With two months left on the season, Fantasy owners in need of a middle infielder should consider this player before he is claimed off the waiver wire.
Starting Pitchers in Focus: Travis Wood
In six starts in July, Wood was only 1-1 yet had an ERA of 2.87. He held opponents in the month of July to a .190 batting average. In 37.2 innings pitched, he struck out 33 and held opposing hitters to a .504 OPS. Wood is owned in 26 percent of ESPN leagues; Fantasy owners need to add him for Week 19.
Davis had his best month in July. He went 4-0 with a 3.03 ERA. Over that span, he had 18 strikeouts in 32.2 innings pitched. On the season, Davis is 9-9 with a 4.21 ERA; with Davis only owned in 50 percent of ESPN leagues, Fantasy owners looking for immediate help should consider adding him.
Position Players: Infielders
Drafted in the 19th round in 2006, 3B Danny Valencia is making a name for himself in the Twin Cities. In the month of July, he hit .453 with one home run and 11 RBI in only 52 at-bats. His OPS in July was 1.131, and he scored six runs over that stretch. With Valencia owned in six percent of ESPN leagues, Fantasy owners should put in a claim.
A former first round pick, 2B-3B Blake DeWitt will finally get his opportunity to play every day in Chicago. DeWitt hit .295 in July and had six RBI in limited playing time. What is very impressive about DeWitt is his ability to get on base; he has a .354 on-base percentage. He is a recommended pickup for Week 19.
Position Players: Outfielders
OF-DH Jack Cust had his best month in July. He hit .309 with six home runs and 18 RBI. His OPS was a stellar 1.118, and he scored 14 runs. On the season, Cust is hitting .298 with eight home runs and 29 RBI. Cust, currently only owned in 15 percent of ESPN leagues, is a viable mixed-league option for Week 19.
After having a cup of coffee in the big leagues in April and May, OF Michael Morse showed his worth in July. Morse hit .385 with three home runs and 12 RBI. His OPS was 1.133, and he scored seven runs. Morse has played in eight of the last 10 games, and with his hot bat he should see even more playing time for Week 19.
The Cleveland Indians traded closer RP Kerry Wood to the New York Yankees, making RP Chris Perez the club's new closer. He is not allowed a run in his last 14 innings pitched and has converted all six save opportunities. On the season, Perez has an ERA of 2.08 and is holding opponents to a .205 batting average. Fantasy owners looking for a sleeper closer down the stretch should put a claim in for the closer.
By John Arias, analyst at Fantasy Baseball Maniaxs