As the fantasy baseball trade deadline approaches, its getting closer and closer to the time when you need to lock-in your rosters. As always, benching the bad and starting the good can keep your team atop the standings for your stretch-run into the playoffs. Let’s take a look at some players you can acquire through trades or just through free agency.

Start ‘Em


David Murphy |Texas Rangers| 12.8% :  Over the last three years Murphy has hit .417 with 3 HRs 10 RBI in only 36 at-bats at Camden Yards, one of the parks he’ll see this week.  Against the other team he faces this week, Tampa Bay, Murphy has hit .345 with eight of his 19 hits for extra-bases.  His current hot streak should help propel him into a strong upcoming week.


Pedro Alvarez |Pittsburgh Pirates| 25% :  The ever increasingly hot rookie is poised for a big week. All week long he will have the benefit of home field where he’s hitting .287 with a .352 OBP. At home, nine of his ten home runs have been hit there, his average is 100 points higher and his OPS is a whopping 422 points higher!


Mike Stanton |Florida Marlins| 39.2% :  The upcoming away series at Houston should be great for Stanton owners. He has hit 140 points higher on the road (.327 avg. /.398 OBP / 1.081OPS away!!!). Those stats and his current hot streak in addition to the seemingly regular poor performances of the Pittsburgh pitching staff, should equate to a great week.


Sit ‘Em


Ike Davis |New York Mets| 28.1% :  Davis has been cold of late and this upcoming week shouldn’t warrant you taking any chances on this Met.  Both of his games this week come away from Citi Field.  On the road Davis is hitting .223 with a .288 OBP.  Further dowsing the fire is his .227 avg. since the All-Star break.  Leave him on the waiver wire where he belongs.


Brett Gardner |New York Yankees| 99.7% :  Gardner has been horrid since the All-Star break.  He’s hitting .174 with a .296 OBP in the 69 at-bats since.  Adding to his problems is his combined stats against the Tigers and Mariners, next week’s opponents.  He’s hitting a combined .219 and going two for three in steals in 32 at-bats against those teams.  Hitting 15 points higher at home might help him out, but don’t count on it.


Two-Start Pitchers To Use

Jonathon Niese |New York Mets| 15.5% :  The two teams he faces in the upcoming week have very limited at-bats against him and are batting .067 against him in this limited sample.  The main reason for Niese’s strong upcoming week is both Houston and Pittsburgh’s stats against left-handed pitching.  Houston is the fourth-worst team in the NL against lefties (.250 avg., .306 OBP) and Pittsburgh is the second-worst hitting team against lefties in all of baseball (.244 avg., .312 OBP).  Look for Niese to keep his WHIP low and hopefully score some wins for the reeling Mets.


Brett Anderson |Oakland A’s| 81% :  Next week Anderson faces a few teams that have some pop in there lineup.  Don’t be timid though, every major power threat on both the Blue Jays and Rays is a right-handed batter.  His career mark against righties is .239, and this year he has continued to lower it by keeping them to a .208 avg.  Two more facts will help keep the balls in the park against Anderson.  He has one of the best ground to fly-ball ratios in the majors this year (1.34) and both games will be at home in the Coliseum, the third-worst park for homeruns in the majors.


Two-Start Pitchers To Avoid


Jon Garland |San Diego Padres| 55.1% :  Garland’s career numbers at Wrigley exhibit a 5.50 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP.  Mix that with his numbers this year away from spacious PETCO Park (4.52 ERA and a .267 BAA) and you have a recipe for a benching.


Rich Harden |Texas Rangers| 39.4% :  Those of you hoping for a turnaround in the oft-injured Harden should keep hoping for a new week.  His career numbers against the Rays are bleak: 32 innings of 5.01 ERA and 1.42 WHIP.  Considering both of his starts are away this upcoming week it’s also advised to take note of his ERA outside of the Ballpark in Arlington this year (6.40 ERA and 11 HRs in only 45 innings), ironic for being such a hitter-friendly park.


Hind Sight

Here we take a look at last week’s decisions and whether they might have paid off or not.  All hind sight stats are through the end of games on Friday, August 13th.


Start ‘Em:

Bill Hall |Boston Red Sox| : .235 avg. .250 OBP 2 Runs 2 HRs 4 RBI.  The batting average isn’t stellar but if you picked him up for the power and RBI production then you have reaped the benefits so far.

Chris Johnson |Houston Astros| : .429 avg. .467 OBP 2 Runs 4 RBI.  Chris Johnson continues to stay hot.  With trade deadlines approaching, now is a great time to get him if he’s still available in your league.


Jon Jay |St. Louis Cardinals| : .333 avg. .368 OBP 3 Runs 1 RBI.  So far it has been a great decision if you did pickup/start Jay.  The guy can rake and even though he can’t help in every category, he’s an asset to the one’s he can help.


Sit ‘Em:

Jack Cust |Oakland A’s| : .333 avg. 5Ks in 12 ABs.  This is a small sample size through the week so far, yet the four strikeouts is a lot in only seven at-bats.  Overall, this was a so-so sit, better if your league has a strikeout category for hitters.


Jay Bruce |Cincinnati Reds| :  .333 avg. in 9 ABs with 1 HR 3 RBI .  Of course he hits one out right before I submit this article.  Thanks for making me look bad.


Pitchers To Use:

Max Scherzer |Detroit Tigers|:  7IP 4H 1ER 4BB 2K


Ervin Santana |Los Angeles Angels|:  6.1P 6H 3ER 1BB 3K


Pitchers To Avoid:

Jair Jurrjens |Atlanta Braves|:  7.1IP 6H 1ER 1BB 3K


Edwin Jackson |Chicago White Sox|:  6IP 6H 1ER 1BB 7K



All Statistical Information was obtained through

Written exclusively for by James Bryce.  James is a Grad student at UCSD and is currently in his 13th year of fantasy sports.


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