Let’s get right into this week’s edition …
In the Field
OF Jason Bourgeois, Houston
The trade deadline departures of Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn have created some much-deserved playing time for Bourgeois. The center field position is now his on a nightly basis, which should increase his already high offensive production. Owned in less than 40 percent of online leagues, he is not only worth owning, but worth being a fantasy starter.
OF Jon Jay, St. Louis
Like Bourgeois, Jay has been handed the everyday starting centerfield job for the Cardinals. With Colby Rasmus out of the picture, Jay will see a spike in his fantasy production. He, too, is owned in less than 40 percent of online leagues, grab him and enjoy.
OF Hideki Matsui, Oakland
Simply put, he’s been on fire since the All-Star break. He won’t hit for a lot of power, but if you need help in batting average, this is your guy. Thirteen hits in his last seven games to go along with eight runs batted in. He’s worth owning in all formats and starting right now while he is riding this hot streak.
C Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Boston
Owned in just over 50 percent of online leagues, Saltalamacchia is currently on a hot streak. He’s riding a seven-game hitting streak that has seen him swat 11 hits, two of which ended up being home runs. He gets the majority of the playing time in Boston, so ride him while he is hot.
1B Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona
A bit of a reach here, but for those in deep leagues he is worth taking a look at. The Diamondbacks have cleared his path, and they hope that he can nail down the starting first base job at the major league level. He got a hit in his first game, and if his minor league numbers are any indication (.306 with 30 home runs), then fantasy owners would be wise to give him a look.
On the Bump
Doug Fister, Detroit
Owned in less than half the online leagues, Fister is pitching much higher than his 3-12 record indicates. His 3.33 earned run average and 1.17 walks plus hits per innings pitched are extremely low, and we expect that the move to the Tigers will result in him finally grabbing a win or two.
Alex Cobb, Tampa Bay
Cobb gets listed for the second week in a row, and deservedly so. Though the Rays are going with a six-man rotation, Cobb has not disappointed when his name has been called. Though he didn’t grab a win in his last outing, he did strike out nine Seattle Mariners in 6.1 innings of work (three earned runs). His ownership numbers are quickly rising (now at nearly 30 percent), so grab him now.
Brett Cecil, Toronto
Digging deep, we touch upon a player owned in only 25 percent of online leagues. His last two outings came against the Texas Rangers, and he excelled in both, picking up two wins while only giving up a single earned run in 16 innings. He hasn’t lost since the All-Star break, so he’s worth owning in deep leagues.
Brandon McCarthy, Oakland
Another deep selection here, owned in a shade better than 25 percent of online leagues, McCarthy is another starter that has excelled since the All-Star break. His two most recent starts against the Minnesota Twins and Tampa Bay Rays yielded two wins, 12 strikeouts and only four earned runs in 14 innings. He, too, is worth owning in deep leagues.