slugging rate in 63 AB.
Cleveland Indians at Detroit Tigers (July 18-20)
After a downtrodden, shortened first three months, Jason Kipnis has stormed out of the July gate: 14-for-40, 10 runs scored, five steals. However, he doesn't enjoy his frequent jaunts to Comerica Park, where he carries a .215 clip with a decrepit .564 on-base-plus-slugging percentage in 93 ABs. Assuming the Tigs reset the top of their rotation after the All-Star break to some arrangement of Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander and Anibal Sanchez, that doesn't well for Kipnis, who has a combined .129 BA and only 5 RBIs in 75 ABs against them.
Chicago Cubs at Arizona Diamondbacks (July 18-20)
After the Cubbies traded Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel, their rotation looks ... less than stellar, to be kind. Jake Arrieta is their ace. This staff, which owns a below-average road ERA, heads to a hitter-friendly stadium in Phoenix. The righty-heavy quintet could benefit Gerardo Parra, who's likely to keep his job after Mark Trumbo (foot) returns. He doesn't have a drastic home-road split, but Parra certainly appreciates facing righties (.269, four HRs) more than southpaws (.192, one HR).
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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